Hobgoblins (1987)


Written and directed by Rick Sloane

Tagline: "Be careful what you wish for…you just might get it!"

Run Time: 92 min

Wow. I’m getting old. I’m going to make a confession: I graduated from high-school in 1987. It was a time of bad music, bad fashion, bad hair, and oh yes: bad movies. I remember going to the movies and watching whatever sludge happened to be showing that week, and oh man, does reviewing this film bring back a lot of memories. Not the good memories either.

In a twisted sort of ‘family tree’, the world was first subjected to "Gremlins" in 1984. Noting the moderate success of the film, a Gremlins rip-off called "Ghoulies" was quickly released a year later in 1985. Not wanting to be left off this bandwagon of junk, ‘writer’ and ‘director’ Rick Sloane (Director of "Bikini Academy" and the "Vice Academy" series of films: parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6…seriously) decided to take it a step further and rip-off the rip-off, creating a terrible piece of garbage called, yes, "Hobgoblins".

The well known sci-fi author James Blish came up with the definition of the ‘Idiot Plot’: “Any plot containing problems which would be solved instantly if all of the characters were not idiots.’ This dung heap called "Hobgoblins" goes beyond a mere ‘Idiot Plot’. This is an ‘Idiot Film’: Any film containing elements that should have been instantly discarded if the filmmakers were not idiots.

The ‘story’, as it were, revolves around a bunch of imbecilic kids and a group of hobgoblins. The ‘monsters’ escape from an unused movie studio, grant people their heart’s desire (sexual of course), try to kill them in the process, go back to where they came from and get blown up.


The ‘hobgoblins’ themselves are realized using cheap hand-puppets. This lack of sophisticated special effects requires the, er, actors, to ‘struggle’ with the ‘hobgoblins’ while simultaneously manipulating the puppets with their own hands. At other times when the hobgoblins are required to ‘run’ from place to place, the monsters aren’t shown at all, the actors are merely filmed from the waist up while they look down at the ground. Man…quality stuff here.

In an interesting bit of trivia, writer-director Rick Sloane himself recommended the movie to MST3K as a candidate for the show. (It was quickly accepted.) I can only assume Rick approached the show in an effort to generate attention (and squeeze out a few more VHS / DVD sales ) for this horrid piece of crap.

Oh boy.

Let’s just get it over with, shall we?


As usual, the first sign that a film is going to be of dubious quality is when the characters have no last names… You’ll also be happy to know that none of the following ‘actors’ (except ‘Roadrash’) ever went on to appear in any films after "Hobgoblins" (good riddance)

locking the cage where the monsters are kept is still a mystery to me.”);
filmcastrow(“https://www.monstershack.net/reviews/full/gfx/hobgobs/kevin2.jpg”, “Hobgoblins”, “Kevin (Tom Bartlett)”, “The whining, sniveling ‘hero’. Spends most of the movie running from place to place killing hobgoblins, getting his butt kicked with garden tools (don’t ask), and complaining that his girlfriend, Amy, doesn’t give him enough respect.”);
filmcastrow(“https://www.monstershack.net/reviews/full/gfx/hobgobs/amy.jpg”, “Hobgoblins”, “Amy (Paige Sullivan)”, “The frigid, emotionless Ice Queen girlfriend to Kevin. Her deepest fantasies are made real by the hobgoblins when she is given the chance to perform a striptease at "Club Scum".”);
filmcastrow(“https://www.monstershack.net/reviews/full/gfx/hobgobs/kyle.jpg”, “Hobgoblins”, “Kyle (Steven Boggs)”, “Comic relief character. Unfortunately, he is not comical, nor is he any relief. Kyle is addicted to phone sex and is desperate to get laid. Enough said.”);
filmcastrow(“https://www.monstershack.net/reviews/full/gfx/hobgobs/nick3.jpg”, “Hobgoblins”, “Nick (Billy Frank)”, “Nick is just back from a 2 month Army ‘training’. Nick can’t seem to keep his pants on for more than 5 minutes at a time when he’s around his sleazy girlfriend Daphne. This guy is a complete moron.”);
filmcastrow(“https://www.monstershack.net/reviews/full/gfx/hobgobs/da.jpg”, “Hobgoblins”, “Daphne (Kelly Palmer)”, “Nick’s sleazy ‘oh-so-80’s’ girlfriend. Her fantasy of being shared among a "truckload of soldiers" is nearly made true by the hobgoblins, but she snaps out of the spell just in time to spare the viewer from having to see that dream realized on screen.”);


Yes, we open with a night shot of an abandoned warehouse lot. The veteran night security guard, McCreedy, is returning to his guard shack presumably after making his rounds. Upon his return, McCreedy sees his young apprentice, Dennis, busily ‘air-drumming’ while listening to his walkman instead of keeping his eye out for trouble. (Good grief…walkman cassette players…remember those?)

HobgoblinsMcCreedy rips the headphones from Dennis’s head, astutely noting that he’s "getting paid to work here, not sit around and blast his eardrums." Well put, sir. Suddenly, the phone rings, but nobody is on the other end. Creepy. For some reason, Dennis makes a "duhhhhhhh" face; maybe he’s never heard a phone ring before. By way, Dennis’s "duhhh" face is the acme of the acting in this film. This is an Oscar moment compared to what’s in store for us later.

