The Boogey Man
Starring: Nicholas Love, Suzanna Love, Ron James, John Carradine, Llewelyn Thomas, Howard Grant
Directed by: Ulli Lommell Written by: Ulli Lommel, David Herschel
The Story: I want to thank my friend Greywizard, the genius behind the Unknown Movies Page for sending me this movie. Its a favorite of mine, mainly because it reminds me of the days of my youth, when me and my cousin Mooney would go to the movies at the State theater* in downtown Newark (Delaware, not New Jersey) to watch horror flicks. One of these days I'll have to get Mooney around for a weekend so we can watch some of these old flicks together.
Although I have the tape that Greywizard sent me, I also recently got to see this movie on DVD. That's neither here nor there, I had already written most of my review from Greywizard's tape....I just wanted to let you know that if you wanted too, you can find this movie on DVD.
The crux of the movie is that the brother and sister act known as Lacey and Willy had a f***ed up childhood. Their mother was a drunken slut, and hell, she might have been a lot of fun if she wasn't a f***ed up mother. I mean, she has her "man friend" over for [unwrite]s and giggles, but she makes the kids play outside on the porch...at night......and its cold out. She does this of course, so she can pretend she doesn't have kids and well, I'll be blunt...[unwrite]. (We find out later from Lacey that their father left them when she was very young)
Well, the kids, cold and being kids look into the window while their mother starts to get it on with her "man friend"...a guy that is not named, by the way. This makes the mom angry and the "man friend" angrier. He ties Willy to a bed while the mother swigs whiskey and makes Lacey go to her room. While the mother and the man friend go to the master bedroom to resume their hanky panky, Lacey goes to the kitchen and gets a big freaking knife....and then goes and cuts Willy loose from his bonds. Willy, who, is probably only 10 or 11 at the most, then takes the knife, goes to the master bedroom and opens a can of ginsu-inspired whoopass on the "man friend". Effectively ending his miserable life.
20 years later, we find that Lacey and Willy have been living with their Aunt Helen since the incident. Helen is married to Uncle Ernest, who owns a prosperous farm. Lacey is married to police officer, Jake, and has a small son named Kevin. Willy hasn't spoken since the incident. The family is also close to the local priest, Father Riley. Both Lacey and Willy are troubled by the incident in their past, but kind of deal with it. Until they receive a letter from their mother. She's old and dying and wants to see them one last time before she goes to her eternal reward. But Lacey and Willy have no desire to see her. Lacey has frequent nightmares about the night Willy killed "Him" (The man friend is referred to as "Him", so I'll call him that now) and Jake decides that she should see a doctor about it. Dr. Warren (I never heard him referred to as such, but that's his name in the credits) thinks that Lacey should go to the house where she grew up and see it now. Lacey is hesitant, but Jakes takes her there. A new family is living there now but they're selling the place. Thinking Lacey and Jake are prospective buyers they let them explore the place. The family isn't all home. Its only the two teenage daughters and preteen son, Timmy. Timmy loves to scare his sisters and jumps out from places yelling "Boogeyman!" a lot. Little [unwrite].
While looking around the place, Lacey enters her mothers old room and sees a mirror that was there the night Willy killed "Him". Only in the mirror now Lacey sees Him on the bed. He gets up and walks to her. In a fright, Lacey smashes the mirror. Paul, now reasonable upset with his wife apologizes, pays for the mirror and picks up every single piece of glass and keeps it. He takes it back to the farm and rebuilds the mirror in order to show Lacey, that basically, she's nuts. Only she didn't imagine seeing Him. His evil ghost was trapped in the mirror and by breaking it she's freed him.
This ghost can only affect things near the mirror...or a piece of it. But a piece was left in the house. So the three kids left there after Jake and Lacey leave are killed by the malevolent spirit. This is the part of the movie I remember the most, and I'll admit it freely....because as a preteen myself in a theater I thought the chick that gets the scissors in the throat had big hooters. Plus its kind of funny to see Timmy's head get smashed by a window.
But the fun doesn't end there. A piece of mirror gets stuck on Kevin's shoe. Lacey takes him fishing and the reflection of light from the glass as Kevin sits on a pier hits the location of a group of teenagers partying on a beach. The spirit can then kill two of them. By today's standards they're pretty gruesome-but-not-extremely-so murders. However I think the method...the ghosts spirit in the mirror fragment, carried by light...is a cool idea.
