Skip to content

John’s Horror Corner: Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College (1991)

April 5, 2013

MY CALL:  Too silly and too stupid to recommend to anyone who isn’t too high.  WHAT TO WATCH INSTEAD:  Enjoy more miniature menaces with Puppet Master (1989) and sequels, Critters (1986), Ghoulies (1985) and Ghoulies II (1988).  SEQUEL SIDEBAR:  Other than the ghoulies themselves, I find no connection between this story and Ghoulies or Ghoulies II, which also found no connection.

During a 1972 flashback, it is revealed that the ghoulies were initially summoned by a Ghoulish Tales comic book which looked like the old Vault of Horrors comics by design.  The silly music and three stooges antics of the ghoulies makes quite clear that the tone is far less serious than parts 1 and somehow even less than 2.  The franchise has really transitioned into more of a comedy horror.  Not twisted, off-putting slapstick like in the Evil Dead series (excluding the 2013 remake), but true comedy.  Also, this is the first of the franchise to be rated R.  So expect some completely purposeless nudity–LOTS and LOTS of nudity for no reason at all.  There’s one scene in this movie that basically looks like a pillow fight in a strip club.

We see a lot of Playboy Playmate Hope Marie Carlton in this movie.  A lot.

Oooooooh… Playboy Playmate Hope Marie Carlton.

Moving to the present, some delinquent stoner finds a Ghoulish Tales comic and unknowingly accidentally starts to summon the ghoulies through a university toilet.  This university setting farcically depicts college students more as stoner 8th graders who throw paper airplanes for sport, make out in the middle of class and behave as if they have never been disciplined–like ever.  They have sex on gym equipment and get into Animal House shenanigans.

Like Ghoulies part 1, there is a weird tongue seen.

Skip (Evan MacKenzie; Bad Dreams, Children of the Night) is a frat boy trying to win some sort of rush prank war.  He likes Erin (Eva La Rue; RoboCop3, Lakeview Terrace).  As an odd surprise, this movie features a small role played by Jason Scott Lee (Soldier, Arabian Nights, Dracula II, Dracula 3) as a frat brother.  Other random roles include those of Matthew Lilliard (Thirteen Ghosts, Scream) and Hope Marie Carlton (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Slumber Party Massacre III, Slaughterhouse Rock).  We find these characters involved in the ongoing prank war as the ghoulies create menace behind the scenes.  It’s not very interesting or funny (if you’re sober).

Jason Scott Lee. For real!

The crotchety Professor Ragnar (Kevin McCarthy; Dark Tower, The Howling) finds the comic and finishes the summoning to bring the ghoulies into the campus. He ends up going mad and becoming power hungry.  He eventually transforms into a ghoulies monster mutant thing and is defeated when the comic book is flushed down the toilet.  Eh, not so interesting either.

A behind-the-scenes shot of Kevin McCarthy and his F/X co-stars.

Here is ghoulie-mutant McCarthy.

Aaaaaaaaaaand flush.

The ghoulies, as with part II, have received another level of special effects makeover.  But, sadly, now they talk and engage in a 3 Stooges sort of dynamic.  The sound effects and the ghoulies’ interactions make it obvious that the stooges served as a model for our little demons.  They’re also much larger now.  In parts 1 and 2 they stood 18 inches tops.  Now they’re a good two feet tall and much more massive.  I preferred them smaller.  For whatever reason this size simply doesn’t work as well.  Then again, nothing about this movie works as well as in its predecessors.

This is just plain silly.

The kills are just as nonsensical as the murdering ghoulies. They shove an entire, still living frat boy down a toilet and flush it.  I think you should do the same with this movie.  Just flush it and forget that it was ever made.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: