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Film: Hobgoblins

Slightly dorky Everyman Kevin gets a job as a security guard at an abandoned film studio mostly to impress his cold and domineering girlfriend Amy. One night, he chases a burglar into an old film vault which his boss, McCreedy, warned him not to enter. By doing so he releases the titular hobgoblins, little furry aliens who have the power to make any person's deepest fantasies come true and then use those fantasies to kill said person. Kevin, along with the help of Well, Excuse Me, Princess! Amy, the slutty Daphne, Daphne's obnoxious Army boyfriend Nick and phone sex obsessed dork Kyle, sets out to capture the hobgoblins before it is too late.

Hobgoblins is a movie that has to be seen to be believed. The haircuts, fashions and generic music showcase most of what was wrong with the '80s. The plot is completely uninspired, the monsters are blatantly ripped off from Gremlins, the "special effects" are completely atrocious and the soundtrack contains one of the most incomprehensible songs ever "sung" (which, despite this, the movie actually grinds to a hard stop to show the band performing said song in its entirety).

This movie is probably best known for being featured on a particularly memorable episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Rick Sloane, the movie's director, actually requested that the film be featured on the show. Despite this, Sloane and his film suffered some of the harshest riffing that the show ever dished out. Series writer Paul Chaplin commented that the film "[shot] right to the top of the list of the worst movies [they had] ever done". Nonetheless, the choice of this film led to the creation of an episode that many fans of the show consider to be one of the best.

For more information on that episode see here.

And twenty years later, Rick Sloane made a sequel. Yes, really.

Tropes:

  • Affectionate Parody: Hobgoblins was clearly meant to parody Gremlins, Ghoulies and other 80s little monsters movies. However, it is so unfunny that the result is that it is utterly terrible.
  • All Women Are Prudes: Amy in the first half of the film.
  • Artistic License - Military: Nick salutes his sergeant, and apparently didn't get a regulation haircut at boot camp. Honestly, just about everything with Nick qualifies.
    Servo: (After witnessing Nick chucking grenades at a night club.) So, apparently the military just gives out hand grenades?
  • Ascended Meme: The trailer for Hobgoblins 2 contains a cover of the "Hobgoblins" song Mike & The Bots sing.
  • Auto Erotica: with a side order of Squick.
    • Nothing happens in the car, mind you, it's just that the fantasy-woman is rather trashy, husky/nasally-voiced & repulsive.
      • Who was talking about the fantasy-woman?
    Servo: They made love in their Chevy van and that's not all right with me!
    • *Augh* Yes! Complete with stupid *boing boing* noises.
  • Badbutt: The Hobgoblins are built up as a threat, but only kill a single person in the whole movie. Nick comes off as this at several points.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Club Scum, though once we see the interior we learn it's an Informed Attribute.
  • Be a Whore to Get Your Man: Double subversion — Kevin tries to stop Amy from doing anything she'd regret, but he is pleased with the new direction their relationship takes by the film's end.
  • Beehive Hairdo: One of the girls at Club Scum.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For/Lotus-Eater Machine: The hobgoblins purposefully corrupt their victims' fantasies to kill them.
  • Big Damn Heroes: McCreedy rescuing Kevin at the end.
  • Broomstick Quarterstaff: "I can teach you all about hand-to-hand combat!"
  • Covert Pervert: Amy
  • Death by Falling Over: Dennis
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Hahahaha... You wish. It sure does take a while for the title creatures to show up on-screen, and by then you want them to murder the whole cast.
  • Disney Death: Nick. Though did anyone, either watching the movie or in-universe, really even mourn him when he "died?"
    • Crow lampshades this, "Nick's a smoking husk right now, he wouldn't mind if we take his van!"
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Appears as part of Nick's "fantasy." He starts randomly chucking grenades around and viciously pointing a submachine gun at his surroundings (though never actually firing it— perhaps fake explosions were cheaper than a prop gun that could fire blanks?)
  • Dull Surprise
  • Expy: In one of the film's odder aesthetic choices, Club Scum seems to have borrowed the emcee from Cabaret.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: Road Rash. Road Rash.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • The extra in the Club Scum fight scene who overturns his own table no less than three times.
    • Outside of Club Scum, each of them passes their wallets on to the next one in the group for safekeeping. The last guy in line calmly pulls a switchblade and mugs everyone.
    • Kyle bouncing around all over the place during the impromptu at-home dance party during while Amy & Daphne are arguing outside (Kyle's still in the house & you see him goofing via the window behind the two girls). Crow supplies Jerry Lewis noises.
    • Daphne & Nick doing the wild thing in the van while Kevin & Amy argue in the foreground....except the "funny" in Funny Background Event is a total fail.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    Slightly Effeminate Man: I'm sorry. The Donkey Mud Wrestlers are supposed to use the rear entrance.
  • Insecurity System
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Iced Chicken? Pig Sticker? Pig Liquor? FISH PICKER! Kiss Kicker '99 The mysterious lyrics are finally revealed here (see video description)
  • Jumping on a Grenade: Nick does this during his "fantasy".
  • Made of Plasticine: Apparently Dennis was killed by attempting to crowdsurf when nobody was actually there to hold him up. His fantasy appears to have been "to perform a rock concert from a really, really tall stage to an empty room," though this may just be the Hobgoblins' use of artistic license, as it's hard to imagine Kyle's fantasy was a slutty woman who would actively try to murder him.
  • Makeout Point: Called "Reputation Road". It's surprisingly elaborate, with signs to indicate where you should park based on what you plan to do.
  • Mickey Mousing: The rake fight. Hoo, boy.
    • In fact, this is used every time a rake is used to hit something.
    • ...like Daphne slaughtering a hobgoblin with a hoe.
  • Mildly Military: While minor in the grand scheme of gaping plot holes this movie has, Nick has an incredible amount of hair for someone a) in the Army and b) just out of boot camp.
    • Mike seems to lampshade this, "Time for my hourly shave..."
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Epic rake-dueling! With Casio sound effects!
  • My Girl Is a Slut
  • Our Goblins Are Different: They're plush-sized furry space creatures that can make your deepest fantasies manifest. They're also incredibly incompetent for monsters. They only manage to kill one guy in the entire film. They even failed to kill one of the main characters!
    • And that one guy was in the Cold Opening prologue, for crying out loud!
  • Plot Hole:
    • Why is it the Hobgoblins didn't escape from the vault when it was open for several minutes but the second time it was opened they run out in a second?
    • Here's another: Why didn't the old man just blow them up immediately after it was clear they were dangerous? Sure, he would've lost his job but he wasn't too old at the time and would easily have gotten another as long as he could cover up the whole "blew up my last job" thing.
    • He could at least have locked the vault. I mean, that's the sole reason for using a vault, isn't it?
    • What happened to Dennis's body? Did McCreedy just leave it to rot in the vault?
  • Really Gets Around: Daphne. Many jokes are told, many groans are heard.
  • Self-Parody: The sequel, at least so it would seem from the trailer.
  • Shout-Out: To another Rick Sloane film (Yes, he made other stuff. *shudder*). During the flashback, McCreedy is shown reading some sort of promotional material or script for The Visitants.
  • Speed Sex: After the rake fight, Daphne and Nick immediately make for the van for some celebratory sex, and it's seen rocking vigorously while Kevin and Amy argue in the foreground. They reemerge after exactly thirty seconds, dressed and none the worse for wear.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: Kyle sure looks excited as he pins the corsage on Daphne's chest.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Club Scum.
  • Title Drop: During McCreedy's narration during his flashback sequence, "...out emerged a strange creature...a sort of...Hobgoblin..."
  • Too Dumb to Live: A list of the characters that aren't too dumb to live would take much less time to account for.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Turning off the lights is enough to subdue to Hobgoblins, as old man McCreedy explains that they're attracted to bright light. Of course, this doesn't take into account all the times the little buggers are raising havoc in places with no bright ambient light sources, but that's just one of many plot holes in this movie.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Amy. Just watch the "rake fight" sequence.
    • Crow (as Kevin): "ALRIGHT! GRAB A RAKE!"
  • With Friends Like These...: It is sort of baffling to wonder how this group of kids came to be friends.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Why didn't McCreedy blow up the hobgoblins' vault in the first place? It makes a "bit" more sense in the uncut version, as McCreedy uses the opportunity to screw his boss over on not being able to file an insurance claim because said boss never believed McCreedy about the Hobgoblins. Of course, Kevin is almost certainly going to be fired too, but the movie never really addresses that.
    • In the sequel, McCreedy gets thrown into the psychiatric hospital as a consequence of his actions.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: And the rest as well, please.


Hired!Mystery Science Index 3000 The Horror of Party Beach
High SpiritsFilms of the 1980sI'm Gonna Git You Sucka

alternative title(s): Hobgoblins
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