The old guard hangs up the phone and asks Dennis if the phone just rang (?). Dennis didn’t hear anything, which is very odd because he’s sitting beside the phone. McCreedy proceeds to chew Dennis out because it could of been an important call, even though Dennis didn’t hear anything and there was nobody on the line.

Are you following all this? No? Good. Neither am I. By the way , we are approximately 30 seconds into the film.

Anyway, McCreedy, having just made his rounds in the previous shot, now says that it’s time to make their rounds (?). These ’rounds’ consist of walking through a fully lit ‘abandoned’ studio while McCreedy chats about the ‘good-old days’ when the studio was fully operational. Really exciting, let me tell you.

As the duo turn to leave the building, Dennis decides to ‘check out’ a room at the end of a nondescript hall, a hall like all other empty halls in a lot full of empty buildings. Why does he suddenly want to check out that room? Because the script told him to.

McCreedy, bless his heart, tries to dissuade Dennis from going into the room, explaining that it’s just an old ‘film vault’. Dennis agrees and they return to the guard shack, thus never releasing the hobgoblins and the movie ends.

I wish.

HobgoblinsAs Dennis is about to turn and leave, McCreedy receives a call on his radio. A crackly voice needs to talk with McCreedy "right now!….Now!" (Um, isn’t that what you’re doing?) Why does McCreedy have to return to ‘somewhere’ and talk to ‘somebody’ about ‘something’? Because Dennis can then enter the ‘film vault’ and release the Hobgoblins, thus causing a movie called "Hobgoblins" to be created and unleashed upon the world.

Dennis puts his walkman back on and enters the ‘forbidden’ room. Inside the room is something so terrible, so alien, that Dennis makes another attempt at winning the ‘Best Actor’ award… (Note that this face is very similar to the "duhhhh" face, but it works on so many more levels…)

The horrible object that has shattered Dennis’s psyche, is much more terrible than the ringing phone…aiyeeeeee! A caged security door! THE HORROR!



Dennis walks over to investigate. He rattles the cage door, but it is locked and he returns to the guard shack, thus never releasing the hobgobins, and a movie called "Hobgoblins" is never made. Damn. Nope, the first line of security is breached when Dennis simply opens the unlocked cage door.

HobgoblinsEntering the cage, Dennis’s face is lit with a green light in order to represent…something. No, a representation would indicate some sort of thought, something completely lacking in this film.

Dennis tugs at the vault door and it also opens, because it‘s unlocked too.

I take back what I said about ‘Idiot Film’ in the introduction. This movie is an insult to idiots. Idiots will probably send me email cursing my name for associating them with this film.

Inside the vault, yes, he went inside, Dennis hears some sort of growling noise. Ohhh, so scary. The sense of fear is heightened by a Casio keyboard playing random ‘scary’ chords in the background.

The daring Dennis continues inside the vault and walks out onto a stage, complete with working microphone and spot lights (?). Suddenly, bad 80’s ‘rock’ music begins to play and the sounds of people ‘cheering’ are heard.

HobgoblinsIn case you’re wondering what the hell is happening here, and I don’t blame you, the hobgoblins are making Dennis’s dreams of being a rock star come true. Unfortunately, the hobgoblins did not grant my wish of having the following scene being cut out of the film.

Dennis begins, and I’m on the verge of vomiting my breakfast onto the keyboard as I type this, Dennis begins to dance around the stage and ‘rock out’. I’m sure that this scene was meant to be comical, but it does seem like the actor playing Dennis (Kevin Kildow…there, I looked it up for you in case you actually cared) is actually trying to ‘rock out’. These unsuccessful attempts at performing only add to the feeling of despair building up inside me as the film progresses.

After watching Dennis flail around the stage for nearly a full minute, he falls off the edge (?) and dies (!!??). Sensing that something is terribly wrong (besides this movie), McCreedy comes shambling back to the ‘forbidden room’ only to find that Dennis has disobeyed his orders and gone inside. (He couldn’t have gotten in if you had locked the freakin’ doors!)

McCreedy sees the bloodied body laying on the floor (he was killed from a 3 foot fall?) and does what anybody else would do in this situation: turns and re-secures the doors. Wait. The word ‘Re-secure’ implies that he ‘secured’ the doors, for example, by locking, which he does not.

Cut to the credits. Too bad it’s not the end credits.

We now see that McCreedy has a new trainee working with him, Kevin. After some useless chit-chat (useless even for this film), McCreedy prepares to take the eager youth on his first ’rounds’ of the buildings. Kevin, in order to reestablish the fact that he’s a ‘nerd’, takes forth a pen and paper so he can take notes. (Kill me now.)

Well, as you might expect, the tour of the various buildings inevitably leads them to the ‘cage room’ (for want of a better name). McCreedy tells young Kevin that there is a part of the lot that he is supposed to stay clear of, but he "doesn’t want to explain all the details". Kevin accepts these terms and McCreedy takes him into the cage room to show him, um, where he’s not suppose to go. (Does that make any sense?)

McCreedy has only one more thing to tell Kevin, so they head back to the guard house. Once they arrive back at their humble shack, McCreedy bends over and pulls out a pistol from his ankle holster. Noting that Kevin is a bit nervous (being around a pistol-wielding octogenarian), McCreedy explains that it’s only for emergencies, and in fact, he’s never had to use it during his entire 30-year career of guarding empty buildings. Yippee.

HobgoblinsCut to the next morning as Kevin returns home from his first shift. He pulls into the driveway and parks his purple (!) Camero in the driveway. As he approaches the door, his girlfriend, Amy, coldly greets him at the door and icily informs him that his friends, Kyle and Daphne, are there for a visit.

Kyle is sitting on the sofa beside Daphne as Kevin walks in. Kyle is reading a record (!?) because he is ‘into music’, and yes, your fears will soon be realized because you will see him dance before the movie is over. Daphne is struggling to read a book of some sort, because you see, Daphne is the stereotypically ‘dumb, slutty’ girl (as you shall also see). Kevin is a little irritated by their presence as he had rented a video for him and Amy to watch alone. Daphne smirks when she sees the title and says that her boyfriend, Nick, would never rent anything but rated-X videos for them to watch.

HobgoblinsI just want to pause and say that all the ‘characters’ in this movie are based on thread-bare teen-age stereotypes, i.e., music geek, ‘easy’ girl, nerd, bitchy ice-queen, etc., yet the acting, scripting, directing (hell, everything!) is done so poorly that they come across as mere shadows of stereotypes. Since a stereotype is, by definition, generic, you can only imagine how bland and completely unengaging the characters are in this film.

Another odd thing about this film which just shouts ‘Cheap!’ is the house that Kevin (and Amy?) supposedly lives in. The shots in the house show rooms that have the absolute minimum decoration in them: no curtains, no bookshelves, no TV, no pictures, and so on. Noting that the exterior shots of the house show a nearly completely brown lawn, in addition to the total lack of household items that would normally appear in an occupied abode, I get a sneaking suspicion that this house was vacant at the time of the shooting. So you have to wonder how hard it would have been to shoot a few scenes in a house that somebody actually lived in. Bizarre.

Anyway, at that moment, up drives Nick in his beat-up old van. Daphne exposits that Nick is just back from 2 months of "Army training" and "you know what a man wants when he’s been away for two months!" (yech!)

Daphne runs from the house and launches herself at Nick, who catches her and wraps her legs around his waist, while Kevin and his friends (and myself) watch in muted disgust. The group of ‘friends’ goes back inside where Nick begins to tell the others about his adventures in the Army.

Kevin hints that he would like Daphne and Nick to just leave, but Amy, the prig, wants Kevin to pay attention to what Nick has to say, noting that Nick is protecting the country while Kevin is simply "guarding a bunch of empty warehouses." (And this is his girlfriend?! Dump the bitch, Kevin!)

Nick, sensing an opportunity to expand his massive ego, offers to teach Kevin the arts of "hand-to-hand" combat. Kevin is not particularly interested in getting his ass kicked in front of his friends, but reluctantly agrees to give it a go after Nick drags him from the sofa and takes him outside.

To say that the next scene is an absurdity is like saying that the sinking of the Titanic was ‘a bummer’. I expected to see a lot of stupid scenes in this movie, but even I was taken aback at this ‘combat’ number.

HobgoblinsOnce Nick gets outside he grabs a rake and starts beating Kevin around while he tries to defend himself with a a garden-hoe! (??) Let me state that again: these 2 guys are fighting each other with garden tools! I sense that we have just journeyed down into the next ring of Hell.

Did I mention that every time Nick’s rake bashes Kevin’s hoe (am I really typing this?) a burst of Casio music assaults the eardrums so they too can join in the overall torture of your senses.

Nick finally delivers a powerful shot to Kevin’s kidneys, sending him gasping to the dried, brown lawn. Kevin gets back up and they continue to battle in front of the house. This scene continues for 2 minutes and 8 seconds before Nick finally jabs the rake into Kevin’s solar-plexus, sending him to the ground for good. (Allow me to repeat: 2 minutes and 8 seconds!) A gasping, choking Kevin submits to Nick’s superior garden-tool combat skills as Nick straddles him and starts choking him with the rake.

Welcome home, Nick! We really missed having you around.

The victorious Nick grabs the eternally horny Daphne and they jump into the back of his van and start screwing each others brains out. (I apologize for being vulgar, but since the van starts to literally rock back and forth as soon as they get in, I felt that ‘making love’ didn’t quite capture the sentiment of the moment. To make things even more revolting, an electronic *boing-boing-boing* sound is played on the sound track, synchronized to the van’s rocking…)

Amy struts over to the agonized Kevin and immediately begins to berate him for humiliating her (!). To his amazement, she simply wants him to make her proud. I can only assume her pride is based on Kevin’s ability to hospitalize somebody with a garden hoe.

The next night (or is the same night? Who knows…) Kevin is back at work, sitting gloomily beside McCreedy complaining about Amy’s lack of respect for him. This spellbinding conversation is interrupted when McCreedy notices an intruder on the premises. The leather-jacket wearing intruder is tip-toeing around in plain sight, doing his best to look ‘sneaky’. (Ken Abrahm, the ‘actor’ in this scene, credited as "Thug", has also appeared as "Butch" in "Creepozoids" and "Rocco" in "Girlfriend from Hell". I just thought I would give you some background information in case you were planning on starting a "Hobgoblins Fan Club".)

