The Boogie Man Will Get You

08/28/2015 19:30

Film: The Boogie Man Will Get You

Year: 1942

Director: Lew Landers

Writer: Edwin Blum

Starring: Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Max ‘Slapsie Maxie’ Rosenbloom



This film takes place in an old colonial tavern that is for sale. The owner of this building is Boris Karloff. Living with him is Maude Eburne as well as George McKay. Karloff is a scientist and he is doing experiments in the basement.

A woman shows up, wanting to buy the house, she is played by Jeff Donnell. The building is actually in bad shape, but she thinks that is what makes it charming. Her ex-husband shows up, played by Larry Parks. He has been drafted into the war and is trying to talk her out of purchasing the home.

She is buying it for the reminder of the mortgage that is owed to Peter Lorre. He is a doctor, landlord, sheriff, minister, pretty much the jack of all trades in this small town.

Karloff is trying to create a superman with his experiments. He is using Eddie Laughton as a subject, but it kills him. Karloff thinks this happened because of the wrench he had on him during it. Parks and Donnell are cleaning up the place and he finds the body. He tries to tell Donnell what he found. Lorre finds it first and after talking to Karloff, he wants to help, with the chance to make some money off of this. They hide the body.

Karloff and Lorre are out to find another subject when Donnell’s first customer arrives; this man is played by Don Beddoe. He seems suspicious as he is looking around the place and when everyone asks him what he’s doing, he always has an excuse.

The two decide to try to get Parks into the machine. They decide to try to knock him out, but they can’t seem to get him to stay still. They find they don’t have to when Max ‘Slapsie Maxie’ Rosenbloom shows up. They offer to buy all of his items if he will come inside. This causes Rosenbloom to pass out.

The police are called and Parks tells them not to come. Parks and Donnell think that the Karloff and Lorre are playing a trick on them. Parks thinks that they are trying to get her to sell the place back at a discounted rate. Karloff and Lorre on the other hand cannot seem to get the experiment started. Rosenbloom agrees to be tested on, but he is ticklish on his head so he can’t put the helmet on. He also can’t smell the chemical that Lorre tries to knock him out with.

An opportunity to conduct it on Parks emerges, but it is interrupted by an escaped P.O.W. from Italy, played by Frank Puglia. He threatens to blow the place up if they call the authorities. He wants to blow up the local munitions plant.

Will Karloff and Lorre conduct this experiment? Will it work? Will Parks prove that Karloff is killing people? Are they really dead or something else? Will the cops put an end to all of this?

I have to say that this film is quite weird, but it was pretty funny. It is a horror comedy, similar to the concept of Arsenic and Old Lace. I thought the cast overall was pretty good. Lorre is pretty funny from the kitten in his pocket to all his jobs. Karloff is interesting in that he is a role he usually plays, but he makes it different that he is clueless to the crimes he is committing. The story is basic, not much subplots. I also found Donnell to be pretty cute considering the times. She has a great smile.

The story does lack some depth. The film is just over an hour and I felt a subplot or two could have extended it and made it a little bit better as well. I also thought that being a comedy made this film borderline unrealistic. I can’t imagine being the local sheriff would participant in this crime, even if it was to help the war effort. I’m also surprised that as many salesmen as there are coming to the house that they would risk their lives to do it as well.

This film isn’t bad, it is actually quite interesting. It is pretty funny and the horror is pretty much non-existence. It is really just the mad scientist and possible murders that make it that. The acting is pretty good, but the story is a little bit lacking. If this film sounds good, I would recommend giving it a viewing. It is in black and white, so keep that in mind. It also has a short running time as well.


My Rating: 6 out of 10