The surprising success of the first Ghoulies movie when it was released on home video pretty much confirmed that a sequel would be made & in 1988 that is exactly what we got. The first movie has garnered a bit of a cult following nowadays but we weren’t blown away by it. You can read our review here.
Ghoulies II begins showing a priest dumping a sack that holds a few of the Ghoulies into a barrel of toxic waste. How we got to this stage considering the first movie is a mystery but it hardly matters.
The priest is attacked by a flying Ghoulie & knocked into the same toxic waste, killing him. It has no effect on the demonic creatures though who sneak into ‘Satan’s Den’. This is an amusement park that has run into financial difficulties & at risk of being shut down. That is until the crowds find out about the Ghoulies believing them to part of the show.
The money starts rolling in & everything seems fine, until the Ghoulies start killing off the park’s visitors!
A campy 80’s B-movie horror, Ghoulies II improves on its predecessor by not taking itself seriously in the slightest. A far sillier movie, the carnival setting is perfect & results in a final 20 minutes that is gleefully fun. Up to that point it’s hardly going to be remembered as a classic though. The plot surrounding a corporate takeover of the carnival falls extremely flat seemingly only there so we could see a villain get his comeuppance!
The performances are decent, again nothing to get excited about but certainly not an issue especially when compared to the original. The two leads have very little chemistry though. However, the real star of the show are the Ghoulies who seem far more playfully demonic this time which makes them more amusing to watch. The fun they have attacking the carnival patrons at the finale is adorable!
The biggest flaw the movie is the total lack of gore. Disappointingly most kills are done off screen with very little actual bloodshed seen. The slapstick nature of certain moments also dents any potential scares making it seem more like a horror comedy than anything else.
The ending seems quite definite but unsurprisingly it has a sequel bait final scene.