Hello again. When last we met, we'd seemed to have banished the specter of ...The movie, I mean. But, no...It found it's way back. They made a sequel. Oh, yes.
Come 1987, it returned...
As I mentioned in the last review, the first movie was not a high priority for the Disney company. They had produced it, but they just wanted an hour to fill on their Sunday night show on ABC. So the production was handed limited funds.
But they did good work with that money. The writer, Michael Janover, turned his idea into a nice simple ghost story, with some laugh for the kids. The effects were done well, for the 80's. And they brought in some fine actors, like John Astin and Richard Masur, to sell the material to the audience.
And it was a success. So much so that Disney turned around and said, "Hey! Do another one!"
Which they did. This time out they made a longer movie, getting to over 90 minutes in length. They had more money, so we actually have people in the town the family lives in, and more effects. The result?
Some things are better now, and some things are not. Among the changes that occurred between movies was in casting. John Astin does not reappear in this sequel. There is someone with his name, but I have to take it on IMDB's word that it's not a new character... (And, WHY!!! I miss Astin.) Also the daughter of the family, Jennifer, is now played by Tammy Lauren. (Which means we miss out on any more of Kristy Swanson) And the youngest son is now played by Joshua Rudoy.
But we also get a larger cast, and added talent. We'll get to that briefly.
The story is more drawn out this time, and a little more complicated. The issues they face at the start are more focused on the earthly plane, involving a local curmudgeon in town causing trouble for a local festival. As they are dealing with the issues he creates, Boogedy's menace once again resurfaces and he works to regain his powers and access to the material world.
The result is lives at stake, town under threat, and the need for some gumption to save the day. For kids it may prove very diverting, particularly at Halloween. For adults, it's more a nostalgic trip back to their youths.
In the cast we do have much the same leads
Richard Masur and Mimi Kennedy return to play the role of the parent, Carleton and Eloise Davis. The pair get more and better things to do this time around, giving more balanced characters in the process.
Tammy Lauren takes over the role of Jennifer Davis, the daughter. She is another actor that you've just seen everywhere, from the Drew Carey Show to Family Ties to CHiPs.
David Faustino is back as Corwin David, the older son. But Joshua Rudoy takes over as Aurie Davis, the younger son. While he didn't star in ALF, he did appear in an episode.
Leonard Frey steps into the role of Neil Witherspoon. He's replacing John Astin, and I don't want to hold that against him...but, no Astin... But he seems like a nice person and plays his role well.
Ray Gardin is new to the movies, as Elmer, Eloise's brother. He's been in various shows over the years, like Murder, She Wrote and Remington Steele. And he does seem to play cops a lot.
We also get Eugene Levy as Tom Lynch, as rival businessman in town. He's playing the grouch for the movie. He's been around for so long, and is a staple of comedy going back to SCTV. He hams it up quite a bit in the role. He seems to be throwing himself into playing the part.
Also new is Karen Kondazin as Madeleinska, the local mystic. She humorous in the role, with an odd accent. Also, she seems to have been in a version of The Hound of the Baskervilles which I've never seen or heard of. It has William Shatner in it...?
The addition of Vincent Schiavelli is also nice. He plays Lazarus. He's been in so much over the decades. And he's often asked to play odd or creepy characters. It's lead him to appear in a wide range of shows From Buffy: The Vampire Slayer to Batman Returns to Baywatch Nights to The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension to Fast Times.
Before we get into the story, like last time, here's the Intro they had on the front of the movie, with Michael Eisner.
"Let me tell you a frightful tale of
the progressive tax rate!"
The movie opens on Witherspoon sitting at a campfire. He's with some kids and he's retelling (vaguely) the story of the first movie. Family moves in. Boogedy goes after them. Boogedy is angry that he's been denied his chosen bride. Family steals away Boogedy's cloak and powers. And he vanishes. But is he gone? (I would pay good money to see John Astin do this scene.)
"I am thy father's spirit, doomed for a certain time to...
