Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Day 21: Ghoulies / Ghoulies II
Ghoulies is your typical boy - born - to -Satanists story, with Papa wanting to make him into a sacrifice and Mama thinking that's probably not the best idea she's heard this week:
She puts some kind of amulet on him that makes it impossible for Papa to touch him without getting some kind of electrical shock, so Papa orders Junior to be taken from his sight, and he's rescued by fellow Satanist and caretaker of the family's property, Wolfgang (played by the late great Jack Nance).
Then, boom, we're treated to a voice over from Wolfgang saying he only felt comfortable bringing Junior back years later after his father 'suffered a horrible death'.
Which leads to all kinds of questions regarding where Junior's been, who raised him, etc, - but this is the 80's, man! Who gives two craps about the plot! It's time for a PARTY!
Calvacade of 80's Awesomeness:
Pretty soon all Junior wants to do is hang around the house, paint weird symbols on the floor and do rituals and stuff. Must be in the blood, because he's pretty nonchalant when he manages to wrangle some lil demons from the other side. And I do mean 'lil'.
Do you think it might have been a budgetary thing?
Later he decides that the lil' demons aren't enough, so he calls in the big guns:
(This was also the point that Papa Cash came in the living room, looked at the TV, looked at me (my sickly self curled up on the couch with cats and blankets) and said, 'Napping to bad movies today?' LOL
And soon we find ourselves having another party - a sunglasses party, it seems.
Getting down with the Git Down:
And then things progress from there, with the partygoers turning into Ghoulie Chow and Papa joining us from beyond the grave:
I wasn't scared by Ghoulies when I was a kid, but I was fond of it. I have to admit that it hasn't exactly held up through the years- it's more amusing to me as a time capsule of the 80's than anything else. There are some fun things to be seen here - the cameo by Bobbie Bresee (watch out for that crazy tongue action!), the goofy guests, the over the top performance by Michael DesBarres as dead Papa, - and I'm always a sucker for good old fashioned Devil raisin'.
I didn't remember being overly impressed with the special effects when I was a kid - even then I thought the Ghoulies could have been improved - but I was surprised just how kind of crappy they are.
The Ghoulies are slightly improved in Ghoulies II - which I ended up watching just because it came packaged with Ghoulies I. I just assumed I had seen it at some point - but I didn't remember this 'Ghoulies Join the Carnival' kooky thing. However, I am a sucker for movies that take place at the carnival (Freaks, The Funhouse, She -Freak, etc) so it was somewhat amusing for me from that perspective.
The Ghoulies hitch a ride on a bus called 'Satan's Playground' which is the haunted house attraction on the carnival. They hide out and for a while become part of the attraction itself, which the patrons actually enjoy and think is just part of the show. Sales increase and for a while, all is well.
The Ghoulies apparently like it too:
But nothing good lasts forever, and eventually the Ghoulies get ticked off and quit playin' nice. Then we have the you-knew-it-was-coming wacky rampage through the carnival. Ghoulie HiJinks for Everyone!!!!
Ghoulies II wasn't awful - it's nothing I'd buy by itself and I probably would never have watched it if it weren't on the B-side of Ghoulies I.
I'm certainly not dying to check out the next episode in the Ghoulies story: Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College (!) It goes without saying that Ghoulies IV is probably not going to be in my DVD player anytime soon either. I'll just have to live with the unknown......
Going back to my couch,