Ghoulies II – USA, 1988 – overview and reviews

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‘Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the bathroom…’

Ghoulies II – aka Ghoulies 2 – is a 1988 American supernatural comedy horror film directed by producer Charles Band‘s father, veteran Albert Band (I Bury the Living; Zoltan, Hound of Dracula; Doctor Mordrid). The screenplay by Dennis Paoli (Re-Animator; From Beyond; The Dentist) was based on a story by Charlie Dolan.

Main cast:

Damon Martin (Freddy’s Nightmares; Amityville: It’s About Time), Royal Dano (Messiah of EvilHouse II; The Dark Half), Phil Fondacaro (Hard Rock Zombies; Monster High; Night Angel), J. Downing and Kerry Remsen (Appointment with Fear; Pumpkinhead; After Midnight).

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Plot:

The ghoulies from the first film escape the manor and end up hiding in an amusement park funhouse called “Satan’s Den” which becomes a smash hit when visitors believe the little demons are part of the attraction – that is until people start falling victim to the evil creatures…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

Ghoulies II‘s sense of humor is equal parts diabolical and campy … The sense of community among the carnies is a blast when they take the fight to the creatures, and the Evil Dead II-style cure-is-worse-than-the-disease climax is right up my alley.” Adam Tyner, DVD Talk

Ghoulies II is actually better than Ghoulies I. For a start there’s far more ghoulie action. The acting’s a bit better and the pacing is far less draggy. The only downside is we don’t get a reprise of Richard Band’s bouncy, mischievous music score but otherwise Ghoulies II provides 90 odd minutes of silly fun for the undemanding Charles Band fan.” John Llewellyn Probert, House of Mortal Cinema

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“This movie is a ton of fun, encapsulating everything that makes ‘80s horror so endearing. First off, the ghoulies are back and indeed better than ever. Buechler’s FX are more refined, with increased movement and better sculpting evident on ghoulies new and old. The use of stop-motion in a few key scenes also allows for a greater range of activity and mischief.” Anthony Arrigo, Dread Central

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Ghoulies II takes itself less serious and really finds its stride in its last act. As soon as the little creatures take over the carnival and its rides, deadly mischief and mayhem unfold and hilarity ensues. I found the sequel more entertaining and lighthearted because it seemed like it wasn’t taking itself as serious as the original did.” Eric Shirey, Moviepilot

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” … more problematic than the ghoulies being so inert is how much time they spend on pointless “character development” for the supporting characters. The two main heroes – fine. But random other circus folk, some of whom we only see in said moments? Who the f*ck cares? And none of it is particularly interesting anyway; its only purpose is to pad the film to an acceptable running time.” Horror Movie a Day

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Ghoulies II is an improvement on just about every level, including a soundtrack that features “Scream Until You like It” by W.A.S.P. OK, so “improvement” might not be the right word — it’s still quite bad — but at least it’s self-aware enough to be entertaining in its badness.” Adam Frazier, Geeks of Doom

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” …production values alone do not a great movie make and the truth is that Ghoulies II shows very little sign of life until around an hour in… Peter Manoogian, Empire of the ‘B’s: The Mad Movie World of Charles Band

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Filming locations:

Empire Studios, Rome, Lazio, Italy

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