In time Jake sees that the ravings of Lacey are true. Father Riley is called and asked to help. Riley should have let his answering machine pick up the phone. When he gets to the farm he sees first hand that the mirror indeed does hold and evil spirit. While Jake explains what's going on Helen and Ernest go to close the barn doors. The mirror begins to weave its evil magic and kills the farm couple. Then it possesses Lacey and tries to kill Jake, the father and Willy. But Father Riley musters his faith and frees Lacey from the ghost....though it probably cost him his life. Jake and Willy throw the mirror into the farms well, destroying the ghostly presence in a fireball. (when pieces of the mirror touch water they burn up...don't ask me why)
While this isn't the scariest ghost movie I've ever seen, nor the bloodiest slasher I enjoyed it. I expected a certain amount of cheese in the movie and it was surprisingly low. For that matter, even some of my smart ass comments during the movie were struck down. For instance, when Lacey first sees the ghost of Him in the mirror walking towards her I chuckled "Well, if he's been in the mirror since his murder plotting his vengeance, why hasn't he haunted these other people?". The movie took care of that thought with some character saying "Gran'ma says when you break a mirror you release whatever its seen.". Uhhh...okay, the ghost couldn't actually do anything unless the mirror was broken. I can live with that. I also don't mind that "Him" is never given a real name except for "the mother's lover" or "Him". Although I find it odd that after all of these years Lacey and Willy never knew or learned the name of the man that tormented them it does set the angry murdering ghost apart from other supernatural killers of the eighties with names like "Freddy" or "Jason". If you scream to your friends to your friends to run because Freddy is coming they might think you mean the weird kid that lives down the street, but if you say "Run! "Him" is after me!"...well, it'll sound silly, but its got more punch. I'd be more apt to start haulin' ass without thinking about it. And the ghost must have been a really pissed of spirit.....after all, the only people he has a reason to want to kill are Lacey and Willy....but he ends up killing people that really have never even heard of him or had anything to do with his death. (Heck, you could say that Him should want to kill little Kevin, just because he's Lacey's son, and he had the chance to, but didn't. Instead the ghost uses the kid's shoe in order to "hitch a ride" and kill two other completely innocent people!)
I could be mistaken, but I think the actors that played Lacey and Willy (grownup), Suzanna and Nicholas Love are brother and sister in real life. (Or they're married.) Hey, I said I wasn't sure!
Best Lines: “Yeah, you'd better take that thing outta here...its bad luck!” - Little Timmy, being the obnoxious brat he is after Lacey breaks the mirror in her old house. Timmy does have the benefit of being right though.
Are you kidding me?
1.) So did this guy, Him, died instantly with the first stab by young Willy? He didn't even move! I suppose you could say Willy hit something vital and he died instantly, but most stabbing victims put up some resistance! Him just lays there and lets a little boy skewer him about 9 billion times without even a token "No, stop."
2.) Maybe there are some readers out there that live on a farm or a rural area....I just wanna know. Father Riley pays a visit on the family and stays for dinner. I mean, that's really nice, seeing the local man of the cloth and this hard working family share a meal. Does this really happen? Except for times when there was a death in the family (and not even then sometimes) I don't recall our reverend EVER coming to our house. Let alone stay for dinner. I'm just asking, because it seems like such a "Norman Rockwell" thing, I have a hard time accepting that it occurs.
3.) Ladies, please tell me why it seems some of you go for guys that are just plain bad for you? Katy comes on to Willy big time in the barn, telling him how she "wants to be close to him" and that "it doesn't matter that he doesn't talk", she thinks its cute. All the while, warning signs are clammering for her attention. Willy is obviously not interested in her, and he even begins shaking a bit with a look of barely contained rage....Katy doesn't notice this...then all of the barn animals start a' hoopin' and a' hollerin'...the animals always know, don't they? Katy still doesn't get the clue until Willy almost throttles the life outta her! Willy stops himself before he kills her and Katy flees yelling "Stay away from me! You're Crazy!". No sh*t, sister. He only had to try and kill you for you to get that painfully obvious idea. Hell, Willy should have strangled her and done the gene pool a favor!
4.) Get the f*** outta here! Jake puts the many pieces of broken mirror glass back together in the frame perfectly! There's one piece missing, but otherwise he's literally reconstructed this mirror...in what can only be a few hours, since its obviously the same day that Lacey broke it. No f***in' way, man, no f***in' way. I mean, even if Jake was the 1980 Jigsaw Puzzle Champion of the Summer Olympics I ain't buying it! Ever broke a glass? Try putting it back together! Unless it was a particularly sturdy glass there'll be little bits that just ain't gonna fit back in place, bits that are missing because they were smashed into tiny grainy bits, etc. Yet this guy rebuilds a mirror? Heck, I can believe that Lacey saw a ghost in the mirror more than I can accept Jake's rebuilding of it! He's a witch! Burn Him! Burn Him!
5.) Uncle Ernest cracks me up! The first time he did so was when he told Lacey and Jake that the next time he sees the mirror Lacey broke (and Jake put back together) it had better be on the trash heap. I found that amusing, because no one seemed to take him too seriously. I mean, this guy is the patriarch ain't he? Its his farm, ain't it? yet no one listens to his simply put, and reasonable command. (Art imitates life....I'm the head of my family and no one listens to me, even when I'm absolutely correct!) The second time was when Ernest and Jake are reading the newspaper and Ernest mentions a piece of broken mirror on the floor, asking that the least Jake could do is pick up the broken glass so that little Kevin doesn't cut himself. Hey, Ernest, I thought you said that the next time you saw that mirror it'd better be on the trash heap? Then, after a true supernatural event occurs....Jake finds the piece of mirror glass impossible to put back into place, while outside the "Boogeyman" is ripping off Lacey's clothes piece by piece...the only comment Ernest says...in a deadpan, "you guys are nuts" kinda way is "This is unbelievable!". Man, if I grow old and crotchety like that guy I'm sure I'll amuse my family for decades to come.