HobgoblinsSensing danger is afoot, McCreedy zips off in his electric golf cart in order to deal with the situation. Inexplicably, he orders Kevin to stay behind. (An order which seems to undermine the whole point of having a ‘partner’ in the first place.)

By the way, watching an old man drive a golf cart gets boring pretty damn fast. I guess the filmmakers thought it would be exciting if they added Casio music to the soundtrack while it was happening. I can confirm that it’s still boring.

Kevin follows along as the old doofus gets jumped by "Thug" and has a knife stuck to his throat. Noting that this may be a chance to prove his courage, Kevin picks up the gun from the desk and rushes to the scene. To make a long, boring ‘action’ scene a little more palatable for the reader, Kevin pulls the gun on "Thug" and fires a warning shot into the air, sending "Thug" scurrying back into the darkness. Regaining what little common sense he has, McCreedy opts to call the police while sending Kevin to locate the intruder. (I personally don’t know if I would trust Kevin to tie his own shoelaces.)

Amazingly enough (not!) Kevin manages to find his way to the ‘forbidden room’. He radios in to McCreedy that he’s going to have a closer look. Before McCreedy can stop him, Kevin sets the radio down on the floor (?). Kevin somehow doesn’t hear McCreedy ordering him not to go into the vault even though the radio is at his feet, and heads over to the cage.

With the elaborate security system in place, but unlocked (!), Kevin opens the cage and then pulls open the massive vault door itself. (Really, this movie is insulting!) McCreedy races back up to the vault room (well, maybe not ‘races’ but shuffles) and pulls Kevin out of the vault.

Alas, the hobgoblins burst out of the vault and scramble past the shocked security guards.

Well, I think that’s what happened. Since the ‘hobgoblins’ are hand-puppets they can’t be filmed ‘running’. (Remember those big monkey puppets that you could stick your arm up into and close the puppet’s arms around your neck? Yup, that’s exactly what the hobgoblins look like…only a different color and with a ‘scary’ face put on them.) Anytime the hobgoblins move from place to place in a scene, the actors look at the ground and pan their heads from side to side, thereby giving the illusion of ‘watching’ them run across the floor. Needless to say, the illusion fails, and only adds to the low-budget, sleazy feeling of this movie.

HobgoblinsKevin and McCreedy race outside only in time to see that the hobgoblins have stolen the golf cart and are now attempting to run them down.

This horrifying scene is not as scary as you would suspect because the cart travels at a speed of about 1 mile-per-hour. However, Kevin and McCreedy do their best to get run over by running as slowly as they can right down the middle of the alleyway.

The two terrified security guards ‘run’ for their lives and eventually take cover behind a metal pole (?). Looking back they see that the cart has been abandoned, and the hobgoblins are now loose in the night. As McCreedy catches his breathe (he did lurch around pretty quickly in that last scene), he bawls out Kevin for letting the monsters out. It turns out that McCreedy has spent the last 30 years of his life preventing them from escaping…all of which was undone by the idiotic Kevin in a matter of seconds. To be honest we’ve already seen 2 people enter the vault within a matter of a couple of nights, and since he doesn’t even bother to lock the door, McCreedy can really only blame himself for the creatures escape.

To make this movie even worse, we are tortured with a ‘flashback’ scene. We travel back 30 years in time to when McCreedy was a rookie security guard watching over the same buildings. The not-so-convincing illusion of being in the late 50’s is created by parking an old car in front of the guard shack and applying an ‘echo’ effect to McCreedy’s narration.

HobgoblinsMcCreedy tells us that one night there was a "flash of light and a sudden explosion" (maybe the director could have had the actor actually look in the direction of the explosion instead of up in the sky…) To summarize McCreedy’s story, the hobgoblins arrived in some sort of little space ship. Thinking they looked "friendly" (?), McCreedy naively hid them in an empty room and cared for them.

As Kevin listens in total incomprehension (as he does throughout the film), McCreedy explains that the hobgoblins have the ability to grant a person their "wildest dreams". However, these dreams would end up costing them their lives, and everybody on the lot was eventually "destroyed" (?). Now, with the creatures on the loose in the city, McCreedy expects the worse. (Me too, there’s still over an hour left in the film.)

Feeling "too old" to hunt down the creatures (even though everything is his fault), McCreedy sends the hapless Kevin to find them alone. Armed with some last minute advice from the old man, namely that hobgoblins are attracted to "bright light", Kevin leaps into his Camero sets off to find the beasties and destroy them. However, he stresses that the hobgoblins must be destroyed before daylight because by then it will be "too late". (Why this happens, or what will happen is never explained. Maybe the filmmakers felt they were dangerously close to a lawsuit if they ripped-off any more plot lines from "Gremlins")

HobgoblinsBack at Kevin’s oddly spartan house, Amy, Daphne, and Kyle are playing a record and dancing around in the living room like a bunch of morons. One of the hobgoblins pokes its head up from the bushes and stares in the window. (What are the odds that the 4 hobgoblins that escaped would just happen to pick Kevin’s house as the first place to terrorize out of the entire city?) The bugger pulls out a car horn (!?) which plays the exact same melody the horn on Nick’s van. The hobgoblin toots the horn, thus luring the eager Daphne outside, thinking she’ll have another opportunity to wrap her legs around Nick . (This whole scene looks a whole lot stupider than it sounds.)