Hey, let me just tell you who I want you to kill,"
Back at the Davis house (formerly site of a Boogedy King...What?), someone has driven up. It's Uncle Elmer. He walk up to the house and finds the front door open. Going in he finds the lights don't work and that it's full of cobwebs.
Looking around he hears moans, and a ghostly figure comes down the stairs. And then others surround him. They warn, in their wails, of a spider. And then a giant one drops on him.
And then the lights come on. It's all been a prank.
"And that's why you always clean up the cobwebs!"
It's funny because...it's yellow?
Now, last time I made a point of finding a lot of the pranking going on to be obnoxious. It didn't work with me. But this? It makes sense. You have family is visiting. They are fellow aficionados of gags and pranks. So you mess with them.
Elmer is also a fellow employ of the gag product-centric corporation (Yeah. I bet they made it though the 90's.) that the dad works for. He brings news. They want to promote dad, and have him move back. Senior Whoopie Manager for the entire Gag City Eastern Region...You know, I doubt that's the silliest thing I'll hear in this movie.
But the family isn't interested. The kids (minus the daughter, who's out) like the house. The parents like the area for raising the kids.
So now V is picking on little girls, not just fascist
Outside, the daughter is walking home through the creepy wood, which is great for raising kids. She hears someone whispering her name. And then a shadow appears, looking all puritanical and capey, and says she must leave his house.
And then she runs.
I am not sure who this is. Boogedy should still be trapped in the great beyond. But. we will see there is one person in town with a stick up his backside about the Davis family. Let's see if we can figure out who that is. (It's Lynch.)
It does seem like a prank. And, when see runs home terrified, her brothers and dad are snickering at it all. See that traits still intact in those three from the last movie.
Proof comedy specs aren't funny.
At a meeting of the town, it is learned that Lynch, who runs a general store, is not allowing the town to use his land for an upcoming festival. It's been held on his land for years now, but he now demands more money than the town can afford to hold it. He makes it clear it is due to the fact that the dad has been named honorary mayor for the festival, instead of him (which they usually do). He's fuming at this.
So dad steps up and suggests that they move the festival into town, like it was done many years prior. And everyone is happy with the idea, except Lynch.
The whole town rallies to the dad's idea.
And isn't this how small town eventually get taken over by cults?
The third eye stickers again? Does this town know he just tricked them into being branded by his company? And that they will be getting no compensation? Dad is evil.
Witherspoon later shows the Davis family a spot to open their gag store in. It looks a bit...really rundown! ...Remember how Witherspoon sold the Davis family a haunted house?
"You try any of that joy buzzer
crap, and I won't be the only
permanently small and shriveled thing
in the room."
Well, it seems this is a rundown old wax museum of horrors. And dad is going to buy it! As he looks at all the figures that were left,someone asks to talk to him. Unfortunately it's not a wax work (That's another movie.). It's Madeleinska. (the local seer/prophet/creepy magic lady)
Oh he's laughing now,but wait until
he finds out Mr. Merlin
has been cancelled.
She takes them to a back room, where she has an electric crystal ball because...She likes Spencer Gifts, I guess.
Looking at the ball she sees that Boogedy is returning. He is near!
"Are you into dressing in weird
The next day, the town is setting up for the festival, but Jennifer is still troubled about what she's seen. She wanders into the Historical Society and happens on the puritan outfit near the window, which looks all too much like Boogedy. (And Witherspoon almost seems to suggest it is his old clothes. What's the deal New England?) Those are going to cause trouble. It's going to be another , minus LeVar Burton dancing.
Also, Witherspoon is working on ice creams for the festival. It's going to be his thing, weird ice cream. Spinach and Bacon Bits, this time. Come on! It's Caramel Walnut with Bacon Bits, or go home.
The kids head over to Lynch's store, and we see he sells a lot of junk. He has some novelty items, but they fall apart when touched (There are some that don't?). He gets belligerent with them and drives them out. He fumes all the more. On the way out they see that he has a hat and cloak much like the ones Jennifer saw that night.
