I’d been wanting to catch this flick for a while and after stumbling upon it for free on Amazon Instant, I decided it was time to buckle down and check out Ulli Lommel’s The Boogey Man. Of course I went in expecting run-of-the-mill early 80s hokum. What I got was run-of-the-mill early 80s hokum that was actually decent.
Willy and Lacy spy on their mother while she’s about to get it on with a man whose head she graces with one of her stockings. After being caught, Mother of the Year decides to tie Willy up in bed but leave Lacy completely free—because, ya know, they need to move the plot along. Lacy gets a knife and cuts Willy free. After ripping off Halloween’s famous P.O.V. shot with the knife in view, Willy kills the man while Lacy watches the whole thing in a mirror. Fast forward 20 years later. Willy (Nicholas Love), now a mute, and Lacy (Suzanne Love) live with their aunt and uncle along with Lacy’s son Kevin and her husband Jake (Ron James). One night a latter arrives from their mother saying that she is on her death bed and wishes to see the two one last time. Lacy decides against it but after a nightmare of the infamous night followed by a visit to a doctor (John Carradine) who hypnotizes her and makes her relive that night, she decides to confront her demons once and for all. Returning to her childhood home, Lacy and Jake find a family living there now and discover that the mirror is still hanging in the house (I guess the owners thought it looked great). Upon seeing the image of her mother’s dead lover in the mirror Lacy breaks it thereby unleashing the vengeful spirit of the dead man who, as can be guessed, begins killing. Will Lacy and Willy be able to stop the vengeful spirit from killing them and their entire family?
Anyone going into this expecting a fast-paced, action packed gorefest or some epic supernatural tale will be sorely disappointed. The film aspires to do nothing more than tell an old-fashioned supernatural yarn, and it does so rather well. Sure it’s not going to frighten the pants off anyone—well, mostly anyone—and isn’t something that everyone will want to add to their collection, but it does provide a solid 80 or so minutes worth of entertainment. However, those with attention-span issues may tune out before things get going at the 45 minute mark—but at least you get some tits and blood at that point! The acting is standard for a film of this sort and the characters are likeable enough. But what I have to give this film major points for is the awesome soundtrack composed by Tim Krog, especially the intro theme which I dug the hell out of. Definitely a soundtrack I’ll be seeking out for purchase. Also, the film takes place in Small Town, U.S.A. and is nearly devoid of any signifiers of the eighties which creates a ho-hum atmosphere that lends itself perfectly to the content. Big points there.
The writing is a bit unclear as to certain supernatural elements however (which I won’t spoil for you), so those who need every single thing explained may fault the movie. Others who don’t care about such things probably won’t even notice these minor issues. Oh, and the deaths aren’t particularly noteworthy—mostly impalements with minimal blood. However, there is one death that involves a boy’s neck and a window that was pretty good and had me laughing my ass off.
All told, while it’s not some eighties gem just waiting for rediscovery, The Boogey Man should satiate the thirsts of those looking to spend the evening with a good ol’ supernatural tale not unlike those grandpa may have told by the fire on a cold autumn evening. Give it a spin—and don’t break any mirrors.
|This is what happens when no one will play with Willy's willy.|