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Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Boogens




It’s October again.  Wow how the year disappears.  But October means monster / horror movies. Actually, I watch scary movies all throughout the year, but in October I like to try to write a little bit about them.  I have in the past tried to watch and then write about one every day of the month, but I don’t think I’ll be able to do that much this year.  Still, I’ll get up as many as I can.

Last night I watched the 1981 horror (cough, cough) film The Boogens.  I chose to watch this one for two reasons. 1) One of the gentlemen who comes to hang out at the Salvation Army during the afternoon to talk with us recommended it, and 2) Stephen King apparently described it as a “wildly energetic monster movie” and said, “I recommend The Boogens …cheerfully and heartily.”

I say that he “apparently” described it thus because I can’t track down the source – apparently he said in the now defunct Twilight Zone Magazine.  Part of the quotation can be found in the promotional posters for the film – so I think it’s a mostly trustworthy quote.

But, good golly! was he wrong (if he actually said it.)

The Boogens, directed by James L. Conway, tries to meld the tropes of an 80s slasher flick (isolated location, sex obsessed young adults, POV shots) with the menace of a creature feature.  It’s set in and around an abandoned silver mine in Colorado and features a subterranean creature with fierce teeth and claws.  It’s as if he tried to combine My Bloody Valentine (slasher film set in a mine) with Tremors (subterranean monsters). 

There’s not a lot of story here – an abandoned mine is re-opened about 100 years after a cave in trapped a number of miners.  There’s a creepy old guy sneaking around warning people about the danger of the mine.  And soon there are creepy crawlies coming up out of the dark to kill people.

 It almost could have been an episode of Scooby Doo. Except episodes of Scooby Doo are only half an hour long.  The Boogens takes twice that to actually get going.  The last 15 minutes almost (almost…) make a decent movie.

Also.. I can't tell ... the way it's written in the title, it looks as if it should be pronounced B-ooooh-gens, but the ONE TIME that it's said in the movie it's pronounced B-oh-gens.

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