Sunday, May 6, 2012

Maryland's Version of Bigfoot Gets Big Local Premiere

It's a big day today in Maryland for connoisseurs of the “Goatman” legend. In lieu of the first confirmed sighting of this half-man, half-goat genetic splicing mishap, there is the local red carpet premiere at the AFI Theatre in Silver Spring of low-budget indie Return of the Goat Man.

The central real-world ingredient of this urban legend is the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland. That is where, for many who choose to believe in the tale of the local boogeyman, things went horribly wrong for a federal government contractor.

Next to Mark Opsasnick's book The Real Story Behind the Exorcist: A Study of the Haunted Boy and Other True-Life Horror Legends From Around the Nation's Capital, this new movie written and directed by Derrick Parks is the strongest 15 minutes yet for the creature. As author Opsasnick told the Washington Post a few years ago, along with the mad scientist aspect of Prince George's County's Goatman legend, there is a more standard campfire explanation:

The third aspect of the Goatman legend was that it was just an old hermit who retreated to the woods and would be seen walking alone at night along Fletchertown Road, and when anyone would come around, he'd just run away.

Since Return of the Old Hermit Who Just Runs Away is not quite as catchy a title or indie horror film premise, Parks wisely stuck instead with the first two aspects of the local legend.

[Return of the Goat Man]

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