GHOULIES II (1987)
MVD Rewind Collection

With the release of the original film on 4K Ultra HD looming in the very near future, it would be a natural assumption that MVD would bring Ghoulies II (1987) to their Rewind Collection. After the massive success of Gremlins (1984), Ghoulies was rushed into production, and on a modest budget, it amassed an impressive $35 million during its theatrical run.

Naturally, a sequel would go into production and would be scripted by the brilliant Dennis Paoli. Paoli, who is best known for his collaborations with Stuart Gordon, would take a much different approach to this material and just have fun with it.

Larry (Damon Martin), Ned (Royal Dano), and Nigel (Phil Fondacaro) run a haunted house called “Satan’s Den” for the Hardin Enterprises-owned carnival. Looking to cut costs with attractions that aren’t making money, they quickly find themselves on the chopping block. Little do they know, a group of everyone’s favorite little demons have stowed away in their truck.

Once the haunt is set up, they begin to wreak havoc inside until they’re let loose on the entire carnival. Larry, Nigel, and Larry’s girlfriend Nicole (Kerry Remsen) have to race against time in order to stop the mischievous little monsters before any more bodies begin to show up.

Ghoulies II (1987) Blu-ray Review
MVD Rewind Collection

The original Ghoulies was fun, but I always felt it took itself a little too seriously at times. This isn’t the case with the sequel, which is nothing but a cheesy good time. There’s a terrific batch of talent in front of and behind the camera. Phil Fondacaro has a long-standing relationship with Charles Band, and this was an early appearance. Dennis Paoli (Re-Animator) scripted, John Carl Buechler (Re-Animator, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master) did the effects, and the legendary Albert Band directed.

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The movie is goofy, but it’s an absolute blast from start to finish. The Ghoulies themselves have a much larger presence (along with some new ones), and the effects are perfect for the tone of the film. Ghoulies II is PG-13 as well, so the gore is pretty light, but there’s enough goo and creatures to make it work. There’s no need to deep dive into Ghoulies II; it’s cheesy, funny, and surprisingly has a few well-timed emotional moments that work. Just enjoy the ridiculousness.

The MVD Rewind Collection brings a decent amount of extras, including an introduction by Paoli, “The Making of Ghoulies II,” an interview with Paoli, deleted scenes, a trailer, and a photo gallery. It also has a beautiful slip-cover, reversible artwork, and a collectible mini-poster.

In a short time period, Empire Pictures delivered films that most critics turn their heads to but have lived on and continue to amass a large following, including this franchise.

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