Movie Review – The Boogens (1981)

The Boogens
Directed by James L. Conway
Courtesy of Olive Films
Original Release Date: 1981
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: August 7, 2012

the boogens

If you know me or if you’ve been following Shattered Ravings for a while, you’ll know that creature-features are one of my favorite sub-genres of horror. And within that category are many, many older but classic features. THE BOOGENS is one of these gems that I have heard about for a good part of my life but simply never checked out, primarily because I had difficulty finding it. Well that all changed yesterday when the fine folks at Olive Films saw fit to grace me with a copy. I’m sure glad they did because this is a heck of a film, and it’s one every horror fan should own.

If you are not familiar with THE BOOGENS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Olive Films:

In a small town near Denver, two young men begin to explore a long-abandoned old mine recently re-opened by a group of miners. When one of the men is discovered missing, his friends begin a search that leads them to horrifying consequences. They’re all unaware of the evil that’s been unleashed and soon, one by one, a monster that no one has seen snatches up the townspeople. Suddenly, the grisly truth is revealed and a young couple is forced to confront the unknown in order to save their lives… and the entire town.

When watching this film, you have to keep in mind it was made over 30 years ago. And obviously, as such, the clothes, hairstyles, and other trends are very dated. But the frights and the gore both stand the test of time with ease.

The acting in THE BOOGENS is good, above what you would typically expect from an 80s horror flick. I particularly like how well the cast plays off of each other. The ribbing and banter flows from each character like they all grew up together. This, therefore, puts the viewer at ease and forces them to lower their guard.

And that’s when the knockout punch is delivered. As the creature starts picking people off, the intensity skyrockets. The suspense is built as as we see through the creature’s eyes, AND as we glimpse through the terror-stricken eyes of the victims. The film kept me on-edge the whole time, and I loved it!

THE BOOGENS has some decent creature effects for its time and boasts one of the most original (albeit bizarre) monsters out there. I was both repulsed and mesmerized when I finally got to see what it looked like. The image of this thing will linger in your brain long after the film is over.

I’ve tried to find a fault with THE BOOGENS, but I simply cannot. It’s an excellent horror flick with a lot of light-hearted humor (I love Tiger the dog and how much we get to see his ‘antics’ in the cabin) and some straight-up terror. If you’re any kind of fan of horror, you must check this one out. And be sure to give it a look on Blu-ray; you will definitely appreciate the HD picture and sound. The film is available now in a variety of formats.


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