6.) So, while explaining the mirror's evil force to Father Riley, the room goes dark and an omnipresent red light occurs, followed by a loud scream from Helen in the barn. What's Jake do? He tells Willy to stay in the house with Lacey and Kevin while he and the father go calmly out the door to check out what's happened. These guys seriously need to take a page from Dante's Sure-Fire Tips to Surviving Aliens and Evil Spirit Encounters. If I were there I'd have been like "Father, get ten gallons of Holy Water, ten bibles, and the church choir here, right now! Lacey, call 911 and tell the state cops there's a serial killer here...I don't care what you tell them, just get them here fast. Willy, put this evil mirror outside on the trash heap and get as much gasoline as you can find and a book of matches. I'll drive little Kevin to the neighbors and be right back."
And that's if I was feeling brave. Other wise I'd have just said "Oh sh*t, its gonna kill us! Game over, man, game over! You hear that Elizabeth....I'm coming to join ya honey...I'll be the one with a piece of broken mirror stuck up my ass!".
Nudity and Sex: Sex is implied but not seen. A quick glimpse of a female victims tits are seen.
Why does the doctor have to hypnotize Lacey to get her to tell him about what happened the night Willy killed their mother's lover? She already remembers it! The reason she went to see the doctor was because the memory haunts her twenty years after the fact! Oh, and by the way....I'm not completely versed in the film roles of John Carradine, but daggone it, was this man ever young?
I didn't write down the names of the four people by the beach. I just wondered about the Jerk in the black triumph T-shirt taking his girl into the abandoned beach house for a little fun. The only thing that made them leave the rotting abandoned house was a board falling over startling the girl. (The board could have pushed by the boogeyman, but then it could have just tipped over) Before that she was all too willing to be in there. She was unzipping his pants and about to say hello to Winkie-the-One-Eyed-Wonder-Worm! In that crappy place!? Where were these easy chicks when I was single and young!?
I don't know much about farms. My wife grew up on one, and I've been to her family farm....to me it seems like a pretty mundane life...but hey, you know us city-slickers. It also seems like a spartan lifestyle in many ways, judging by the farms I've been to. But by thunder, Ernest must be like "Bob Evans" because his family has wine at dinner time, seemingly every night. I say this only because they have a pantry of wine and every time you see them in the movie getting ready for dinner they have wine! Geez, what was farm-aid about in the 80's Mr. Mellencamp? to get the farmers better wine? Farmers a drinking wine and I'm drinking cheap beer. I knew I should have paid attention in those FFA classes in High School!
What did Jake go see the doctor for? After he experiences the power of the mirror he tells the doctor about it. The doctor scoffs and begins to explain his skepticism and Jake immediately cuts him off saying "I've got to get back to the farm." What the hell? then why bother the doctor in the first place? This whole scene was like 40 seconds if that! So Jake doesn't even want to hear the doctor speak, let alone try and convince him? If I was the doctor I'd have been yelling "What did ya wake me up for you [unwrite]head!" since this whole part is at night and the doctor is in a robe!
Pay attention, because this will come up again....I'm sure of it. Father Riley tries to defeat the evil spirit by holding up a cross....he doesn't get to say all the cool Latin stuff or "the power of Christ compels you!" as in the Exorcist, but he tries...and gets killed even as he frees Lacey from the spirits grip. (by flying knives....of course) Why? Why is it that a priest can't defeat the powers of darkness in movies? And this spirit wasn't a demon or an overlord from a dark dimension! It was the ghost of a scummy guy that liked to have kinky sex and be a dickwad to children! How does this guy rate more spiritual power than a priest? I'm not buying it. (Although we see the father lying on the floor all knifed up its never SAID that he died. I like to think he survived it after a brief hospital stay)
The Final Judgment: I'm slightly biased towards this flick for the reasons mentioned above. Well, so what? It brings back fond memories of me and my cousin eating overpriced popcorn and those big ass movie boxes of raisenets. The FX are nothing to write home about, but the movie is what....30 years old? (God, has it been that long?) I'd rather watch this movie than some of the bullsh*t horror movies that our modern age has churned out. (I know what you did last summer? Urban Legend?) The Inferno grants the Boogeyman 5 devil heads. Watchers of b horror movies should enjoy it.
* The State Theater no longer exists, sadly. I was appalled to return once to my old town and hear that although there was an effort to restore it and keep it as a landmark, it was torn down to be replaced by a cheesy ass little trendy mall. Hey, it might be where I'm from originally, but really, Delaware sucks.