The Boogens


1h 35m 1982

Brief Synopsis

Four vacationing college students unearth deadly creatures locked up in an abandoned mine.

Film Details

Also Known As
Boogens
MPAA Rating
Genre
Horror
Release Date
1982

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m

Synopsis

When some local people open up an abandoned silver mine, they accidentally release the monstrous boogens that were imprisoned there for a century. Set free, the boogens, gigantic scaly, turtle-like creatures with sharp teeth, go on a killing rampage.

Film Details

Also Known As
Boogens
MPAA Rating
Genre
Horror
Release Date
1982

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m

Articles

The Gist (The Boogens) - THE GIST


Released during the glut of dead teen flicks that proliferated through the 1980s and after the success of Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976), John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) and Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th (1980), The Boogens (1981) is an unabashedly old school monster movie. As if in rebuttal to the "slashers," in which libidinous teens high on cheap beer and affordable pot stripped down and lined up to be julienned by a masked predator, The Boogens restricts its dramatis personae to marriage-minded young adults and some crusty pensioners, laying its winter-set tale of terror in the Colorado Rockies, far removed from any sorority row or lakefront summer camp. The film begins (following a title card accompanied by a Herrmannesque musical sting) with a plaintive arrangement for harmonica and strings laid over a montage of vintage "gold rush" photographs in which every subject looks to modern eyes like Alferd Packer or a Donner Party survivor. These images are intercut with a succession of newspaper headlines chronicling cave-ins, deaths and strange attacks on miners which forced the now ironically-named Hope Mine to be shut down in 1913. Cross fade to the present as said mine is reopened after seventy odd years, with the employees of a modern day mining outfit paying the ultimate price for not letting sleeping monsters lie.

In localizing horror within the confines of a long-shuttered structure, The Boogens puts a new face on the old haunted house trope utilized in countless novels, stage plays, and in such films as The Cat and the Canary (1927), The Haunting (1963), The Legend of Hell House (1973) and The Shining (1980). The backstory of unfortunate occurrences, the testimony of an addled survivor, the trip to the archives, dire warnings, strange sounds in the night and a sins-of-the-fathers angle of karmic retribution point to a time honored tradition; the script even provides the labyrinth of subterranean shafts that serve the Boogens (never named in the film) as a conduit to consumption with the equivalent of a secret sliding panel in an egress into the cellar of the protagonists' rented home. Made for $600,000 (nearly twice the budget of Halloween), the film benefits from the same old-fashioned, no frills approach that producer Charles E. Sellier, Jr. brought to such quasi-documentary, family-oriented ventures In Search of Noah's Ark (1976), The Mysterious Monsters (1976) and Beyond and Back (1978). Sellier and director James L. Conway enjoyed greater license on this Taft International Pictures release in the form of cursing, sexual frankness, and discreet nudity but the charm of The Boogens is in the just-the-arguable-facts approach of those Sunn Classic Pictures hits, which seasoned even its Biblical subjects with the tawdry aftertaste of tabloid exploitation.

Given the film's budget, it would have been unlikely for The Boogens not to have turned a profit yet a sequel never materialized. Despite the endorsement of horror novelist Stephen King (who praised it as "a wildly energetic monster movie" in Twilight Zone Magazine), the film faded into the background of a decade lousy with franchised fright. In retrospect, it is not difficult to appreciate why The Boogens failed to become a horror event on par with Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), which seems a possible inspiration. Both on a technical and a narrative level, The Boogens seems behind the curve of what was then becoming the state of the genre. John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) jumped through the same hoops (complete with a menu of unsuspecting characters falling victim to an alien entity) and its descent into the maelstrom has lost little shock value over the intervening quarter century.

A box office dud at the time, The Thing has since been canonized as a modern classic, having gained currency with the passage of the same years that buried The Boogens in obscurity. With so many 80s horror films having been rebooted for the New Millennium (Friday the 13th [2009], My Bloody Valentine [2009], Fright Night [2011]), enterprising producers might consider dusting off The Boogens for a new audience and providing a more generous budget that would allow the title creatures to chew more than just scenery.

