Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 20th, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1980
Director: Ulli Lommel
Writers: Ulli Lommel, Suzanna Love, David Herschel
Cast: Suzanna Love, Ron James, John Carradine, Nicholas Love, Raymond Boyden, Felicite Morgan, Bill Rayburn, Llewelyn Thomas
BluRay released: March 23rd, 2015
Approximate running times: 82 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Mono English
BluRay Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £14.99
The Bogey Man was co-written and directed by Ulli Lommel whose other notable films include, The Devonsville Terror and Tenderness of the Wolves. A key collaborator on The Bogey Man includes cinematographer David Spelling (Street Trash).
No genre is more over crowded then the Horror genre. It is a genre that most first time directors are drawn to because it is the one that can get you the most bang for your buck. Unfortunately with so many trying to take slice from the same pie, this leads to lack of creativity and after a while everything starts to look the same. With that being said, one of the most important assets any Horror film has is it opening which can make or break any film.
Fortunately The Bogey Man opens with a rock solid set up that does a great job setting the tone of the film. During this opening moments two young children, a brother and sister watch their mother and her lover who is wearing one of her stockings over his head as they prepare to make love. Then thing take a turn for the worse then their mother discovers their peeing and she ties her son to his bed. From there the sister frees her brother from his restraints and he grabs a knife which he uses to bludgeon to death his mother’s lover.
Content wise, an obvious influence on this film is John Carpenter’s Halloween which the aforementioned opening set up has many striking resemblances too. Influences aside, though this film is classified a horror film / Slasher film. When it is actually closer to a psychological thriller with supernatural leanings. With the all the deaths that occur in the latter half of the being of rooted in the supernatural. During the film there is a scene where the daughter character revisits with her husband that place where her brother killed their mothers’ lover and while there she breaks a mirror when she thinks that she sees him in said mirror. Apparently the film was possessed by the dead lovers’ soul and breaking the mirror has freed him to get his revenge.
From a premise stand point alone this film should have been so much more then end result. With the first misstep this film makes occurring in their flash forward / twenty years later leap in the narrative. This not only disrupts the previously established tone of the film, it forces the viewer to reinvest in new characters that have little more to do with the plot then assist in its moving forward. Also there are a handful of lulls in this film and pacing is best described as inconsistent.
From a performance stand point the only cast member that leaves any lasting impression is Suzanna Love in the role of Lacey, the traumatized daughter. It should also be point out that she was at the time of making this film married to this film’s director. Another performance of note is the legendary John Carradine (Grapes of Wrath) in the role of a psychiatrist.
The Bogey Man comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors look nicely saturated and accurate, black and contrast levels look consistently string and details look crisp throughout. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, LPCM mono mix in English. There are no issues with background noise or distortion and dialog always comes through clearly. Range wise things sounds very good as sound effects have just the right amount of oomph and the film’s score sounds appropriately robust.
Extras for this release include, a stills gallery, T.V. spots (1 minute 2 seconds), a trailer for the film (2 minutes 5 seconds) and an interview with screenwriter / director Ulli Lommel (17 minutes 42 seconds) who discusses the origins of the film and how he shot it quickly over a four month period, working with John Carradine, doing post production in Los Angeles’s, his reluctance to make a Bogey Man sequel and when he finally agreed to make a sequel that end result did not go over well with the producers. Also he spends a fair amount of time venting against Hollywood filmmaking.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art, a booklet with an in-depth conversation with Scream Queen Suzanna Love and a trailer gallery for other titles that also available from 88 Films. Overall The Bogey Man gets a first rate release from 88 Films.