Movies & TV / Columns

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Bog Creatures

February 26, 2022 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
The Bog Creatures Image Credit: MTI Home Video

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #605: The Bog Creatures

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never been on an expedition of any sort, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number six hundred and five, it’s Debuary with a review of the low budget horror flick featuring Debbie Rochon, The Bog Creatures, which came out in early March 2003.

It’s Debuary!

The Bog Creatures

Image Credit: MTI Home Video

The Bog Creatures, also known as Bog Creatures and The Big People and directed by J. Christian Ingvordsen, is a nifty low budget horror flick that features a wicked sense of humor and some terrific weird atmosphere. The movie does lose steam a bit towards the end and the ending is confusing (I’m assuming that it’s trying to set itself for a sequel but I’m not entirely sure about that), but the movie works more often than not and that’s what’s most important. The Bog Creatures is a damn good movie watching time.

The Bog Creatures stars Leia Thompson as Diana Oppenheimer, one of five college students chosen by Professor Feneman (Jeffrey Howard) and his super smart kid sister Kelly (Lara Theodos) to head into the woods in Copenhagen, Denmark, to look for “bog people,” dead bodies exquisitely preserved in bogs. Alongside the other chosen students (Steve Dyson, as played by Joshua Park, Susan Beth as played by Courtney Henggeler, Nick Warren as played by Michael Mosley), and Ronald Teller as played by Jesse Steccato), Diana will find the bogs in the woods, dig into them, and see if they do, in fact, have bodies inside of them. Professor Feneman hopes to prove that the bog people are berserkers, Viking warriors that were believed to be a part of some supernatural cult or some bullshit 1200 years ago. And if these potential bodies can be found, Feneman and his sister want the bodies brought back to his lab so they can be dissected and whatnot (it’s all about science). The team of students are weirded out by the project and, in so many ways, think the whole thing is insane. But the students also like the idea of research and, maybe, finding something spectacular, so they’re all interested in doing the work.

So the team of students, along with professional grizzled guide Max (T.J. Glenn), head out into the woods. At first, things are sort of normal as the team sets up camp and figures out where they’re going to start digging. Things start to get weird, though, after the team uncovers two bog people. After carrying the bog bodies out and then deciding on a new place to dig, the team finds a deserted, destroyed campsite. Who else is out in the woods and what, exactly, are they doing? It’s at this point the team finds Tara (Debbie Rochon), a young woman in shock. What happened to her?

Then some stuff happens, the team tries to find out what happened to Tara while also continuing to find new places to dig for bog people, the bog people sent to Professor Feneman’s lab wake up/come alive and wreak havoc, and student team members start disappearing. What the hell is going on in these woods?

The rest of the movie is basically a battle between the students (what’s left of the students) and the evil supernatural forces at work in the woods. The bog people are real, they are remnants of the Viking cult that Professor Feneman thought they were, and if things aren’t dealt with in a timely manner and the bog people aren’t defeated, the world could be destroyed. At least I think that’s what is being discussed towards the end of the movie. It doesn’t seem plausible that the big people could take over the world, even if they kill and transform modern people into a kind of army, but then I might be misunderstanding that part of the plot. It could be that “the world” here means the woods and the area around the castle that is in the woods. It also could be that, because two big people were removed from the woods, that they could make trouble for Copenhagen University, the city of Copenhagen, then maybe Denmark and then the world. I guess things could get out of hand exponentially.

Right up until the bog people come alive and start doing bad things, The Bog Creatures is almost a goofy college comedy. The team of students have real chemistry and it’s fun watching how they interact in the field (young people are going to make jokes, have sex, and goof off despite the serious job they have to do). But then the creepy atmosphere of the woods moves in, the bog people show themselves, and The Bog Creatures becomes a horror flick. And that’s on top of the mystery of who is Tara and why is she in the woods, too. I was actually surprised by what is really going on with Tara. It isn’t anything we haven’t seen a million times before in other low budget horror flicks, but it still works as something you’re not expecting.

The opening sequence, a vicious Viking raid that takes place in 802 A.D., doesn’t quite work the way the movie wants it to, mostly because of the movie’s lack of budget (everything looks like cardboard). The violent pacing of the sequence is exciting, but the surroundings are just cheap looking. The movie works best when it’s in modern times. The opening sequence is repeated later in the movie, where it sort of works a little better because it happens faster (you don’t get to see as much of the cheap “802 A.D.” sets as before).

