Movie-goers, the die-hard ones anyway, have “those” movies, the ones that come up in conversation and result in replies like, “Ugh. I paid money to see that in theaters.” Likely, that happens to anyone who saw Ghoulies in its original run.

Few movies reach such a grandiose level of awfulness like Ghoulies, the type of horror flick where quite literally nothing interesting happens for 70-minutes, and in the final 10-minutes, well, still very little interesting happens.

Ghoulies is the type requiring professional mockery, not just drunken party antics

Upon its release, parents complained about the poster. A creature is shown popping out of a toilet, scaring every five-year-old who came near enough to catch a glimpse. Although R-rated with some admittedly impressive make-up effects in the closing moments, only those children would find Ghoulies intriguing.

Released six months after Gremlins, Ghoulies began life much earlier – and as an entirely different project. When it finally saw release, there was no avoiding the comparison. The same thing happened to Critters, but people generally adore Critters, so take that as you will.

Built on a script playing into the ‘80s Satanic Panic nonsense, Ghoulies finds star Peter Liapis succumbing to a curse in an inherited home, unleashing tiny monsters into the world. Eventually, they do things. Eventually. Until then, Liapis mopes around the house, boring himself as much as the audience. Bizarre side characters include a horny Elvis-like 30-something friend and Toad Boy who, for reasons unknown, finds it hilarious to talk in a high-pitch.

The tone doesn’t match those offbeat bit parts as Ghoulies plays itself too straight, building the severity of Satan worship continuously as inevitable victims have sex, drink, and do drugs, because that’s their only purpose in this script. At its worst, Ghoulies is helpless, running on creative fumes and vaporized finances. The sequel, for its equally infinite faults, at least brings a splash of fun to the closing moments. Ghoulies ends with two old men shooting a dozen or so eye lasers at one another, mostly because it looked cool at the time.

For a movie named after them, the creatures themselves do a lot of nothing, staying primarily in the background until they pick off a few victims in the closing moments. It’s just not fun or entertaining, the worst type of movie to watch unless it’s being mocked, and Ghoulies is the type requiring professional mockery, not just drunken party antics.


Never say fans and consumers don’t have a say in things. Done right, reasonably, and through the proper channels, studios listen. Here we are with a pristine, full 4K scan of Ghoulies. That would sound unimaginable 10-15 years ago when discs came riddled with ugly, nasty, ancient masters, dropped onto Blu-ray for a quick profit turn. That’s not acceptable anymore, and Ghoulies (of all things) looks this good? Times change.

A meticulous grain structure shows splendid, organic purity, and behind that, absolutely pristine sharpness. Ghoulies looks impeccable, the texture thriving in this circumstance. No dirt, no scratches, no imperfections – it’s stellar. Every little detail added to the puppets appears on screen. Short of optical effects naturally degrading the imagery, this is spotless.

MVD goes with Dolby Vision, color blossoming and brilliantly saturated. Generous black levels coat the basement set in sensational shadows, every corner absolute black. Highlights pop, whether something simple like a candle flame or an exterior scene with sun dressing the scene in generous brightness.


Basic, unremarkable DTS-HD services Ghoulies well enough. It’s a thin, cheap audio track that sounds every bit Ghoulies’ budget, including the dialog drained of life and a score lacking in range, although a few generic music choices catch some low-end thump, as does an earthquake at the end.


Two commentaries reside on the 4K disc itself. Both come from previous releases, and both feature director Luca Bercovici, with the second using a moderator to change things up. Those tracks reside on the Blu-ray too, which also includes separate interviews with Bercovici, Ted Nicolau, and actor Scott Thompson. A satisfying making-of runs just short of 30-minutes. Stills and trailers come next.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

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Ghoulies is low budget, knock-off drudgery of the worst kind, but it looks dazzling thanks to modern tech.

User Review
3.5 (2 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 39 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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