Ghoulies IV (1994)

While watching Ghoulies IV, I had a mental breakthrough: I believe I hate myself.

Ghoulies IV is not a good movie. It’s not even a good Ghoulies movie, and that’s an incredibly low bar. The budget on this was so tiny, they couldn’t even afford to bring back the Ghoulies puppets from previous films; the producer instead brought in two actors wearing costumes to play the little demons, and they look nothing like the original monsters. To top it off, footage from the first film is spliced in, so it just keeps getting more and more obvious how painfully bad this all is.

Basically, the guy from the first film is now a narcoleptic LA cop whose psycho ex-girlfriend breaks out of a mental institution to get a jewel and summon first film guy’s evil alternate self from Hell, only he both lacks a goatee and a shirt. To do this, she needs a magic jewel that he wears around his neck, so to get it, she’ll go after him, his partner, his boss/other ex-girlfriend, and a hooker/his current girlfriend. Oh, and two demons manage to escape Hell in the process; these are the “ghoulies” of this film. Why they’re here, I don’t know. They mainly run around, goof off, and do just about nothing important, nor do they ever give a truly concrete reason as to what they’re motivations are, despite the near-constant banter they have whenever they’re on screen.

In the meantime, a bunch of people get sacrificed, and one woman dies in a car accident that I had seen before. I don’t mean I had watched that part of this movie before, either. I mean that I had actually seen it IN A DIFFERENT MOVIE. Ghoulies IV took the car accident scene from 976-EVIL II and reused the footage in this film; they actually got a look-alike actress to wear a similar costume to the woman in the other film, and then they re-edited it. So while the first time I saw this scene, I could obviously see the stunt driver behind the wheel while the stunt woman for the actress was moving around beside him, now you get things like headlights being out and then suddenly working again, dents appearing and disappearing, and a lot of spliced in footage of the actress from this film screaming in what is obviously a car that isn’t moving. God, Ghoulies IV is terrible.

None of what I have mentioned so far includes the absurd shotgun-blast damage to the car, the awkward behavior of sewer workers, the explanation about why the psycho ex-girlfriend is running around dressed as a dominatrix and uses throwing stars, a double-barreled shotgun with infinite ammo, or the used condom that’s thrown into the cop boss/ex-girlfriend’s lap with almost no repercussion by a fat old guy who just picked up a hooker.

I have had fever dreams with a more substantial plot than Ghoulies IV. Hell, Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College is a better movie, and that one involved comic books and a demon toilet in a frat house. I do give Ghoulies IV credit for getting the actor from the first film to come back, but the tie in of having some crazy ex-girlfriend who was never mentioned in the first film yet is how he ended up getting into demon summoning…it doesn’t work in the established Ghoulies timeline. And that’s a phrase I never thought I would ever hear myself say. I actually read it out loud to ensure I wasn’t going crazy.

And that is how I came to the conclusion that I am full of self-loathing and must continue seeing my therapist. Because I just wrote around 600 words about Ghoulies IV. That is a definite cry for help.

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