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The Boogeyman

Directed by: Ulli Lommel

Written by: Ulli Lommel

Starring: Suzanna Love

Music by: Tim Krog

Cinematography: Jochen Breitenstein

Editing by: Terrell Tannen

Release date(s): November 7, 1980

Running time: 82 min.

Country: United States

Language: English

As children, Willy and Lacey watch their mother with her lover and are punished for it. Willy is gagged and tied to a bed but Lacey frees him and he proceeds to stab the man to death.

As an adult, Lacey is married with a young son and lives with her aunt and uncle on a farm. Willy also lives with them, but has not spoken a word since the night he killed his mother’s lover.

Lacey is afraid that „something’s going to happen“ and has nightmares where she is tied to a bed and threatened with knives by an unseen person. Her husband takes her to a psychiatrist to try to help her confront her fears, and they decide to visit both Lacey’s mother and the house she grew up in. At the house, however, Lacey sees a reflection of her mother’s lover coming towards her in a mirror in the bedroom where he died, and smashes the mirror in a panic. Her husband takes the broken mirror with him in an attempt to repair it, but a piece is left behind which later glows red as the three children in the house are killed by an unseen force.

Willy is also having problems with mirrors – seeing his reflection in one causes him to nearly strangle a girl and so he paints all the mirrors in the house black. Later, pieces of a broken mirror in a bag at his feet cause a pitchfork to levitate and nearly stab him.

Another shard from the broken mirror becomes stuck to Lacey’s son’s shoe, and when it reflects the sunlight onto a group of nearby teens they are also killed, including a couple who are killed when the boyfriend is stabbed through the back of the neck with the blade exiting through his mouth, while his girlfriend is then forced onto the knife.

A piece of the mirror becomes lodged over Lacey’s eye and she becomes possessed by the evil spirit of her mother’s lover. It is only through the actions of the family priest that the shard is removed and thrown into water, where it bursts into flames. The remainder of the mirror is thrown into a well, where the same thing happens.

The film ends with one last mirror shard, missed by Lacey and her husband, glowing red on the ground.

The film was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by The Jerry Gross Organization beginning in November 1980. It was subsequently released on VHS by Wizard Video.

The film has been released on DVD twice in the United States. The first release was in 1999 by Anchor Bay Entertainment alongside Lommel’s The Devonsville Terror (1983). This version is currently out of print. It was subsequently re-released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 2005 alongside Lommel’s Return of the Boogeyman (1994).

Some critics have said that director Lommel was inspired by John Carpenter’s Halloween when he made The Boogeyman, most notably because of the similarities in the musical score and the fact that the killer in both films is a silent man with his face obscured as to make him effectively featureless. In fact, the protagonist characters in Halloween specifically refer to that film’s killer as being, in effect, a physical embodiment of the „boogeyman“ legend.

The film also uses several apparent pieces of folklore and superstition regarding mirrors – as well as the belief that it is bad luck to break a mirror, the film also discusses the belief that breaking a mirror releases everything the mirror has ever ’seen‘ and that placing the pieces of a broken mirror into a bag and burying it will counteract the bad luck from breaking the mirror. Additionally, there is the belief that a mirror in a room where someone has died will show the dead person looking back over the shoulder of anyone looking into the mirror. All this was used in the mexican translation of the film title, released as „El espejo asesino“ (the killer mirror)

The Boogeyman was placed on the UK’s DPP list in 1984, but was later re-released on the Vipco label in 1992 in a cut form. In 2000 it was released uncut.

A sequel, of sorts, was filmed in 1981, but unreleased until 1983. Directed by Bruce Starr and an uncredited Uli Lommel; written by Starr, Lommel and the original film’s star, Suzanna Love, although the writing goes uncredited in the film. In The Boogeyman 2, Lacey is approached by a group of Hollywood phonies to make a movie based on her experiences. Lacey travels to Hollywood to the home of a film director (played by Uli Lommel himself) where she brings along the last surviving haunted mirror shard from the end of the first movie as proof to her horrifying experiences. One by one, the phonies are killed by the mirror spirit who possesses the body of the director’s manservent. Boogeyman 2 is padded with many flashback sequences from the first film.

Return of The Boogeyman (or Boogeyman 3) was released in 1994, which is largely constructed around numerous flashbacks to this film as well.

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