Friday, September 19, 2014

The Boogens, Grab a Coors and Enjoy those Tentacled Monster Things

Later this week Rebecca Balding will turn 59 years old.  In her days as a scream queen, she could be described as cute, perky, sassy, vulnerable, alluring and playful.  In today's feature, "The Boogens" from 1981 and "The Silent Scream" from 1979, she played that character to the hilt.  Most of us older guys remember her as the nurse and Billy Crystal's wife in "Soap," and today's audiences know Ms. Balding for her supporting roles in the TV show "Charmed." Married to the director of this film (James L. Conway), Ms. Balding isn't the only star with a famous hubby.  Her co-star, Anne-Marie Martin, at one time, was married to author Michael Crichton. the most famous film ever to engage in product placement for Coors beer, lets delve into "The Boogens."
The plot: The mine in Silver City closed in 1912 after unusual collapses and the mysterious disappearance of 27 miners.  Now four men enter the mine to re-open it.  As they unseal blocked tunnels, something is ready to come out. The next day, two of the miners, and hunks, Mark (Fred McCarren) and Roger (Jeff Harlan) move into a home.  Their landlady (the beautiful Marcia Reider) is not there to meet them, as she was dragged away by a boogen the night before.  Our miners are very fortunate, Jessica (Martin) and Trish (Balding) arrive, and they will engage in lots of pre-marital sex together.  Fred falls in love with Trish, probably because he keeps seeing her naked.  Also in the house is Tiger, a very annoying poodle....fortunately the boogens eat him.  Unbeknownst to our nymphomaniac quartet, a secret passageway from the mine leads to their basement...and now the boogens are loose and in a wandering (and homicidal) mood.
As Trish begins to discover the mystery of the mine, Roger and Mark continue to assist in clearing out tunnels that have caved in.  Unknown to Mark, Trish, and Jessica, Roger falls prey to the creature pictured below as he parks his pick-up in the garage.  In a very exciting final 30 minutes Mark makes some shocking discoveries in the old mine concerning the fate of those missing miners in 1912 and what is still living down there.  Meanwhile Trish heads back to the house as Jessica hops in the shower, and the boogens head up a mine shaft to the house.  As the poodle is gobbled up, a boogen sets it's sights on Jessica, who is all wet and clad only in a towel.  Will Mark and Jessica be able to save her?
The ending is frightening, and of course has our protagonists descending into the mine where the lair of these monster's is located.  To think our kids never knew a world where Coors was only available west of the Mississippi.  What "My Bloody Valentine" (see my review last June 1st) did for Moosehead Beer, "The Boogens" does for Coors.  Well acted with four great looking actors/actresses, this film was praised by Stephen King when it hit the theaters.  Now available on DVD, this is a film a fan of 1980s horror must see.  Happy Birthday, Ms. Balding.  

1 comment:

  1. There's just something about the 1980s coal town girl look that I can't much resist. Of course, there's a lot about many different looks that I cannot resist, so maybe it's just me. My only question, is it a boo-GEN or a BOO-jenn. I know I get pretty upset when people mispronounce my last name. Maybe this whole ugly thing could have been prevented...