Producer: Charles E. Sellier, Jr.
Director: James L. Conway
Screenplay: Bob Hunt; David O'Malley (screenplay and story); Tom Chapman (story)
Cinematography: Paul Hipp
Art Direction: Linda Kiffe
Music: Bob Summers
Film Editing: Michael Spence
Cast: Fred McCarren (Mark Kinner), Rebecca Balding (Trish Michaels), Anne-Marie Martin (Jessica Ford), Jeff Harlan (Roger Lowrie), John Crawford (Brian Deering), Med Flory (Dan Ostroff), Jon Lormer (Greenwalt, the old man), Scott Wilkinson (Deputy Blanchard), Marcia Reider (Martha Chapman), Peg Stewart (Victoria Tusker).
C-95m.

by Richard Harland Smith
The Gist (The Boogens) - The Gist

The Gist (The Boogens) - THE GIST

Released during the glut of dead teen flicks that proliferated through the 1980s and after the success of Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976), John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) and Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th (1980), The Boogens (1981) is an unabashedly old school monster movie. As if in rebuttal to the "slashers," in which libidinous teens high on cheap beer and affordable pot stripped down and lined up to be julienned by a masked predator, The Boogens restricts its dramatis personae to marriage-minded young adults and some crusty pensioners, laying its winter-set tale of terror in the Colorado Rockies, far removed from any sorority row or lakefront summer camp. The film begins (following a title card accompanied by a Herrmannesque musical sting) with a plaintive arrangement for harmonica and strings laid over a montage of vintage "gold rush" photographs in which every subject looks to modern eyes like Alferd Packer or a Donner Party survivor. These images are intercut with a succession of newspaper headlines chronicling cave-ins, deaths and strange attacks on miners which forced the now ironically-named Hope Mine to be shut down in 1913. Cross fade to the present as said mine is reopened after seventy odd years, with the employees of a modern day mining outfit paying the ultimate price for not letting sleeping monsters lie. In localizing horror within the confines of a long-shuttered structure, The Boogens puts a new face on the old haunted house trope utilized in countless novels, stage plays, and in such films as The Cat and the Canary (1927), The Haunting (1963), The Legend of Hell House (1973) and The Shining (1980). The backstory of unfortunate occurrences, the testimony of an addled survivor, the trip to the archives, dire warnings, strange sounds in the night and a sins-of-the-fathers angle of karmic retribution point to a time honored tradition; the script even provides the labyrinth of subterranean shafts that serve the Boogens (never named in the film) as a conduit to consumption with the equivalent of a secret sliding panel in an egress into the cellar of the protagonists' rented home. Made for $600,000 (nearly twice the budget of Halloween), the film benefits from the same old-fashioned, no frills approach that producer Charles E. Sellier, Jr. brought to such quasi-documentary, family-oriented ventures In Search of Noah's Ark (1976), The Mysterious Monsters (1976) and Beyond and Back (1978). Sellier and director James L. Conway enjoyed greater license on this Taft International Pictures release in the form of cursing, sexual frankness, and discreet nudity but the charm of The Boogens is in the just-the-arguable-facts approach of those Sunn Classic Pictures hits, which seasoned even its Biblical subjects with the tawdry aftertaste of tabloid exploitation. Given the film's budget, it would have been unlikely for The Boogens not to have turned a profit yet a sequel never materialized. Despite the endorsement of horror novelist Stephen King (who praised it as "a wildly energetic monster movie" in Twilight Zone Magazine), the film faded into the background of a decade lousy with franchised fright. In retrospect, it is not difficult to appreciate why The Boogens failed to become a horror event on par with Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), which seems a possible inspiration. Both on a technical and a narrative level, The Boogens seems behind the curve of what was then becoming the state of the genre. John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) jumped through the same hoops (complete with a menu of unsuspecting characters falling victim to an alien entity) and its descent into the maelstrom has lost little shock value over the intervening quarter century. A box office dud at the time, The Thing has since been canonized as a modern classic, having gained currency with the passage of the same years that buried The Boogens in obscurity. With so many 80s horror films having been rebooted for the New Millennium (Friday the 13th [2009], My Bloody Valentine [2009], Fright Night [2011]), enterprising producers might consider dusting off The Boogens for a new audience and providing a more generous budget that would allow the title creatures to chew more than just scenery. Producer: Charles E. Sellier, Jr. Director: James L. Conway Screenplay: Bob Hunt; David O'Malley (screenplay and story); Tom Chapman (story) Cinematography: Paul Hipp Art Direction: Linda Kiffe Music: Bob Summers Film Editing: Michael Spence Cast: Fred McCarren (Mark Kinner), Rebecca Balding (Trish Michaels), Anne-Marie Martin (Jessica Ford), Jeff Harlan (Roger Lowrie), John Crawford (Brian Deering), Med Flory (Dan Ostroff), Jon Lormer (Greenwalt, the old man), Scott Wilkinson (Deputy Blanchard), Marcia Reider (Martha Chapman), Peg Stewart (Victoria Tusker). C-95m. by Richard Harland Smith

