What’s it About: A bunch of little monsters (apparently called Ghoulies) are sitting around watching a baby about to get sacrificed by a cult whose leader looks like he should be the lead singer for the house hair metal band at the Blue Oyster Bar. But the baby has some kind of electric protective shield, so a guy who looks a lot like Randy Quaid takes him away, and Winger ManSlaughter sacrifices the baby’s mother instead. As her heart is ripped out by telekinesis, one of the Ghoulies covers its eyes, setting up exactly what we’re in store for.
Next thing we know, a couple is walking in what looks like a cemetery, and are surprised to find what looks like a grave, with an obvious tombstone, prompting the girl to say, “That looks like a grave.” But apparently this isn’t a cemetery, it’s the guy’s house, so how he didn’t know there was an f’n grave on his property until now is a mystery. The guy’s name is even Jonathan Graves, which you think would be a dead giveaway. There’s also a caretaker named Wolfgang, who is obviously the Randy Quaid guy from earlier, making John the baby from earlier. Since the estate is in total shambles, and he left all the black magick stuff lying around for John to find, Wolfgang is a terrible caretaker.
John holds the worst party of all time at his palatial mansion, complete with a white guy breakdancing. I’m not sure if we were incredibly open minded at the time thinking white dorks could pull off black culture, or incredibly racist for thinking it was remotely OK to try.
Of course, John decides to bring the lameness of the party to a whole new level by suggesting the guests (who do NOT know when to leave) participate in a black magick ritual. Keep in mind, all of these people look like they’re around 30. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna hate this movie at this point. John messes things up, of course, and the Ghoulies appear!
The next day, John tells his girlfriend that he’s going to drop out of school, even though he’s 43 years old. As he’s cleaning the house, he comes across some cult robes, which have just been boxed away in the basement. Great job protecting him from his black magick past, Wolfgang. John is compelled to keep up with the black magick, which you know will lead to things that are no good. He makes his girlfriend, Rebecca (who looks a lot like Reba McIntyre), a pentagram talisman to wear, which she thinks is beautiful for some reason. She also thinks her hair looks good, so she’s not the best judge of beauty. John does some more black magick in front of a fountain, which makes the Ghoulies appear out of nowhere… um, again, since he did it before. Not sure why he has to do it twice. Regardless, he’s very happy with the results, and is now basically evil. I really hope they end up eating his face off.
Now that we have a good look at the Ghoulies, I’m convinced that they’re recycled trolls from Troll, but I can’t prove it. Let’s check in on John. Oh, he’s making it rain in the basement, which has no practical purpose, and will probably cause some nasty flood damage. So, nice spell, John. Now we’re about halfway through the movie, and nothing has really happened yet besides breakdancing and witchcraft. It reminds me of my childhood.
Anyway, John kisses his frail girlfriend on the neck a little too aggressively, so she leaves him. To heal his broken heart, instead of getting drunk and and pissing on his ex-girlfriend’s pictures like normal people do, he goes back to the basement and summons two dwarves with buck teeth in metal helmets. We all grieve differently.
John’s eyes are now glowing green at all times, which just makes him look like a frog. He gets Rebecca back by sort of hypnotizing her with the help of the dwarves, sort of, then he holds a dinner party with the same people from before but now everyone’s wearing sunglasses and they don’t seem to mind that Ghoulies are in the food. They drink some kind of potion and John does some more black magick yet again, this time making his father, Malcolm, the aforementioned guy who looks like the backup keyboardist for a Whitesnake cover band, rise from that aforementioned grave. And he’s going to control the Ghoulies now! WHY?
Although the Ghoulies just kind of chilled out with John before, now they’re in attack mode. The cute little green ones attack a nerd and a young, super hot Mariska Hargitay. Another of John’s friends, Dick, is seduced by some demon woman who looks like Morgan Fairchild 12 years from now. She gives him a tongue lashing, literally, as her tongue wraps around his neck and kills him.
The dwarves seem conflicted about whether to serve John or Malcolm, but nobody cares about these dwarves or what they think. The Ghoulies keep biting the party guests, who just will not leave, and they get a little help from a big clown doll with a face that looks a lot like Ronald Reagan. It seems like the dead party guests become undead via Malcom. Then Rebecca tumbles down the stairs thanks to a little Ghoulie power, thank god.
So John has an excruciatingly boring showdown with Malcolm in the basement. He states that John is 25, so either he’s 20 years off or John has some terrible spell of aging on him. Anyway, who cares, blah blah blah, zzzzzzzzzzzzz, so I’m thinking, “In 1960, this guy would have an Aquanetted half-mullet??” And then John’s dad tells him to kiss him. Thankfully before that can happen, Wolfgang shows up for the first time since 5 minutes into the movie and has his own magick showdown with Malcolm, making everything John has done up to that point completely moot. John’s friends suddenly aren’t dead for some reason, and they all drive away as the house crumbles. The dwarves stay behind, wondering how they’re going to get paid. Big surprise, the Ghoulies are hitching a ride in John’s car. There’s a freeze frame, and hopefully right after that everyone is eaten and pooped out by the Ghoulies.
Is it Actually Scary: Not so much scary as it is boring and pointless.
Gore Level: There’s a little blood in the tongue scene, and that’s it. It’s not called Gorelies.
Dumbest Moments: In between the opening and closing credits. But the worst part overall has to be John’s dad trying to kiss him to steal his power. How did that even make it into the script?
Best Part: At one point the green weird-eye contacts John wears are obviously in wrong, with one of them pointed upward so he looks like Cookie Monster.
Nudity: Only the Ghoulies are sans clothes in this.
Overall: Just abysmal. It just doesn’t seem possible for someone to watch this and not hate it. From my memory I actually always thought that Ghoulies II was the original Ghoulies movie, and I didn’t even know this existed. I wish I still thought that.
Nothing interesting happens in this movie until the last 15 minutes, when it goes from “nothing interesting” to “something, but it’s still not interesting.” It just goes nowhere and makes no sense. The Ghoulie popping out of the toilet thing from the poster does happen, but it’s 2 seconds and he just comes out of the toilet for no real reason. He doesn’t attack anyone that way or anything. So the tagline “They’ll Get You In the End!” doesn’t make sense. And why he’s wearing a shirt and suspenders I have no idea. Speaking of things not happening, there’s a giant Ghoulie that rips its way out of the Reagan clown, but it isn’t seen again. So why bother?
Instead of watching Ghoulies, a better use of your time would be cutting off your toenails with a cake slicer and then slowly eating them.
My Wife’s Observational Quotes:
- “They are cute…”
- (during the tongue scene) “Really? That’s her weapon?”
- “There’s too many f’d up things in this movie. There’s dwarves and trolls and guys with glowing eyes…”