Surely there was a time when Charles Band didn’t just make shitty puppet horror movies?
Or maybe there wasn’t.
Well, I am being unfair- Empire International Pictures (his early company) produced gems like Re-animator (as well as a number of non-gems.
But man, at some point he really got into shitty puppets and never looked back. Ghoulies might have been that turning point, as it preceeded all of Band’s Full Moon Entertainment schlock. (The Puppet Master series, Subspecies series- which didn’t even need the little monsters Band apparently insisted on inserting).
Ghoulies is remarkable if only for the catchy tagline, the cutesy-gross poster, and the early appearence by Mariska Hargitay. Man, Lisa Pelikan’s skin looks uber-porcelein in the trailer, doesn’t it? Scott Thomson shows up for comic relief- actually, more than half the cast is there for comic relief.
Ghoulies is a weird one, it feels like an Italian horror pic at times, with occultism and hints of a killer mannequin and… a lot of party sequences and friends standing around looking wealthy and bored. There is a sub-genre of 80s horror that seems to consist of the idle wealthy youths being picked off one by one- maybe to counter the grubbier slashers? Who can say. Who cares? Not the Ghoulies.
They’ll get you… in the end.