Saturday, March 19, 2011

Monster Crap Inductee: Ghoulies (1987)

Monster Crap Inductee: Ghoulies
This Film Should Have Stayed In The Toilet


Folks, we have talked about Charles Band when his Full Moon Entertainment and shortly lived Monster Island Entertainment gave us one of the worst films I have ever inducted.

God That Movie Was Terrible

But despite what you may assume, I actually do like Charles Band.

I Even Have A Signed Autograph From The Man Hanging On The Wall

Some of his films I can do without and some of them I truly despise, but most of the time, I find his films entertaining. But today, we are going to talk about a film that I could do without. Ironically, that film was one of the films that helped him get enough money to create Full Moon Entertainment. This film is known as Ghoulies.

Now as all you know, there have been plenty of Gremlins rip-offs that exist. I have inducted three of them with Critters 2 & 3 and Munchies. But of course, Charles Band had created several films involving small monsters like Puppet Master, Demonic Toys, and of course Ghoulies. Now this was originally supposed to be Beasties and it was to be directed by Charles Band himself and the special effects were to be done by the late legend Stan Winston. The two had worked together in the past with the monster movie called Parasite. Unfortunately that did not happen and instead, this film was directed by one of his past actors Luca Bercovici and the special effects would be done by John Carl Buechler, who would be a well respected director of low budget B-movies himself.

But there is one interesting story that everyone might know is the poster above with the toilet was not the original poster.

This Was The Original One

But during a brainstorming session with one of his friends (drugs were admittedly involved), his friend told him how awesome an idea it would be if a creature would come out of the toilet. Charles Band liked this idea and such he pitched it to one of the marketing people. The marketing person loved this and such the legendary poster we all know and love is born. In fact, it was made to appeal to kids and adults with a sense of humor. That poster was actually shot after filming had finished and an extra scene of the creature popping out of the toilet.

Other interesting news is Jeffrey Combs tried to audition for this film, but he was passed over. Who wasn’t passed over however, was Mariska Hargitay as this is her film debut. But let’s get into this film and see why I could live without this film not existing.

Ah MGM, The Studio That Went Bankrupt Just A Few Months Ago…..Is The One Who Released This Film Onto DVD.

We begin this film by seeing extreme close-ups of our Ghoulies, you can barely make out what they look like so I am not showing pictures just yet. They are at a satanic ceremony, which is being led Malcolm Graves.

Nice Horns…..

He starts speaking some satanic gibberish and has one of his minions bring a blanketed being which so happens to be a baby boy. But not just any baby boy, it is actually Malcolm’s own son Jonathan. The mother protests Malcolm’s decision to kill his own son. This ticks Malcolm off enough that he takes off his own hat.

Aww….But I Liked That Hat

Malcolm is still adamant about killing his own son, but the mother puts a necklace on the baby and of course, this necklace has mystical powers that when Malcolm tries once again to kill him, he gets shocked for his troubles. Malcolm then orders another member of the satanic cult to take the baby away and this Randy Quaid-looking guy does.

Sadly This Is Not Randy Quaid

After the kid and “Not Randy Quaid” are gone, Malcolm chastises the mother and says that she must replace their son as the sacrifice. She agrees and thus as she is being held down by the Ghoulies, Malcolm has her own heart pop out of her body.

Hey, This Is A PG-13 Film So We Don’t Actually Get To See The Heart

We also see that “Not Randy Quaid” tells the child that he will take care of him from now on. And with that, we finally get our opening credits and our title.

Yes…..4 minutes and 30 seconds into this film and we finally get our opening credits, this is reaching 10,000 BC level bad in how long it took. While these credits go on, I am able to look up some of the other people in this film to see if they had previous work and it looks like they did. The man playing Malcolm Graves is actually Michael Des Barres, frontman for the 1970s Los Angeles Band known as Detective, who were one of the featured acts on Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label. And the “Not Randy Quaid” guy is actually Jack Nance, who you might remember being the star of David Lynch’s first feature film in Eraserhead.

I’ve Seen Eraserhead And While I Didn’t Like It, It Might Be Surreal Enough For Others To Like

Anyway, back to the film as we see the baby has grown up into Jonathan Graves. “Not Randy Quaid” exposits that he raised Jonathan to be nothing like his father, but when his father died a horrible death, Jonathan was given the house as part of his father’s will. Jonathan is seen with his girlfriend, Rebecca.

Jonathan Looks An Awful Like One Kyle MacLachlan, But Sadly He Isn’t.

They pass by a nearby grave and Jonathan is curious about it.

We are then introduced to “Not Randy Quaid” who we find out that he is the caretaker, and his name is Wolfgang so I don’t have to call him “Not Randy Quaid” anymore. They look at the old bookshelf that Malcolm owned and Rebecca finds a rat hiding behind one of the books. This startles her and Jonathan remarks that she probably scared the rat more than it scared her. The two then split up to start cleaning up the house. Jonathan goes downstairs and is mystified by what the basement looks like. He even finds a symbol drawn on the floor that is covered by dust.

