Digital Media Editor

Justin Channell has been with the Observer-Reporter since 2012, first working as a night news editor and later as the digital media editor. He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University. He has also produced and directed independent films.

Boggy Creek ad

An advertisement for "The Legend of Boggy Creek" that ran in the Observer-Reporter in July 1973.

Who would have thought a blog about drive-in movie nostalgia would end up reporting news?

In this week's Drive-In Time Machine blog, O-R digital media editor takes a look at two drive-in cult classics that curiously didn't open at drive-ins near Washington County: William Castle's "13 Frightened Girls" and Charles B. Pierce's cryptozoological faux-documentary "The Legend of Boggy Creek." Plus, a look at a film from Pittsburgh's most famous filmmaker.

In this week's Drive-In Time Machine blog, I covered the 1972 horror movie "The Legend of Boggy Creek," a G-rated faux-documentary based on the Fouke Monster legend of Arkansas that was a surprise hit. In the blog, I lamented about the film's murky copyright status that resulted in countless unauthorized DVD releases that looked worse than VHS tapes. I ended the section of the blog stating, "If there was ever a film that is deserving of a proper, high-definition restoration, it's definitely 'The Legend of Boggy Creek.'"

My timing couldn't have been better: the day after the blog ran, I was contacted by Pamula Pierce Barcelou, the daughter of "Boggy Creek" director Charles B. Pierce, and she has now gained copyright to the film.

Speaking to the Texarkana Gazette, Barcelou said that the rights to the film - as well as Pierce's 1974 film "Bootleggers" - were assigned to her by the son of the original financier, L.W. Ledwell.

Barcelou has partnered with the George Eastman Museum to restore "The Legend of Boggy Creek" in 4K resolution for an eventual Blu-Ray and theatrical release. This will be the first time the film has been seen in its proper, Techniscope format since the original theatrical release.

According to the Texarkana Gazette report, the restoration is being performed using the original negative from Technicolor and original prints. The elements will also be stored and cared for by museum.

Barcelou claimed seeing the film up on the big screen for the first time in 45 years made her cry and I'm sure a whole legion of "Boggy Creek" fans will too when they finally get to see this film the way it was meant to be seen.

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