Hobgoblins (1988)

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Overall Rating 22%
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Ranked #4,289
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Connections: Hobgoblins

A group of hobgoblins, who allow you to live out your fantasies but kill you in the process, escape from a studio vault, and a security guard and his friends must stop them before dawn. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: December 15, 2005
When a movie is best known for appearing on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, you really shouldn't expect much going into it. I knew that from the start, but being the lover of eighties schlock that I am, I gave the disc a rental... and honestly, it wasn't that bad if viewed with the proper mindset. The movie centers around the insanely wimpy Kevin (Tom Bartlett), who has just taken a job as a security guard at an abandoned movie studio. Old man McCreedy (Jeffrey Culver) shows Kevin the rounds he must make each night, and in the process, he drops a piece of sage advice on young Kevin... never, ever open this one particular film vault. McCreedy never explains why this vault should not be opened, but if you've seen the title of the film prior to watching, you'll probably have a good idea.

Of course, we wouldn't have a movie if the vault wasn't opened. When a burglar wanders onto the grounds, Kevin chases him down and assumes that he hid out inside of said vault. It doesn't take long before the vault doors are opened and a stream of hobgoblins make their way out and into the city. McCreedy shows up, and although he is too late to stop the beasts, he tells Kevin the back-story of them. You see, they came to earth in a UFO, and they have the ability to grant people wishes. They tap into your brain and figure out what your biggest fantasy is (being the lead singer of a rock band for one unlucky guy), let you experience that fantasy for a bit, and then kill you as you're enjoying it. For the past thirty years, McCreedy has been guarding the vault and making sure that they never escaped, but alas, that has all changed tonight. Now, along with his prudish girlfriend Amy (Paige Sullivan), his phone-sex addicted friend Kyle (Steven Boggs), his Army-buddy Nick (Billy Frank) and Nick's slutty girlfriend Daphne (Kelley Palmer), Kevin must track down these hobgoblins and put an end to their reign of carnage across the city. Or, something like that.

Now then, those of you who are looking for some quality horror should just click on over to another review right now. You're not going to get any type of enjoyment out of this film, as the special effects are laughable at best, the acting is horrid (a rake steals a scene from the star of the movie... God, how I miss MST3K), and the general storyline is just a pile of dung. On the other hand, however, if you enjoy the "what the hell am I watching?" feeling that you get from watching one of the many fine Troma releases such as The Toxic Avenger or Redneck Zombies and can do without the gore and T&A, then this is the movie for you. Legendary schlock-director Fred Olen Ray makes an appearance for the DVD intro of this film, and folks, when he says that you need to be trashed in order to enjoy the feature presentation, he isn't kidding.

Why, pray tell, would one need to be trashed in order to enjoy the eighty minutes of film known as Hobgoblins? For starters, let's take a look at the titular beasts themselves. Keep in mind that this film was made back in the eighties... back when movies were devoid of that plague known as CGI effects and all monsters were either puppets or guys in a suit. This movie is no exception; the hobgoblins are merely puppets and are brought to life by off-camera motions of some guys hand. Now, I'm not talking about the type of puppets that one would find on the end of a string, such as the type that were found in the hit Gremlins that this movie "borrowed" from... no sir, I'm referring to the type of puppets that one would find anally impaled on the end of somebody's hand. Indeed, that's about as special as the effects get here, but the creators do get points for effort; when the slutty Daphne wrestles with one of these creatures on the front lawn, she's merely wrestling around with a stuffed animal. Nothing could make this scene any better, or so I thought... up until I saw the (unintentional) spandex camel-toe that required censoring during the Sci-Fi Channel airing of this movie.

"Unintentional" is the key word to this movie. Even though it apparently wasn't intended to be, it's one of the most hilarious films that one can find on DVD shelves today. I personally laughed more during some of the "serious" scenes found in this movie than during any of the comedies I've watched in recent months; that has to count for something, and indeed, this movie does get my recommendation. Avoid it if you're looking for a good horror, a good monster film, or a good film in general... but if you want eighty minutes of pure cheese that will leave you howling with laughter at the "what were they thinking?" antics of the characters and storyline twists, then no movie will manage to receive a higher recommendation than Hobgoblins from yours truly. 7/10.
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