Ghoulies getting back together with their creators

Original Ghoulies creators Luca Bercovici and Jefrey Levy acquire domestic rights, have big plans for mini monsters
Ghoulies - Courtesy MVD Entertainment Group/MGM/Empire Pictures
Ghoulies - Courtesy MVD Entertainment Group/MGM/Empire Pictures /

The mini monsters who thrilled 80s audiences by terrorizing a mansion, a carnival and higher education stand on the precipice of a new era with some old friends. Luca Bercovici and Jefery Levy recently announced that they acquired the domestic rights to the creatures they unleashed on the world in 1984's Ghoulies.

Bercovici and Levy wrote the script to the initial film that Bercovici directed. Though the series went on to include three sequels, the pair had no involvement in Ghoulies II, Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go To College and Ghoulies IV.

First and foremost, the duo plan to move forward with a new trilogy of films, though at the moment it's unclear if they will start from a total reboot or go the legacy sequel route and use only their initial film as a jumping off point. Beyond that, Bercovici and Levy plan to roll out a series of novels as well as collectibles, clothes and the like.

Coming out in the wake of Gremlins, Ghoulies took a different approach to the small monster genre by creating a greater variety of creature instead of variations on a single theme. When college kid Jonathan (Peter Liapis) moved into his dead dad's family mansion, he tried his hand at some of dad's demonic doings and brought forth a series of small supernatural sneaks during a soiree, including the one famously popping out of the toilet. As you might imagine, that did not go well for those in attendance.

In Ghoulies II, the little rascals made their way into a carnival attraction called Satan's Den wherein they began wreaking havoc once more. Albert Band (I Bury The Living) shepherded the sequel along for his son Charles' Empire Pictures production company. The franchise then moved from Empire to Vestron for the third film. Kevin McCarthy of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers fame appeared in Ghoulies Go To College, directed by John Carl Beuchler. Up to that point, Beuchler had already proven himself a skilled effects person in horror and had also helmed Troll, Cellar Dweller and Friday the 13th: The New Blood.

Ghoulies II
Ghoulies II - Courtesy MVD Entertainment Group/MGM/Empire Pictures /

Liapis returned for Ghoulies IV, but none of the familiar puppets did. Instead, the menaces were played by actors in costume. That film was put together by legendary low budget filmaker Jim Wynorski whose resume shifts from the ridiculous to the sublime, though tends more towards the former. By the sequel's release in 1994, he had already done two of his own Gremlins take-offs, Munchie and Munchie Strikes Back, but also Chopping Mall and the 1988 version of Not Of This Earth, a remake of Roger Corman's 1957 original.

Ghoulies and its sequels featured a mix of horror and comedy that embraced the wilder edges of horror. That seems to be the vibe the new offerings will carry on with the press release noting an intent towards "filthy fun." If you're interested in watching the existing movies, they can be rented digitally all over. The first three are also on Tubi while IV can be found on FreeVee. There have also been DVD releases in the past, but MVD Rewind has the first two films currently available on DVD and Blu-ray. The first installment even has a 4K version and the company is working on the same for II.

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