The woods are phenomenal, both during the day and at night. The bog creatures/bog people walking through the woods in the dark is, at times, unsettling. The Professor Feneman lab is decent looking, although there are times where it looks like a warehouse basement and I’m not sure that’s what director J. Christian Ingvordsen was necessarily going for.

Image Credit: MTI Home Video

The cast is terrific. The great Debbie Rochon does a fantastic job as the mysterious Tara. At first, you think she’s just another researcher out in the woods who was attacked by something evil and is in shock, but then you find out what’s really going on with Tara and suddenly you can’t trust her at all. I don’t want to say any more about Rochon’s Tara as there are some nice twists that are good to experience without full knowledge of them ahead of time, but I will say that Rochon’s performance is yet another example of just how good an actress Rochon is. She can literally do and be anything and it’s always fascinating and amazing. Great stuff.

Leia Thompson is hilarious as Diana. From her opening line about not creating the A-bomb to her “trying to stay clean in the woods” scene, Thompson shows that she has the necessary comedic chops to make a movie fun. When things get heavy and the bog people show up, Thompson switches into resourceful everywoman mode and you root for her until the end. According to imdb The Bog Creatures was Thompson’s movie debut but it doesn’t look like her stellar performance led to many leading parts in other movies. That’s sad. Thompson is a star.

The other students all put in top notch performances. Jesse Steccato knows how to make Ronald a douchebag but someone you don’t completely hate. Michael Mosley does the quasi tough guy act well as Nick. And Joshua Park and Courtney Henggeler are quite good as the potential couple within the group. Steve is kind of a nerd while Susan isn’t but their relationship makes sense.

Jeffrey Howard manages to play Professor Feneman as a mellow mad professor, which is exactly right for a guy researching stuff that, under normal circumstances, is total bullshit (bog people? Really? What the hell is that?). And Lara Theodos does a great job as the professor’s teenage sister Kelly. I really thought the movie was going to do the “super smart scientist who can’t do much of anything outside of doing research” thing with Kelly, but she ends up being more resourceful than that. Way more resourceful.

And then there’s T.J. Glenn as Max, the professional guide hired by Professor Feneman to lead the students in the woods. The movie doesn’t do enough with his “been everywhere and seen everything” character but the stuff we do get is fun.

The Bog Creatures loses steam towards the end as things get confusing. I think the movie tries to set itself up for a sequel of some sort, but, as I said before, I’m not entirely sure if that’s what happens. I could be misreading the way the movie wraps itself up. Still, The Bog Creatures is a pretty decent low budget horror flick and a fine way to spend 85 minutes or so. Is it too late for a sequel?

See The Bog Creatures. See it, see it, see it. It’s on Tubi right now.

Image Credit: MTI Home Video

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: About 10

Undead bodies: I counted 6, but I have a feeling I’m way off on that.

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: Maybe?

Doobage: A castle attack, off screen assumed pillaging, presumed sexual assault, arm cutting, blood licking, blood to the chin and cheek, mostly off screen gut stabbing, a group of university students, talk about research, talk of supernatural bullshit, a dance club, group drinking, a forest, a castle in the woods, armpit smelling, tents, underwear smelling, underwear eating, knife jammed into a table, presumed off screen sex, breakfast, difficult digging, a metal berserker helmet, dead body finding, more digging, more dead body finding, a flipped over jeep, a foot chase, a missing radio, a video camera, a flask, water getting, body washing, face touching, a dead body with a sword, attempted autopsy, throat slashing, 2 x 4 attack, sulfuric acid attack, sulfuric acid grenades, a flashback, dead body melting, dead bodies digging up other dead bodies, gut slashing, neck slashing, some bullshit about astrology, an old burial ground, a skeleton, an old Viking sword, tree bondage, an almost sword fight, attempted knife fight, dead body burning, and an odd ritual that assumes there will be a sequel (and, so far, there hasn’t been one).

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: 802 A.D., “and Debbie Rochon as Tara,” college hooey, a dance club, horses, a Jeep, armpit smelling, an outdoor shower, a guy eating an apple with a knife, a guy telling an old story about haunted stuff and whatnot, a guy jamming and dancing while listening to his CD Walkman, “Eenie Meanie Miney Mo,” serious back pain, attempted shoulder massage, a guy saying goddamit a lot, Debbie Rochon, frog sounds on the soundtrack, Debbie Rochon getting washed, talk about branches breaking in the woods, use of the metric system, a flashback, sulfuric acid grenades, a mysterious breeze, some bullshit about astrology, an old burial ground, and an odd ritual that assumes there will be a sequel (and, so far, there hasn’t been one).

