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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Creature from Black Lake" or "Silent Stalker" or "Demon of the Lake")

 

Directed by Joy N. Houck Jr.
USA 1976

 

There's a hairy humanoid beast lurking in the Louisiana swamps, but only trapper Joe Canton (Jack Elam, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST) has seen it and lived to tell the tale, and the other residents of Oil City, Louisiana don't talk about it. But that's not about to stop intrepid grad students Pahoo (Dennis Fimple, HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES) and Rives (John David Carson, EMPIRE OF THE ANTS), who are determined to track down the Bigfoot-like creature. Defying local sheriff Billy Carter (Bill Thurman, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW), the duo trek deep into the wilds of Black Lake, and a series of frightening encounters make it clear the monster is no mere legend. Following in the (big) footsteps of THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK and similar docudramas, 1976's CREATURE FROM BLACK LAKE is a fictional Sasquatch saga, albeit one inspired by real reports. With a colorful cast, also including Dub Taylor (THE WILD BUNCH), and plenty of rural atmosphere courtesy of cinematographer Dean Cundey (HALLOWEEN, JURASSIC PARK), scripter Jim McCullough Jr.-who also co-stars-and director Joy Houck Jr. Bring touches of humor and humanity that complement the mystery of the monster, and the terror of it's attacks. A longtime late-night TV favorite, CREATURE FROM BLACK LAKE now roars onto it's Blu-ray debut with a new 4K restoration and a boatload of special features!

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 11th, 1976

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Synapse Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Synapse Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:09.376        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,471,315,571 bytes

Feature: 28,614,963,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2028 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2028 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Synapse Films

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,471,315,571 bytes

Feature: 28,614,963,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio Commentary with horror scholar Michael Gingold and film historian Chris Poggiali
Swamp Stories with director of photography Dean Cundey (19:05)
Trailer (1:01)
Radio Spot (0:35)


Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th
,
2022
Black Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Synapse Films Blu-ray (December 2022): Synapse Films have transferred Joy N. Houck Jr.'s Creature from Black Lake to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "new 4K restoration". The 1080P is very strong with solid contrast, true colors and a clean, consistent representation of the film. There is no damage or speckles. The HD presentation exports depth and handles the darker scenes later in the film well. All good.

NOTE: We have added 40 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Synapse Films use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. Creature from Black Lake has a few aggressive sequences with gunfire, an explosion, fire plus hand-to-hand combat with the creature. The score is by Jaime Mendoza-Nava (The Brotherhood of Satan, Aloha Bobby and Rose, The Stewardesses, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, Grave of the Vampire and Equinox) supporting the film well in the lossless transfer. The adept audio compliments the strong video. Synapse Films offer optional English (SDH) subtitles - see sample - on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Synapse Films Blu-ray offers a commentary by horror scholar Michael Gingold and film historian Chris Poggiali. They discuss Creature from Black Lake as a "Drive-In Chill" film kind of a Macon County vs. the monsters, the cinematographer Dean Cundey (Halloween), Jim McCullough Sr.'s "Charge of the Model Ts" also with John David Carson, Roy Tatum (a pro wrestler and 'Fred' the creature), Dub Taylor, the film 'Sasquatch' from the 70's as well as various Bigfoot and Yeti movies. A handful of reviews of Creature from Black Lake are read - with a few surprisingly positive. It's a solid commentary exporting plenty of information and they are obvious experts of this genre. Swamp Stories spends 20-minutes with director of photography Dean Cundey and his recollection of the shoot, plus there is a trailer and Radio Spot. The package has a leaflet advertising Synapse film's extensive catalogue. 

Creature from Black Lake is a superior film than many might expect. It plays upon the Arkansas folklore of the Fouke Monster - an ape-like creature, similar to Bigfoot haunting swamps and bogs of the south. I have friends who love this genre - and I have a big soft-spot for it myself (see The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot.) Despite its low budget there is nothing obviously inept or weak about the production of Creature from Black Lake. The scarce on-screen visibility of the 'monster' works as creature-feature films of the past by building suspense. So, a suspicious creature is sighted near a Louisiana lake, and two college students (Dennis Fimple, John David Carson) travel to investigate its existence - talking with locals and camping out in the woods. I enjoyed it. The Synapse Films Blu-ray offers highly pleasing a/v, an informative commentary and interview. If you are keen at all - this is certainly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Synapse Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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