"The Boogens" Movie Review

Those video store folks really pulled a fast one on me this time! I think sometimes as a joke, they pull old movies and put them on the New Release shelves. I usually catch these by reading the teeny tiny fine print on the back of the box, but this time I was too transfixed by the title to bother. It takes real guts to name your movie "The Boogens." I suppose it’s supposed to be evocative of "The Boogeyman," but it obviously sounds more like "The Boogers." How could I resist?

There’s no point in dwelling on the plot. Oversexed silver miners re-open a collapsed shaft in Colorado, thus releasing the Boogens to wreak havoc in the basement. Well, okay, "havoc" isn’t exactly the right word. There’s some property damage and five deaths (six if you count the dog), but they were out-of-towners anyway.

At the end, we discover the terrible truth -- THE BOOGENS ARE ACTUALLY HAND PUPPETS! Oh, the terror! Until then, the Boogens manifest themselves only as tentacles that lash out from the darkness, and as footage from the Boogen POV. It’s THAT kind of movie.

Actually, I found "The Boogens" rather soothing. Maybe it’s the way it touches on every single horror movie cliché, in thoroughly predictable order. The yappy dog dies, but only after popping out when we’re supposed to think it’s a Boogen. People keep going down to the basement, even though it’s scary down there and the light doesn’t work. The crazy old coot knows exactly what’s going on, but no one listens to him until it’s too late. A man is attacked when he bends down for a closer look, thinking he’s killed the monster. I could continue, but you see what I mean.

9 points awarded for a surprisingly dry sense of humor (relatively speaking).

7 points added for the light touch with the musical score, which I really appreciated. Too often the directors will try to spice up the production by banging on the church organ (or, god forbid, the synthesizer).

2 points subtracted for the stupidest line. A man picks up a human skull. His friend points at the skull and says "That looks human!" Ouch.

5 points awarded for the monster coming out of the floor register. Those things have ALWAYS given me the creeps!

Final score: 69.

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