What's the best unknown 80s horror flick for a Friday night?

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Answered by: Scott, An Expert in the Horror and Suspense Category
For the best unknown 80s horror movie, you'd be really hard pressed to find something as exciting, funny, and scary as 1981's 'The Boogens.' Starring a cast of unknown actors, including the absolutely adorable Rebecca Balding, 'The Boogens' revolves around a group of friends staying at a cabin in Colorado. The cabin, unfortunately for them, happens to be adjacent to a boarded up silver mine that's home to a nest of prehistoric turtle-like creatures with very big fangs, very big claws, and very big appetites. The cabin dwelling friends, as well as several local characters, become a feast for the newly awakened monsters.

This movie isn't art; let's get that out of the way right off the bat. A lot of it takes place in the dark, the direction is sometimes questionable, and aside from the adorable female lead, some of the actors are less than professional, to say the least. Also, the creature effects are less scary than downright funny and ridiculous from time to time. But that being said, this is a great B-movie that is the perfect hour and a half of entertainment for those in the right frame of mind. If you've got a few friends, some libation and a free Friday night, 'The Boogens' is the perfect ingredient to add to the recipe.

There really are a lot of horror films that were released without any fanfare- or advertising budgets- in the 80s, just like today. Filmmakers today have more tricks at their disposal, but they don't always know what to do with them. At the risk of sounding too nostalgic, there's something more innocent and endearing about the best unknown 80s horror films. Take 'The Evil Dead' for example, Sam Raimi's (Spiderman 1, 2 & 3) first directorial effort. A bunch of friends, no budget, and a lot of enthusiasm and you get one of the most enduring and influential horror films of all time. Now, the legacy of 'The Boogens' isn't quite as esteemed. The director went on to a solid but undistinguished behind the scenes career, and none of the actors and actresses went on to became household names.

However, this film was born out of the horror boom of the late 70s and has that undefinable rush, a sense of joy in its creation, a giddiness as you watch. Not to mention that despite its budgetary limitations, it can be pretty darn scary at times. Hokey? Yes. Ridiculous? Yes. Confusing at times? Yes, a little. But I challenge you to find a true gem like this from the 80s that is quite as satisfying. The best unknown 80s horror had those intangible qualities and more. This is a movie you should definitely check out, if you can find it. VHS copies are available, and there are bootleg DVDs- of which i have one- but it's not available from any legitimate sources at the current time. Hopefully enough people will discover 'The Boogens' and an officially DVD release will someday be a reality. Enjoy.

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