Hobgoblins (1988)

Directed, written, and produced by Rick Sloane, Hobgoblins rises above expectations — I was thinking this was just another Gremlins rip-off — to be about diminutive furry wish-granting beasts that look a lot like my cat Norris. I think that’s a compliment.

Security guards are working at an old movie studio which has a vault of old films and a secret. Dreams come true there, but cost people their lives, like a young guard named Dennis who gets to be a rock star, yet dies on stage.

Kevin takes the job to impress his girlfriend Amy, who soon visits along with their friends Kyle, Daphne and Nick. After an extremely long rake battle — yes, you read that — Amy makes fun of her man with Daphne has sex with Nick in his van. Ah, the 80’s!

The next night, Kevin chases a burglar into the film vault where he releases the hobgoblins, which his boss reveals are aliens that crash landed years ago that he’s guarded from people for decades. They have the power to make people’s greatest fantasies come true, but then they kill them.

Of course, following exploitation film logic, the hobgoblins head to Kevin’s house where his friends are already partying. His girlfriend Amy really is the worst girlfriend for Kevin, as there’s no way he can handle her fantasy of being a stripper. Everyone heads to Club Scum to rescue her, but the furry little guys soon attack, turning the rub and tug club into chaos.

Soon, everyone has to battle their fantasies and the beasts themselves, but of course, everyone makes it out happily, even Nick who seemed to have been blown up earlier. The movie studio gets blown up real good and everyone has sex, except for the dork, who calls a girl for phone sex.

This is a movie that has a woman newly released from a mental hospital operating the puppets and a budget so low that they couldn’t even get John Carradine to be in the film! There’s also a lover’s lane called Reputation Road, which has some crazy signs on it. That’s enough to make me enjoy this one.

Want to see this for yourself? Vinegar Syndrome has treated this goofball 80’s movie with all the attention that the Criterion Collection would give to a French new wave art film. God bless them. You can also watch it on Amazon Prime with your subscription.

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