Ghoulies

This film holds some sentimental value for me. This is the first bad movie that I watched purely because it is bad. It is probably my favorite bad movie because it has a little bit of everything that makes a movie bad. There is bad acting, bad effects, bad filming, bad characters, bad set, bad story, and yes, you can even see a boom mic. The film does not disappoint…or it does…whichever way you want to look at it.

This film was made in 1985 and directed by Luca Bercovici (yeah, I've never heard of him either) and stars Peter Liapis (made famous by…well, nothing) as Jonathan Graves and Lisa Pelikan (best known as a walk-on in Law and Order: SVU) as his lap dog/girlfriend Rebecca. As the movie begins we are introduced to Jonathan's father… a cult leader with a strange fascination with jazz hands (always remember, when you are leading a cult and want to look magical… jazz hands!). He is of course preparing the ritual slaughter of his first child. But fear not, his mother and his erstwhile gardener, Wolfgang, are there to save the baby. Unfortunately, the mother is killed, but so is Jonathan's father, his cult, and all of his magic… or so we think.

Fast forward 20 or 30 years and Jonathan is grown and has just inherited his father's house (yes, the place of his attempted murder). Excited by this, he and his girlfriend don't hesitate with the plans to move in, but really why would they wait? The house has everything: plenty of space, fountains, a long driveway, a graveyard, and Wolfgang (who is inexplicably still there and hasn't aged a day).

Apparently dark magic runs in the family. Jonathan finds some of his father's old spellbooks and becomes interested, so much so that he calls up some of his friends and invites them over for a "let's see if we can summon some dark spirits" party. After performing a ritual in the basement to no avail, the group breaks up and they go (in pairs) to their respective bedrooms to do the usual (that is to say get stoned and have sex).

But the group quickly finds out that perhaps they didn't fail to summon the evil spirits as they so hoped. No no, Jonathan knows better, and under his command come several ugly little gremlin rip-off things who only he can see and two midgets who would do as well in an Abbott and Costello act as they do as evil minions of darkness.

Trivia Question: What do you do when you have a house full of your closest friends, invisible mini-demons and two devil midgets? Off your friends of course! Have them drowned, have them choked by a giant tongue, or tell your midgets to stand on each other and hit your friends on the head with a mallet (where the hell did they get that mallet anyway?). Just make sure that they are all undead and in white cloaks when you accept ultimate dark power… or so you think.

The only problem is you awoke a bit more than your Santa-elf rejects when you had your dark magic shindig: Daddy's back! And he looks pissed (but thank God he still has the jazz hands).

That is the predicament Jonathan and his soon to be sacrificed girlfriend are in when his dad, with thunder, lighting and boom mics shooting from the sky, teaches him a lesson. But fortunately everyone has forgotten about one factor… Wolfgang! He appears out of nowhere to do battle with Jonathan's dead dad. And what's this? Wolfgang can shoot lighting from his hands too (of course its blue and not red, and he doesn't do the jazz hands)! Why yes, it appears that Wolfgang is a wizard for good (could have clued us into this a little earlier in the movie) and can stop the evil father. He does this, but at the cost of his own life, and the next thing we know, everyone wakes up and doesn't remember a thing.

The movie ends with the friends (not dead anymore) thanking their hosts for a lovely evening, and everyone leaving the house. But what's this? As they are driving away, there is a Ghoulie in the back of their car, ready to strike. Can you smell a sequel? I know I can.

-Dan

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