Scream Factory is cranking out the Blu-ray’s lately and to all us horror fans, this is a wonderful time to be undead! This time around we get the Charles Band produced monster flicks Ghoulies and Ghoulies II. Although they may be low budget affairs, filled with cheese and topped up with more cheese, they are still a lot of fun and with new insightful interviews and features, this Double Feature is double the fun! (Yes, I really did just say that.)
RUN-TIME: 81 / 89 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
AUDIO: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
PRODUCTION DATE: 1984 / 1988
A Gruesome Twosome of Ghoulies!
Take a creepy old Hollywood mansion, a naive young man and a pretty girl. Add an over-the-top orgy and some slimy, winged goblins who crawl out of toilets, and you have Ghoulies, a horrifying and hilarious ride into the darkest regions of hell! Conjured during a party thrown by the mansion’s new owner, the hairy, fanged demons waste no time wreaking havoc on the scene – and declaring the unsuspecting owner their new lord and master! Peter Liapis (Ghost Warrior), Lisa Pelkin (Jennifer), Michael Des Barres (Waxwork II, Under Siege) and Jack Nance (Eraserhead, Twin Peaks) star in this fanged frenzy of sharp twists and eye-popping shocks that’ll get you where it counts!
The demonic, toilet-dwelling goblins are back! Stowed away in “Satan’s Den,” the traveling House of Horror operated by carnival workers Larry and Uncle Ned, the Ghoulies merrily devour the sideshow attraction’s patrons… until Larry realizes his horror house is for real and tries to flee the scene! Deliciously outrageous special effects and over-the-top antics ratchet up the horrific fun! Kerry Remsen (Pumpkinhead), Phil Fondacaro (Troll), William Butler (1990’s Night Of The Living Dead) and Royal Dano (Big Bad Mama) star in this creepy, crawly sequel that’s got every bit as big a bite as the original!
Let’s do the normal thing and break down this review for each movie that’s included. First up is the black magic, ghoulies filled cheese-fest Ghoulies!
After inheriting his “dead” father’s house, Jonathan Graves (Peter Liapis) moves in with his feisty, naive girlfriend Rebecca (Lisa Pelikan) and start to clean up the joint. Whilst all the busy work of dusting is being done, the couple decides to throw a party and invite all their 80s cliché friends over. You got the stud muffin Dick (but you can call him Dick,) the two stoners, who may be gay (not that there is anything wrong with that) and finally some hot chicks made to be looked at. As the party dies down, Jonathan decides to have a ritual and raise some hell, literally. Unfortunately, the black magic power is too addictive and Jonathan becomes obsessed, even going so far as chanting while he does the nasty with Rebecca (of course, can’t we all say we’ve done a little chanting in bed. Amirite? Huh? No? Only me? Damn.) If that wasn’t crazy enough, all hell looks to be breaking loose, as something seems to be stirring outside in an unmarked grave! Dun dun dunn!!!
Ghoulies mixes both humour and horror rather effectively, although don’t expect any scares, unless you are afraid of rubber monsters coming out of toilets, which I will admit is rather frightening to think about. The movie itself just wants to have a good time and a good time is what it is. It’s entirely low budget, but that’s a big part of the charm and why it’s enjoyable. The acting is over the top, the effects, although dated, are actually pretty cool and the story is a convoluted mess that doesn’t even try to make sense. All in all, it’s a classic 80s monster fest!
Ghoulies II cranks up the ghoulies fun with even more ghoulies terror. (Wow, that’s a sentence you don’t say too often.) Starting off with no real connection to the first movie, the ghoulies have found their way inside a traveling carnival and become the center of attention. Little do the people know, they are more than willing to feast on the living, cut you up with a knife and wrap you in mummies cloth. Ghoulies II does a lot of things right and the first thing you notice is that they decide to put those loveable creatures front and center. The first movie didn’t go crazy over the top with the ghoulies action, so the sequel ramps it up tenfold. The movie really kicks into gear once they get out into the amusement park and have some fun with the rides and games. There are some serious belly laughs to be had here, either because the movie is actually funny, or it does something so stupid, you can’t help but smile from ear to ear.
It’s no award winner, but Ghoulies II knows where it stands and goes and has some fun. The acting is awful and you learn in the special features that it was filmed in Italy and most of the extras don’t speak English and this comes through with some of the scenes. Still, it’s all part of the charm of the 80s low brow horror sequels. There is, however, one actor who stands out and that’s Royal Dano, who you may know from the awesome movie House II: The Second Story. He played the undead and drunk Gramps and here he is again, albeit alive this time, playing a drunk magician. Fun stuff!
Scream Factory gives us something worthy of purchasing with this latest double feature. The new interviews are very informative, with the Ghoulies one going in-depth with the marketing scheme behind the poster art with the toilet, which was wonderful to hear. Charles Band really loves to use the ‘F’ word and that’s okay with me. Although, it was funny to see that actor Michael Des Barres really just did this for the pay cheque and admits it’s not that great of a movie, but had lots of fun.
Ghoulies II features a shorter interview with Charles Band, Kerry Remsen, Donnie Jeffcoat and Special Effects Artist Gino Crognale. It runs about 16 minutes and is still informative, even if the time is shorter. It was neat to find out they shot in Italy and how much money they wasted on building an actual amusement park and all the rides. Crazy to think about it. What’s interesting about the deleted scenes for Ghoulies II, is that it’s pretty much all the gore that was cut out of the movie. It isn’t crazy gore, but it would’ve been neat to see it added back in the film, as the video quality looks the same as the main feature.
The audio and video for both Ghoulies is looking and sounding pretty good. Surprisingly, there are two options to choose from for audio, giving you 5.1 and 2.0 options. Both sound good, although I found the 5.1 mixes to be lacking in the rear channels. Funny enough, the back cover list DTS-HD Master Audio Mono.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
— GHOULIES —
- Audio Commentary With Director/Co-writer Luca Bercovici
- New Interviews With Executive Producer Charles Band, Composer Richard Band, Actor Michael Des Barres And Special Effects Makeup Artist John Vulich
- Original Theatrical Trailer
— GHOULIES II —
- New Interviews With Executive Producer Charles Band, Actors Kerry Remsen And Donnie Jeffcoat, And Special Effects Artist Gino Crognale
- Rare Deleted Scenes
- Original Theatrical Trailer