Bluray Review: GHOULIES/GHOULIES II

unnamed (3)Scream Factory brings the toilet scare of many children who grew up in the ’80s back, with their new Bluray double feature release of the GHOULIES/GHOULIES II, and the big question of how it stacks up against previous SF releases can now be answered: it does quite well. The small creature-filled film and its sequel are both a lot of silly fun, and Scream Factory does an excellent job giving each film the HD treatment, as well as providing some entertaining and insightful special features sure to please the most die hard fans of the series.


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GHOULIES (1984)

Beginning a whole series, the first GHOULIES film is quite an interesting one, with a lot of it having to do with creatures accidentally unleashed in a mansion. While the later films in the series set the monsters loose in various locations and situations, most of this film puts the emphasis on sorcery and witchcraft, and the battle between good and evil,..and orgies. After unleashing the evil and resurrecting a warlock, the unfortunate guy who set them loose is possessed and become a devout follower of all that is evil. It’s a wild time that is just something you don’t see anymore. It’s incredibly easy to miss films like this one, it came at a time in which people took chances with films, and there’s no bigger risk that marketing a film with a monster coming out of a toilet.

It’s definitely a pretty entertaining film, and it was made back in the day, when Charles Band and Co. had the budgets and imagination to create unique and fun stories, ones that didn’t have anything to do with the talking bongs and cookies featured in a lot of his current output. Featuring ERASERHEAD‘s Jack Nance (R.I.P.) in quite the memorable role, and with some really impressive practical effects, GHOULIES is the type of horror films that kids who grew up in the ’80s (i.e.-me) adored, and Scream Factory’s HD transfer is a good upgrade from previous releases of this one. The picture looks good, the sound is great, and it’s a film that is impossible not to love.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Included in the first film’s disc, is an Audio Commentary with director/co-writer Luca Bercovici, and the original trailer, but the real standout of the first film’s supplemental material is a set of brand new interviews with Charles Band, Richard Band, actor Michael Des Barres, and John Vulich (makeup/fx artist). It’s great to see them all talk about the film, and reminiscence about the experience and everything that went into it. It’s full of fun stories and worth picking up just for the interviews.


GHOULIES II (1988)

Taking a different approach than the first film, GHOULIES II amps up the fun and carnage, when the monsters are set loose inside of a struggling carnival, wreaking havoc on carnies, attendees and anyone else who comes into contact with them. It’s a complete 180 from the tone and setting of the first film, and truthfully, it works tremendously better for the overall entertainment of the film.

Revolving around the crew working “Satan’s Den”, a house of horror-like attraction, GHOULIES II places the toilet-loving creatures inside of the haunt, and gives viewers more then its share of hilarious moments. When attendees see the creatures and think the blood and mayhem they cause is part of the attraction, the money begins to come in, but the Ghoulies get more and more dangerous, leading to a very entertaining and satisfying climax. Where as the first film dealt with witchcraft and mansions, the second film is all fun, and you can tell that director Albert Band had a blast making the movie, because it shows in the end product. It’s wild and easy to love, and features good performances from PUMPKINHEAD‘s Kerry Remsen, LEATHERFACE: TCM III‘s William Butler and pretty much everyone else involved. A genuinely great time.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Along with a few deleted scenes and the original trailer, GHOULIES II, like the first film, includes interviews with various people involved. These interviews are great to watch, and makes the film even more entertaining, after hearing about the experiences each person went through making it.

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