21 April 2015 | Michael_Elliott
Better Than the First Film
GHOULIES II (1988)
** (out of 4)
The circus attraction Satan's Den is given notice that if their latest stop doesn't make money then their doors are going to be closed. Uncle Ned (Royal Dano) and his nephew Larry (Damon Martin) gotta kind a new attraction to liven things up and they find it in some ghoulies that found their way in. Soon they both realize that these disgusting creatures aren't worth the extra money.
GHOULIES II is actually an improvement over the original film but then again that's really not saying too much considering the original was pretty bad and a poor mile behind films like GREMLINS and CRITTERS. This sequel has a few funny things in it and the special effects by John Carl Buechler are much better and they're the saving grace. This sequel also manages to have a fairly fun setting and when you put all of this together you've got a mildly entertaining film.
I think the best thing this film has going for it are the special effects. I thought all of the ghoulie effects were quite good and certainly miles better than what was seen in the previous film as well as other low-budget movies like this. I thought the creatures looked very realistic and I liked how much personality each of them had. There are some gore effects as well but the majority of them were cut so that the film could get a PG-13 rating and be more "kid friendly," although the recent Blu-ray release has the uncut footage. It's strange that they'd aim this film at kids yet the "F" word is said three times.
Another thing I liked was the circus setting, which added some fun to the movie. With that said, there's still nothing ground-breaking here. There's some pretty bad performances scattered throughout and I'd question the film running 89-minutes as that's about ten minutes too long. Another problem is that there are some pretty slow moments throughout the first hour but things really pick up during the final third when the ghoulies break free and cause havoc.