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Ghoulies II (1987)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Movie Connections:
Ghoulies
> Ghoulies (1985)
> Ghoulies II (1987)
Genres:
Creature Film, Horror, Horror Comedy
Director:
Albert Band Albert Band
Starring:
Damon Martin Damon Martin
Royal Dano Royal Dano
Phil Fondacaro Phil Fondacaro
J. Downing J. Downing
Kerry Remsen Kerry Remsen

5.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: May 07, 2007
It seems to be sequel month here at the ol' M&V, and in keeping with the trend, I figured that I'd continue the Ghoulies line of films that my fellow reviewer started a couple of weeks back. Now, before getting into this review, I should probably point out that the original Ghoulies didn't really do a whole lot for me; sure, it was entertaining in a campy "let's laugh at the effects and script" sort of way, but a classic? Not in my humble opinion. However, this was a case where the sequel outdid the original: everything about this one was better that its predecessor.

Picking up shortly after the events of the original, this one finds a couple of the titular ghoulies stowed away at a gas station where they soon meet a pair of carnival workers by way of Larry (Damon Martin) and his Uncle Ned (Royal Dano). Well, perhaps 'meet' isn't exactly the right word, since the little buggers merely smuggle themselves aboard the carnies' tractor-trailer after seeing the demonic "Satan's Den" images printed on the side of it. We then shift gears a bit and learn that a sleazy investor (J. Downing) is planning to shut down this satanic den due to a lack of profits, and our heroes are given an ultimatum: improve the ticket sales at their carnival spookhouse or find a new job. Improving sales might not be as difficult as originally anticipated when the crowds see the newest "attraction", that being a quartet of little monsters that are amazingly lifelike... but will there be a second night at the carnival with these hungry little demons scampering about?

My main problem with the original was that it took itself way too seriously for a movie about pint-sized demons. Sure, it had its comedic moments and it's obvious that the people responsible for it were injecting a little humor into the mix, but at the end of the day, it still came across as though somebody had it in their head that they had a truly horrific set of critters on their hand. The end result was a film that relied far too much on the horror side of the "horror comedy" label, and as such, the film turned out to be comedic in a way that I'm sure they didn't intend.

That was not the case with the sequel. It's blatantly obvious from the opening moments of the film that everyone was fully aware that they were working on a campy b-movie which featured creatures that were about as scary as the Gremlins, and as such, they ran with the comedy side of things much more than the people responsible for the original did. The end result of this was a film that was much more entertaining for the home audience as we were allowed to laugh along with the filmmakers instead of at them.

Although far from being a perfect film or even a classic, Ghoulies II is an entertaining ninety minutes in front of the tube and will no doubt please both the fans of the original and those who thought the first outing was sketchy at best. It probably won't sell you on the idea of these little monsters if you absolutely despised the concept to begin with, but if you were on the fence about continuing with the series after watching the original, give this one a shot: you probably won't regret it, as this is the film that the original should have been. 8/10.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 05/07/2007, 12:04 PM
Just pure 1980's cheese at its finest. They don't make films like this any more, and that is a shame. I remember "Ghoulies II" and was going to get around to reviewing it eventually myself. I enjoyed the hell out of this one. 8/10.
Ginose #2: Ginose - added 05/07/2007, 09:22 PM
Much, much better than the first. But all the same it doesn't matter, this is the greatest little monster film I've ever seen. I really love this one... shit... Imma watch it right now...
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