When last we saw our spooky* friends, they were in the back seat of a car in search of a better life. And a better life they find, at an old-school carnival. How they ended up at the carnival is not important. But like this movie, the carnival has everything you could ever need including jugglers, a freakshow, a bearded woman, and a midget with an undeniable resemblance to Lionel Richie.
The “plot” of this movie involves a greedy businessman who attempts to shut down the carnival due to low profits. But what will happen to the carnies? This is the only life they know! This is the type of crap I would have loved when I was twelve. Happily, my maturity level stagnated around that time. I’ve met this storyline several times before and loved it every single time. Whoever first came up with it deserves a lifetime achievement award in my book. The charming characters we meet in Ghoulies 2 include an alcoholic magician whom we’re supposed to sympathize with (we don’t) and a tightrope walker who is afraid of heights. Will she overcome her fear for the sake of the carnival? I’ll never tell.
About 10 minutes in, I’m officially a fan of this franchise and I even selected a favorite Ghoulie (Elderly Penis, who boasts a new slime spitting trick). Their agenda in this film is to cause hijinks in the park and occasionally kill people. They devour one girl early on and then terrorize a group of teenage hooligans in the House of Horrors. (That’ll teach'em for blasting W.A.S.P. with their 80’s boom box.) With a slightly bigger budget, we are now able to see Donkey Kong Jr. and the gang walk thanks to the wonders of stop motion animation! Also noteworthy is a death-by-bumper-car sequence and the Sabotage of the Spinny Ride. And worry not, Green Fetus gets another memorable toilet scene. (Did I really just type that?)
The bottom line is that we’re dealing with a mind boggling disaster of a movie that would make Ed Wood blush. Sometimes they take the drama too seriously, sometimes they try (and fail) for genuine scares and other times they try (and fail) to achieve laughs. The music only makes things more confusing, frequently changing the mood from sappy to scary to action movie in a matter of seconds. The climax emerges when a new spell creates a giant Ghoulie. He goes on a rampage and eats the entire gang before getting blown to pieces. Please join me in a moment of silence for Elderly Penis.
Elderly Penis (1985-1987)
* Spooky is a word that contradicts itself after being diluted by Hallmark for years. It’s supposed to mean “eerie” but to me it conjures up an image of a Frankenstein teddy bear. I think it’s the most accurate word available to describe the Ghoulies.