Best lines: “Welcome to Denmark,” “Diana Oppenheimer. No, I didn’t invent the A-bomb. I make a hell of a martini,” “Excuse me, Susie, the world is not the vegetarian paradise that you imagine it to be,” “We are on the verge of discovery!,” “Who’s the mook?,” “Cozy. I can get used to this,” “I’m fine, Ron, thanks for stopping by,” “Somebody’s gotta clean up all this crap,” “All right, people, as my uncle Sal used to say, let’s dig some holes,” “This, not to be too crude about it, sucks the rotal schwa!,” “Back off, dude!,” “People, someone is wearing this helmet,” “Everybody, meet the Bog People,” “What are you feeling, Susie?,” “That’s wonderful, just me and the Bog People,” “This was cut with a knife,” “We have to get her back to civilization,” “Well, that’s it, then. We’re officially hosed! I mean, once word of our discovery gets out every big swinging dick archaeologist in the world is going to descend upon our fair bog like a pack of Famish jackals!,” “We’re all going to die,” “I’ll go down and get you some… water,” “Jesus, Nick, you scared the crap out of me!,” “This is actually happening!,” “I just had a bad thought,” “Brains over brawn, huh?,” “You will be slain! All of you!,” “Do you feel that?,” “Steve! What is your problem?,” “You evil little bitch!,” “Oh, look, I raised the dead. Not bad for a girl who didn’t go to grad school,” “Shovels against swords? You got a better idea?,” and “What are they saying? They seek a proper burial in the Viking fashion.”

Rating: 7.5/10.0

Image Credit: MTI Home Video


The Gratuitous B-Movie Column The Facebook Page!

Please check out and “like” The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page, which is here.

Image Credit: MTI Home Video

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page! Yeah!


Check out the latest Cult TV!

Image Credit: Kino Lorber

The Master Episode 1: “Max”

The Master Episode 2: “Out-of-Time-Step”

The Master Episode 3: “State of the Union”

Episode 4: “Hostages”

Episode 5: “High Rollers”

Episode 6: “Fat Tuesday”

Episode 7: “Juggernaut”

Episode 8: “The Good, the Bad, and the Priceless”


And don’t forget to check out From the B-Movie Vault!

Issue #1: Phantasm and Phantasm II


Things to Watch Out For

Image Credit: RJLE Films

Apex: This is a really bad low budget sci-fi action flick starring Neal McDonough and Bruce Willis. I reviewed it not that long ago (you can check out that full review here) and I’m still amazed that the people behind making it released it at all. It has some cool stuff in it and the world created for the movie is interesting, but the overall movie is just a disaster. I’m still seeing the occasional TV commercial for AMC+ where this movie is advertised as a selling piint for the streaming service. Please, for the love of God, don’t fall for it. Just don’t.

Image Credit: Saban Films

Deadlock: This is yet another low budget direct-to-home video action flick featuring Bruce Willis, although I haven’t seen this one yet. Apparently, Willis is the bad guy in this flick, with his character taking over an energy plant or something. The great Patrick Muldoon is the good guy, and he plays an ex-Special Forces operator of some sort who has to go into the energy plant to rescue hostages and take out Willis and his henchmen. I guess. My only real hope with this one, after Apex, is that it makes sense. It doesn’t have to be good. All it needs to do is make sense. Anyone out there see this? Does it make sense?

Image Credit: Screen Gems

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City: As a full on Paul W.S. Anderson/Milla Jovovich Resident Evil movie franchise nerd, I was hoping that, despite the last one being called Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, we would get another Jovovich as Alice movie. That, obviously, didn’t happen. Instead, we apparently got something that’s “closer” to the video games. The trailers certainly seemed to cling more to the games than anything Anderson did. Is that a good thing? A bad thing? I don’t know. I haven’t seen Welcome to Raccoon City yet. The reviews I’ve read for the movie have been all over the place, with some people liking it, some people despising it, some people just thinking it was okay, and some people questioning whether or not the movie paid enough heed to the games. I will hopefully find out soon (I’m actually contemplating reviewing the full Anderson franchise at some point this year. I think it would be neat to take a look at the whole thing again. Maybe I will do that and then review this right after? Or maybe I’ll just review this and be done with the whole thing? We’ll see how it all works out).

