Pierce passed away on Friday (05Mar10) at a nursing home in Dover, Tennessee. No cause of death was specified.
He is best-known for documentary-style 1972 horror movie The Legend of Boggy Creek, which cost just $160,000 (£100,000) to make and grossed over $20 million (£13.3 million), according to the New York Times.
The film is an acknowledged influence on 1999 hit horror movie The Blair Witch Project.
Pierce’s other directing credits include Bootleggers, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, Winterhawk, Sacred Ground and Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues, released in 1985.
His writing credits include the story for 1983 Clint Eastwood movie Sudden Impact – the fourth film in the actor/director’s Dirty Harry series.