Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Snap happy: The Boogens(1981)

A couple of days ago I had the pleasure of sitting down and watching an old horror movie I hadn't seen my college days. I'm referring to The Boogens, which was released theatrically way back in the fall of 1981. As far as I know this somewhat obscure horror movie has never been released to official DVD. I've seen various internet vendors selling DVD-R bootlegs of this film and Amazon does offer it for sale as a VHS tape from numerous Amazon sellers.

A friend of mine and fellow horror movie fan was kind enough to record this film off TCM, that would be Turner Classic Movies by the way, and record it to a DVD-R. I received the disc in the mail and promptly put it into my DVD player.

As horror movies go The Boogens is surprisingly decent, I think. The film, directed by James L. Conway, was made on a meager budget of about $600,000. In the film an old mine, closed since 1912, is quietly prepped to be reopened by a small group of people employed by a local mining company. Soon enough they'll wish they had kept the mine closed as vicious, bloodthirsty creatures who inhabit the deep innards of the mine and accompanying maze of underground tunnels linking to all the homes in the adjacent town, begin killing off cast members of this movie.

The thing I like best about this film is the suspense that is nicely established by the director. The full reveal of the monsters in this movie doesn't come until the end and we only see parts of the creatures during the film's progression. The creatures are rendered through animatronics and look more than sufficiently garish and menacing. There's really no gore in the film but a few of the victims are shown being vigorously hacked and bloodied by the monsters' tentacle like appendages.

Hopefully this movie can find its way to official Region 1 DVD sooner than later. I think The Boogens would definitely be a hit with the majority of classic horror movie fans.

A trailer: