Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hobgoblins (1988)

HOBGOBLINS directed by Rick Sloane

Ranked 2.3/10 on IMDB

Warning: Spoilers!
--does anyone truly care?

Quick Synopsis:

Talon: Almost as prolific as John S. Rad from DANGEROUS MEN, Rick Sloane directed, wrote, camera'd, and edited all of HOBGOBLINS with a budget of only 15 thousand dollars.

Either the guy likes doing all that, or the lack of funds limited him from hiring good people to make a movie with. Quick glance at Wikipedia, Rick has never made a movie without writing the screenplay himself. Usually when someone is creative and self-disciplined and professional in various categories, they refer to themselves as a Polymath.

Rick could refer to himself as a Polyfail.

Joe: Hey, be nice! We're here to celebrate movies, no matter how painful they are to sit through.

Talon: Carrying on.

Main Cast includes:

Paige Sullivan as Amy: A goody two shoes.

Tom Bartlett as Kevin: A shy average white guy in jeans with one main goal. Impressing his girlfriend, Amy. So he takes a job as a security guard at an old movie studio.

That'll win her heart...

Joe: It won my heart. I'd do him.

Talon: Jeffrey Culver as Mr. McCreedy. He's an old wise man and the head security guard at the old studio, because defunct studios need full time security. His acting is pretty bad, but the way he runs is worse. It's something a combination of waddling penguin and a galloping horse.

Just for that alone, HOBGOBLINS is one of my favorite bad movies.

Joe: The actor is around 103 years old and made to run constantly. It gave me hope that someday there will be a geriatric Olympics. I'm just south of 50 myself, so I'm not saying this out of ageism, but I'd kill to see a bunch of old folks do the 100 hurdles.

Why should sports be squandered by the young?

Talon: Steven Boggs as Kyle: A high-waisted shorts-wearing dork. He spends most of the time using Kevin's house phone to talk to a sex line.

Joe: Ah, the good old days before the Internet.

Talon: Billy Frank as Nick. He's a soldier, but the movie perfectly showcases that Nick knows nothing about being a soldier.

Kelly Palmer as Daphne. She's a blonde, and having sex with her army boyfriend Nick is the only thing that runs through her mind.

The movie starts off super scary.  A young security guard named Dennis working for the old studio gets warned by McCreedy not to walk downstairs and enter the vault.

Five seconds later, Dennis enters the vault, and is suddenly on stage singing to a crowd like a rockstar.

Joe: Why does a studio have a vault? That's one of the many thoughtful puzzles HOBGOBLINS presents to the viewer without explanation.

Talon: As you can guess from the title of the movie, Hobgoblins are inside the vault, and their main harm is making fantasies come true, and then killing you while you're under their influence. I know. I know. It's dumb.

By the way, the movie doesn't reveal this until the middle of the film. So I was left confused as hell, not knowing what in tarnation was going on.

Joe: That's because you aren't familiar with Shakespeare. The Merchant of Venice was about Hobgoblins hiding in a vault in a derelict movie studio who kill you while making you fantasize about your fondest wishes.

You need to read up on your classics.

Talon: So with a 15 thousand dollar budget they kill Denis in a creative way.... He stage dives and lands head first into the ground. Which, now that I think about it, isn't really that bad of a way to die. I'd happily die being controlled by a hobgoblin while I'm living my own fantasy of skydiving and having sex at the same time.

Joe: It was this point in the movie where I was actively considering stage diving off of my chair just so I wouldn't have to watch anymore

Talon: By this point the movie lost all its credibility, which meant instead of trying to figure out what was going on I just rolled with whatever Polyfail showed me.

Including the greatest fight scene of all time. Maybe even better than DANGEROUS MEN'S fight scene.

Like a full two-minute repetitive rake fight between Kevin and Nick. On each hit, the movie blasts us with a synthesized DON!

It went like this: Nick is a soldier, who comes home from base and teases Kevin in front of Amy and her friends about not being able to fight. So in order for Kevin to prove himself, they do what all men would do; pick up a few rakes and swing them at each other.

Kevin and Nick both hold rake handle as if they were pushing a shopping cart. Then the fight begins. It consists of them clacking the rakes together in a sort of push-fight.

They circle each other in front of Amy's house on her lawn.


More circling.










That continues for a while, until Nick wins because he's the first to actually swing the rake, not clack it like a moron. It was so unexpected that wood connects to Kevin's stomach and knocks him down.

Joe: Better than the DANGEROUS MEN fight. Maybe even better than the blonde mullet fight in DEADLY PREY.

Talon: Nick clearly proved was a soldier, and he celebrates his victory by having sex with Daphne in his van. Kevin, rubbing his sore stomachm gets lectured by Amy about not being good enough, and in the background Nick's bouncing van is making funny BOING! sound effects.

Joe: Which was genuinely hysterical. Props to Rick Sloane for getting some intentional laughs. There are movies that are supposed to be entertaining, and are accidentally entertaining, and HOBGOBLINS is both.

Talon: The plot eventually swirls down to the hobgoblins attacking Kevin's friends with fantasies, right after McCreedy warns Kevin that the hobgoblins will attack his friends with fantasies. This happened because while Kevin was on the job a burglar entered the studio for whatever reason.

Joe: He was obviously looking to steal an abandoned sound stage. You can pawn those things for serious cash.

Talon: Tracking down the burglar, Kevin accidentally stumbles upon the vault filled with hobgoblins. McCreedy realizes this, and we have a hilarious scene of him running, and then closing the vault just in time before Kevin got sucked into his own fantasies.

Yeah, I don't know either.

An info dump later, the hobgoblins are attracted to bright light, and in the whole state of California these puppets go to Amy's house cause she's throwing a party with bright lights.

Makes sense.

Kevin quickly realizes the horrors his friends might have to deal with so he rushes over there.

More of the movie later, one of them gets the dork, Kyle. That's a whole scene.

And another gets Amy, and here's the ending.


Her fantasy was being a stripper so that's where the gang heads. The hobgoblins follow them there, and eventually get Nick. Since he's a soldier his fantasy is being in war so he starts blowing up the joint with grenades. Then the whole place goes insane. People making out with each other. Some explosions. Hobgoblins roaming around, and it's so obvious there's a hand puppetting them it hurts my face.

They kill all the hobgoblins, Nick catches on fire from a grenade and dies, and Kevin gets the chance to redeem himself with Amy when they drive back to the studio. Kevin encounters the same burglar from earlier, but this time Amy is watching, and this time there's nunchucks.  

Yes, it has the DONS!

And yes it's terrible.

Plot twist? The robber was a fantasy of Kevin's mind, and before Kevin gets shot, McCreedy kills the hidden Hobgoblin like a boss. And he does it with a revolver he's never used the twenty plus years he's been working as a guard.

Then they blow the studio up. Kevin wins the girl. Nick comes back to life, and McCreedy gets his revenge on his boss.

The end.

First Impressions:

Talon: My parents had watched this without me. I was busy with enjoying my time, not wasting it. Placing the disc in, I expected something funny. After all, I heard both of them laughing, and both told me this was hilarious.

The whole idea is completely stupid and it makes me want to have a fantasy of castrating myself. The acting is bad. It isn't realistic at all.  A lot of it can be cut.

Despite all this, I still laughed like crazy, and I still liked it. For the budget they did a good job. I actually expected less with the budget they had, so that's a positive.

This movie is like dating someone ugly on the outside and ugly on the inside but you do it because ugly people need love too.

Joe: The hobgoblin scenes were astounding. The first shot of them--four obvious dolls riding on a golf cart--is one of the greatest monster introductions in motion picture history. These aren't CGI. They aren't animatronic. They aren't even puppets. They're four lifeless dolls on a cart, in an extended tracking shot.


And the movie kept the awesome going. No one seemed to be taking themselves seriously, including the director, and it never lapsed into mind-numbing boredom like ZAAT.

Talon: Here's some of the dialog my dad and I had while viewing. Try to imagine some of our phrases as catchy slogans:

"You know he's a soldier because of his camo tank top."

"My car cost more than this movie."

"The hobgoblins make you fantasize."
"I fantasize about never watching this again."

"With more money, better special effects, a script rewrite, and some quicker editing, this would still be terrible."

"Is that a hobgoblin doll?"
"No, that's the actual hobgoblin."

"It's like Gremlins, without a single thing that made Gremlins great."

"Mad respect for the gaffer. He must have invested in colored lights."

"I looked it up. There's a sequel. It's $50."
"I'm all in."

Best Worst Scene

Talon: The two-minute rake fight scene. They should've used professional stunt men.

Joe: The bar scene climax. All of those hobgoblins dolls being shaken to look like they were actually alive. It made me happy.

Watch it? 

Talon: Yes, for it's low budget it made me laugh quite a lot.  

Joe: Yes. So much better than TROLL 2, which we'll get to soon. No espressos needed, but four beers and a shot will make it even more fun.

Share it? 

Talon: Yes, the whole world would change for the better, or worse.

Joe: Yes. I'm going to force friends to endure it.

Re-watch it? 

Talon: Give it time, and I'll pop it in again.

Joe: Yes. This deserves it's own dedicated channel on cable TV where is is played 24 hours a day.

Talon: Did you see HOBGOBLINS? Do you have any best worst movies to recommend? Do people control you with their hands? Post in the comments!


Talon will now spout off five reasons you should watch the next movie we're blogging about: he has his own clothing line, he performs live shows, it's the reason he got famous, Tommy Wiseau's THE ROOM.

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