So, anyone out there reading this see Welcome to Raccoon City? Is it good? Bad? Just eh?

Image Credit: Syfy

Slumber Party Massacre (2021): I missed this remake of the 1982 classic slasher flick back when it aired on the Sci Fi Channel this past October, although, truthfully, I didn’t know it was even on TV until after it aired. The fine folks at Shout! Factory and its Scream Factory imprint are behind this home video release, so, as I say all of the time, you know that the home video presentation is going to be top notch when Shout! Factory and Scream Factory are involved. Now, is the movie any good? Does it live up to the reputation of the original and, to a degree, the brief franchise that followed? Is it something that deserves its own franchise? I want to find out. I will say, though, that I am surprised that it took this long to remake the first movie. I always figured that we would have had a remake back when the first Scream was all the rage in the horror movie world. Has anyone out there seen this? Is it any good?


Next Issue: It’s the action horror sequel The Forever Purge (and it will happen this time)!


Check out my Widow’s Point set visit!

Read it here!


Most Recent Interviews

Steve Latshaw
Rick Hurst
Douglas Burke
Jeff Farley
Fred “The Hammer” Williamson
Nico Sentner
Everett Ray Aponte
Max Martini
Tom Huckabee
Jason Kellerman
David Tarleton
Roxy Shih
Jesse V. Johnson
Tamas Nadas (2)
Jesse Thomas Cook
Adam Seybold
Liv Collins
Bryan C. Winn
Jeffrey Combs
Ezra Tsegaye
Alexander Nevsky(4)
Sebastian Wolf
Dana Gould
Janet Varney
Richard Brake
Steven Lambert
Rolfe Kanefsky
Robert Donavan
Lukas Hassel
Jessica Morris
Daniel Roebuck (2)
Clint Carney
Marco Siedelmann (2)
Sam Firstenberg (2)
Tamas Nadas (3)
Rene Perez
Lou Ferrigno
Lorenzo Pisoni
Sam Farmer
Craig Fairbrass
Anita Nicole Brown
Domenic Migliore
Michael Bugard
Alexander T. Hwang
Nicole Cinaglia
Eden Shea Beck
Brooklyn Haley
Amanda Iswan
Myron Ward
Parry Shen
Garo Setian
M.J. Bassett
Rickey Bird, Jr.
Carl Nicita
Sadie Katz
Brian Skiba
Jeff J. Knight
Rolfe Kanefsky (2)
Jessica Morris (2)
Sarah French
Alexander Nevsky (5)
Rob Kutner and Jonathan Kesselman
Gregory Lamberson
Michael McCartney
Angelique Sabrina White
Jack Shulruff
David Meyers
Dimitri Logothetis
John Suits
Alain Moussi
Liam O’Donnell
Gregory Lamberson (2)
Adam Howe
Shane Moxie
Kabir Singh
Alan Ilanthirayan Arumugam
Emmett Adcock
Nico Sentner (2)
Hazuki Kato
Philip Carlisle
Mitesh Kumar Patel
Rachel Thweatt
Zoey Walker
King James Chavez
Anthony Ferraro
Michael Mongillo
Mitesh Kumar Patel (2)
Samantha Belle
Stew Jetson
AC Larkin
Karl Haas
Gregory Lamberson (3)
Alexander Nevsky (6)


Follow me on Twitter!


Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.

The Bog Creatures

Debbie Rochon– Tara
Leia Thompson– Diana Oppenheimer
Joshua Park– Steve Dyson
Courtney Henggeler– Susan Beth
Michael Mosley– Nick Warren
Jesse Steccato– Ronald Teller
Jeffrey Howard– Professor Feneman
Lara Theodos– Kelly Feneman
J. Christian Ingvordsen– Lord Voldhein (as John Christian)
T.J. Glenn– Max

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by J. Christian Ingvordsen
Screenplay by Mathew M. Howe, based on a story by Mathew M. Howe, J. Christian Ingvordsen, and Jeffrey Kollig

Distributed by MTI Home Video, All Channel Films Distribution, Amsell Entertainment, and Bedford Entertainment

Rated R for violence and nudity
Runtime– 85 minutes

Buy it here or watch it on Tubi here. And Tubi is the better option at this point. Who has $124 to spend on a DVD?