Ghoulies IV (1994)

Ghoulies IV (1994)

A little black magic, a little black leather… and a lot of black humour.

Alexandra attempts to raise the demon Faust but inadvertently releases two Ghoulies into the world. Jonathan Graves, who encountered the Ghoulies years earlier, now works as a police detective in LA. It isn’t long before both Alexandra and the Ghoulies come looking for him and the crystal he wears around his neck.

 

The Ghoulies were the product of classic 80s low budget horror film making. Clearly rip-offs of the Gremlins, the Ghoulies were also small, aggressive and mischievous creatures intent on causing havoc and mayhem. They looked rubbish, the films were rubbish and they should have been consigned to the scrap heap for all eternity after the first film. But there was always heart to it and I actually felt sorry for the Ghoulies because of how shoddy they looked, especially the green one who always popped out of the toilet. They tried, bless them. And someone thought that they were popular enough to spawn a couple of sequels. So they were resurrected in 1988 and 1991 and now again with this third sequel.

Only they didn’t resurrect them. This time there’s no sign of the creatures that plagued the university in the last instalment or wreaked havoc at the fair apart from a few flashbacks (no doubt to remind you that you are actually watching a sequel). This time the Ghoulies are played by two very small actors with ridiculous troll masks and jive talking accents. They look like they just walked off the set of Troll or are a couple of kids on their way to a Halloween fancy dress party. They have changed their ways too, now siding with good against evil. They’re not the main focus of the film and are more of a side act for the majority of the running time. They’re not in it that much which is a good thing or bad thing depending on whether you assume more of them would have made the film more enjoyable (it wouldn’t, believe me). This whole film would have probably worked better as Troll 3 to be honest. The ‘black humour’ apparently featured in the film is mainly restricted to the antics of these two creatures as they attempt to find a way back to their own dimension. It’s about as funny as getting a wisdom tooth removed.

The film is one of those films that is literally unwatchable because of how atrocious it is. It’s boring and plodding. It’s got a lousy script which goes for the ‘buddy cop’ feel instead of little creatures causing havoc. It’s got terrible overacting from some people and drama school acting from others. The special effects consist of the usual low budget 80s bright lights and smoke machines. This one tries to compensate for the lack of Ghoulies by linking in with the first film and pretending that the last two didn’t happen. It does mean that there is a bit of story present but I’m sure that the handful of people (and I mean handful) who ever watched the original wouldn’t really have cared if they continued the story or not. It hardly feels like a Ghoulies movie at all.

The ‘highlight’ is the constant sigh of that chick on the front cover wearing a PVC costume. She’s the villainess but how could any warm-blooded male actually want to dislike her? She does look like a porn star or stripper in the outfit and it’s easy to see why she was cast. Peter Liapis reprises his role from the original in the attempt to get some continuity into the series. Though they forgot to bring back the original Ghoulies, instead settling for some ridiculous alternatives.

 

Ghoulies IV is helmed by a hack director notorious for his terrible films (many of which I’d watched!) and filled with the sort of inane film making that I’m sure would give guys like Rogert Ebert living nightmares. The previous three films may not be classics but at least they had actual Ghoulies in them and despite them looking like toys from a junk shop, at least they were entertaining in their own way.

 

 ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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