An eclectic crowd showed up to the premiere of the remastered edition of "The Legend of Boggy Creek," the movie that introduced the Fouke Monster to the rest of the world. People showed up bearing memories of the original cinematic rampage from far and wide, as well as others who wished to make new memories and be exposed to new perspectives.
"This is kind of the granddaddy of the Bigfoot films, a piece of cinematic history," said Mark Rapp, who came all the way from Pittsburg, Pa., to see the movie. "Fans of this film have been suffering from pan and scan VHS all these years. This restoration is a long time coming. We have been waiting for a quality source."
Dubious of the veracity of the Fouke Monster legend, Rapp nonetheless saw this event, in Texarkana and its historic Perot Theatre, as the place to see this premiere.
"The phenomenon is lots of fun," he said, "But is there any other place to see such a high quality remaster and premiere of this movie? I can't think of any."
Some seeing the movie had actual personal connection to the original production. Roxie Cariere came from St. Petersberg, Fla., to see the premiere. She is a friend of Pam Pierce Barcelou, who was in the original film.
"Pam is also a producer on the remaster," said Cariere. "I love her, great person, known her since she was 13 years old."
Cariere has acted in a film directed by Charles Pierce, director of "The Legend of Boggy Creek."
"I met Pam and Charles when I was in another of Charles' films, 'The Evictor,'" she said. "I'm excited about the remaster. I saw the original print in theater, but everyone around me was screaming and carrying on, it made it hard to enjoy. Tonight, the remaster should be easier to take in. The screamers have gotten older."
Mary Cullins of Texarkana, Ark., who knows Bunny Dees of the "Boggy Creek" cast, was there with her friend, Brenda Peacock of Texarkana, Texas. Both looked forward to the premiere, but had different perspectives on the phenomenon of the Fouke Monster.
"I don't believe in the monster. I've heard of the incident in Spring Lake Park from when I was a kid, but I think it is just commercialism," Cullins said. "I'm here for my friend, all Team Bunny."
Peacock, a 23-year resident of Texarkana, Texas,, had a more open-minded perspective.
"I have heard of the movie, the monster, the incident, if you will," she said. "I expect entertainment and I'm willing to give the story a fair hearing, maybe get some enlightenment. We will see."
Tiffany Whitehead, marketing coordinator for TRAHC/Perot Theatre, said she watched the movie at her grandmother's house as a child and it scared her very much.
"My grandmother lived out in the bottoms of Liberty-Eylau, just the sort of place depicted in the movie," she said. "I watched it at her place and had trouble sleeping. It scared the crap out of me. I have not watched it since, so tonight's viewing will be a bit of a refresher."
The new movie projector addition to the Perot Theatre brings a fresh, yet old-fashioned way to take in movies that is different from home viewing and the modern megaplex theater. The audience response has been enthusiastic.
"The holiday traditions were so well-received by the community, we knew we had to go forward with this," Whitehead said. "We have lots of ideas as to what movies we will show down the line. We don't have a list yet, but stand by for announcements."