Once outside, Daphne is puzzled by the fact that Nick is nowhere to be seen. Sure that it was Nick’s van that honked, she assumes that he just went around the block to find a parking spot. (Never mind that the entire street in front of the house is completely empty.) As she waits, a hobgoblin ‘leaps’ from the bushes and attacks her. Daphne struggles against the savage creature, doing her best to convince us that it is not her moving the puppet. (This all brings back to mind the giant octopus scenes in "Bride of the Monster" where the actors had to move the inanimate octopus ‘monster’ because the motor for the legs was missing.)

While Daphne ‘struggles’ with the hobgoblin in the front yard, Amy hears her screams and assumes that she’s having sex with Nick. Ha Ha! See, that’s funny.

Daphne eventually manages to flip the little bugger to the ground and kills it with the garden hoe previously used in the unbelievably stupid "Rake Fight" scene. After slaughtering the beast, Daphne staggers back inside the house. As she enters the house, another hobgoblin jumps on her back, forcing her into the house by the momentum of its leap, while a second hobgoblin attacks Amy on the sofa. (The brutality of this assault is reduced when the viewer sees that Daphne’s arm is actually controlling the puppet that is attacking her.)

Incredibly enough, Nick happens to pull up in front of the house at that very moment. Another shot from inside reveals that there are now 3 hobgoblins inside: one hobgoblin per person, and yes, each person has their arm ‘up the puppet’, so to speak.

HobgoblinsNick, decked out in a camouflaged ‘wife-beater’ t-shirt, approaches the house and sees his friends struggling with the monsters. He assumes that their flailing and screaming is all just part of a "new dance…kinda kinky". (Can somebody please put me out of my misery now? Please?)

Nick pops into the living room to check out this new dance (it was the 80’s you know) and the others run to his side for protection. Nick’s studly muscles are of little use against the gang of hobgoblins and the group of terrified teens are soon fleeing for their lives.

Their attempts to close the front door are stymied by the hobgoblins who are pulling from the inside trying to get out. Nick has a brainstorm and runs back to his van where he pulls a hand grenade (!) from the glove compartment.

Just as Nick is about to hurl a grenade into the front room, Kevin pulls up into the driveway. With a beautiful lack of editing, Kevin suddenly appears at the front door, stops Nick from pulling the pin on the grenade, and bravely reaches his arm in the doorway and shuts off the lights. (Remember that hobgoblins are attracted to light? You did remember that didn’t you?) Denied the light that they love so much, the hobgoblins cease their attack, run out the front door, and leap into Nick’s van, where Kevin traps them inside by closing the door.

Thinking that the hobgoblins are safely secured in the van (they aren’t…Kevin forgot to lock the doors, so the monster simply open the door and run away…what the hell is it with people never locking anything in this movie?!!), the kids go back inside the house to survey the damage. For some completely incomprehensible reason, Nick, Amy, and Daphne sit themselves on the sofa and fall asleep (?!), while Kyle goes into the kitchen and calls a phone sex service (???).

What in the flaming crevices of the Abyss is going on in this asinine movie?!

HobgoblinsKyle ends up calling "Fantasia" who performs a bizarre monologue involving herself and the "Beastmaster" and "Mr. Zookeeper" who will "hide the iguana". (Oh Lord…why did I decide to start a bad-movie website?…) As Kyle, er, is enjoying listening to the ‘story’, a hobgoblin appears next to him. The hobgoblin looks knowingly into the camera and then ‘taps into’ Kyle’s fantasy.

Suddenly Fantasia suggests to Kyle that he simply meet her right outside the house. This scene might have been meant to be ‘creepy’, but it’s just all so lifeless and predictable…I really can’t believe Rick Sloan meant this movie to be anything but a comedy. No matter what the original intent of the film was, it comes across as bland, predictable, and just plain tasteless.

HobgoblinsAnyway, outside the house Kyle finds Fantasia waiting for him, dressed in a leopard skin top and tight spandex pants(oh God! Remember that stuff?), and surrounded by dry-ice fog. (A wolf howl is foleyed onto the sound track to add to the ‘creepiness’ of the scene, I guess.)

The sight of this spandex Goddess is enough to send Kyle into spasms (and my stomach into convulsions). Kyle finds out that Fantasia likes to go, <gag>, "all the way" on the first date. Taking her up on the offer, Kevin "The Smooth Operator" asks the spectral hooker if they should go to his place or hers. (The nerve to use that line in any type of film…the nerve!) Fantasia suggests that they drive out to "Reputation Road" (?) where they can commence doing the dirty.

Meanwhile, inside the house, Kevin notices that Kyle is missing. Remembering McCreedy’s warning about being alert for ‘strange’ happenings, Kevin frantically searches for his missing friend. (Amy, Nick, and Daphne are still asleep (!!) on the sofa.) Just as Kyle drives off, Kevin sticks his head out the door and sees him drive off with the hooker and, unbeknownst to Kyle, an evil hobgoblin in the back seat.

Realizing that danger is afoot, Kevin turns around and asks his friends (who are now suddenly all awake and standing right beside him!) where "Reputation Road" is. (How did he know that Kyle was headed there?) Daphne, much to Nick’s chagrin, knows exactly where it’s located (Har! Har!), so rushes from the house, warning them "not to fantasize about anything" while he’s gone. (Am I allowed to fantasize that this movie is over?) Kevin runs across the lawn, throws the rake into his car (??), and rushes off. (What’s with all the gardening equipment in this movie?)