As night falls, the boys are awoken by noises and go looking around. When they get to the basement they find a key.
"Wow! Are pee is radioactive!?"
Boys! Get an evil magic key, and immediately look for
somewhere to stick it.
And then, a phantasmal door appears. And they open it.
...And that's when they realized their whole lives were
I'm glad they have a flashlight so they can see the glowing
key going into the glowing door.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's
Wow. These kids are soft touches. Pinhead, Nyarlathotep, and the Evil Dead can only dream of idiots this ready to open gateways to dark dimensions. But they open it, and get pulled to a graveyard. And they stand over the grave of William Hanover, Mr. Boogedy.
It's nice he has such an ornate grave. The locals must have really respect edhim, in the wake of him blowing himself, and a child he kidnapped, up...Wait.
Well, Boggedy appears and floats at them, and Aurie is frozen in place. Jonathan, the ghost child from the last movie appears (and is now blonde, wearing a spangly outfit, and played by a different actor.) and tells them to run. But they are stuck. And Boogedy looms over...And it's a dream.
They take the parents down to the basement and show them where the dream occurred. And I am with the parents. It was a dream. Granted, the fact they both seem to have had the same dream is odd, but not impossible, particularly if they talked about it before going to the parents. Memory can be funny.
But then they find a key, and show it to dad. And, instead of saying it could be any old key, he decides it must be a joke from the kids (Because EVERYTHING is a joke to this guy!).
Oh, he may be think he thinks this is funny, but it's really
all a cry for help.
Stealing candy from babies is a
Meanwhile in town, Lynch LITERALLY pushes a kid in a stroller away, down a sidewalk (to where ever it's fate will take it.). Actually, it looks like he pushed it a few inches behind the wall...so the mother will get a fright...?
The tragic results of holding it it.
That night, the Davis family tries out it seance setup, for the festival, and while they do (for some reason) something causes the statute of Boogedy at his grave to split open. Boogedy has the power to act again. (It really isn't clear what happen, or how it connects.)
So spirits enter through the nose?
Ah! Free roaming vapor action.
When the dad goes out later to check on some noises outside the house, Boogedy strikes. He possesses dad.
Sadly, this is only kind of weird for
When he returns to the house, no one notices any changes. And they remain oblivious until later when he decides to float horizontally down the hallway, chuckling.
But only Jennifer sees this, and then he acts nonchalant. So, unsurprisingly, mom isn't interested.
The kids go see Witherspoon again. He is interested. But also adds to the strangeness that the outfit once owned by the Widow Marion (the woman Boogedy was obsessed with) is missing from the Historical Society. Jennifer can't imagine who would steal that. (Oh, I can could name .)
Where a long dead woman's
clothes? Eh. What could
We see dad/Boogedy parading around with the stolen dress. He then gives it to mom to wear to the festival. And then he leers at her, and his eyes go glowy green. Once she tries on the outfit, Boogedy goes wacky. He keeps saying. "boogedy", and he starts blowing up like Thunder in Big Trouble in Little China.
Normal reaction after dad plays a
Witherspoon goes and gets Madeleinska to help straighten things out. They find dad at the house, just floating around. (I am resisting jokes from Ghostbusters so far.)
Madeleinska determines that Boogedy isn't fully back. He's trapped between worlds, and is just manipulating dad. But he hasn't been able to rest full control from dad.
"Oh no! Dad's horrible japing will only be amplified!"
So the family watches him. Later that night he goes and finds the magic door. And then he enters it.
He pulls out the magic cloak of Boogedy from the doorway. And then, he puts it on.
He proceeds to chase the family around the house (It's just not the same without the 70's Scooby Doo music.). And outside, Lynch is spying in, and not sure what to think. Also, someone else is approaching the house.
Excuse me? Do you know the way to the Trading Places
Elmer is back. And he's come up with a killer gag. Dress like a gorilla, jump in the door, and yell...Brilliant, for 1985.
