The Boogey Man (1980)

R | 80 mins | Horror | 14 November 1980

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HISTORY

According The Jerry Gross Organization press releases in AMPAS library files, the origin of the term “Boogey Man” comes from the word “bogle” found in Scottish literature, dating back to the year 1500, as stated in the Oxford English Dictionary. A bogle refers to a specter or human phantom. The word “boogey” began to show up in the early 1800s as a derivation of the Welsh word “bog” which meant “goblin” and a Middle English word “bogge,” meaning terror.
       Actress Suzanna Love collaborated with her husband, director Ulli Lommel, to write the screenplay for the film. A review in the 18 Nov 1980 LAHExam stated that Lommel was part of German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s repertory company of actors, before he directed his first theatrical film Tenderness of the Wolves in 1973. The couple met when Love auditioned for director Lommel’s Blank Generation, also released in 1980. Actor Nicholas Love who played “Willy” is Suzanna’s own brother.
       A 23 Jun 1980 HR news brief reported that principal photography was completed with locations in New York City and Los Angeles, ... More Less

According The Jerry Gross Organization press releases in AMPAS library files, the origin of the term “Boogey Man” comes from the word “bogle” found in Scottish literature, dating back to the year 1500, as stated in the Oxford English Dictionary. A bogle refers to a specter or human phantom. The word “boogey” began to show up in the early 1800s as a derivation of the Welsh word “bog” which meant “goblin” and a Middle English word “bogge,” meaning terror.
       Actress Suzanna Love collaborated with her husband, director Ulli Lommel, to write the screenplay for the film. A review in the 18 Nov 1980 LAHExam stated that Lommel was part of German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s repertory company of actors, before he directed his first theatrical film Tenderness of the Wolves in 1973. The couple met when Love auditioned for director Lommel’s Blank Generation, also released in 1980. Actor Nicholas Love who played “Willy” is Suzanna’s own brother.
       A 23 Jun 1980 HR news brief reported that principal photography was completed with locations in New York City and Los Angeles, CA.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 1980.
---
LAHExam
18 Nov 1980
Section B, p.6.
Los Angeles Times
19 Nov 1980
p. 4.
Variety
19 Nov 1980
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Film by Ulli Lommel
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Line prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
Cam asst
Cam asst
Lighting dir
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus
Mus ed
Mus comp and performed
SOUND
Sd eff and mus
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the dir
Asst to the dir
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc supv
Loc supv
Prod facilities
SOURCES
SONGS
"Not From Her World," by Cal Everett, song performed by Four Out of Five Doctors, courtesy of Nemperor Records
"Baby Go Bye Bye," by Jeff Severson, song performed by Four Out of Five Doctors, courtesy of Nemperor Records.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Bogey Man
The Boogeyman
The Devonsville Terror
Release Date:
14 November 1980
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 14 November 1980
Production Date:
ended June 1980 with locations in New York City and Los Angeles, California
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
80
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When two siblings, Lacey and Willy, are caught spying on their mother as she covers her lover’s face with a black silk stocking, the lover binds Willy’s hands and feet to a bed and puts a gag in his mouth. Willy cries and struggles, while Lacey grabs a carving knife from the kitchen and cuts her brother free. As mother and boyfriend make love in the bedroom, Willy plunges the knife into the lover’s back. Twenty years later, Lacey and Willy attend church. Lacey confesses to Father Reilly that she is still haunted by the murder and he encourages her to pray. Lacey and Willy live on a farm with their aunt and uncle, Helen and Ernest Edwards. When Father Reilly pays them a visit, Willy, a mute who works as a farmhand, greets the priest with a handshake. At dinner, Lacey reads a letter from her mother, who wants to see her children before she dies. Willy abruptly leaves the table and Lacey follows to reassure him that he is not responsible for an event that happened so long ago. Back at the table, Lacey is uncomfortable as her husband, Jake, carves a chicken with a sharp knife. She picks out a bottle of wine from the pantry and it reminds her of the liquor bottle her mother held the night of the tragedy. After dinner, Willy burns his mother’s letter. Meanwhile, Lacey has a nightmare of being bound to a bed and gagged, and wakes in a sweat. She asks her husband for help. Lacey and Jake visit Dr. Warren, who hypnotizes her to be able to understand her trauma. She ... +


