“The Boogens” is a 1981 monster movie directed by James Conway, featuring fanged turtles with tentacles that are viciously guarding an abandoned silver mine. When the mine is bought and reopened, the Boogens go on a killing spree in an attempt to keep people out of the mine.
A mining company begins the laborious process of reopening a silver mine in the Colorado mountain town of Silver City. The old mine was closed in 1912 after a disastrous cave in, which left one survivor ranting about being attacked in the darkness by some kind of creature. He was sent to an asylum, but his son patrols the sealed tunnel openings to make sure whatever is trapped inside can’t emerge.
Enter mining electrical engineer Mark, his horn dog best friend Roger, Roger’s girlfriend Jessica and her friend Trish the Dish. They buy a lovely cabin in the snowy woods, never knowing that the place is connected via a basement passage to the silver mine and every other residence in the tiny town.
After the tunnels are blasted open with dynamite, something sinister rises from an underground lake and begins to kill.
Meanwhile, the mining company is warned of the danger by a crazed local armed with dynamite who wants to reseal the mine with the explosives.
“The Boogens” is a light, enjoyable early 80’s romp with cheesy dialogue and a largely unseen monster that rushes around as a POV camera, terrorizing Jessica’s Bichon Frise Tiger, bending steel vents and smacking dressers out of its path.
Until the climax, we see only brownish tentacles lashing around victims and dragging them off. So what are we dealing with here? The Boogens, who get their name from the cave-in survivor’s elderly son, look like fanged turtles with tentacles for legs and bulbous insect eyes. They roar and attack with shocking viciousness, as if they REALLY don’t want humans to get their silver hidden in the mine.
If you can get past Roger, who dubs himself “Hormone Man” and spouts odes to lovemaking every five minutes, you’ll find a pretty fun 80’s movie here.
But what about the gore?
- Two gruesomely mutilated bodies are found with partially eaten faces.
- A woman is bloodily slashed by a hooked tentacle.
- A man has his throat cut by one of the creatures.
- Two people are dragged off screaming by the unseen monsters.
Except for the rubbery beasts themselves, the effects and makeup are pretty decent. The tentacles that latch on to unwary prey are pretty convincing, though there is a funny scene where the inept local sheriff has to wrestle with a Boogen, which requires the actor to hold the creature to his chest and thrash about while screaming.
Ed Wood, Eat your heart out!