THE BOOGEY MAN
It is almost certain that The Boogey Man was inspired not long after the massive success of John Carpenters Halloween (1978). The very title The Boogey Man no relation to Ghost House Pictures Boogeyman (2005) and sequels could just as equally serve as an alternate title for Halloween. The opening sequence has been almost directly pillaged from Halloween kids peeking in on adults having sex, near-identical melodic music playing on the soundtrack and finally the point-of-view shot as the kid comes up and stabs the couple as they make out. The major difference between The Boogey Man and Halloween is that it is less a slasher film although there is a series of slasher movie novelty deaths throughout than it is a 1970s occult film. This is particularly evident at the ending when Ulli Lommel throws in cliched possession and exorcism scenes. The design of the house in the film has been borrowed from the cupolaed house in the then recent hit of The Amityville Horror (1979).
While most of Ulli Lommels other films are unadulterated hackwork, The Boogey Man is one of the more professional looking efforts in his oeuvre. Even so, The Boogey Man is oddly lethargic as a slasher film following the opening scene, it takes nearly half the film to get to the first victim, for instance. Things happen slowly and Lommels direction is predictable nothing surprising or unexpected happens during this first half. Certainly, when it comes to the slasher scenes, Lommel directs these with an undeniable bizarreness. We get a standard slasher set-up with teenager Jane Pratt in the bathroom having stripped down to her scanty underwear naturally and cutting her hair as a point-of-view shot creeps up on her, while there is deep breathing on the soundtrack and she then becomes driven by the shard of mirror to plunge a knife into her neck. Meanwhile, the younger brother (David Swim) who is peeping in through the window is killed when the sash drops down on his neck. The most bizarre despatch involves a group of teenagers on the lakeside who are affected by the reflection of light from the mirror across the lake one guy is in a car where a screwdriver levitates from behind and impales him through the back of the head and out through his mouth, followed by one of the girls coming along whereupon the door of the car is supernaturally slammed shut to knock her forward into a kiss with the guy, impaling her on the other end of the screwdriver protruding out of his mouth.
Ulli Lommels directorial career during this period brought to prominence actress Suzanna Love who Lommel married in 1979. Suzanna Love was a member of the wealthy Dupont family and became Ulli Lommels greatest collaborator during this period, co-writing and starring in all of his films during their marriage. Moreover, she was responsible for diverting some of the family fortune to financing Lommels films, which undeniably contributed to their greater polish. (It is noted that Lommels directorial career declined into a series of cheap and universally terrible productions after their divorce in 1987). Suzanna Love has a quiet and studious modesty to her performance that indicates that she could have become a much bigger name than she did alas, after her last film with Lommel, A Smile in the Dark (1991), she has vanished from cinema screens. Her brother Nicholas Love, who also appeared in several of Lommels films, plays her mute brother in the film here.
Ulli Lommel made a sequel with Boogeyman II (1983), which features Suzanna Love again in a series of killings set around a Hollywood party. The sequel is disliked due to the fact that nearly a third of its running time is padded with footage from this film.
Ulli Lommels other films include:- Haytabo (1971), The Tenderness of the Wolves (1973), Olivia/Double Jeopardy (1981), Boogey Man II (1982), BrainWaves (1982), The Devonsville Terror (1983), Strangers in Paradise (1984), Identified Flying Object (1985), Bloodsuckers (1998), Zombie Nation (2004), The Raven (2006) and The Tomb (2007), as well as a subset of these that exploit often very loose connection to true life serial killers with B.T.K. Killer (2005), Green River Killer (2005), Killer Pickton (2005), The Zodiac Killer (2005), Black Dahlia (2006), Cannibal (2006), Borderline Cult (2007), Curse of the Zodiac (2007), Baseline Killer (2008), Dungeon Girl (2008), Killer Nurse (2008), Son of Sam (2008), Nightstalker (2009), D.C. Sniper (2010) and Manson Family Cult (2012).