Ghoulies title

Tag line : They'll Get YOU in the End!

GhouliesI remember seeing the video box for this at my local rental library back in the mid-80s and thinking 'what a fun looking horror comedy'. After all, its called "Ghoulies", which sounds slightly rude, its got a picture of a little goblin type character popping out of a toilet, so its bound to be like a much cruder version of Gremlins, packed full of toilet humour, right? WRONG!!!!!

What we actually have here is your standard low budget horror movie about teens and black magic. The plot for this revolves around one such teenager, Jonathan Graves (Peter Liapis), who inherits an old mansion that once belonged to his late father, who it seems was some sort of occultist. Finding a load of books on black magic in the basement, he decides to try out some of the incantations to see if they actually work (never a good idea in a horror film).

Consequently, he becomes possessed by evil spirits, causing him to start wearing dark glasses. Then he summons up a number of evil little goblin type characters (the titular Ghoulies of the film) and a couple of evil looking dwarves and, well, that's about it really. The Ghoulies (a bunch of crudely fashioned puppets) and the evil dwarves (midgets with novelty fangs) just seem to hang around the house whilst Jonathon gets dragged deeper and deeper into  the world of black magic and nothing much else seems to happen. Occasionally one of his friends stops by and something unpleasant happens to them, but that's pretty much it

Produced by Charles Band, the film was marketed as a comedy but was actually just a low budget film about black magic gone wrong and proved to be extremely dull and uninteresting. For the most part the Ghoulies and the Dwarf characters were superfluous to the plot and some scenes actually looked like they had been tacked on afterwards (the scene of the Ghoulie popping out of the toilet certainly was).

To summarise, the film was a complete bore-fest, which wasn't funny or entertaining and the toilet humour, hinted at on the video case artwork, was nowhere to be seen. A couple of the sequels were slightly better (there were 4 films in total), but I would strongly advise giving this one a miss.

Overall Marks : 2/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Was originally to have been directed by Charles Band, but when they finally got the project off the ground, he was busy on other features, so he gave the job to Luca Bercovici.

  • The film's budget was 1,000,000.

  • Filmed under the title "Beasties", the name was changed to "Ghoulies" prior to release, as they thought it sounded more comical.

  • The idea of the Ghoulie popping out of the toilet came about after the film had finished, as they were looking for advertising gimmicks. It was subsequently filmed for the trailer and added into the movie afterwards.

  • Jeffrey Coombs (of "Re-Animator" fame) auditioned for the role of Jonathan, but the film makers ultimately decided to cast Peter Liapis.

  • The old mansion used in the film is the former Wattles mansion, which stands in Wattles Garden park, run by the City of Los Angeles dept of parks and recreation. It can be found at 1842N, Curson Ave, Hollywood.

  • Stan Winston was originally going to do the special effects, but had to bow out, so they gave the job to John Carl Buechlar.

  • The US ratings board cut around 12s of footage in order to give it a PG-13 rating.

  • Apparently producer Charles Band and the staff at Empire Pictures received scores of hate mail from angry parents after the adverts, showing the Ghoulie popping out of the toilet, appeared on TV as their children were subsequently scared of going to the bathroom.

Extra Info.

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Other films in the series.

 

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