tisdag 6 oktober 2009

The Boogeyman (1980)

Back in the early eighties when the Video was young, there was a flood of increasingly violent movies pouring out on the market. Now, if you are a regular on this blog, this is nothing new. The Video Nasty debacle in the U.K is probably the most familiar but we actually even had a little debacle of our own here in Sweden. A now famous debateprogram, Studio S (yes, thats where Studio S Entertainment got their name from) had a special about videoviolence where they interviewed lots of children who said they had seen lots of nasty horrormovies adn that they were easy to get a hold of. What followed was an absurd program which basically added up to that everyone wanted to prosecute the people releasing these videos and the swedish minister of education even quoted the bible, saying something in the vein of that the videocompanies would get their punishment. 20 years later it was revealed that the interviewed children hadnt seen any of the movies and were bribed to say those things. It's all available on youtube of course. Only in swedish though.

Anyway, what does this have to do with Ulli Lommels Boogeyman? Well, it was one of the movies that were most talked about during all of this and you can even see the cover of the swedish videorelease in the beginning of the Studio S piece. I have a very vague memory of seeing the movie sometime in my youth but it didnt leave a very strong impression on me since I dont remember anything other than the scene with the teenagers in the car but somehow I still remember it as a decent movie. So, is it a piece of violent crap?

The beginning of the movie is really a piece of art and I can imagine that a lot of youngsters who saw the movie at a very young age found this sequence to be pretty scary. A young mother is frolicking with her new boyfriend unaware that her two young children are watching. When the children are noticed they are punished, in quite a horrible way. The boy is tied to his bed and whipped with a belt by the stepfather (who is wearing pantyhose over his head)and left there still tied to the bedpost. His sister goes to the kitchen, gets a knife and cuts her brother loose. He promptly goes to his mothers bed and stabs the guy to death. Years later, the brother is mute and somehow the evil of the stepfather ended up in a mirror that was in the room of the murder. And it's back. For revenge. Or something.

There really is'nt much of a story in this movie. The idea of a mirror housing evil, even in the tiniest of shards, is pretty good and several of the scenes with the mirror dishing out evil are really well executed but the movie itself feels slapped together with random scenes thrown about. For instance, all of a sudden we start to follow a couple of teenagers who end upp being killed and then completely forgotten. The acting is generally rather poor with John Carradine popping up for a cameo. It all has a pretty low budget feel to it, but fortunately Ulli Lommel concetrates on scares and violence and that is something he does well. There are a couple of pretty violent deathscenes and the horror overall is solid. Pace yourself and try to get through the slow middlesection for a good and bloody climax. Extrapoints for the nice synthesizer score. All in all, The Boogeyman is a flawed but worthwhile piece of 80s horror.

2 kommentarer:

  1. I think I have to revisit this movie. Haven't seen it in many years. I actually ran into Ulli Lommel once in Stockholm. He was weird, but nice.

    Studio S was a parody of journalism, and they people involved should be ashamed. but on the other side, it made video more popular than ever and helped us horror-kids to get more advanced in our hunt for cool movies :)

  2. Yeah, I believe too that the Studio S debate contributed to the boom of horror videos in Sweden, though subsequently also enforced the then notorious and nowadays dropped Swedish censorship of the same movies...

    Anyhow, I have a feeling that The Boogey Man was quite a good movie, even if it was mostly hyped because of it labelled as one of the worst along with TCM in Swedish literature; I was practising at a local library in my youth and discovered a book that stated these kind of films in a way similar to that of the Studio S...