HobgoblinsDespite Kevin’s warnings about frivolous fantasizing, Amy picks up a newspaper, browses to what I presume to be the ‘leisure’ section, where she is attracted to an advertisement for a locale called "Club Scum". (Oh brother!)

You see, Amy suffers from self-repression (don’t correct me, I’m not a psychologist, I don’t know what it’s called). Beneath that cold, restrained exterior lies the heart of a raging Amazon sex machine…or at least a stripper for "Club Scum", which is in fact what she fantasizes about.

While Amy dreams of removing her dainties in front of the Club Scum crowd, Kyle and Fantasia have arrived at "Reputation Road". Kyle eagerly parks the car in the "Kissing Only" section (no really, I’m not making this up), but Fantasia has more in mind, and tells him to pull up near the edge of the cliff where a sign says "All the WAY!".

You will please note that the signs are simply cardboard painted like wood. In addition, and I’m sure I’m not spoiling things here when I tell you the car will eventually roll off the cliff’s edge, you will see there is clearly a curb in front of the car, which would make it completely impossible to roll forward. Ahhh well…this is "Hobgoblins".

As Kyle attempts to get his hands on ‘the goodies’, Fantasia gets out of the car and tells him to close his eyes and prepare for the "ride of his life"…Since this movie is an ‘Idiot Movie’, and everybody must act like idiots or else the plot will collapse under the weight of its own idiocy, Kyle closes his eyes while Fantasia goes behind the car and starts pushing it towards the cliff edge.

Kyle, understandably a bit concerned, gets out of the car and offers to help her push (!!!). (Seriously, this is about as stupid as a movie can get. Is this for real?) Fantasia chews him out for leaving the car and commands him to get back inside and wait. The chastised Kyle returns to the car while Fantasia continues to push it forward.

Thank goodness Kevin arrives just in time to see the mortal danger that Kyle is now in. Grabbing his rake (!), Kevin runs up and slugs the hobgoblin sitting on the "All the WAY!" sign, thus destroying the fantasy. The aptly named Fantasia fades into nothingness as the spell is broken. Whew! That was a close one.

Kevin pulls Kyle from the car as it plunges over the side of the cliff, and yes, bursts into flames. The two chums stare into the flames below (while stage hands shine yellow and orange flashlights in their face to give a "flame effect"), reflecting upon just what a close shave that was.

Returning home, Kevin and Kyle find Nick and Daphne have just finished having sex (really, what’s the point!?), while Amy has disappeared. Daphne remembers Amy saying something about Club Scum, so they pile into Nick’s van to go rescue her.

Outside of Club Scum, they realize they might be way in over their heads. You see, Club Scum is a ‘bad’ place (well, it’s certainly filled with bad music), where "police are arresting people there all the time for God knows what!" The sense of foreboding is increased by the sight of a local thug hanging out in front of the club. (If you’re really interested, the thug (a switch-blade wielding Latino, <sigh>), credited as "Lowlife", is played by none other than the film’s assistant director, David Teague. Way to go, Dave!) It would have been a bit more intimidating if the ‘thug’ hadn’t nearly dropped his knife when he pulled it out of this pocket. Just a bit of advice to future film makers.

Unfortunately, the alert doorman, Roadrash, denies them entry to the club because they just don’t seem to fit in with the "Club Scum" clientele. In a stroke of luck, Roadrash happens to recognize Daphne as a regular and lets them in.

HobgoblinsThe grateful gang rushes past the Budweiser-guzzling Roadrash (ohhh! How tough!), through the silvery hanging curtain, and into the Club itself. Kevin desperately looks around for Amy while the group is checked out by a ‘oh-so-hip’ chick that looks like she belongs in a ‘B-52s’ video.

Inside the club, we see, oh, let me count, about 5 people sitting around card tables (!). The sound of a much larger crowd has been added to the sound track in order to create the illusion that "Club Scum" is a happening place. It doesn’t work. The semi-alert viewer, or at least any viewer who has made it this far through the film, will quickly notice that the scenes for ‘Club Scum’ were filmed in a school cafeteria (!!!). Wow! This sure is hard-core clubbin’!

HobgoblinsAs Kevin and the others find a place to sit (shouldn’t be too difficult, the, ahem, ‘club’, is approximately 90% empty), the MC (who looks like a young homosexual version of "Grandpa" from the "Munsters") fills them in on the nights activities, including the wet T-shirt contest and donkey mud wrestling(?). Ho! Ho! This is one wild club, I tell ya!

The MC takes the stage and begins to introduce the band, but is interrupted by Roadrash calling him an idiot and throwing a beer can at him (?). The band, who was just about to be introduced, also pelts the MC with beer cans (??), sending the startled lad scurrying from the stage.

You have to wonder how much word of mouth a band can generate when they run off the MC each time they are to be introduced. Unless, of course, you are so insanely popular that you need no introduction, like the band that performs the song "Pig Stickers" (‘Pig’ something at least) in the next scene: ‘The Fontanelles’. What? You’ve never heard of them? My point exactly. Needless to say, like everything in this film, they suck.

Let me say that we watch the band sing the entire song before moving on. No, I don’t mean that the song is played in the background while Kevin looks for Amy, the entire scene is of the band playing the entire song. This is film making at it’s best. Can anybody
think that this is fun to watch?

