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Friday, October 13, 2017

Hobgoblins (1988)

There was a long period of time that I had felt like I had seen and collected it all. But recently there have been some killer releases on Blu-Ray of genre flicks I haven’t seen in years or haven’t seen at all. Hobgoblins is one of those movies that I just never got around to renting. Unlike something like Frightmare, which I don’t think my local video store had on the shelves I remember seeing and passing on Hobgoblins more than once. Since we are closing in on the thirtieth anniversary of the movie being made I figure it is time.

The action starts off with a night watchman named McCreedy at an old movie studio. Thru some silliness his trainee partner wanders into the film vault and is killed by something living in there. This happens even after he was told to stay away from that part of the building! McCreedy is forced to train another partner who proceeds to accidentally releases what is in the vault. Well what was in it? The name of the movie is Hobgoblins so yeah, they are killer puppets. Though unlike Ghoulies this time they are from outer space! These little bastards tap into your mind and give you your deepest desires and then let those desires kill you. Why? Um because they are evil aliens who like to kill people I suppose…

I so wanted to love this movie. I dig ‘80s cheese and evil puppet movies are my thing. Just look at the time I spent on the Ghoulies franchise. But this is a terrible movie and not in an entertaining way. The pacing is god awful with many throwaway scenes that clearly only exist to pad the running time out. Hobgoblins is only eighty-eight minutes long but it seems much longer. You know when a movie lingers on a random dance scene, lets us see a band play an entire song, and keeps returning to the same long hallway where we again and again see the cast walk from one end to the other that they didn’t have a lot in the script. Hell, I forgot the extended rake fight that itself takes up way too much screen time. While I get that this is an ultra-low budget movie that isn’t an excuse to not have enough material to get to a feature length. Writing a decent script doesn’t cost you anything but time.

It probably isn’t a surprise that the one thing that I like about Hobgoblins are the creatures. They are very stiff onscreen and don’t have a lot of animation to them, but they are still cool. The creatures don’t interact with the cast much, but we do get a “thrilling” chase when the little rubber bastards steal a golf cart. I even enjoyed the goofiness of one of the actresses rolling around on the ground being attacked by a Hobgoblin that she is clearly holding onto. It had a very nifty Ed Wood vibe to it. Things are far more entertaining when we get the rubber aliens on screen, which for some reason doesn’t happen enough. You spent good money on the puppets write more scenes for them to damn it!

I can’t recommend Hobgoblins. It pains me that I have to say that but this isn’t’ worth your time. I wish I could get my ninety minutes back! I so wanted to have another puppet movie to watch. Well I suppose there is always the Munchies.

© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer

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