Ghoulies (1984) and its sequels form a franchise of B-Movie horror comedies about the eponymous familiars that cause mischief.In this film that started it all, one Jonathan Graves moves into an old family mansion together with his girlfriend. In there, he starts dabbling in the occult like his late father, summoning the Ghoulies, two dwarf servants and his dead father as well.Rest of the movies in the series:Grabbed by the Ghoulies, a video game developed by Rare.
This film has examples of:
- Back from the Dead: Malcolm Graves is accidentally revived, and takes over the magicalities from his son, whom he intends to use as a sactifice in a dark ceremony.
- Big Bad: Malcolm Graves, the undead sorcerer.
- Big Damn Heroes: Groundskeeper Wolfgang provides one by revealing that he too has powers over magic, and proceeds to save the day.
- Creepy Doll: A jester doll is possessed, attacks a woman, starts shedding tears of mucus, and bursts open to reveal another ghoulie.
- Crusty Caretaker: Wolfgang, who tended the house until Jonathan took possession of it and returns at the end as a Big Damn Heroes wizard.
- Danger Takes a Backseat: The Sequel Hook has a bunch of ghoulies appearing in the back of Jonathan's car.
- Deus Sex Machina: Averted. Jonathan paints a ritual pentagram under his bed, then attempts to have sex with Rebecca there. Realizing that he's chanting under his breath, she catches on that it's one of his sick magical experiments, and kicks him out of bed.
- Developing Doomed Characters: The party guests have just enough screen-time to be obnoxious before the ghoulies start killing them off.
- Hollywood Satanism: The reason for Ghoulies' existence.
- Human Sacrifice: Malcolm intends to drain Jonathan's youth to restore himself. It's implied that the party guests' deaths serve this purpose, as he summons their bodies to the ritual chamber along with his ghoulie minions.
- No Ontological Inertia: After Malcom is defeated, all the people killed by him and his ghoulies come back to life for no apparent reason.
- Overly Long Tongue: Malcolm entwines one of the party guests in one of these.
- Rise from Your Grave: After the characters perform a ritual that ends with them screaming at the top of their lungs, late Malcolm Graves rises from his grave to join in.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Malcolm. In this case, the "can" is his grave.
- Sunglasses at Night: Jonathan wears them to hide his green-glowing eyes.
- Surprise Creepy: While most of the film is too comedic and/or cheesy to be scary, the way the party-goers' corpses writhe across the floor like worms rather than standing up to head to the cellar is genuinely unnerving.
- Whole Plot Reference: It's essentially The Case of Charles Dexter Ward with more sex gags and puppets.