He then finds a small chest and decides to open it. In the chest are his father’s old garb and a small booklet containing rituals. Jonathan is looking at this booklet, even while the couple is back at the dinner table drinking wine. Rebecca then asks about having a party at this house and Jonathan is okay with it, just as long as they don’t mess up the place.

That night, we are introduced to their friends.

Mike & Eddie




Donna (who is next to Rebecca)

Dick comes to the kitchen and meets Donna, which brings us to this line.

Dick: They call me Dick, but you can call me……..Dick

We then move to Mike dancing and he basically hurts himself. His friend Eddie comes to help and we get this line.

Mike: I think I busted my head.
Eddie: Oh, thank God, I thought you actually hurt yourself.

Mike then gives him a “WTF” look as we move to the next scene. They then try to decide what to do now.

Rebecca: Well, we can play Hide & Go Seek
Mike & Eddie: Yeah
Donna: What about Trivial Pursuit??
Mike & Eddie: Yeah….
Eddie: Why don’t we just play Charades?
Mike & Eddie: Yeah
Dick: Strip Poker….
Mike & Eddie: Yeah!!!
Girls: No way…..

Jonathan then says they should all do a ritual and the next scene; they are downstairs doing a ritual. Jonathan draws the symbol and does some chants while some people are fooling around. Jonathan does not like this, but the ritual doesn’t work (so he thinks) anyway so they all decide to go upstairs because Robin is missing. But Jonathan mentioned that he didn’t do the spell to dismiss the spirit, but they all go upstairs and not do the spirit dismissing. That calls forth our Ghoulies.

Well, At Least One Of Them

The two stoners look for Robin in the closet, but a clown dummy that was on the chair before appears in the closet to scare the idiots. Even though they question how the dummy got from the chair to the closet, these idiots don’t think much of it. Dick and Jonathan find Robin at the grave site and take her back to the house.

The next day, Jonathan decides that he is going to withdraw from school for that quarter so he can fix up the house. Rebecca hates this idea at first, but Jonathan convinces her it’s for the best. Rebecca leaves for school as Jonathan starts cleaning up the place. Jonathan then suddenly gets the urge to go down to the basement. There, he makes a talisman that he gives to Rebecca when she returns. He says that talisman is to protect her from everything bad.

That night for some reason Jonathan is out in the cold looking at the grave. Rebecca tells Jonathan that dinner is ready, but the man doesn’t want to eat because he is………fasting?? Yes, that is the excuse he uses. Rebecca is not happy about this as she made dinner for both of them and it becomes wasted food. What’s wrong, no one believes in leftovers?? He puts on his father’s garb and starts performing more black magic as we see more Ghoulies appearing.

Jonathan then welcomes them to this world and tells them that he is their master. He says they are free to roam around the place as long as they are not seen by anyone but him. The Ghoulies nod in agreement to this demand.

The next day, he does more black magic, but he is caught by Rebecca….who is so furious by this whole act and is about to leave when Jonathan convinces her that he will stop. That night, they make love while the Ghoulies watch.

Because Apparently They Have Nothing Better To Do

But wait, one of the Ghoulies has created his own circle and starts manipulating Jonathan. Then Jonathan does some chants while making love and this freaks Rebecca out to the point that she leaves him.

The next day, Jonathan continues with his black magic and calls fourth two midgets with shiny hats.

The names of the midgets are Greezel and Greedigut, and they are also now serving Jonathan.

Oh And Jonathan’s Eyes Are Completely Green Now

Anyway, Jonathan wants knowledge, power, and Rebecca. Greezel and Greedigut say that getting Rebecca back is easy, but for the other two…….he must have a master ritual with seven others to obtain that and it must occur when the moon is full.

Then next day when Jonathan is reading one of his booklets, there is a knock at the door. He puts on glasses to cover his green eyes and goes to answer the door. It is Rebecca who is back because she still loves Jonathan. That of course turns quickly into revulsion at what he has become when he takes the glasses off to reveal his green eyes. Rebecca takes off the talisman and throws it at him. That was a big mistake as Jonathan is able to use his black magic into hypnotizing her to be with him.

That night, Jonathan has Mike, Eddie, Robin, Dick, Donna, & Mark over for a party. He forces them all to wear big sunglasses to mostly cover their eyes from what is going on, and of course the Ghoulies are around as well.

Then this gets weird as far as editing occurs. He has a toast to them and then chants some black magic to hypnotize them. They after a strange white cut, we are teleported to the living room where symbol has already been drawn. Then Rebecca dresses all of the friends in white sheets and the ritual commences. During this whole ritual, what Jonathan doesn’t realize is this whole ritual is actually not for power and knowledge, but to resurrect his father Malcolm Graves.

Then we cut back to the dining room table where he continues his toast. Jonathan then tells his friends that he and Rebecca will retire for the night so everyone is allowed to roam around the house. Outside the house, Malcolm starts talking to the Ghoulies who were actually in his command the whole time. Back in the house, Dick and Robin are about to have sex while on the outside, Mark and Donna are near the pond. Mark starts tickling her and Donna ends up dropping her bracelet. Mark goes to get it, at first he gets some strange goo on his hands and the second time, one of the Ghoulies attacks.

Donna screams, but the only two guys to hear are Mike and Eddie, and those two think the two are playing around to even look. So Donna and Mark are killed.

Then we see Dick and Robin in bed, after having sex (this is a PG-13 film kids). Dick leaves to go get some water, but he runs into a temptress (played by Bobbie Bresee, a onetime Playboy Bunny and had a very short reign as scream queen). He tries to kiss her, but she has a long tongue that strangles him.

It turns out the actual temptress was actually Malcolm (which makes me wonder if being in a satanic cult makes you bi-sexual). In the wine cellar, Mike goes to find a match for his joint, but is taken down by Greezel and Greedigut, who are also working for Malcolm now.

Meanwhile, Jonathan puts the talisman back on Rebecca and this returns her from her hypnotic state. She immediately faints and Jonathan carries her off the bed so she can sleep. Eddie is not happy that Mike has not returned yet and goes to look for him. While the two midgets put one the Ghoulies in Mike’s jacket, Greezel is reluctant to serve Malcolm anymore, but Greedigut snaps him out of it. Eddie sees Mike’s jacket standing there, but it isn’t Mike and instead Greezel holding one of the Ghoulies. Greezel throws the Ghoulie at Eddie and Eddie is killed.

Robin wakes up and sees a Ghoulie and runs in fright. Robin is then attacked by the clown dummy from earlier and before Robin is killed, it is revealed that the dummy is actually another Ghoulie in disguise.

This Ghoulie We Haven’t Seen Before And Will Never See Again Through The Rest Of This Movie

Malcolm then has all the Ghoulies and the two midgets come to him so the final part of his plan can commence. Oh yeah, and all the dead bodies start coming towards Malcolm as well.

And We Get That Iconic Ghoulies Shot That You Can Tell They Shot After The Movie Was Finished And Just Put It In There

Rebecca awakens and sees what Jonathan has become and tries to leave again. A Ghoulie attacks and Robin falls down the stairs as Jonathan is aghast.


Not Like This Dope From Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

Jonathan is unhappy by what is happening and goes to the basement while carrying Rebecca. There he finds his other friends’ bodies. Also there are the Ghoulies, Greezel, Greedigut, & Malcolm. Jonathan tries to use the black magic on Malcolm, but it doesn’t work at all. Jonathan is angry about his friends and we get this great line from Malcolm.

Malcolm: Hm?? Yes, I suppose I did.

He then reveals that it was Jonathan he really wanted because he wants to suck the life out of Jonathan so he can be young again. He tries to have Jonathan sink to hell, but Jonathan knows some magic as well as he levitates. Malcolm then awakens Rebecca to try and help tempt Jonathan into giving himself up. Jonathan almost falls for it, but Greezel and Greedigut have a change of heart and tell Jonathan that it is all just a trick. Jonathan then stops his ploy and Malcolm is upset at his two minions for giving it away. Malcolm then does the Sith choke and Jonathan is in real trouble. However, he is saved by Wolfgang, who has always been the one to protect Jonathan.

A final showdown commences between Malcolm and Wolfgang as for some strange reason, all of the friends who have died…..come back to life. Jonathan, Rebecca, and friends leave the house as it falls on both Malcolm and Wolfgang, killing them. They all leave the house as it seems this film is over….

Or Is It????

Yes, that shot is how we end this movie.

So let’s talk about the aftermath, a lot of these guys did small things elsewhere and the only one who did anything of real note was Mariska Hargitay , who several years later got the role of Detective Olivia Benson in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. That show is still going on its 12 year of existence. Also Jack Nance went on to be a mainstay in David Lynch’s film until his death in 1996.

Now for my opinion of this movie and like I said before, this is one film I could do without it existing. This film was really bothersome for the fact that there was every little action on the Ghoulies part and when they did do stuff, it was too little to save this film. The original poster would have been more telling of the film than that shot of a Ghoulie coming out of a toilet because there wasn’t much comedy and everything was taken so seriously. However, there is one thing Ghoulies did give us that I do enjoy.

It’s The Great Campiness And Fun Of Ghoulies II.

Well now that we got that nonsense out of the way, our next film involves aliens and sharks. Wrap that all up in the Bermuda Triangle and you have to wonder how this film could not be enjoyable at all.

Leave It To The Producer Of Shark Attack 3: Megalodon To Show You How It’s Done


  1. ah, the Ghoulies, glorious 80s stuff! Laughed my ass off at the "call me dick..."-scene, one of my favorite movie-oneliners of all time :)

  2. Yeah, you can tell they tried to make some jokes. I just wish there were more of them and they were good.

  3. glorious review , brought back memories and laughs...