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John’s Horror Corner: Ghoulies (1985)

March 18, 2013

MY CALL: Terrible special effects, but I just don’t care. I love this random, stupid movie. IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCH: Things like Puppet Master (1989) and Critters (1986).

Fun Fact: This was Mariska Hargitay’s first movie role.

Unlike most 80s horror, this movie wastes no time before revealing its slimy, latex monsters to us.  What’s more is that this horror is somewhat kid-friendly (PG-13). We open with a devil-worshipping cult holding their quarterly white-hooded meet and greet.  Like cute, slimy little mascots, the ghoulies look on as the sorcerous cult leader’s plans to sacrifice an infant are foiled.

Decades later that infant grows up into a man and inherits a creepy Hollywood mansion, complete with a pentacled grave site, black magic compendia and a weird groundskeeper (Jack Nance; Dune, The Blob).  Jonathan Graves (Peter Liapis; Ghoulies IV, Wishmaster) and his girlfriend Rebecca (Lisa Pelikan; Lionheart) throw a housewarming party and Jonathan decides it would be a cool idea to perform a ritual and summon a spirit.  When this apparently fails, he becomes obsessive of the dark arts and persists until he successfully summons the ghoulies in his back yard.

This movie is weird, neat, goofy, and doesn’t seem to have a clear direction.  Later, Jonathan summons some two-foot tall dwarves.  Then he somehow compels his friends–including Donna (Mariska Hargitay; Lake Placid) and Anastasia (Victoria Catlin; Howling V: The Rebirth, Maniac Cop)–to help him with another ritual after an awkward dinner party.  This time he summons Malcolm (Michael de Barres; Waxwork II), the guy who tried to sacrifice him as an infant!  Random.  Oh, and Malcolm is his father.  More random.

Sticking with the random theme, Malcolm strangles a guy to death with his super long tongue.  Malcolm also reclaims control of his ghoulies and intends to steal the life energy from Jonathan.  With this we got some black magic battles which are truly awful.  The terribleness of this black magic bouts is punctuated by blue and red laser special effects.

The effects are weak, but quite entertaining.   The ghoulies remind me of Boglins–those rubber puppet toys from the 90s that were an odd mix of cute and ugly.  They’re slimy, ratty, ugly and hairy, and they each have their own unique appearance.

If you’re looking for a good rainy Sunday afternoon horror that will bring some smiles, then toss Ghoulies in your DVD player and enjoy.

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  1. John’s Old School Horror Corner: Ghoulies 2 (1988) | Movies, Films & Flix
  2. John’s Horror Corner [INDEX] | Movies, Films & Flix
  3. John’s Horror Corner: Puppet Master 4 | Movies, Films & Flix
  4. John’s Horror Corner: Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College (1991) | Movies, Films & Flix
  5. John’s Horror Corner: Puppet Master 5 (1994) | Movies, Films & Flix
  6. John’s Horror Corner: Curse of the Puppet Master (1998), and what should have been the death of a franchise | Movies, Films & Flix
  7. John’s Horror Corner: Retro Puppet Master (1999), the seventh installment of a franchise that just doesn’t seem to know when to quit | Movies, Films & Flix
  8. Deathstalker (1983), where Dungeons & Dragons, boobs and Flash Gordon all seem to come together | Movies, Films & Flix
  9. John’s Horror Corner: Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003), this incredibly annoying eighth franchise installment serves as a nothing more than a review of the past movies with loads of stock footage | Movies, Films & Flix
  10. John’s Horror Corner: Puppet Master: Axis of Evil (2010) | Movies, Films & Flix
  11. Bad Channels (1992), a goreless flick favoring cheap comedy over horror | Movies, Films & Flix
  12. John’s Horror Corner: Seed People (1992), the root of all evil | Movies, Films & Flix
  13. John’s Horror Corner: Dark Angel: The Ascent (1994), a convincing horror love story | Movies, Films & Flix
  14. John’s Horror Corner: Doctor Mordrid, Master of the Unknown (1992) | Movies, Films & Flix
  15. John’s Horror Corner: Meridian (1990), a Beauty and the Beast romantic fantasy story crafted by a horrorsmith | Movies, Films & Flix
  16. John’s Horror Corner: Netherworld (1991), Full Moon’s attempt at a serious horror film | Movies, Films & Flix
  17. John’s Horror Corner: Hideous! (1997), it’s not your typical mutant monster fetus movie | Movies, Films & Flix
  18. John’s Old School Horror Corner: Just Before Dawn (1981), killing hillbillies one fatal mouth-fisting at a time | Movies, Films & Flix
  19. John’s Horror Corner: Head of the Family (1996), a delightfully tasteless sleazy horror comedy | Movies, Films & Flix
  20. John’s Horror Corner: The Killer Eye (1999), an erotic horror gone horribly wrong | Movies, Films & Flix
  21. John’s Horror Corner: Blood Gnome (2004), a failed movie about BDSM-loving flesh-eating fairy monsters | Movies, Films & Flix
  22. Zombeavers (2014), bringing us mutant rabid animatronic zombie beavers in this fun cheap campy horror | Movies, Films & Flix
  23. John’s Horror Corner: Frankenhooker (1990), a raunchy slapstick Frankenstein throwback exploitation film with loads of exploding prostitutes. | Movies, Films & Flix
  24. John’s Horror Corner: Uninvited (1988; aka Killer Cat), an evil mutant “cat-thin-a-cat” movie. | Movies, Films & Flix
  25. John’s Horror Corner: It’s Alive II: It Lives Again (1978), the dawn of the mutant monster baby epidemic. | Movies, Films & Flix
  26. Bad Movie Tuesday: The Dungeonmaster (1984; aka Ragewar), another sword and sorcery fantasy B-movie with a laser-shooting techno-anthology spin. | Movies, Films & Flix
  27. Bad Movie Tuesday: Evil Spawn (1987; aka, The Alien Within), another schlocky alien Sci-Horror movie from the 80s serving as a smutty vehicle for nudity-delivery. | Movies, Films & Flix
  28. John’s Horror Corner: Mausoleum (1983), a totally watchable campy demonic temptress movie that steers clear of sleazy territory. | Movies, Films & Flix

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