Review: The Boogeyman (1980)

As kids we're all indoctrinated into the basic package of childhood things. We try to learn to ride a bike (and fail horribly, in my case), we memorize Saturday morning cartoon schedules, we get tortured by our siblings and/or uncles, but above all else we all share in one key thing above all else. We all believe in the Boogeyman. That's generally a kid's first big monster, before we've even discovered what movies are we learn the story of the Boogeyman somehow. It's a story that can go many ways and take many forms, whether it be a closet dwelling menace or a toe-biting troglodyte dwelling in the darkness under our beds, every kid is positive that the Boogeyman is a very real threat.

I personally found the version on the Real Ghostbusters to be more horrifying than anything I could conjur up.

But, a few years before I entered the world, there was a very different version introduced. One that wasn't really into toes or closets and whose head wasn't bigger than the rest of his body. This one was featured i na film by the same name. Curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to check this movie out rather than check out the other films bearing similar titles.

I'll get to those "cinematic masterpieces" another time.
Anyway, our film opens with two children, Willy and Lacey, who are really cramping their mother's sex life. Nothing ruins the mood faster than kids being all annoying and creepy by watching their parent get some, right? So her boyfriend takes matters into his own hand and ties the boy up so he can go have him some sexy time with the mother of the year. The sister, who didn't get tied up, cuts her brother free and the little boy shows the boyfriend how disappointed he is in a calm rational way by stabbing the boyfriend to death.

It makes perfect sense. Clearly, this is just how the kid gives time outs.
We leap ahead 20 years and the two kids are all grown up and Willy is still a bit off ever sense he pulled a Michael Myers for being tied to a bed. He lives with Lacey, who is now married a son, and their aunt and uncle out on a farm. Why is it the big guys who have proclivities towards stabbing people always some how end up on farms? Are the farmers just like, "that boy sure does know his way around a knife...I bet he'd be great at milking cows! Here, take this pitchfork and go to work for me, boy. And remember, only stab it if you're gonna eat it."

If that's the rule now, then Michael over here has a whole mess of teenage girls to go eat...wait...
Willy also has a strange hobby of stashing knives in a drawer, because you never know when you might need fifty or so knives. Always be prepared, yes? Lacey, on the other hand, may not be as quiet as her stabby sibling but she does keep having these nightmares where someone is stabbing her. I don't know...this seems a bit too easy...they better throw something convoluted and supernatural in here. You know, like a haunted mirror. Oh yeah, that's better. So, yeah, after visiting a shrink she gets talked into visiting her childhood home where not only do the teenagers let them in in, but it seems the mirror in her mother's room is still there from the night her brother murdered a guy who liked rough sex. And guess what? He's now haunting the mirror.

I dunno though, maybe he should've been haunting that pantyhose on his head.
 She sees ol' creepy hose face in the mirror and smashes it and her hubbie takes it decided to repair it later. But a piece stays behind and the ghost of orgasms past murders the kids, because he's now free to get his revenge on whoever he happens to come across. That's a thing that happened. It really doesn't make too much sense, as those kids had nothing to do with him being stabbed to death, but I guess he's just kinda like "fuck all kids in general" now. Getting stabbed to death by one could sour your opinion of them, I suppose. Meanwhile, Willy has his own mirror woes as he finds that seeing himself in one causes his stabbyness to turn to strangly urges and he nearly chokes a girl to death. He then figures he should take a cue from the Stones and paint all the mirrors black.

I know they were talking about a door or a funeral or some such thing but whatever.
Lacey's kid gets a piece of the mirror stuck to his shoe and, I'm not making this up, it reflects light at some teenagers who then get brutally murdered by the pervert ghost. I'm not sure, but I think I love this movie. Also, Lacey's clothes start getting torn apart as she tries to get in her house. Someone call Dan Akroyd and tell him there's ghost rape going on! Anywho, a priest gets brought in and rather than him fixing things, he touches the mirror and Lacey ends up with a piece stuck to her eye that makes her the conduit for the ghost that tried to rip her clothes off earlier. This is a lot kinkier than I expected it to be. The priest tries to save the day and gets stabbed by floating knives, but still manages to get the mirror shard off of her. I don't know what the mirror is made of though, as it bursts into flame when the shard gets tossed into water. Shit, was it made in Hong Kong?

Those crafty Chinese sweatshop workers and their chicanery.
The priest dies, because knives tend to have that effect on a person, and they chunk the rest of the mirror down the well where it goes up like it was made by Michael Bay. Out film close on them all visiting a graveyard where there's one final mirror piece, which makes sense because there's a sequel to this. Oh boy, I bet that one's even better. I hope it has less rapey ghost stuff though, it takes away from all the child murder.

That's what you get for not cleaning your room, mister!
On the whole, I gotta say I nejoyed this. It was very different than what I expected, being less a monster movie and more a ghost slasher movie with a distinct "drive-in movie" feel to it. The antagonist was creative, because who would've expected a movie about a pervert ghost guy killing people because he got stabbed while having sex. I do wish Willy had had a bigger role, as I felt they built him up to be more important than he ultiamtely was. Lacey ended up really being the focus, which was unexpected because I was sure the guy stashing all the knives surely was being set-up to be the lead in this.

Instead, it turns out this was an Exorcist movie where Pazuzu got replaced by a heavy breathing ghosty goo.
If I had any complaint about the movie, it's probably that we didn't get more of a payoff with Willy's story arc. But hey, maybe they cover that in the sequel? Maybe I'll look into that at some point so we can all find out together. In the end, it was a decent little slasher movie with an interesting twist and if you're into those, I'd say you should go check this out. It may be a little light on giant-headed closet monsters, but it's still entertaining enough on its own. So, until I get stabbed to death and end up haunting my Gorillaz poster, I'll be here wondering what the name of the pantyhose on the head fetish is. Later days, bleeders.

Now close that window, you're letting in all these gnats!