There was a monster roaming the woods of Starbright Springs, Washington—something big and fierce that combined the cunning of a man and the relentlessness of a territorial primate. In the past few days it had senselessly slaughtered horses, homeowners, hikers, campers, one Peeping Tom and all manner of unlucky woodland creatures.
Deputy Clint Wilmont had an idea. “It had to be a bear,” he reasoned. “What else could it be? Bigfoot??”
Was it a bear, like Deputy Wilmont thought? Or was it Bigfoot, the ubiquitous cryptid from the Pacific Northwest? Or maybe it was Batsquatch? A Neanderthal? An alien from outer space? Or some other bogeyman?
Being a generous sort of guy, author Brian G. Berry gives readers a peek at his monster pretty early. “It moved with the grace of a primate,” he wrote, “one whose origin rested not in the cycle of recent ages, but of dim and forgotten recesses of time; from when the jungles ran deep with mystery and sired indescribable horrors that battled with the predecessors of man. A pendulum of might and madness, it swung amongst the pines, a black shadow of fur and claws and eyes that burned with molten evil.”
Continued the author: “Mercilessly its kind pounded and tore asunder the creatures of the woods, leaving behind ghastly mounds and smudges and traces of woodland critters; heads and arms and broken forms lay slashed in pools of blood.”
But, again, what was it? It sure sounded like Bigfoot. Not until later did the creature get tagged with its titular name. “It was an ogre of myth,” wrote Berry, “eating babies and swallowing kids.” Right on cue, Berry’s ogre throws a hapless boy into its mouth like it was sucking down a knot of spaghetti. Gulp!
In his afterword, Berry admits that his inspiration for Ogre came from a bunch of “classic” monster movies, most notably Grizzly (1976) and Abominable (2006). Over all, it’s a fine homage to the woodland horror genre—one of my all-time personal favorite genres.
Ogre ends with a crazy otherworldly Repo Man-like twist. Rough and hewed as if by tools and not nature, the monster was apparently just a pawn in some unknowable cosmic masquerade. “The beast had no compunction of morality or care,” wrote the author, “and was merely a tool in a grim design.”
[Ogre / By Brian G. Berry / First Printing: July 2022 / ISBN: 9798839926097]