Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Vinnie Jones, Jason Barry, Nora-Jane Noone, Adam Fogerty
Written & Directed by Brendan Foley
Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
A 2,000 year old warrior, his body perfectly preserved in a rural Irish peat bog, comes back to life with a chip on his shoulder after a greedy real estate developer disturbs his corpse. It’s all downhill from there and I mean that in regards to the movie itself. Irish eyes are not going to be smiling upon viewing Legend of the Bog; this is one of the year’s worst.
When we’re shown some actual bog bodies as they appear in real-life they look like blackened corpses covered in moss and muck. The peat bogs allow for their insides to be almost perfectly preserved but their outsides are rather ghastly. But when the ancient dead man in this film resurrects he shows no signs of discoloration or disfiguration at all, looking no worse for 2,000 year old swamp corpse wear. He’s just a big bald guy in potato sack clothes who looks like he should be working as a bouncer at a Renaissance fair. We’re in Tor Johnson territory, folks. Except Tor Johnson was an odd looking chap with a weird screen presence. This guy is just an average looking big bald dude making dopey faces, grunting and snorting, and stumbling about like a drunkard.
The first half of Legend of the Bog, you’d swear it was meant to be a comedy. The bog man comes across a dilapidated old car, climbs inside of it, beeps the horn and freaks; he then leaps out and begins beating on the remains of this vehicle like a startled caveman. He’ll then wander into a convenience store in search of water (resurrected bog bodies require water or begin moving like a mentally challenged robot running low on battery power) trying desperately to bite open plastic water bottles. This is lame humor even by Encino Man standards.
The second half will then take this bumbling oaf and recast him as a Jason-type killer stalking the swamps in search of revenge against those that awoke him. I hesitate to describe it as a slasher movie because it’s so ineptly done I don’t know what exactly the filmmaker was trying to do. One moment he’s a brutish killer, the next he’s a sympathetic creature along the lines of Frankenstein’s monster. One thing he never is is scary. Nothing about this film comes even remotely close to being scary.
His potential victims consist of three sets of obnoxious characters that each experience contrived vehicular trouble leaving them stranded out in this Irish swamp. They include a pair of young women on the run from authorities, the hateful American developer responsible for moving the bog man’s corpse and her driver, and, most conveniently, an anthropologist who specializes in bog bodies and his ex-girlfriend (The Descent‘s Nora-Jane Noone experiencing her own descent into seriously bad filmdom). About all any of these people do for over half the movie is bicker, insult one another, and argue non-stop. Some of it appears to have been written to be funny. I assure you it is not. I wasn’t kidding when I described the American developer as hateful; her constant shrillness is extremely unpleasant to listen to. None of these people are particularly likeable.
All three pairs decide to go slogging straight into the swamp in search of help instead of following the road back to civilization like any sensible person would. The six of them will converge at a cabin in the middle of nowhere that turns out to be the shack belonging to Midnight Meat Train‘s Vinnie Jones. Jones plays a hunter cleverly named Mr. Hunter. Judging by the pre-title sequence he has experience hunting bog bodies that rise from the dead. None of this is ever explained. Apparently bog bodies rise from the dead around these parts on a regular basis.
Redemption would appear to the theme writer/director Brendan Foley was aiming for. He misses by a mile. After a jokey first half that falls flat, the second half becomes a greater chore to sit through as things now turn serious. Their life or death situation is constantly interrupted by personal asides in which various characters explain in drawn out detail – sometimes with accompanying flashbacks – whatever personal sin they have committed in the past. All of them are seeking some sense of redemption. There is no redeeming Legend of the Bog.
Terrible script. Terrible acting. Terrible monster. Terrible movie.
1/2 out of 5
1/2 out of 5
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