14 June 2010

Boogeyman II

United States - 1983
Director - Ulli Lomell
Gemstone Entertainment, 1992, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 19 minutes

Boogeyman II opens with a long static shot of a man and woman driving down a Los Angeles street with the camera placed immediately behind the two in the backseat of the car, giving the impression that the viewer is being “taken for a ride.” In the long run this proves to be the case, but for the moment we don’t know that and with hopeful hearts, have little choice but to unwittingly indulge Lomell’s narcissistic hissy-fit of a film.

The first leg of “the ride” begins when the vehicle delivers our fellow passengers to a backyard pool where low budget movie director Mickey (Lomell) is shooting some extra scenes to pad the running time of his next opus. His producer is on hand to remind him of the sales potential of tits, and informs Mickey that artistic vision and class have no place in exploitation film. Showing up in the middle of Mickey’s humiliation, the opening shot’s passenger, narrator and severe headcase Lacey, stands awkwardly beside the pool as Mickey tells his reluctant actress to take her top off and get it over with. Lying nearby sunbathing without a care as her husband sheepishly commands women to disrobe is Lacey’s old friend Bonnie. Reunited after a long separation, Lacey kindly brings her old friends up to speed, narrating all the necessary plot points over several extended bloody gorror montages lifted directly from the prior film.

Skipping all the boring exposition has mercifully saved everyone the need to watch the first Boogeyman, and gives Mickey and Bonnie a great idea. So moved are they by Lacey’s deep psychological trauma that they immediately begin scheming to make the entire story into an exploitation film with which to resuscitate Mickey’s lackluster directing career. And if Bonnie has anything to say about it, the primary function of Mickey’s film about Lacey’s entire family being gruesomely massacred by shards of a haunted mirror is merely to net enough cash-money to achieve a desirably haute standard of living. “Y’know,” she says, sitting around the   pool the following day with a nearly catatonic Lacey, “I could just lie in the sun forever until I turn into a mummy.”Fortunately, to facilitate bringing this tantalizing vision of dessication to fruition, Lacey had the foresight to save a shard of the mirror and bring it along to inspire a fresh round of profoundly lower budget boogeying. And inspire it does at a party Mickey and Bonnie throw to introduce all their Hollywood friends to their new muse.
This death brought to you courtesy of a previous Boogeyman.

Mickey/Lomell, is clearly cognizant of his own helplessness in all of this, both as director and primary subject fallen overboard into a sea of cheap forgettable film. But as his vapid show-biz friends start dying off at the wrong end of possessed appliances, he remains unsure whether it’s all real, or part of an elaborate setup. Considering that the barrier between artist and art (terms used fast and loose here) was thoroughly ruptured by their merging in this autobiographical fiction picture, I would have expected him to be aware enough to realize that a hoax of this magnitude would have required a far larger budget than this very film.

Alright, I'm pulling out all the stops, I want the toothbrush death scene lit with two flashlights.

Remarkably through the death of all of his friends and eventually his insipid wife (sadly flash fried instead of mummified) Mickey/Lomell remains pensive and distant, disinterested in the entire process, as if he was trying to figure something out. Perhaps he was hearing the first clarion notes of that tempting siren sleaze, having his first flashes of realization; awakening to his purpose and settling in for the long ride into trash cinema.

 Screaming fiery explosion plus wife equals.... meh, whatever.

1 comment:

Robbblog said...

I wanted to see Jason Voorhees kill someone with an electric toothbrush after watching this flick...