Wretched monster movies #23: The Boogens (1981)

Watch out for them boogens!

There was something in the coal mines way, way back and there still is, we learn.

The setting is a snowy Colorado locale where a mine is being reopened for the first time in decades. Two buddies who have taken the job go in with an older worker who goes ahead checking if things are safe.

Some things have to be blown up in the mine to open up space and an odd old man is watching it all from afar mysteriously.

About 20 minutes into the movie we see a woman in a cabin alone. She hears a noise, grabs a knife but gets drug into the basement by something evil!

“If only my nightshirt was just a little bit shorter…”

This woman was checking in on a cabin that had been purchased by one of the two mining douchebags. She’d dead now, but the mining guys will be mining some girls soon at the cabin (they hope). One is a girlfriend and her friend will be set up with the other guy. They arrive first.

They bring an annoying little shitbag dog named Tiger who you root for the boogens to eat right away.

“Boogens n’ bits, Boogens n’ bits, I want my Boogens n’ Bits”.

One of the girls wants to take a bath but the water is ice cold. What to do? Go to the dark basement and find a hot water heater, and be scared and hear a noise…only to see that stupid-ass hound jump out with a fake scare.

“Hello? Boogens? Come out and play-y-ay!”.

The next day the miners discover a natural cavern deep in the mine with a pool. They also find plenty of human skulls and bones-enough reason for me to get the fuck out of there, but not these guys.

We do get a gratuitous butt scene around 32 minutes in for those who need such things (such as myself).

“Butt why?”

Our couples go out for dinner and leave the pooch alone. Or so he thinks! Perhaps a boogen or two will hang out with the little creep?

45 minutes in and we’ve seen fewer boogens than in one’s nose.

So….one of the guys has to leave the dinner and drinks and go back to the cabin on this snowy night to get up super-early for the mining job.

The others stay at the bar shooting pool while we get to see a nauseating, budding romance with the “setup couple” build like a giant poop with corn in it.

At least we finally have some action when the guy in the cabin awakens to noise. He dismisses it and goes to the garage to start up the truck but gets pulled under, sliced and diced by something with claws. Yay!

“Bdhgueukkedlld…fuck-I’m dead.”

Proving to be a rather easy lay, the blind date is working out well as our new couple are rolling around naked in front of the fireplace. After their disgusting 80’s lovemaking is over, the guy leaves her lying naked in bed the next morning. Did she want to be covered up with her perky nipples in the Colorado cold? Nah-just let her lay there for some side boob!

“Thank you for letting me suck your boogens last night”.

We will find out that one of the miners survived the so-called “Black Friday Mining Disaster of 1948”. Who was this miner? Do we care?

And now the oversexed dude (who never actually got his) is missing (we know he’s dead in the garage). So, his chick decides to take a shower (no nudity-boo fucking hiss), while the little shit Tiger doesn’t like the awful sounds from the basement. It takes 1 hour and 10 minutes for even THAT to happen.

Tiger tries to get his owner to come out of the shower (I would too pal!), but to no avail. He then goes to the kitchen where he actually sees some boogens claws moving upward and he backs away in horror.

It is at this point I must say this dog has acting chops! Seriously-he’s a real actor and shows more emotion and skill than the average human actor. He’s still annoying though. Shame he won’t survive, as he gets pulled down by the boogens!

It does get the girl out of the shower though…in a damn towel.

Why can’t the boogens do the right thing and yank off her towel???

She will get stalked and slashed and clawed and it’s all in Boogens Vision from their point of view, which means we basically see jack shit. Somehow it’s cool anyway.

Meanwhile, the over/undersexed dude’s body is pulled out of the water in the mines by the two older workers and then the old man appears and finally speaks of the horrors. How did it get there from the house? Do boogens hail cabs or something?

Now the old man is telling us it was his Dad who survived and he felt his one job all these years was to keep the mines closed and not let the boogens out. He (correctly) blames the miners and as he’s telling them, the one miner still in the water gets swooped in by a boogen tentacle and is dragged to his watery death.

In the end, we get down to the new couple (since the older one is dead), and they are in the basement of the house where we FINALLY see a frickin’ boogen. The boogen chomps a police officer’s face in a nasty way. And what does a boogen look like you ask?

Glad you asked…

“I.” “Iz”. “Boogen”.

Boogens are scaly, slimy creatures with bug eyes, fangs and tentacles and seem to both live water and on land. They are not nice, nor do they like indoor soccer, clowns, Bon Jovi or common core Math (it’s true).

The boogens get killed and burned as a gas leak conveniently occurs, so our couple flee and the house gets all blown up. They are now underneath the house leading back to the mines where they encounter the surviving older  miner. Of course, he won’t be around long as a boogen lashes his tentacle around the old guy’s throat.

The couple gets out of the mine and blows it up, allegedly sealing it up, the shitty musics cues right away and that’s a wrap.

Why do I , and many others like The Boogens? Well, it’s well-done for what it is, and the writing/acting is actually more than acceptable.

The payoff isn’t great, but the monsters are kinda neat. There’s far worse horror flicks than The Boogens, and Stephen King himself has been quoted as being a fan.

A couple of nagging questions: how did the boogens get around? Why the combo of dry land and water for their travels? With no full shot of the creature, no way to tell what their bodies looked like. Ah, but why quibble about a boogen? Life is too short!

Fun Facts:

1.) The film was set in Colorado but actually was shot in Park City, Utah now home of the Sundance Film Festival where The Boogens would most certainly not be shown.

2.) Director James L. Conway had already directed Hangar 18, and In Search Of Noah’s Ark which I actually saw in theaters in 1976. He went on to direct many TV shows such as MacGyverStar Trek: EnterpriseStar Trek: The Next Generation, and Charmed. No boogens appeared in these shows.

3.) The Boogens had a budget of only $600,000 but made over $3 million.

4.) Somehow, The Boogens had never been on DVD before, but it is now on both DVD and Blu Ray as of 2012.

The Boogens (1981):


1 1/2 beagles out of 4 for awfulness. (The Boogens is actually good).

Q: Should you see The Boogens?

A: Be prepared not to see the creatures until the last 10 minutes, but it’s fun and you get a little bit o’ butt. Boogens and boobs. I say win.









About chudbeagle

My name is Pete Braidis and I'm in Haddon Heights, New Jersey and my goal is to point out how bad so many album and book covers are as well as review classic (usually awful) creature/monster flicks. I also have a book due out in June 2016 dedicated to guitar players I feel have never gotten their due. I interviewed 50 players from around the world and it took nearly 2 years to complete. It's called Unstrung Heroes: Fifty Guitar Players You Should Know and here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Unstrung-Heroes-Guitar-Greats-Should/dp/0764350889/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454387582&sr=1-2&keywords=unstrung+heroes Sometimes, I'll actually do something normal like a band history with album reviews but I try to do the funny stuff because it's my job to make anyone that bothered coming on here to laugh.
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2 Responses to Wretched monster movies #23: The Boogens (1981)

  1. 1537 says:

    Truly wonderful. Can we get married?

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