Ghoulies (1984)

Directed by: Luca Bercovici

Written by: Luca Bercovici & Jefery Levy

Story by: Bob Gale & Robert Zemeckis


Peter Liapis .... Jonathan Graves
Lisa Pelikan .... Rebecca
Michael DesBarres .... Malcolm Graves
Jack Nance .... Wolfgang
Peter Risch .... Grizzel
Tamara De Treaux .... Greedigut
Scott Thomson .... Mike
Ralph Seymour .... Mark
Mariska Hargitay .... Donna
Keith Joe Dick .... Dick
Jeff Dayan .... Eddie
Charene Cathleen .... Robin

Release Date: Theatrical: November 8, 1984 (UK); March 2, 1985

*Images courtesy at:









A satanic preacher named Malcolm Graves (Michael Des Barres) with his ghoulish creatures is about to sacrifice his baby named Jonathan but a woman at the cult ceremony stops him.
Both of them die and years later Jonathan (Peter Liapis) is grown up and tries to discover who his parents were.
He moves into the same mansion where the cult ceremony occurred with his girlfriend Rebecca (Lisa Pelikan) and suddenly becomes posessed and becomes a part of his father hypnotising his girlfriend and his friends as well.
He summons up the ghoulish creatures as at first they seem to help him out but then Jonathan's father rises from the grave to take control again and wreck havoc controlling the creatures to terrorise anyone at the mansion.


We spot a real corny and cheesy beginning of the film with close up shots on the vicious looks on the ghoulies as well as the title character Malcolm Graves doing a cult ceremony at his satanic church as this looked too far fetched to be taken seriously on how the plot went as well as it's lack of a budget too but sometimes low budget horrors work in well that way but not with this one. Yet it does grab your attention when the mother tries to snatch the baby away from him when he is about to do a sacrifice making you feel better that a baby isn't going to be killed.
We spot some fun partying going on with the group of friends on present day which also looked cheesy but in a fun fashion as well as one of them doing some sort of a breakdance which was big back then. Also there's discussions on them to try and do a ceremony as this looked a little wooden to watch but yet when we spot the lead character Jonathan Graves trying to do the ceremony which almost looked powerful to watch as you wonder if he will succeed in summoning up a demon or not. Yet later on there's a good camera shot later on with the pentagram and smoke but yet a cheesy special effects shot on a ghoulie appearing and snarling which doesn't do much for the picture.
A perfect still moment with Jonathan standing outside and not being himself when his girlfriend Rebecca tries to talk to him as the setting here looked perfect as well as a bit creepy which offers nice timing that he is slowly changing and a nice mysterious feel for the story.
Plus we have a nice effective scene when Jonathan goes to the basement of his home and does the ceremony again with a thunderstrom happening as it adds a nice touch in which we spot the famous green ghoulies like we spot on the movie poster rising up and so fourth but yet they look too silly and somewhat rubber figures to be taken seriously.
However things look way too hokey when Jonathan summons up two dwarves Grizzel and Greedigut and their conversations as well as their numerous scene's in order to do some nasty deeds as this doesn't fit into the story I find.
We also have a moment with Rebecca confronting Jonathan and spotting his green eyes as well as her trying to leave but he puts her in a trance which looked mildly effective and works into the low budget plot here.
Another neat moment is when Jonathan invites his friends over for a dinner engagement and suddenly things start to appear differently with his magic spells and doing a chant as well as shots on the ghoulies surrounding the area which had some nice cheesy horror timings as well as a shot on Malcolm rising up from the grave which should impress horror fans who like these types of cheesy moments too. Then things are back to normal again as this looked very clever.
Nice moment with Malcolm as a ghoul coming into the room and commanding his ghoulies as well as the dwarves to do his evil deeds as the scene looked not too badly done while these situations were happening.
Nice shots on the ghoulies attacking some of the party guests as well as a nicely careful shot on a couple tryiong to look for something that was dropped in the water as this is a nice moment that makes you cringe that something will leap up and get them both.
Perfect battling moments between father and son and proving the father is more powerful with their laser beams and all that goes on which offers some interesting horror fanstay that happens. Plus a good heroic moment with Wolfgang trying to save the day as this was also impressive to watch as well.
There's also the happy ending we all may think when we spot Jonathan and Rebecca driving away with camera shots on this as you get a feeling the ghoulies may pop up which looked well shot to get that impression.
Bottom line is that this is an interesting but average cheesy 80's horror film if you loved these types. The ghoulies looked a little too cute to be scary and dangerous though but you'll laugh watching them terrorise others. There are interesting lightning effects when any magic happens. The story really isn't promising by any means but it's fun to watch if you're in the mood to watch it with friends for fun.

The acting is quite cheesily performed as Peter Liapis (Jonathan Graves) seemed to pull off his work in an okay fashion as the guy next door type but when he does a ceremony with his aggressions and so fourth he is a bit over the top. However, he looked great doing a chant outside of the house to summon up the creatures. Also, when he is in a disturbed or emotionless mode while slowly starting to become possessede he really gets into this. He was okay when getting aggressive while hypnotising someone or going into a struggling battle as the energy shows off in a fair fashion here.
Lisa Pelikan
(Rebecca) also does a fine job too playing his girlfriend having a warm but yet stern attitude on what's going on since she shows a good mellow and sympathetic attitude in other spots as well as doing well by speaking softly and clearly too. Does well by freaking out or getting upset with stuff along by acting expressionless and emotionless when she gets hypnotised as she studied all of this greatly.
Michael DesBarres
(Malcolm Graves) does fine as the satanic father of his troubled son but he overly does it alot of the times especially during the beginning of his performance by doing a satanic ceremony in which he leaves the acting off a bad impression. Seems to do well with his gravelly voice after returning from the dead as he does a nice character job as a ghoul coming across strong and powerful but when he tries to take over everything it looked a little too comedic and stale.
Jack Nance (Wolfgang) certainly drew his part as a strange and mysterious elderly type which looked in an okay fashion but he wasn't too powerful like you'd expect for the part he was portraying. However he seemed to deliver a little more powerful during the satanic battle in which he threw in the punches fairly well here. He brought some nice spunk into this scene I must admit.
Scott Thomson
(Mike) certainly came across onto the camera wonderfully with his role as one of the college buddies in which he lived to portray a party animal with his wild looks. Plus gets into his spunky mode wonderfully acting full of life and acting perfectly wild and hyper within whatever he did here. He was a good choice for the film.
Keith Joe Dick (Dick) also had the big guy dopey looks and appeal so he was another good choice to the story as someone whom is dimitted and speaks well by behaving this type of personality. He seemed strong in his presence which is a good choice too. Certainly comes across as a typical male bimbo.

A face is scarred plus a womens chest is about to explode.

Richard Band and Shirley Walker were the composers for this one and do well with similar 80's horror sounds for this one. However alot of the symphony music like the clarinet, violin and other sounds was quite off and sounding quite muffled too. It was cheesily done. Yet when we hear it for when a bunch of ghoulies rise up it seemed to work in okay. Also we hear windy sounds and the odd harp playing too which sounded okay. We hear the odd tapping sounds as well as some mild drum boomings which works in well as well as some advernturesou classical music during the final match as this seemed to sound fairly good too. Plus we have some comedic orchestral trombone and clarniet playing for the opening and closing credits which was a great touch to the story.

[Mike falls over while trying to breakdance]
Mike: I think I broke my head.
Eddie: [standing over Mike] Oh, thank God. I thought that you actually hurt yourself.

Dick: They call me Dick, but you can call me... Dick.