When two siblings, Lacey and Willy, are caught spying on their mother as she covers her lover’s face with a black silk stocking, the lover binds Willy’s hands and feet to a bed and puts a gag in his mouth. Willy cries and struggles, while Lacey grabs a carving knife from the kitchen and cuts her brother free. As mother and boyfriend make love in the bedroom, Willy plunges the knife into the lover’s back. Twenty years later, Lacey and Willy attend church. Lacey confesses to Father Reilly that she is still haunted by the murder and he encourages her to pray. Lacey and Willy live on a farm with their aunt and uncle, Helen and Ernest Edwards. When Father Reilly pays them a visit, Willy, a mute who works as a farmhand, greets the priest with a handshake. At dinner, Lacey reads a letter from her mother, who wants to see her children before she dies. Willy abruptly leaves the table and Lacey follows to reassure him that he is not responsible for an event that happened so long ago. Back at the table, Lacey is uncomfortable as her husband, Jake, carves a chicken with a sharp knife. She picks out a bottle of wine from the pantry and it reminds her of the liquor bottle her mother held the night of the tragedy. After dinner, Willy burns his mother’s letter. Meanwhile, Lacey has a nightmare of being bound to a bed and gagged, and wakes in a sweat. She asks her husband for help. Lacey and Jake visit Dr. Warren, who hypnotizes her to be able to understand her trauma. She revisits the memories she has suppressed, but at the point where Willy kills her mother’s lover, Lacey’s voice becomes a series of guttural demonic sounds. Dr. Warren brings her out of her trance, and recommends that she visit her childhood home to confront her fear. After Lacey and Jake leave on their journey, Willy’s nerves are rattled and he paints the mirror in the barn black. Later, Aunt Helen discovers that Willy has also painted the mirrors in house black. When she asks him why, he cannot give her an answer. A “for sale” sign is posted at Lacey’s former house so the couple introduce themselves as homebuyers to the three children in the house -- Jane, Susan and Timmy. The house is bright and cheerful. Lacey enters the master bedroom, which is empty except for a mirror, casting the reflection of her mother’s lover whose face is covered in a black stocking. However, no one is in the room with her, and she hurls a chair, smashing the mirror. Jake makes apologies to the children, and the couple leaves with the mirror frame and shards of broken glass. At home, Jake glues the mirror back together and hangs it on a kitchen wall. However, one shard of glass has been left behind, and the lover’s spirit is released. The spirit attacks Susan and forces her to gouge herself in the throat with a pair of scissors. Timmy’s neck is snapped when he climbs in the bathroom window to surprise her. As Jane picks up the glass shard, it radiates a powerful energy. She staggers to the bathroom, releasing it in the sink and notices her sister’s bloody body in the bathtub and brother’s head jammed in the window. She washes the blood off her hands only to have the medicine cabinet door swing open and knock her unconscious. When Lacey tells Dr. Warren about her visit, he assures her that now that she has smashed the mirror she has rid herself of the ghosts from the past. However, in the barn, Willy picks up a paper bag filled with mirror fragments and lets its contents fall to the ground. The energy from the fragments disturbs the reception on his radio. While his back is turned, the spirit approaches with a pitchfork but Lacey appears and pushes Willy out of the way before he is hurt. Jake suggests that Lacey take their son, Kevin, fishing to calm her nerves. As mother and son leave, a shard from the kitchen mirror pops off and attaches to the sole of Kevin’s shoe. At the lake, the reflection from the shard causes the spirit to impale one picnicker in the throat with a barbecue skewer while in his car. When his girl friend climbs into the front seat, the spirit pushes her so that she is also impaled by the skewer. At the farm, Jake picks up a shard of mirror on the kitchen floor and can barely place it back in the mirror because of its energy. However, it is enough to convince Jake that Lacey released the lover’s spirit when she broke the mirror. The family summons Father Reilly to the house, and as the priest places his hand on the kitchen mirror, it glows red and the lights in the room go out. When a scream is heard from the barn, Jake and Father Reilly investigate and find Uncle Ernest pinned to the ceiling with a pitchfork, and Aunt Helen strangled with a garden hose. Later, Jake calls the sheriff, but the spirit cuts the phone line. Jake taps Lacey’s shoulder to get her attention as she fixes dinner, and she spins around, wearing a shard of mirror on her eye like a monocle. As she snarls, “get away,” the shard’s reflection burns Jake’s face. Afterward, Lacey is about to attack Willy, but Father Reilly holds up a crucifix, and as blood pours from his head, the priest dislodges the evil shard from Lacey’s eye. Father Reilly collapses and Willy screams out “Lacey.” The evil mirror’s spell is broken, and Jake and Willy dispose of it down the well. Later, Lacey, Willy and Kevin visit Helen’s grave, expressing relief that the farm has been sold and that they can leave it behind. Kevin jumps up and down to show his excitement and dislodges the shard from the sole of his shoe. As they leave the cemetery, the shard glows unnoticed in the grass. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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