Mercifully, just as I was about to put the razor to my wrist, the song ends and the movie continues. The B-52 Girl goes over to take a drink order (using a ridiculous Brooklyn accent), but is brushed aside by a distracted Kevin. For some reason, Kevin tells her that they are all underage (way to go). The irritated bar maid calls over Roadrash to deal with the situation. Instead of throwing them out for being too young, Roadrash instead tries to sell them all fake IDs. HA! HA! HA! Whoo! My sides are killing me!

HobgoblinsNow that The Fontanelles are finished, er, ‘singing’, the MC takes the stage again and introduces Club Scum’s newest act, who will be performing "…nudely and nightly….Amy Sinnnnnnn..cere!"

The spotlights turn on Amy, appareled in a garish stripper outfit, as she begins to dance. Before you ask, she doesn’t actually strip (which could have been at least mildly entertaining).

This rated-PG striptease continues for quite some time, while the crowd hoots and hollers. Slowly, and I mean slowly, she starts removing articles of clothing, well, at least her gloves.

What’s the point of all this?

Kevin finally reaches his limit (me too!) and rushes the stage. The MC tries to stop Kevin, only to receive a slug in the face for his efforts. Heavier reinforcements are called in, namely Roadrash, and Kevin is dragged back to the table. (Where, for whatever reason, B-52 Girl is rubbing her hands all over Kyle. (?!))

Did I mention that this scene is still going on…I mean, how long can a ‘strip scene’ continue without the ‘stripper’ even stripping? In an effort to make up for this lack of skin, Amy attempts some ‘dirty talk’ ("Treat me like dirt", "Take me under the table", and so on). This dirty talk is far, far, from anything erotic. I found it embarrassing and tasteless. Not that I expect a lot of class in a film like this, but aren’t there some standards of decorum we could hold ourselves to simply as adults?

OK, moving right along, Amy hops down from the stage and propositions Roadrash, who in turn offers to "take her around the corner" (how charming). Kevin jumps to her defense by saying that she’s just drunk.

Whoa! In a display of fantastic editing, we cut scenes to see Kevin running up to their table screaming for help. (What the hell…?) Kyle and Kevin run off to save Amy (really, what the hell just happened? Did they leave out a scene?)

HobgoblinsTo make things even more absurd, in walks Nick’s squad leader (!) from the Army, Sergeant Parker. Nick jumps up and salutes, wondering what he’s doing in a place like this. (First of all, you never salute indoors unless you are reporting before an officer, second, you never salute a non-commissioned officer, and third, what the hell is a sergeant doing in Club Scum wearing a full-dress uniform?! My head hurts)

When Daphne scorns him for showing up in full uniform, he defends his choice of apparel by saying "A real soldier dies with his boots on." OK. That explains it.

When Parker ‘sees’ the hobgoblins running around the club, Nick states that it’s simply a "problem with some small predators." Parker, using his military training, recommends staging a diversion, and gives Nick a belt of ammunition, an Uzi (!), and a bunch of grenades (!!!).

This movie is so stupid. So, so, so, stupid.

Kevin begins to chase the hobgoblins around the club while Nick starts tossing around grenades (!!!). The grenades explode in a huge fireballs (why do fragmentation grenades always explode in fireballs in the movies? Why?) while the Club Scum patrons are tossed into the air by the resulting explosions. If you haven’t seen this movie, you can rest assured that this scene looks as stupid as it sounds.

Meanwhile, out front, Roadrash is tongue-wrestling with Amy. Hearing the grenade explosions, and being the attentive doorman that he is, Roadrash goes inside to investigate. As he enters the doors, he is nearly trampled to death by the stampeding guests fleeing the ‘carnage’. (Actually, the worst damage I saw from Nicks 7+ grenades that he threw was a guy spraying beer in another guy’s face.)

Anyway, Kevin manages to find and kill the hobgoblin that is "in charge" of Amy’s ‘stripper’ fantasy, thus releasing her from its spell. Yippee.

HobgoblinsNick, still on the hunt for hobgoblins, has tossed his last grenade and now arms himself with his uzi. Stalking around the club, Nick fails to see that Sgt. Parker has grabbed Daphne and decided to take her for himself (?). To make things easier for himself, Sgt. Parker decides to kill Nick (!!), and blows him up with a grenade (!!!)

Nick is engulfed in flames (from a fragmentation grenade!?), resulting in a lame ‘flaming stuntman’ scene…you know the kind, a dude running around, waving his arms around, screaming, etc.

This movie has now taken yet another step in the descent to hellish idiocy. It is all too obvious that the movie is now attempting to be some sort of ‘parody’, a parody of what is unclear. How can anybody be taking all this seriously at this point?

Seeing that Nick is out of the picture, Sgt. Parker grabs Daphne to take her outside where "a truck full of soldiers is waiting" for her. Gee, really, this is such a charming movie. Daphne decides to opt out of this romantic offer and instead shoves a grenade down the front of Parker’s uniform and blows him up (!!!). (I’m so weary of pointing out continuity errors in this film, but I have to note that the ‘explosion’ occurs in the doorway of the club even though the grenade is in Parker’s shirt. The overall quality of this picture is breathtakingly low.)

