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
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.
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!"
|"I am thy father's spirit, doomed for a certain time to...|
Hey, let me just tell you who I want you to kill,"
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?|
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|
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.|
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?|
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."
|Oh he's laughing now,but wait until|
he finds out Mr. Merlin
has been cancelled.
Looking at the ball she sees that Boogedy is returning. He is near!
|"Are you into dressing in weird|
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|
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|
|The tragic results of holding it it.|
|So spirits enter through the nose?|
Ah! Free roaming vapor action.
|Sadly, this is only kind of weird for|
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 some teenagers.)
|Where a long dead woman's|
clothes? Eh. What could
|Normal reaction after dad plays a|
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!"|
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 |
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?
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.|
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
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.|
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.
|"Wait! There was a selection of|
Marions the whole time?"
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.