Jim McCullough, Jr., Passes Away

 

JimJr,

Jim Mccullough Jr passed away during the morning of May 11, 2022, after battling some health isssues.

Jim McCullough Jr. was a writer and producer, known for Brooklyn’s Finest (2009), The Aurora Encounter (1986) and Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1983). McCullough Jr. wrote, produced, and worked on the soundtrack of Creature from Black Lake. He also acted as “Orville Bridges” in Creature from Black Lake. 

Creature from Black Lake is a 1976 American independent horror film written and directed by Joy N. Houck Jr. and starring Jack Elam, Dub Taylor, Dennis Fimple, John David Carson, and Bill Thurman.

After hearing a lecture on unknown, humanoid creatures such as Bigfoot and the Fouke Monster, two college students decide to spend their breaks pursuing the story and journey to the Louisiana-Arkansas border. There they begin interviewing witnesses, ranging from a family that suffered a car crash when the creature menaced them on the road to a backwoods fisherman whose friend was pulled out of a boat and killed. Eventually, the creature begins stalking them which leads to a confrontation in the dark of the swamps at night.

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I once gave a lecture at a Pennsylvania Bigfoot film festival about Creature from Black Lake, detailing the internal conflict between a non-kill Bigfoot hunter and a pro-kill Bigfoot seeker in the movie. The anti-kill researcher was a Vietnam veteran. It was an intriguing twist on expectations.

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The Aurora Encounter is a 1986 American science fiction Western film directed by Jim McCullough Sr., written by Melody Brooke and Jim McCullough, Jr., and starring Jack Elam, Mickey Hays, Peter Brown, Carol Bagdasarian, and Dottie West. Its plot follows the residents of a small Texas town at the turn of the 20th century who are visited by an alien being after a UFO crashes in their town. The screenplay was based on the Aurora, Texas, UFO incident which allegedly occurred in 1897.

Mickey Hays, who was cast in the film in the role of the alien, suffered from progeria that gave him an unusual appearance. Director Jim McCullough, Sr. remained close with Hays after the production until Hays’s death at age 20 in 1992. The Make A Wish Foundation helped in the casting of Hayes, whose wish was to be in a Hollywood movie.

Jim Jr.’s father, James McCullough Sr. (May 12, 1928 – April 6, 2012) was an American film director and producer who wrote and directed several horror films in the 1980s.

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Charles Pierce, the director of The Legend of Boggy Creek, acted in Aurora Encounters (as the “Preacher”).

Charles Bryant Pierce (June 16, 1938 – March 5, 2010) was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, set decorator, cinematographer, and actor. Pierce directed thirteen films over the span of 26 years, but is best known for his cult hits The Legend of Boggy Creek (1973) and The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976).

An Arkansas resident most of his life, Pierce made his directorial debut with Boggy Creek, a faux documentary-style film inspired by the legend of the Bigfoot-like Fouke Monster. Pierce followed that with several inexpensive, regional films set in the southern United States, including The Town That Dreaded Sundown, based on the true story of the Phantom Killer murders in Texarkana.

Thanks for the alert from Craig Woolheater.

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