THE BOOGENS (1982)
After seventy years of being closed, the Silver City mines are about to be reopened. Mark and Roger are two friends who have taken up surveying jobs on the preliminary opening in order to get away from any responsibilities a real job might come with. They move into a dilapidated old house, along with Roger’s girlfriend Jessica and her college friend, Trish. The four get along great, and take in the rustic atmosphere of the secluded town. Little do they know that the opening of the mine and the dynamite explosions have awakened something sinister deep within the caves. Just what they are, and if they are the reason for the mine’s original closing remains to be seen. And just who is the creepy old man snooping in the shadows? But above all, what is it going to take finally be rid of Jessica’s yappy little dog?
Some movies have a small window to grab a hold of their fans, and if you weren’t part of the crowd that saw the movie when it had any chance of being watched upon first release, there is little saving grace for said film save for nostalgia purposes. THE BOOGENS is such a film. This is easily one of those flicks that was a favorite late night cable viewing of young kids looking to get their first taste of horror, who either didn’t know any better or had no other choice on television.
There is little actual horror to be had here. With just a few real scares, a bit of karo syrup with red food color in it, the quick flash of nipples, this truly is a “training wheels” horror flick with some dirty jokes thrown in for ten year olds to sneak on after their parents have gone to bed. For over an hour, we just get to watch the four main characters goof around and have sex with no one in any actual danger. Sure, there is something ominous in the basement, which we know from the creeping POV camera angle riding along the floor, but this entity knows not to actually do anything till the third act of the movie. And when the tentacles finally reach out from outside the camera frame, all you can do is beg for everyone to die so that there’s something worthwhile about watching it. And for the brief moments when the entire boogen (and what the hell kind of name is that for a killer critter?) is on screen, life is as it should be.
The scariest thing about the movie isn’t the movie itself, but the quotes from the cover, where Stephen King gives not one but two nods of approval with the likes of “I recommend THE BOOGENS... cheerfully and heartily” and “wildly energetic... monster movie...” which are both taken from Twilight Zone Magazine. Either Stephen King was on the payroll of Republic Pictures at the time, or he was on some mind altering substance. But do you notice the ellipses? More than likely these quotes are taking some great liberties with what King was actually saying.
If you were one of those ten year olds previously mentioned, and you have some strange desire to revisit those late nights staying up hoping to catch a glimpse of something you weren’t supposed to, than Bloodwave DVD is your next stop! Bloodwave has culled up a very rare copy of the movie for your collection, which has been transferred from video to the digital format.