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DVD: Ghoulies (1985)
Review Rating:   Standard  
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1 (NTSC)

August 26, 2003



Genre: Horror Comedy  
Years after being whisked away from a Satanic sacrifice as an infant, a man returns to his past when he inherits the house he was born in. The only way to proceed is have a party with babes, dudes, two dwarfs, and slimy creatures with attitude.  



Directed by:

Luca Bercovici
Screenplay by: Jeffrey Levy,  Luca Bercovici
Music by: Richard Band, Shirley Walker
Produced by: Jeffrey Levy

Peter Liapis,  Lisa Pelikan,  Scott Thomson,  Keith Joe Dick,  Michael Des Barres,  Jack Nance,  Peter Risch,  Tamara De Treaux,  Ralph Seymour,  Mariska Hagitay

Film Length: 81 mins
Process/Ratio: 1.85 :1
Anamorphic DVD: Yes
Languages:   English (Mono) / English,  French,  Spanish
Special Features :  

Side B: "Ghoulies II" feature film, 90 minutes, English Stereo Surround, English, French & Spanish subtitles) / Theatrical trailer for "Ghoulies"

Comments :

To cash in on the success of Joe Dante's “Gremlins” in 1984, an old project was reworked by veteran exploitation house Empire Pictures, and carefully edited to ensure a fairly broad audience.

While the first half begins as a classic B-movie, with star Peter Liapis discovering the mysterious paraphernalia in the basement, the movie veers into less controversial terrain by having the ghoulies (technically ghouls feed off cadavers, but I guess they acquire a taste for carrion after tasting some of the living?) terrorizing the cast of college kids (largely played by college grads), with Michael Des Barres chewing the scenery in his inimitable way. No nudity, no nasty gore, and very PG-13 for the rental market, “Ghoulies” is also notable as the screen debut of Mariska Hargitay (TV's “ER” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”), and like her fellow castmates, she earns deserved sympathy for her Big Hair, and classic Eighties attire.

MGM's anamorphic transfer is made from a very clean print, with nice colours and a good mono soundtrack, featuring an early score co-composed by Shirley Walker (with Empire house composer Richard Band).

The anamorphic trailer is in decent condition, using an overly lighthearted narrator, and the iconic ghoulie-in-the-toilet finale – the anti-“Gremlins” logo, so to speak.

Because the world demanded it, a sequel appeared in 1987.


© 2003 Mark R. Hasan

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