Ghoulies (film series)
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|Created by||Luca Bercovici|
|Original work||Ghoulies (1985)|
|Novel(s)||List of novels|
|Films and television|
|Film(s)||List of films|
|Ghoulies (1985)||Luca Bercovici||Luca Bercovici
|Ghoulies II (1988)||Albert Band||Dennis Paoli||Albert Band|
|Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College (1991)||John Carl Buechler||Brent Olson||Iain Paterson|
|Ghoulies IV (1994)||Jim Wynorski||Mark Sevi||Gary Schmoeller|
The plot of this film centers on Jonathan Graves (Peter Liapis), a college student who uncovers his late father's occult paraphernalia in his family's mansion. Graves tries to summon up the demonic forces his father dabbled with, in hopes of gaining supernatural powers. Consequently, the little Ghoulies are summoned to descend on the manor and terrorize everyone who participated in the ritual. The film also stars Lisa Pelikan, Michael Des Barres, Jack Nance, and Mariska Hargitay in her film debut.
Contrary to popular belief, Ghoulies did not originate under the unproduced Stan Winston and Charles Band project Beasties. It was originated as a one-location horror film by director Luca Bercovici and his writing partner Jefery Levy, and was pitched to Band by Bercovici. After a premiere in the United Kingdom in November 1984, the film premiered in Los Angeles on January 18, 1985 and in New York on March 1, 1985.
According to stories that Charles Band tells on his Full Moon Horror Road Show, he was tasked to come up with a great campaign to promote the film. During a brainstorming session with Gary Allen, he came up with the idea to have the Ghoulie popping up from the toilet. Although Band has claimed that the scene with the Ghoulie popping out of the toilet was shot after the fact to mirror the poster image, Luca Bercovici says that it was part of the original shoot.
Ghoulies II (1988)
In the second installment, unrelated to the first movie, the Ghoulies hitch a ride with a carnival and end up hiding in an amusement park funhouse called "Satan's Den" which becomes a smash hit when visitors believe the little demons are part of the attraction – that is, until people start falling victim to the evil creatures.
The film was again produced by Empire Pictures, and directed by Charles Band's father Albert Band. It was also the last entry to have any involvement from Charles Band, as he sold the rights to Vestron Pictures to save Empire Pictures, which was struggling financially at the time. Ghoulies and Ghoulies II were released as a double feature DVD from MGM Home Entertainment in 2003, and as a double feature Blu-ray from Scream Factory in 2015. Special features include theatrical trailers. Blu-ray special features include commentaries, interviews, still galleries and original theatrical trailers for both films. In 2017 Austrian company NSM Records released Ghoulies II on Blu-ray in a fully uncut R-rated version, which was the first time that the movie had been seen uncut since the original cast and crew premiere.
Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College (1991)
In the third installment, the little demons are summoned at a college campus by Professor Ragnar (Kevin McCarthy), who is obsessed with the occult. Soon the creatures wreak havoc that is initially dismissed as elaborate pranks by the partying frat houses during the annual "Prank Week" – that is, until a couple at the school realize that the pranks are not so innocent this time.
The third film saw Buechler step into the director's chair and was released straight-to-video in 1991 by Vestron Video after a theatrical release fell through. The film co-starred genre stalwart Kevin McCarthy and is the first film where the Ghoulies actually speak. The film is currently available on DVD from Lionsgate as part of an eight-horror movie DVD set. This is Matthew Lillard's film debut.
Ghoulies IV (1994)
In the final installment, Jonathan Graves (Peter Liapis) returns, this time a retired occultist turned police officer. His latest assignment finds him battling his former girlfriend Alexandra (Stacie Randall), who has escaped an asylum and tries to summon forth the demonic forces Graves trifled with in the first film.
The film also stars Barbara Alyn Woods.
The series' fourth and final entry was directed by Jim Wynorski and made by CineTel Films and also released straight-to-video in 1994 by Columbia TriStar Home Video. Original Ghoulies lead Pete Liapis returned to the series as Jonathan Graves, now a detective who must deal with a new pair of Ghoulies. This entry in the series has been criticized by the fans of the series because the 'Ghoulies' in this film are completely different, however in recent years the movie has managed to receive a cult following for its humor and originality; instead of the usual puppet Ghoulies, the movie cast little actors in costumes. Ghoulies IV was released on DVD in 2007 by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment.
In 2018, a retrospective book called Ghoulies Companion was released exclusively via Lulu.com. Written by Graham Le Neve Painter, the book includes features and interviews with the cast and crew of all four Ghoulies movies.
- "Interview with Luca Bercovici (Ghoulies)". Retrieved August 24, 2018.