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When he was still a child, Jonathan (as a child played by Jamie Bronow,
as a grownup by Peter Liapis) was to be sacrificed by his own father
Malcolm (Michael Des Barres), a notorious Satanist, but he was saved by
Wolfgang (Jack Nance), the caretaker of Malcolm's estate.
Jonathan and his fiancée Rebecca (Lisa Pelikan) return to daddy's estate
which Jonathan has since inherited. The place needs lots of fixing-up, and
Jonathan decides to take a break from university to do just that - but
while working on the house, he discovers his daddy's books in the
basement, and at first out of curiosity, he begins to try his hands on the
black arts for a bit. Besides a couple of weird midgets (Peter Risch,
Tamara De Treaux), he summons tons of little monsters, the goulies, and
somehow the black arts seem to promise him the world ... so he and Rebecca
(who is oblivious to his dark experiments) invite their friends over for a
dinner, knowing whenever there's a party, the guys and girls would not
take long until they start having sex. And apparently, the sexual energy
is needed to ... raise dad.
Now here's where Jonathan realizes how wrong
he was: Sure, he would have sacrificed his friends and even Rebecca to ...
oh, I don't know what, really, but not to raise dad, after all, it was
daddy who tried to sacrifice him all those years ago. So now it's a fight
of Jonathan, Rebecca and company versus dad and his ghoulies - which is
only decided in Jonathan's favour when Walter reenters the scene to kill
dad. The whole estate including the ghoulies goes up in a boom of course,
but Jonathan, Rebecca and company have just enough time to escape ...
silly little horror film made in the wake of the success of Gremlins,
Ghoulies might have an enjoyably light-hearted approach to it, but
otherwise it would be completely forgettable - if it wasn't for the
wonderful creatures created by John Carl Buechler that are perfect blends
of the horrific, the grotesque, the other-worldly and the downright funny.
Sure, their narrative necessity is marginal at best, but man, are they fun
to watch! So despite this film's limitations in overall quality, it's no
surprise that it was eventually followed by quite a number of sequels.