The Boogens


Released during the glut of dead teen flicks that proliferated through the 1980s and after the success of Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976), John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) and Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th (1980), The Boogens (1981) is an unabashedly old school monster movie. As if in rebuttal to the "slashers," in which libidinous teens high on cheap beer and affordable pot stripped down and lined up to be julienned by a masked predator, The Boogens restricts its dramatis personae to marriage-minded young adults and some crusty pensioners, laying its winter-set tale of terror in the Colorado Rockies, far removed from any sorority row or lakefront summer camp. The film begins (following a title card accompanied by a Herrmannesque musical sting) with a plaintive arrangement for harmonica and strings laid over a montage of vintage "gold rush" photographs in which every subject looks to modern eyes like Alferd Packer or a Donner Party survivor. These images are intercut with a succession of newspaper headlines chronicling cave-ins, deaths and strange attacks on miners which forced the now ironically-named Hope Mine to be shut down in 1913. Cross fade to the present as said mine is reopened after seventy odd years, with the employees of a modern day mining outfit paying the ultimate price for not letting sleeping monsters lie.

In localizing horror within the confines of a long-shuttered structure, The Boogens puts a new face on the old haunted house trope utilized in countless novels, stage plays, and in such films as The Cat and the Canary (1927), The Haunting (1963), The Legend of Hell House (1973) and The Shining (1980). The backstory of unfortunate occurrences, the testimony of an addled survivor, the trip to the archives, dire warnings, strange sounds in the night and a sins-of-the-fathers angle of karmic retribution point to a time honored tradition; the script even provides the labyrinth of subterranean shafts that serve the Boogens (never named in the film) as a conduit to consumption with the equivalent of a secret sliding panel in an egress into the cellar of the protagonists' rented home. Made for $600,000 (nearly twice the budget of Halloween), the film benefits from the same old-fashioned, no frills approach that producer Charles E. Sellier, Jr. brought to such quasi-documentary, family-oriented ventures In Search of Noah's Ark (1976), The Mysterious Monsters (1976) and Beyond and Back (1978). Sellier and director James L. Conway enjoyed greater license on this Taft International Pictures release in the form of cursing, sexual frankness, and discreet nudity but the charm of The Boogens is in the just-the-arguable-facts approach of those Sunn Classic Pictures hits, which seasoned even its Biblical subjects with the tawdry aftertaste of tabloid exploitation.

Given the film's budget, it would have been unlikely for The Boogens not to have turned a profit yet a sequel never materialized. Despite the endorsement of horror novelist Stephen King (who praised it as "a wildly energetic monster movie" in Twilight Zone Magazine), the film faded into the background of a decade lousy with franchised fright. In retrospect, it is not difficult to appreciate why The Boogens failed to become a horror event on par with Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), which seems a possible inspiration. Both on a technical and a narrative level, The Boogens seems behind the curve of what was then becoming the state of the genre. John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) jumped through the same hoops (complete with a menu of unsuspecting characters falling victim to an alien entity) and its descent into the maelstrom has lost little shock value over the intervening quarter century.

A box office dud at the time, The Thing has since been canonized as a modern classic, having gained currency with the passage of the same years that buried The Boogens in obscurity. With so many 80s horror films having been rebooted for the New Millennium (Friday the 13th [2009], My Bloody Valentine [2009], Fright Night [2011]), enterprising producers might consider dusting off The Boogens for a new audience and providing a more generous budget that would allow the title creatures to chew more than just scenery.

