The Boogens (1981)

   

Directed by: James L. Conway

Written by: Bob Hunt

Story by: Tom Chapman & David O'Malley

Starring:

Fred McCarren .... Mark Kinner
Rebecca Balding .... Trish Michaels
Anne-Marie Martin .... Jessica Ford
Jeff Harlen .... Roger Lowrie
John Crawford .... Brian Deering
Med Flory .... Dan Ostroff
Jon Lormer .... Greenwalt
Scott Wilkinson .... Deputy Blanchard

Release Date: Theatrical: September 25, 1981

Rating:

 

An abandoned silver mine in Denver, Colorado is about to reopen by a bunch of mining employees as their minds are mainly on beautiful women as they all plan to have a slumber party with them on the weekend.
A woman named Martha Chapman (Marcia Reider) is swerved off the road preventing to hit a deer and her car is stuck so she walks to her house to open it for the weekend and something that resides in the house making it their home grabs her and drags her away.
Some of the miners while exploring the mine discovers a bog inside of the mine and finds a human skull there thinking it was an old miner that was trapped there when a tragedy occurred before closing it down, but then they see a large pile of skeletal bones too.
But what they don't realise is there are some creatures hiding, breeding and living down there making passageways leading into residentual houses doing away with people. The locals call these creatures Boogens.
The Boogens are scaly monsters that look somewhat like giant turtles with lots of sharp, nasty teeth.
Then, a couple of the employees named Roger Lowrie (Jeff Harlen) and Brian Deering (John Crawford) stays at the house with their girlfriends Trish Michaels (Rebecca Balding) and Jessica Ford (Anne-Marie Martin) where the Martha was attacked while two of the young men who are employed at the mine starts to explore the abandoned mine there during the snowy winter while one of their men has disappeared but are faced by these evil creatures.

 

We have a good situation for the beginning of a horror plot as we spot a woman in her house on a snowy night with nice camera shots zooming across the cellar which leaves a perfect effect making you feel that something monstrous is lurking underneath as well as great suspenseful and creepy shots on this mysterious monster dragging her down. This for sure can please horror fans who likes monster movies without discovering on what this beast looks like making this moment a perfect unsolved mystery.
We have some nice uplifting moments on two employees Mark and Roger working at a silver mine discussing on chicks and sex which seemed to flow in well for a horror flick which seems to be common for young men to be looking forward for their day off with some women and hanging out.
Also there's some nice comedic moments with two friends Trish and Jessica driving along in their vehicle as their discussions seemed to come across clearly and nautral. Plus having their dog Tiger getting into mischief by running into a snowy forest and they try to search for him but a perfect laughing matter where they both find him.
Perfect dark shots on the miners trying to explore the cave as well as them landing in an area infested with skeleton bones and a lagoon as this gives you the chills spotting all of this wondering if the beast causing this will come out and attack. A perfect setting here.
A nice presence by Roger buttoning his shirt after getting it on with a woman when a sheriff questions all of them on a disappearance which also looked well shot and performed having nice timing here.
More funny moments when Mark talks to Tiger and getting cute about it all and this little dog seems to listen to him along with other moments when they all go out and Tiger gets a shoe to chew on and doing other sorts of mischief which looked pretty entertaining along with the camera zooming in the cellar again and going up in the kitchen with Tiger getting scared and hiding which looked still and creepy to watch wondering if this cute dog will be okay or not.
A nice still moment with Roger looking around and then the mysterious monster attacking him which almost makes you jump while spotting this along with showing some powerful and intense moments and camera shots surrounding all of this. This moment was well lit.
Nice well focused discussions between Mark and Trish which looked believeably romantic with their interactions as well as good shots on them lusting one another as this looked pretty convincing.
We spot a perfect spooky situation with Tiger spotting a vent and the camera shooting up as well as spotting it being torn apart which things seem still and making you very scared as to what will happen next along with Jessica coming out to see what is happening which gives you the chills and thinking to yourself that this isn't a good idea at all. A perfect mysterious horror scene here.
Nice situations with an eccentric old coot spying in certain scene's of the story which is a good key to the plot since we've had these types in horror flicks like in Friday the 13th and so fourth. Plus a good moment with him threatening to blow up the mine and some people trying to talk him out of it which looked cheesy but suspenseful at the same time. It's also interesting to see on him explainging on what is lurking down there.
A perfect still moment when Trish is silently looking around in the house and getting concerned as this makes you very scared while watching this having a feel that the monster will attack.
We spot a perfect situation with the sheriff shooting this monster and then coming up close to it to see if it's really dead as well as perfect close up camera shots on this which makes you cringe big time and having a feeling that it will lash out as this is guaranteed to make you jump and freak out to find out what happens after all of this.
Bottom line is that this is a cheesy low grade but well done film. It was spine tingling wondering who these monsters were and how they can be stopped. The plot almost reminded me of My Bloody Valentine but comparing a slasher film to a monster film is like comparing apples to oranges. However, the same fans may enjoy both. I would advise people to check this one out.

The acting is fairly poor but it is also due to cheesy dialogues. Lead actor Fred McCarren (Mark Kinner) tried his best to bring on a mr nice guy type of charm coming across as the most mature one of the bunch as well as the intelligent one too. He shows it off impressively here. Also does well with his charming type of behavior and sense of humor too. Plus does a great job when he panic's on knowing that something terrible has happened letting it all out big time. He shows a decent amount of energy by doing all of this.
Many people may watch it for Rebecca Balding (Trish Michaels) since she was noted for her role as Carol David in the TV spoof Soap or for Anne Marie-Martin of TV's Sledge Hammer as well as the motion picture Prom Night. She pulls her part off in a good fashion by having a nice clean look to her along with really concentrating on her emotions along with showing a nice still concerned attitude too while exploring a house and acting believeably frightened.
Anne-Marie Martin (Jessica Ford) had the healthy type of looks and seemed to pull it off well as the level headed type who has a perfect calmness to her role and stands out fairly decent with whatever she does in her performance. Does a nice job getting into things like taking a shower or getting blunt at times which can make you chuckle a bit when spotting her behaving this way.
Jeff Harlen (Roger Lowrie) adds a perfect bulliness to his part in the story acting like the clown of the bunch who loves to party and act like a believeable womaniser. He shows a nice energetic performance adding some great spunk into his part too just jumping into the scene whenever he had to be this way. He stood out the most out of the whole cast here. Plus does a great job with his angry attitude later on in his performance as well as showing a perfect struggling attitude too when he is attacked.
John Crawford (Brian Deering) seemed to looks perfect as the boss of a silver mine showing a good seriouness when it came to business and shows off some good energy within all of this. Plus he shows a nice uplifting side to him as well like hanging out and playing pool just acting full of life in which he comes across believeable by doing all of this. He made the part come to life in a great way here.
An actor who totally stands out is supporting cast member Jon Lormer (Greenwalt) because at first you wonder why he watches these people as he is the mysterious character in the film and is an old coot too. He almost resembles George Kennedy and seems to come across incredibly mysterious in his gruff speaking too.

There is a butt shot of Rebecca Balding after running out of the shower and a quarter way through the film on she makes out with John Crawford's character and she exposes her breasts.

A neck is bloodily slashed by a Boogen.
A woman is slashed in the face by another Boogen
There's a corpse found in the bog with his face torn up

The music was composed by Bob Summers as he used alot of cheesy but creepy sound effects (Especially the low thumping sounds) as well as interesting violin playing too and has done the same for other cheesy b-films by having some suspenseful tones as well as the odd sad sounding one's too. Plus there's some good deep keyboard playing too adding a nice dark touch to the spooky moments.