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Ghoulies II (MVD Rewind Collection) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Ghoulies II (MVD Rewind Collection) Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: MVD Rewind Collection
    Released on: September 12th, 2023.
    Director: Albert Band
    Cast: Royal Dano, Phil Fondacaro, J. Downing
    Year: 1987
    Purchase From Amazon

    Ghoulies II – Movie Review:

    The first Ghoulies sequel basically picks up where the first movie left off but carries over only the creatures themselves, not any of the human characters. Having escaped the events that closed the first movie the Ghoulies sneak into a transport truck carrying a carnival attraction called Satan's Den. The Den is run by three guys - a young man named Larry (Damon Martin), his hard drinking elderly Uncle Ned (Royal Dano) and a cultured midget performer named Sig Nigel (Phil Fondacaro). They're part of a travelling carnival recently purchased by the father of Hardin (J. Downing), who is on site to make sure that each and every attraction is earning its keep.

    Now, Satan's Den, according to Hardin, hasn't made much money in ages but Larry figures this time around it'll be different - and he's right. Because those Ghoulies that squirrelled themselves away have made a nice little home for themselves in and amongst the ghoulish set pieces that make up the haunted house. While it might have annoyed some of the teens who went in there looking for a place to make out and listen to some 'tunes' it sure did amuse everyone else who wandered through so much so that Hardin decides to claim ownership for himself. When those rat creatures that people figure are effects turn out to be real, however, Larry will have to team up with dancing girl Nicole (Kerry Remsen) to figure out how to send them back to the Hell from whence they came!

    Directed by Albert Band, father of the producer, this is in every way a more entertaining film than the first one. It moves at a faster past and Jack Nance notwithstanding it has a more interesting cast. Royal Dano is fun here as the alcoholic old man who believes in real magic and of course figures out what's happening long before everyone else does. Will anyone believe him? No, of course not, he's an old drunk - but he's right. Good casting here. Phil Fondacaro, one of the most prolific and recognizable little people actors of our time, steals pretty much every scene he's in and is a blast to watch as Sir Nigel. His character obviously feels that the work he does at the carnival is beneath a man of his acting skills but at the same time you get the impression he cares about Larry and Ned. You also get the impression he doesn't have a whole lot of other options. J. Downing is very good as the typically shifty businessman type only out to make a buck while Kerry Remsen is also good as the female lead.

    Shot on a soundstage in an Italian studio the carnival sets nevertheless feel plenty authentic. The setup inside Satan's Den definitely nails the right vibe for a cheap, old, rundown spookshow attraction and it allows Band and company to come up with all sorts of weird color combinations. Once again the Ghoulies are the highlight (and once again there's a toilet gag) but we get a lot more of what made the first movie entertaining presented here in more concentrated doses.

    Ghoulies II – Blu-ray Review:

    MVD Rewind Collection presents Ghoulies II in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition presentation framed at 1.85.1 widescreen and taken from a “new 2k restoration of the film prepared on behalf of MGM.” Presented on a 50GB disc, the picture quality here is quite nice. There’s strong detail and great color reproduction on display and the image shows nice texture and detail. There’s the occasional small white speck that shows up but aside from that, the image is generally very clean, retaining the film grain you’d want it to but not showing much at all in the way of print damage.

    The English language 24-bit LPCM 2.0 Stereo track, which comes with optional English, French and Spanish subtitles, sounds solid. Dialogue is easy to follow, the levels are properly balanced throughout and there are no issues with any hiss or distortion.

    Extras start off with a quick introduction by Screenwriter Dennis Paoli before moving on to More Toilets, More Terror: The Making of Ghoulies 2, a seventeen minute featurette carried over from the previous Shout! Factory Blu-ray release. Charles Band shows up here again, alongside cast members Kerry Remsen and Donnie Jeffcoat, and effects artist Gino Crognale. There's a lot of discussion here about making the movie in Rome, the roles that the two actors played and what it was like acting alongside a bunch of Ghoulies puppets and how Band's father, Albert Band, got behind the camera to direct the film.

    Under A Magic Moon: And Interview With Dennis Paoli runs thirty-four minutes. In this piece, he talks about his experiences writing the script, learning where the line is when writing a script and running into issues with producers over cost or gross out content, getting input from other people and why that is a benefit, his relationship and friendship with Stuart Gordon and some of the work that they did together on stage and screen, how he came to work with Empire Pictures and Charles Band, trying to bring at least a little bit of reality to his work with the studio, some of the themes that the story explores and how he feels about the movie all these years later.

    Finishing up the extras is a three minute deleted scenes, a still gallery, a theatrical trailer, trailers for a few other MVD Rewind releases, menus and chapter selection options. This release comes packaged with some reversible cover sleeve art, a collectible mini-poster and a limited edition slipcover (available with the first pressing only).

    Ghoulies II - The Final Word:

    MVD Rewind Collection’s Blu-ray release of Ghoulies II is solid, presenting this goofy but entertaining horror comedy in a very nice presentation and with some decent extra features as well. A fine release for a fun movie.


    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized Ghoulies II Blu-ray screen caps!

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    • Matt H.
      #1
      Matt H.
      Senior Member
      Matt H. commented
      Editing a comment
      Is is still the PG-13 version? The German BD integrated the cut footage into the main feature but fucked it up by transferring Bill Butler's death scene at the wrong speed.

    • Ian Jane
      #2
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      Ian Jane commented
      Editing a comment
      I'll admit I didn't know there were cuts to the death scene. This edition and the Shout! Factory edition both run 1:29:43 and have a PG-13 rating on the back if that helps.

    • Matt H.
      #3
      Matt H.
      Senior Member
      Matt H. commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't have the Shout! edition, but I'm pretty sure that they included the cut gore among the deleted scenes. It's actually a little bit more than just the one death scene; there's little bits of extended gore throughout. Thanks for confirming the running times.
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