For episode 23, we are finally closing out season five by discussing the 1981 not-horror-classic The Boogens. This low budget monster flick is best remembered for its monsters. For the record, ManWithPez fully objects to its inclusion in the Find That Film pantheon (remember how upset he was about Ice Pirates?). Warning: This episode has a hostile witness.
The Boogens shows us the cold dreary week of two college-aged men on a mining contract, the women who join them to limit the boredom, the old timers heading up the job, a creepy local, and a dog. While the advertising and creepy local would hint at a slasher flick, this is in line with the cheesy monster movies of the past. It opens with newspaper clippings explaining the history of death in the mines and one unfortunate recent victim who is simply presumed missing. As is standard, people go about life not knowing anything’s amiss while more people fail to appear when they should. It culminates in a basic monster vs humans moment within the reopened mines.
The inclusion of this movie has little to do with the plot or underwhelming effects and everything to do with the pure charm and professionalism coming off the cast. I give quite a bit of credit to director James L Conway for getting solid reactions from the actors without having a creature on set for most of the scenes. Jeff Harlan and Anne-Marie Martin may have flat characters but convince the viewer they are terrified and in fear for their lives. Rebecca Balding is great as the perky reporter. Fred McCarren nails the awkward every man part. Even though they’re pretty one dimensional, all the characters seem realistic and of average intelligence. It’s nice to see regular people in a horror movie.
Come for the monster madness. Stay for the chocolate cake. Then ignore the monsters and find that film The Boogens. It’s neat.