Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Bogey Man

Or The Boogey Man as it's more commonly known in the US.  Shot by German director Ulli Lommel at the tail end of the seventies and released to various territories in 1980/81, this supernatural chiller became notorious in Britain due to attracting the attention of the immortalised Director of Public Prosecutions when it appeared on video cassette.  It's always amazing to see these films in a contemporary context when compared to some of the rather disturbing stuff that passes through the BBFC nowadays - of course most of the banned or nearly banned lot from the early eighties are pretty tame standing next to the likes of Martyrs, et al.  In the Halloween-esque prologue a mistreated boy murders his mother's boyfriend whilst the two adults are in the midst of having a sleazy time.  A mirror captures the spirit of the deceased and years later spreads its influence in a homicidal fashion of course.  I like the atmosphere of Bogey Man, the overall appearance along with the characters that populate this microcosm.  The possession of Lacy later on is a bit cheesy, and ancient John Carradine (who was brought in to shoot scenes for the purposes of increasing the meagre running time) is a little on the stiff side.  The actress playing Lacy (Susanna Love, who was married to the director and appeared in a number of his projects) is very attractive, somewhat nubile, and makes for easy viewing.
88 Films (UK's almost-premier cult movie label, after Arrow naturally!) have made the wise choice of putting this out on Blu-ray in the UK - uncut of course.  Having not appeared on Blu in the US this is a good strategic move for the company, as the title is something of a minor cult item.  The widescreen full-HD image is surprisingly vivid given the age and budget (around $300000) - I projected this to approximately 100" as I do most Blus these days and was extremely pleased with the colour range and impressive detail on display.  This is the best the film has ever looked in the home.  There's a brilliant twenty minute interview with the director, featuring no time-wasting cutaways to the movie, just pure talk with a very solemn sort of character who is nevertheless extremely interesting as he reiterates how the movie came about.  There are some trailers for Bogey Man and other 88 Films releases (they need to update this reel) and a booklet.  As part of the company's 'Slasher Classics Collection' (spine number 10) it comes in a nifty red slimline case, and the cover is pleasingly reversible with some original poster/video art on either side (and one side omits the 18 certificate from the front and spine if that is a particular issue with collectors!).  A decent movie becomes one of 88 Films's most respected releases to date.

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