The Bogey Man Blu-ray Review
Written by Katie Bonham
Blu-ray released by 88 Films
Directed by Ulli Lommel
Written by Ulli Lommel, Suzanna Love and David Herschel
1980, Region B, 82 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
Blu-ray released on March 23rd 2015
Suzanna Love as Lacey
Ron James as Jake
John Carradine as Dr. Warren
Nicholas Love as Willy
Raymond Boyden as Kevin
A young boy and his sister are neglected by their mother and abused by her boyfriend. One night, after being subjected to this abuse, the little girl hands a carving knife to her brother who takes revenge and kills the boyfriend. The murder is witnessed by the little girl through the reflection in a mirror. Flash forward, years later, the boy is now a mute and his sister, racked with guilt, is struggling to let go of the past. Concerned that she is getting no closer to forgiving herself, her husband decides to take her back to her childhood home, and the scene of the murder, believing that returning will offer a sense of closure. They visit the house, cue a broken mirror (which was left by them, still hanging in the house, in the exact same place) and something evil has been released back into the world, hell bent on exacting revenge for its untimely murder.
Once the Bogey Man is released from the mirror, he has free reign to terrorise and attack. He is invisible and has some gruesome means of exacting death to his unsuspecting victims (the car death is a personal favourite). The acting is nothing to be desired by all parties and the plot is weak to say the least. A vengeful, invisible soul released by a broken mirror? The plot continues to get sillier and the climactic scene will have you terrified - terrified that someone actually thought that this would invoke fear. Lots of colourful lighting is used at the end of the film to instate the terror and presence of the evil supernatural being, and the girl even dons a piece of broken glass in her eye, doubling up as a makeshift monocle (really?!). The death scenes are the only saving grace, which is only because, with such a silly storyline, you have no idea who or how the next person will be murdered - be that a deadly kiss or flying pitchfork.
The most noticeable trait of this film seems to its apparent ripping off of other (and notably better) horrors. The classic synth soundtrack, which sounds very close to other iconic horror scores, accompanies the entire film. The opening scene uses the same house and plot opening from Halloween (1978). The white detached house opens the action, where an ominous flickering pumpkin is sat outside. We then see the young children witnessing their mother's seedy sofa action with her boyfriend before they decide to exact revenge. This is not the only notable reference to a previous horror film, as the house that they reside in years later is a dead ringer for the infamous Amityville house. These clear references to previous titles do not feel placed as homage pieces, but instead like cheap tricks into making the audience believe like they are watching a horror classic; however, the result tends to be the opposite. Through the entire film all I could think of was how much I really wanted to watch Halloween instead.
Video and Audio:
The film looks good in HD for a 1980's film and the sound is decent, especially the loud synth tones as they cue terror throughout.
The special features include an interview with director Ulli Lommel, TV spots, theatrical trailer, and a stills gallery. The interview with the director is long and unexciting, as we hear about how The Bogey Man came to be. A few interviews from cast members would have made it more interesting and offered variety to the 20 minute straight-to-camera interview. The stills and theatrical features feel like padding and can be found online. The best feature is the theatrical reel, which showcases other classic horrors available from 88 Films.