Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Take a creepy old Hollywood mansion, a naive young man and a pretty girl. Add an over-the-top orgy and some slimy, winged goblins who crawl out of toilets, and you have Ghoulies, a horrifying and hilarious ride into the darkest regions of hell! Conjured during a party thrown by the mansion’s new owner, the hairy, fanged demons waste no time wreaking havoc on the scene – and declaring the unsuspecting owner their new lord and master! Peter Liapis (Ghost Warrior), Lisa Pelkin (Jennifer) Michael Des Barres (Waxwork II, Under Siege) and Jack Nance (Eraserhead, Twin Peaks) star in this fanged frenzy of sharp twists and eye-popping shocks that’ll get you where it counts!
The demonic, toilet-dwelling goblins are back! Stowed away in “Satan’s Den,” the traveling House of Horror operated by carnival workers Larry and Uncle Ned, the Ghoulies merrily devour the sideshow attraction’s patrons… until Larry realizes his horror house is for real and tries to flee the scene! Deliciously outrageous special effects and over-the-top antics ratchet up the horrific fun! Kerry Remsen (Pumpkinhead), Phil Fondacaro (Troll), William Butler (1990’s Night of the Living Dead) and Royal Dano (Big Bad Mama) star in this creepy, crawly sequel that’s got every bit as big a bite as the original!
I’ve been a fan of the ‘Ghoulies’ films since first being introduced to them by friends nearly 15 years ago, although unfortunately for some unknown reason I hadn’t found myself with many opportunities to enjoy them again since, therefore it was quite a pleasant treat to have the opportunity to review both as they arrive home in High Definition. Both entries are certainly enjoyable, although I must say that I find myself to be a far bigger fan of the second film. ‘Ghoulies’ had its great moments, but it also felt a bit jumbled with so many various elements being thrown into a sort of messy jumble that just didn’t feel as if it properly balanced, while ‘Ghoulies II’ made the wise choice to focus solely on the ghoulish little creatures themselves as they terrify an unsuspecting carnival and as a result the sequel delivered a much more fun and enjoyable outing, improving over the first in nearly every possible way.
Fans of the ‘Ghoulies’ franchise will definitely want to make sure to pick up a copy of Scream Factory’s Double Feature Blu-Ray release bringing both of these cult classics home in high definition on Blu-Ray for the first time ever. While the two films do share a disc, fans can rest assured that both titles are provided a more than adequate bitrate together on a BD-50 disc. The Blu-Ray release delivers pretty solid high definition and audio presentations for both movies, along with a number of great extras including some alternate gorier scenes from ‘Ghoulies II’, new Featurette’s for both films and more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) making this an absolute must own, especially considering the more than reasonable price.
Scream Factory’s Double Feature Blu-Ray release of ‘Ghoulies’ & ’Ghoulies II’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio for both films. The video presentation looks pretty solid as a whole on both. Both films are sharp and detailed, with all of the activity occurring on screen, whether in light or dark settings, always clean and discernible. While a number of pops, grain and film elements are noticeable throughout, they are in no way overly distracting. As a whole, for two such low budget films shot over two decades ago, these high definition video presentations look pretty impressive overall and shouldn’t disappoint, aside of course from the folks who like to rage over illogical and nonsensical claims, but we’ll not worry about them, only the true fans looking for an honest opinion from a fellow fan and movie enthusiast.
The Blu-Ray release includes both a lossless 5.1 multichannel & 2.0 stereo DTS-HD Master Audio Soundtrack for both films. I (as always) opted to watch both films with the 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks utilized. The lossless multichannel soundtracks sound pretty good as a whole for both films, taking advantage of the score and numerous random noises to utilize the surround channels, while always making the sure any dialogue occurring simultaneously remains audible and clean at all times. The balancing of the discrete channels on ‘Ghoulies II’ felt a bit off at times, with some dialogue that should have been coming from the center channel instead finding its way into the left, but it’s only noticeable at a few brief conversation points, mostly near the beginning. Overall, while they may not be the most impressive 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtracks, they are nonetheless pretty impressive when considering the sound mix from which they surely originated.
Scream Factory’s Double Feature Blu-Ray release of ‘Ghoulies’ & ’Ghoulies II’ includes a number of nice bonus goodies for both films.
‘Ghoulies’ includes a new Featurette titled ‘From Toilets To Terror: The Making of Ghoulies’ which runs just shy of 30 minutes in length and includes interviews and comments with members of the cast and crew including Richard Band, Charles Band and more reflecting on their experiences making ‘Ghoulies’. Also included is an Audio Commentary with Director Luca Bercovici, plus a ‘Still Gallery’ and ‘Theatrical Trailer’.
‘Ghoulies II’ includes a new Featurette titled ‘More Toilets, More Terror: The Making of Ghoulies II’ which runs just shy of 17 minutes in length and includes interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew including Charles Band, Donnie Jeffcoat, Kerry Remsen and more looking back at their experiences making the film. Also included is a ‘Still Gallery’ ‘Theatrical Trailer’ and a number of ‘Alternate Scenes’ (approximately 3 minutes worth in total) which I was pleasantly surprised to find includes gorier versions of at least four scenes that were cut including the Guillotine Scene, the Ankle Biting Scene and more.