But the gag works on dad. While he was throwing things around before, he stops this, and now can't stop laughing.
It seems to screw with Boogedy's powers. Dad'Boogedy just starts creating flowers everywhere...?
It's finally too much for Boogedy and he flees dad. (Yeah, Boogedy. Welcome to what we've dealt with for 2 movies.)
While they are happy to be free of Boogedy, they slowly realize that the cloak is missing. Someone has stolen it.
Oh, crap. Did no one tell Levy that they canceled the
Dr. Strange movie?
The next day, at the festival, they learn who ran off with the cloak. Lynch. (Anyone shocked?)
Then he starts screwing around with the powers. He apparently is hoping this will force people to respect him, and be his friend.
The family offers to be his friend.
Yeah. Dracupig just doesn't carry the scares.
But then, Boogedy takes control of him. Boogedy starts bringing the wax works to life, and sends them out into the town.
What did I tell you? Another The Midnight Hour. Well, that didn't have living wax. But the wax works are mostly monsters!
And like in The Midnight Hour, the evil creations mostly act like jerks and eat popcorn.
And then, they just stop in place.
"Bow to me, and you will have a
lifetime of guaranteed cameo
work in movies for the rest of your
And while the family tries to clean up the mess caused in town, Lynch walks to the cemetery, and returns the cloak to Boogedy. The two sons follow.
When Boogedy starts rising, the boys pull Lynch away to safety. And they run back to town. And Boogedy just crows at his victory.
Back at the festival, where apparently an attack by wax monsters is brushed off, Boogedy arrives and decides to remind people why they necer liked him in life, knocking over tents and screwing up a merry go round.
"The salon asked me if I
wanted to try the
One of the sadder JLA incarnations.
When he's done with that, he snatches mom. And, for some reason gives her Bride of Frankenstein Hair. And then they vanish.
Everyone gets around the seance table and tries to figure out what they can do. They finally agree they need a ghost to help them figure out how to beat Boogedy. Finally the brothers suggest that they contact Jonathan, since he's friendly. And so they contact him.
Dennis the Menace! ...NO!!! Damn you, Wilson!
And, again, he is very different from the first movie. But the oddest choice to me is the shiny clothes. Is it because he went to Heaven...or Hell?
Spectral Drain Plug. For when it's
time for your spectral guest to go.
They ask him how they can beat Mr. Boogedy. He checks with "someone" (who they decide to leave vague -- I'll just assume it's Grover Cleveland. Why not.), and says they need to take the magic key they found and use it on Boogedy's grave. It will cause him to be pulled back to the land of the dead. Of course, they have to get mom away from him as well, so she's not taken to,
"Wait! There was a selection of
Marions the whole time?"
So they prepare and go. Inserting the key in the tombstone, causes a flurry of activity. And then Boogedy and mom appear.
And the family springs it's trap. Jennifer walks out dressed in puritan ware, and she pretends to be Marion. This stymies Boogedy.
And he quickly dumps mom, and grabs Jennifer. So an epic tug of war breaks out to keep Jennifer from being drug off into the netherworld.
Are they winning this tug of war, or is Hell desperate not to get the Davis
Everyone, the family, Lynch, Witherspoon, etc, pull. And, eventually, the forces pulling Boogedy overwhelm him. And he's pulled back to beyond. Alone.
"Don't look directly into an chasm into the netherworld!"
And The Powers That Be fix the statue...because they'd
hate for Boogedy's statue to not stand...?
The statute on his grave reforms over the grave, and it's as if Boogedy had never returned. (Except for all the psychological trauma, of course.)
"I think I speak for all of us when I say,
I don't understand what just happen."
AND IT"S OVER!
WELL, WHAT ABOUT THE TV SERIES ABOUT MR. BOOGEDY?
...It was talked about, but never got made. Scared you, hmm?
Next time, it's Halloween, so what shall we do? ...We will see. Maybe some Vincent Price. Maybe something with puppets.