I had completely forgotten that this movie existed, until I saw a mention of it online. This rekindled a memory for me: I was a wee laddie, and a promo for the movie came on TV. I remember it scared me. In the intervening years, though, this slipped into my subconscious. Right up until this week, when I finally got to see the movie.
You could argue that THE BOOGENS played a part in my creation of my novel THERIOPHOBIA: FEAR THE BEAST, which you can read in its entirety right here on this site. (Just type it in to the search engine and presto! Chapters are numbered for your convenience, so you can read it in order.) THE BOOGENS is about monsters coming up out of an old abandoned mine, and THERIOPHOBIA is about monsters coming up out of an old abandoned mine—at the behest of an old conjure woman, who sics them on a werewolf. But consciously I based my little mine monsters on Robert E. Howard’s short story “Worms of the Earth.” I even made a couple of subtle references to it in the novel. If THE BOOGENS was influencing me, I wasn’t aware of it. And since I didn’t know before watching the movie what it was about—that commercial all those years ago didn’t give away any details that I recall—I’m inclined to chalk this one up to coincidence.
Anyway. THE BOOGENS. It’s a cool little monster movie. A good script lifts it above its peers in the genre, with realistic dialogue and likeable, delineated characters. The plot is as basic as they come—there are monsters in the mine—and in the film’s finale it apotheosizes into true B-movie conventionality, but it’s a fine example of its type.
The movie wisely follows that old rule about not showing your monster too soon. And when the titular monsters finally do show up, well, they’re not scary. At all. They’re kinda cute, in fact. But that just serves to make THE BOOGENS all the more endearing. Great fun.