Image Entertainment // 1983 // 83 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 31st, 2003
Prepare to be afraid of the dark once again
Sequels, by their nature, are the continuation of a previously told story. As such, there will likely be some familiar elements (e.g. returning characters, similar plotlines). Boogeyman 2, however, settles not just for familiar elements from the first Boogeyman, but scenes lifted straight from it and planted throughout. A horror movie by billing, Boogeyman 2's most disturbing quality is the production team's utter lack of creativity to draw out this already long and tedious (what, only 83 minutes? That can't be right) endeavor, settling to fill it with old footage, adding in an awful, seemingly unscripted speaking part by director Ulli Lommel, sprinkling in some idiot characters, adding an awfully stupid killing force, wrapping it in a brown paper bag, lighting it on fire, and setting it on the doorstep of the hapless viewer who gets suckered into watching this mess.
The movie opens with -- surprise -- a flashback, detailing a nightmarish ordeal that happened twenty years ago on "That Night" (the universal time for all bad things in horror movies to happen). Young Lacey and Willy endure the abuse by their mother's boyfriend, a wacko with panty hose pulled over his face, only to strike back in a violent manner; Willy, aided by Lacey, enters mom's bedroom, knife in hand, and stabs Stocking-Man while he is in coitus. If you missed it during the opening, fear not, you will see this scene many, many times thereafter. Fast-forward twenty years, where Lacey (Suzanna Love) and her husband live with her now-mute brother in the countryside. Together, this family will soon undergo pure evil in the form of a sinister force that manifests itself in reflective objects, demonic possession, and, worst of all, over-anxious movie producers.
Accchh, this movie is the cinematic equivalent of a catheter gone horribly wrong. I'm all for '80s horror filth, but this movie fails miserably to entertain; it should be shown repeatedly to federal inmates as a means of discipline. Uncredited director Ulli Lommel strives for an almost satiric horror movie, spoofing the greed of film movers and shakers to capitalize on misfortune, but soon gets mired in a bog of uninteresting characters and a plot that moves as fast as the dead '87 Nissan pick-up in my driveway.
Any kind of malevolence fails to show until the final third of the movie, leaving the audience only with faux suspense (made even more unbearable by the relentless bass loops) and a director who inserts himself via camcorder stock in between scenes. Lommel dips in and out of the movie playing a producer looking to make the horror movie based on the Boogeyman events; where he fails to create a compelling commentary on Hollywood, Lommel wildly succeeds coming off as a hideous ad-libber who knows only how to sabotage any kind of forward movement the film had achieved.
The plot revolves around Lacey and Willy, coping with the trauma of "That Night" while hanging around a farmstead. Lacey deals with the stress by bringing on an ineffective psychiatrist (John Carradine) and sojourning to the house she grew up to put the, if you will, demons to rest. Instead of boring said demons into a deep slumber, Lacey's investigation riles the "Boogeyman" up, who then goes on a murderous rampage, spewing forth his dark deeds from -- a mirror?! Or pieces of a mirror, or seemingly anything that reflects light. The resulting deaths range from the run-of-the-mill (girl slits her own throat) to the ludicrous (boy has window fall on his head) to the fresh-out-of-ideas (girl is smacked in the face with a medicine cabinet). There are a few more murders, but I'll let you discover those for your own. Let me just say this: they suck equally as hard.
All of this, plus a bunch of footage from the previous Boogeyman played in fast-forward. This is of course ironic, as I guarantee you'll be watching most of this film in fast-forward anyway.
Boogeyman 2 is presented in 1:85:1 widescreen, which is nice, though the picture quality is very dated. Colors are fairly washed out with much grain to be had for all -- not surprising considering the original release date.
Sound is an unimpressive Dolby Digital stereo, featuring an ultra-loud "score" that sometimes overshadows the dialogue with its ear-piercing repetition. The dialogue is also ear-piercing and repetitious, so no big loss.
Extras include an interview with Ulli Lommel and two clips from Boogeyman 3 and, randomly enough, Boogeyman 5.
The lone entertaining portion of this disc is the interview with Lommel. Listening to him in this brief snippet is much more amusing than anything you can dredge up in all 83 minutes of the feature. Listen how Lommel brags that Boogeyman 2 "is about me not wanting to make a horror movie." Way to rage against the machine, Ulli. Or how about his account of the first test screening to investors: "There was absolute silence because they couldn't believe what I did." A greater truth has probably yet to be told. And then as further evidence the Book of Revelation is fast coming to fruition, Lommel announces the plans for Boogeyman 3, Boogeyman 4, Boogeyman 5, Boogeyman 6, and Boogeyman 7.
The title Boogeyman 2 is a lie. The term "boogeyman" inherently refers to at least some kind of manifestation, corporeal, spiritual, anything...not a pissed-off mirror. And with the amount of recycled footage, a more accurate title may be Boogeyman 1.5. Or Boogeyman Redux. Or how about Boy, I Sure Wouldn't Mind Taking a Ball-Peen Hammer to My Big Toe.
Due to the backlog of the court's schedule and the seriousness of the crime, a military tribunal is hastily summoned, ordering a slow, painful death proportionate to the slow, painful nature of the film. As no fitting punishment exists, the accused is hereby shot many times.
Review content copyright © 2003 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2015 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 83 Minutes
Release Year: 1983
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Interview with Ulli Lommel
* Clips for Boogeyman 3 and Boogeyman 5