"It was a small Louisiana town where people live and love and die
and no one ever thought of locking their doors.... except in the Monroe house."
However soon after wards eerie things begin happening as Ruth finds a threatening note in the mailbox and the locals seem to treat the new couple a bit strangely. There is a seemingly helpful neighbor Ollie (Sue Ann Langdon) who takes a liking to Ruth who being left alone all day begins to feel something wrong as she sees a strange half-seen figure lurking about. Gradually the couple learn that house has a violent history with several past occupants meeting death or disappearing which again we're shown is flashback.
In 1972 director Charles B. Pierce released THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK which for cinema became the ground zero for the 70's bigfoot craze. Shot on a shoestring budget it made almost $20,0000 (becoming the 10th highest grossing film of 1972) and pretty much made Pierce's career in the coming decade. Moving into different genres he made a "true crime" style thriller with THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (1976), a period medieval piece with THE NORSEMAN (1978 -Lee Majors as a Viking !) and several interesting western/Native American themed films including WINTERHAWK (1975), THE WINDS OF AUTUMN (1976) & GREYEAGLE (1977).
Released by A.I.P and coming at the end of this fruitful decade THE EVICTORS has never been one of his more well regarded films - although the main problem with Pierce and his legacy is that the great majority of his work is damnably hard find existing on murky bootlegs. I happen to think that THE EVICTORS stands as one of his best films. It features a solid tight little story with very little padding, likeable main characters and some excellent supporting work with familiar faces. Like BOGGY CREEK & TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN 1979's THE EVICTORS is also nominally "based upon true events" and at its core is a kind of back to the roots style of horror (unknown intruder lurking in a home) while at the same time looking ahead to upcoming decades' slasher bonanza (even sharing some atmosphere with the same years WHEN A STRANGER CALLS). The film also fits into the southern horror genre with such films as TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and Rob Zombies HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES and THE DEVILS REJECTS with their affirmation of families trying to hold on to their land and lifestyle. Being the 70's and the "horror sells" mantra and the one-sheet ratchets up these elements by showing a shadowed figure carrying a woman out of a creepy house (though to be fair that scene appears in the film).
Having the action confined to the house or in the immediate vicinity helps Pierce keep the tension going and eschewing the corny country music songs or comedy relief that popped up in some of his previous films helps keep the proceedings in line also. Showing the various violent episodes of the house's history as spread throughout the films running time works better than having the entire thing lumped in together at the beginning as it helps slowly build the tension.
Filmed on location in Louisiana it has an excellent period feel to it and Pierce was great at making his movies look a lot "bigger" then they were (the short sequences in the town have a real populated look to them with period cars and folks milling about) and he has a real knack for capturing the language and mannerisms of rural America.
Previously released on DVD as a bonus with their TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN Blu-ray, Shout Factory have now released this as a standalone blu that will hopefully help its stature. Plus, it gets an added thumbs up as does any release that has Dennis Fimple among the cast Be careful of the spoiler filled trailer !!
Now let's bring on a legit LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK release !!
All above screen grabs are from the Scream Factory Blu -Ray