Ghoulies – USA, 1984 – overview and reviews

 

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‘They’ll get you in the end!’

Ghoulies is a 1984 American comedy horror movie. It was to be directed by Charles Band, with special effects by Stan Winston (the two had previously collaborated on Parasite) but ended up being directed by Luca Bercovici with special effects by John Carl Buechler and his company Mechanical and Makeup Imageries Inc.

The film was released theatrically by Empire Pictures in March 1985 and was a surprise success on home video thus spawning three sequels. The film’s original title was Beasties.

Main cast:

Peter Liapis (The Stepdaughter), Lisa Pelikan, Michael Des Barres, Jack Nance, Scott Thomson, RalphSeymour, Mariska Hargitay. Bobbie Bresee (Mausoleum; Evil Spawn) has a minor role as a temptress.

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Even when it seems like they’re about to do something cool, they don’t – there’s a scene where everyone has gathered for a dinner party, and the Ghoulies are actually SITTING ON THE TABLE, but no-one notices them, because they all have sunglasses on.” Horror Movie a Day

“Its almost like the script was locked in, then the studio’s marketing team decided they wanted the film to be “just like Gremlins”. This leaves a few “what was that about” moments in the film. I won’t spoil them, as they were some of the most (unintentionally) entertaining […] It’s not all bad though. When they do appear, the Ghoulies are very entertaining…” UK Horror Scene

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“The script for Ghoulies, written by Luca Bercovici and Jefery Levy, does contain a few instances of cleverness (it’s brimming with movie references, from Rosemary’s Baby to The Ten Commandments), but there’s just not enough here to warrant a recommendation. How this managed to spawn three sequels is beyond me, though the ghoulies themselves are enjoyably campy.” Reel Film Reviews

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‘The set design is wonderful, with the Graves Estate looking suitably overgrown and creepy, but with a refreshing Beverly Hills feel that sets it apart from your average Scooby Doo haunted house. There aren’t a lot of stand-out kills to comment on, but the bit with the clown doll is definitely one of the coolest sequences in the film.’ Adventures in Poor Taste

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