RETURN OF THE BOOGEYMAN
Director: Deland Nuse
Year of release: 1994
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 76 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: DVD only
Tagline: "Don't you dare sleep with the lights off".
Also known as: Boogeyman 3 (Though in light of Boogeyman Redux this is actually more Boogeyman 4 than 3)
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: A young woman named Annie is being plagued by nightmares and visions of an evil figure. Clad in a white vest and complete with a stocking over his head we know this villain as the Boogeyman returning here after his adventures in the previous films. Due to her troubled mental state brought about by the dreams Annie is aided by a psychiatrist who endeavours to get to the bottom of the situation. Things take on more urgency when Annie’s experiences take a clairvoyant style twist after she correctly predicts the death of another young woman who she claims has fallen victim to the figure in her dreams. With the psychiatrists help Annie begins to relive and recount the Boogeymans previous killing spree involving Lacey and her family which we experienced in the original story.
Good points: This film is incredibly bad and almost entirely devoid of merit so it’s tough to even pick out one positive thing. One of the only things I can come up with that could be seen as a positive is in itself directly related to one of the many bad points. Much of the film is annoyingly made up of a re-showing of material from the original but this time to make it mildly more watchable we actually get Annie providing a voice over to accompany the visuals. She is merely describing what we are seeing so it isn’t as if she is saying anything insightful, quite the opposite really but at least it gives us something more to focus on. Hearing her voice is a smidgen more interesting than just seeing the footage on it’s own once again for the umpteenth time. (I watched this in close proximity to Revenge of the Boogeyman and Boogeyman Redux so I was heartily sick of the original after all this despite that being a very decent film on first viewing).
The only other thing I can think of to include as a positive and this is a bit of a reach is that we see a tiny bit of extra stuff that never made it into the cut of the original film. The one example that I can think of is that we see a brief scene of Lacey and Jake walking back to the car after visiting Lacey’s childhood house carrying the broken mirror with them. I couldn’t swear to it but I think there may be a couple of other small moments like this though in the case of the example I’ve just mentioned it only lasts for a few seconds. If you love the original though then perhaps a few seconds of extra footage strewn here and there will be of interest.
As mentioned in the story description the stuff with Annie is all new and not recycled stuff so I guess you could class this as a positive as well but it’s all so bad that it’s pretty much impossible to view it this way.
Bad Points: As you may have already gathered from reading this far much like with the second film Revenge of the Boogeyman (which incidentally is completely ignored here) there is a huge amount of recycled footage from the first movie. It smacks of laziness and just serves to pad out the running time. The problem here is much worse than what we had in number two however as I would say that at least 60% of the feature if not more is made up of footage we have already seen. Well we haven’t seen it with the Annie voiceover running over the top I suppose but that doesn’t add a whole lot. So all in all it’s a very cheap trick played on us the viewer, being bored again as we are by all the re-use of old material especially taking into account this was a tactic already exploited in number two. Then they even had the cheek to go and do it all again in the Redux version that came some years later!
The new footage of Annie and Dr Love is downright awful and clearly hasn’t had any thought put into it at all. I criticised the script and story as being rudimentary in part two but that’s streets ahead of what we have here as the plot is virtually non-existent. So much so that I had great difficulty here putting together my usual plot over view which I use to start off each review. There is hardly anything here and what is here barely makes any sense. To give you an idea of how inept it is Dr Love has an assistant who when he is first introduced just turns up randomly on the Doc’s doorstep (fortuitously while he is in session with Annie) and straight away is installed as Love’s sidekick despite never having met the man before! They then seem to be hinting at a romantic relationship developing between this assistant and Annie only for the guy to disappear without explanation towards the end of the film never to be seen again.
The film also goes into confusing and nonsensical territory as initially it seems that Annie, while recounting the events of the original is just reliving what occurred in the past. Towards the end though when we flashback to the part where Lacey is possessed by the mirror and the priest is trying to get through to her is seems they are trying to put it across that these events are happening simultaneously with this film/Annie’s story and that Annie is somehow inside Lacey’s head helping her fight her inner battle to banish the Boogeyman from her body. During these moments Annie is also lying face-down topless on a mirror for some unexplained reason. It makes no sense at all and is presented in an extremely confusing way.
Making this bore-fest even worse is that there is next to nothing in terms of a body-count so unlike the second film it doesn’t even have some fun deaths to take our minds off other short comings. The only proper death we get featuring a woman in a bathtub is shown multiple times as well so even that quickly becomes tiresome. Regarding this I also found it unrealistic that the police didn’t take any interest in Annie after the death as surely the guy who owned the house where the death occurred would mention to them that a strange woman and her doctor showed up the day before to predict the incident. This would surely have led the police to believe that she had something to do with it.
To top it all off there are several irritating errors that plague the parts of the film where they are re-showing the old footage. Most notably and most annoyingly they constantly refer to Lacey’s character as Natalie. This use of an incorrect name for such a well-liked character can really wind you up after a while to the point where you want to shout out and correct them. They also claim that it was fifteen years after the murder of the mother’s lover that the first film happened when it was in fact twenty. If it were just fifteen Lacey wouldn’t have been old enough to have had a son of Kevin’s age! Annie also keeps referring to the Boogeyman as “the man without a face” which is silly as he clearly does have a face which is visible up to a point even when covered by the stocking. He also appears too much in physical form here whereas if they had wanted to stay true to the original he should only have appeared in mirrors. I think these errors were probably made on purpose as they perhaps wanted to make out that what we were seeing of Lacey’s plight was not from the past but new stuff that was going on parallel to Annie’s situation but the way it was put together was so poor and confusing it all comes across as a gigantic mess.
Verdict: This is easily so far without doubt the worst film I have reviewed here on the site, worse than Sleepaway Camp the Survivor, Camp Blood 5 etc. A lazy inept abomination riddled with problems and errors from start to finish this has essentially nothing positive going for it whatsoever. It’s incredibly boring with all the recycled footage regurgitated for us to consume once again and if anything, the new material is even worse and is amateurish in the extreme. I actually briefly considered altering my rating system especially for this film to include a zero, that’s how bad it is! I’ll refrain from doing that and instead award it a low 1/10.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1)Woman: Electrocuted in the bathtub after a radio is dropped in.
Annie?: We don’t actually see her death but it is implied that the Boogeyman appears in the backseat of her car as the film ends.