The surviving friends (let’s see, that would be Kevin, Kyle, Amy, and Daphne if you really gave a crap at this point) take one last look into the club to make sure all the hobgoblins are dead. Yep, the fuzzy buggers have been eliminated, even the two dead hobgoblins laying beside Nick’s smoking boots! (Roadrash pokes his head into the club and notes that "It must have been a rowdy crowd tonight", HA! HA! not)

As our weary heroes leave the club, they are accosted by the ‘Latino’ tough-guy who wants to compliment Amy on her striptease performance. (The actor speaks with such a bad ‘Latino’ accent that I wouldn’t be surprised if Cheech Marin hunted him down and whooped his ass someday.) Daphne takes matters into her hands and shoves the guy away, because, well, she’s tough. Kevin, still desperate to prove to Amy that he’s a ‘man’ starts to complain that he could have shoved the guy away just as well. What a moron. Maybe I’m a moron for watching this movie in the first place.

Kevin and the others climb into the late Nick’s van and drive off, failing to notice the hobgoblins in the back. (Why don’t people start looking in the back seats for God’s sake!)

We now see that Kevin and the others have driven back to the abandoned warehouses where Kevin works. (Why on Earth would they want to go there?) Oh I see, Kevin’s fantasy is to prove how ‘manly’ he is to Amy…the hobgoblins in the back seat now make this fantasy a reality by ‘re-creating’ the thief from the opening scenes. (You do remember him, don’t you? No? Don’t worry)

The ‘thief’, now armed with numchucks, tosses a pair to Kevin in preparation for battle. In an effort to intimidate Kevin, the thug performs a rather lackluster numchuck routine, certainly nothing on the level of a black-belt.

A lame fight ensues, with Kevin eventually getting the best of the thug. Not to be outdone, the thief pulls out a gun and prepares to shoot Kevin (Hey! No fair!) A shot rings out, Kevin stumbles, but, but…Wow! It’s McCreedy! He’s fired his pistol and killed the hobgoblin ‘controlling’ the thief, thus saving Kevin from being killed by the ghostly intruder. Yippee!

McCreedy exposits that the monsters are heading "back to their home in the vault." Kevin and McCreedy run off to deal with the hobgoblins once and for all, but not before Amy can reward Kevin’s ‘bravery’ with a kiss and a promise that she’ll "…be waiting…" (blech).

Kevin and McCreedy head off to make sure that the hobgoblins are in fact back inside the vault. It’s at this time that McCreedy casually mentions that he’s been fired (??), thus he will no longer be able to ensure that the hobgoblins stay locked up in the vault…in fact, McCreedy has a more extreme plan in mind.

Back outside, the youths ponder how to prevent the hobgoblins from ever escaping, and moreover, how to make sure they never get out again. McCreedy nonchalantly mentions that he worked with demolitions "in the war", takes out some sort of remote detonation device, and blows up the studio.

To celebrate the demise of the hobgoblins, Amy whispers in Kevin’s ear that she wants to have sex with him, so they go off to the side of the van and start pawing each other. Kyle, seeing that Nick is now out of the picture, makes his move on Daphne by presenting her with a flower corsage (!). (Where the hell did he get that?)

HobgoblinsJust when you thought the movie couldn’t get any stupider, Nick shows up (!), walking on crutches (!!), without a single burn on his body (!!!).

Dapne dumps Kyle from his new role as boyfriend, while Nick throws down his crutches (!!) and then he and Daphne jump into the van and start having sex. (Complete with Boing*Boing*Boing sounds…ack!)

The laughs continue as McCreedy calls his ex-boss, Mr. Comstock (!) to inform him that the studio has been destroyed, but the clincher is that since he was no longer an employee when it happened, the studio was technically ‘unguarded’, thus the insurance won’t cover the damages.

The closing line is Kyle asking McCreedy if he could borrow his phone, presumably to call a phone-sex service.

Har-dee Har Har!!!!

The end

Dennis Grisbeck (April 2005)

4 comments to Hobgoblins (1987)

  • Guts3d

    I watched this tripe and wondered who put forth $$$ to make it, and just how drunk were they…

  • guts3d

    …(The actor speaks with such a bad ‘Latino’ accent that I wouldn’t be surprised if Cheech Marin hunted him down and whooped his ass someday.) Nice! I can easily see him doing just that!

  • Gary Bowden

    I only have the MST3K version and that’s enough,trust me.Never have I wanted to strangle a movie so bad than this one! I can’t decide if the director made a movie so inept on purpose and was winking at the audience the whole time or not.So many goofs in plain sight,you have to wonder if he turned his head the entire time while the camera was rolling..I understand that Kevin had to prove himself to his frigid and annoying girlfriend,but why did Nick not join forces as it were with Kevin to fight the hobgoblins? He’s suppose to be this macho guy in the Army,right? And why would Kevin still be with a girl who puts him down most of the time and is frigid to boot? Low self-esteem?? And why would Nick want to be with Daphne,since he knows of her reputation? No other girls want to be with him? I know,I know,too many questions..Rick Sloane,the director,made a sequel with some of the same cast,except for Paige Sullivan and I’m sure it’s the same as this one..With so many annoying characters in one movie,I was rooting for the hobgoblins the whole time..

  • Guts3d

    Yeah, my brother came home from the service and they didn’t give him any grenades at all! Bummer!

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