Boogens (1981)
Directed by James L. Conway

Starring Anne-Marie Martin Fred McCarren Jeff Harlan Rebecca Balding

A once forgotten, hard-to-find film from the early 1980s, "The Boogens" could not be classified as a "gem", but itís aged pretty well and has some entertaining monster effects during its climax. It also (probably) influenced the makers of "The Descent," which seems inspired somewhat by the idea of the film.

For a bit of history, this movie hit theaters during the horror craze of the early 1980s. Some of us still remember the TV spots that aired on light-night television, featuring a woman in a towel being chased through a house, from the point of view of the monster. After receiving a positive review from Stephen King of all people in the now-defunct Twilight Zone Magazine, the film only saw a VHS release over a decade later, in the mid-1990s. I tried to watch it then, and actually found it unwatchable. It finally hit Blu-Ray in 2012 from a print that looks like it was filmed yesterday.

Like "The Descent," the subject of the film is monsters that live in caverns beneath the earthís surface. But unlike that film, the victims are miners that manage to unearth the creatures, and some young partiers that rent a house near the mine. The house happens to have an entrance to the tunnels. "Silent Scream" star Rebecca Balding is one of the young folk.

Despite looking better than it ever has, "Boogens" isnít going to be celebrated as a cult classic anytime soon. The pace is painfully slow and it takes a hell of a lot of patience to get to the final third of the movie, when the action starts, characters begin getting attacked in dark garages and outside the shower, and, finally at the end, we get to see some cheesy monster make-up effects.

Worth watching if youíre an early Ď80s horror fan, but most everyone else will be bored out of their skulls.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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