Producer: Charles E. Sellier, Jr.
Director: James L. Conway
Screenplay: Bob Hunt; David O'Malley (screenplay and story); Tom Chapman (story)
Cinematography: Paul Hipp
Art Direction: Linda Kiffe
Music: Bob Summers
Film Editing: Michael Spence
Cast: Fred McCarren (Mark Kinner), Rebecca Balding (Trish Michaels), Anne-Marie Martin (Jessica Ford), Jeff Harlan (Roger Lowrie), John Crawford (Brian Deering), Med Flory (Dan Ostroff), Jon Lormer (Greenwalt, the old man), Scott Wilkinson (Deputy Blanchard), Marcia Reider (Martha Chapman), Peg Stewart (Victoria Tusker).
C-95m.

by Richard Harland Smith

The Boogens

Released during the glut of dead teen flicks that proliferated through the 1980s and after the success of Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976), John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) and Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th (1980), The Boogens (1981) is an unabashedly old school monster movie. As if in rebuttal to the "slashers," in which libidinous teens high on cheap beer and affordable pot stripped down and lined up to be julienned by a masked predator, The Boogens restricts its dramatis personae to marriage-minded young adults and some crusty pensioners, laying its winter-set tale of terror in the Colorado Rockies, far removed from any sorority row or lakefront summer camp. The film begins (following a title card accompanied by a Herrmannesque musical sting) with a plaintive arrangement for harmonica and strings laid over a montage of vintage "gold rush" photographs in which every subject looks to modern eyes like Alferd Packer or a Donner Party survivor. These images are intercut with a succession of newspaper headlines chronicling cave-ins, deaths and strange attacks on miners which forced the now ironically-named Hope Mine to be shut down in 1913. Cross fade to the present as said mine is reopened after seventy odd years, with the employees of a modern day mining outfit paying the ultimate price for not letting sleeping monsters lie. In localizing horror within the confines of a long-shuttered structure, The Boogens puts a new face on the old haunted house trope utilized in countless novels, stage plays, and in such films as The Cat and the Canary (1927), The Haunting (1963), The Legend of Hell House (1973) and The Shining (1980). The backstory of unfortunate occurrences, the testimony of an addled survivor, the trip to the archives, dire warnings, strange sounds in the night and a sins-of-the-fathers angle of karmic retribution point to a time honored tradition; the script even provides the labyrinth of subterranean shafts that serve the Boogens (never named in the film) as a conduit to consumption with the equivalent of a secret sliding panel in an egress into the cellar of the protagonists' rented home. Made for $600,000 (nearly twice the budget of Halloween), the film benefits from the same old-fashioned, no frills approach that producer Charles E. Sellier, Jr. brought to such quasi-documentary, family-oriented ventures In Search of Noah's Ark (1976), The Mysterious Monsters (1976) and Beyond and Back (1978). Sellier and director James L. Conway enjoyed greater license on this Taft International Pictures release in the form of cursing, sexual frankness, and discreet nudity but the charm of The Boogens is in the just-the-arguable-facts approach of those Sunn Classic Pictures hits, which seasoned even its Biblical subjects with the tawdry aftertaste of tabloid exploitation. Given the film's budget, it would have been unlikely for The Boogens not to have turned a profit yet a sequel never materialized. Despite the endorsement of horror novelist Stephen King (who praised it as "a wildly energetic monster movie" in Twilight Zone Magazine), the film faded into the background of a decade lousy with franchised fright. In retrospect, it is not difficult to appreciate why The Boogens failed to become a horror event on par with Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), which seems a possible inspiration. Both on a technical and a narrative level, The Boogens seems behind the curve of what was then becoming the state of the genre. John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) jumped through the same hoops (complete with a menu of unsuspecting characters falling victim to an alien entity) and its descent into the maelstrom has lost little shock value over the intervening quarter century. A box office dud at the time, The Thing has since been canonized as a modern classic, having gained currency with the passage of the same years that buried The Boogens in obscurity. With so many 80s horror films having been rebooted for the New Millennium (Friday the 13th [2009], My Bloody Valentine [2009], Fright Night [2011]), enterprising producers might consider dusting off The Boogens for a new audience and providing a more generous budget that would allow the title creatures to chew more than just scenery. Producer: Charles E. Sellier, Jr. Director: James L. Conway Screenplay: Bob Hunt; David O'Malley (screenplay and story); Tom Chapman (story) Cinematography: Paul Hipp Art Direction: Linda Kiffe Music: Bob Summers Film Editing: Michael Spence Cast: Fred McCarren (Mark Kinner), Rebecca Balding (Trish Michaels), Anne-Marie Martin (Jessica Ford), Jeff Harlan (Roger Lowrie), John Crawford (Brian Deering), Med Flory (Dan Ostroff), Jon Lormer (Greenwalt, the old man), Scott Wilkinson (Deputy Blanchard), Marcia Reider (Martha Chapman), Peg Stewart (Victoria Tusker). C-95m. by Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter February 1982

Released in United States Winter February 1982