Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Boogens

There are some movies that you catch as a kid and they sit there in your memory, bugging the hell out of you and possibly scaring the hell out of you, waiting for you to rediscover them to see them through the clarity of your older and more experienced eyes. For me, The Boogens was that movie.

I didn't remember much about it save for the name, which was pretty distinct. I saw it once as a child on cable and remembered some parts in a mine but that was about it. You can imagine how ecstatic I was when it was released about ten years ago onto video cassette. I bought that sonofabitch as fast as I could and watched it, seeing how it held up when compared to my memories of it.

It wasn't bad at all.

Honestly, it's a fairly decent, low budget horror film from the 80s. It takes place in a mining town in Colorado, I believe, where the local silver mine has been closed for years thanks to a cave in that made it unsafe and some odd reports of attacks on the miners. Well, all of that is in the past and a company wants to reopen it and get at some of that there silver. So they send a miner and his young cohorts and their lady friends to do it. A crazy man tries to stop them, telling them about strange creatures that live in the mine. They ignore him but soon they are being picked off one by one by something with tentacles and a craving for human flesh.

A well paced and fairly lean film, the Boogens features some characters we can actually care about and enjoy before they die, some great nudity, and no real moments where you scream at the people for doing something stupid. Outside of going into the mine in the first place, that is. Always listen to the crazy old guy. He knows things. Scary things.

There isn't a ton in the way of gore but the deaths are well done and surprising at times. The only failing of the movie is in the design of the Boogens themselves, which is rather lackluster. I've heard them described as seals mated with turtles which then had tentacles stapled on. Not truly menacing but scary enough and a darn sight better than the monster in It Conquered the World.

It's a solid film and worth a look if it's on TCM like it was this past weekend or you find the vhs tape somewhere. A forgotten classic, to be sure. Now I just need to find the other lost creature in a mine film, The Strangeness, so I can have a good double header as I've had a blast watching the Boogens again this year on my well worn vhs cassette.

Check it out.

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