Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ghoulies (1984)

Directed by:
Luca Bercovici

Some guy whose father was a warlock (Peter Liapis), his girlfriend (Lisa Pelikan) and their annoying friends are bored and decide (after passing on trivial pursuit and strip poker) to use witchcraft to resurrect his dead father. The ceremony seems to work, but they also accidentally open a portal that allows the title creatures (which are an small, green, scaly, rubbery and obvious rip-offs of Gremlins, released the same year) in the process. Throw in a couple of Satanic midgets decked out in helmets for good measure and you've pretty much got this stupid horror-comedy that lives up to the image on its poster (something green and ugly floating in a toilet). The special effects are laughable, the violence quotient is pretty low (it’s rated PG-13) and you think it might be a good horror movie for little kids until Bobbie Bresee (from Evil Spawn) shows up as a topless "Temptress" with a super-long tongue. Among the cast is Dave Lynch movie regular Jack Nance as Wolfgang, Victoria Catlin (from Howling V), Ralph Seymour (Killer Party), Michael Des Barres and Mariska Hargitay (the daughter of Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield, who would later become an Emmy-winning TV star) as one of the victims. Since Gremlins did so well, this one did too, so there are three sequels to contend with.


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