If you can even make it to the end
Sometimes you go into a movie expecting to see one movie and get another. It might be for the better or it might be for the worse, but you can't help but feel a little cheated. You wouldn't go into a sports movie and find out it's really a psychological thriller in a race against time to save the world. Most of the time, though, it's just bullshit advertising to suck you in, get your hard-earned money and give you the visual equivalent of a wedgie. This is one of those times.
Ghoulies is a 1985 horror/comedy starring Peter Liapis as Jonathan Graves, Lisa Pelikan (Lionheart, Julia) as Rebecca, and Michael Des Barres (Mulholland Dr., Waxwork II) as Malcolm Graves. Malcolm is a devil-worshipping magician who is about to kill his infant son Jonathan in a Satanic ritual. He is stopped by his wife and one of his followers, Wolfgang, escapes with the boy. Years later, a full grown Jonathan moves in to his father's mansion with his girlfriend Rebecca. They invite a group of friends over to celebrate when Jonathan discovers a ritual in one of his father's books. He conjures a spirit that enters his body, which convinces him to further explore the dark arts. Jonathan calls forth the ghoulies, little mutant creatures, to do his bidding, along with two little people in medieval clothes. Rebecca tries to stop him, but his powers are too strong, and he controls her mind. They once again invite their friends over, but this time, Jonathan uses his powers to raise his father Malcolm from the dead, who in turn kills all of their friends. Rebecca flees and is killed by one of the ghoulies. Will Jonathan snap out of it and stop his powerful father before it's too late?
Is that your hair or Satan's chamber pot on your head?
If you couldn't tell from my brief and painful description, this movie is fucking stupid. The plot is purely 1980's Hollywood's idea of what Satan and devil-worshiping is and how it looks. This was made around the time of mother's everywhere thinking their children were going to be kidnapped and murdered by cults. Beyond that, I really have no idea what's going on in this movie. I legitimately did not know this was supposed to be funny until I read that it was a comedy. I've seen World's Wildest Police Chases that were funnier than this movie. I have so many questions about this movie that it should be an entire category in Jeopardy. Why does Jonathan take so quickly to rituals and spells? Are his powers relegated to having green eyes and yelling a lot? How did he get the house and why were there just tons of black magic books lying around? Most importantly, WHY THE BLOODY HELL ARE THE GHOULIES INVOLVED?! I really see no point in having these demented Muppets in the movie since they really contribute nothing. They look decent, but they never really do much beyond killing a few people, and that doesn't even happen until 57 minutes in. Seriously, I made sure to check because they did nothing of note before that.
The acting in the movie is hilariously terrible, to the point where I thought they left in some bad takes. The special effects are poor as well. This just compounds the fact that this movie has a weak plot. I mean, who is supposed to be the hero of the movie? Jonathan is evil for about 85% of the movie, Rebecca puts up almost no fight and goes under Jonathan's control, and the friends are useless. Who am I supposed to cheer for? It doesn't really matter because I hate all of them, but still, you can't have a movie without a main protagonist. Maybe they were too busy designing the Ghoulies to come up with subtle things like a good story or stuff making sense.
Apparently, Ghoulies made a good amount of money in theaters, which could be attributed to a good advertising campaign. Congratulations, they managed to rip off a lot of people with a boring, nonsensical plot, pointless characters, and horrific special effects. The acting is very bad and the action is minimal. There is nothing cult or classic about this. I was expecting something similar to Gremlins or Demonic Toys, and was left with a ridiculous black magic/devil-worshipping movie filled with bad effects and even worse 80's hair. The worst part of it all is that there are at least three sequels including, and I am not making this up, Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go To College. Kids, say no to drugs and say no to shitty movies.