Kevin (Tom Bartlett) is a young man who’s taken a vacant position as a security guard for an old movie studio in order to impress his bitchy high-maintenance girlfriend Amy (Paige Sullivan).
One night, while in pursuit of a burglar, Kevin stumbles across a vault that contains a small group of hairy, demonic little aliens called the Hobgoblins. Since the vault is unlocked – yes, I repeat, the vault is unlocked – the Hobgoblins escape. Kevin’s boss, Mr. McCreedy (Jeffrey Culver), tells him that these creatures crash-landed on the studio lot years ago, and ever since he’s been keeping a close eye on them in the unlocked vault he holds them in. Now that they’ve escaped, they will wreak havoc on the town, using their hypnotic powers to make a person’s wildest dreams come true, and then killing them while the fantasy turns against them.
According to Mogwai lore, if they come into contact with water, you get more Mogwais, and if they feed after midnight, you get evil gremlins. What you may not know is that if you beat them retarded, you get Hobgoblins.
Yes, we can all blame the 1984 horror-comedy classic Gremlins for this horrible film. See, when a movie has any form of success, be it financially, critically or both, every studio and their brother, both big and small, get dollar signs in their eyes, and look out – here come the copycats. In this case, the aforementioned Gremlins gave way to 1985’s Ghoulies which eventually led to Hobgoblins three years later. That’s how bad this movie is; it’s a ripoff of a ripoff.
Imagine if you’re at a party with the local hot chick and you finally get an opportunity to score with her… after two of your other friends are done with her first. All you’re left with is the sweaty, ravaged, stanky leftovers, and God have mercy on your soul if any black light comes within five feet of her tainted body.
To put it a tad more modestly, Hobgoblins is Gremlins’s sloppy thirds, and it sure as hell ain’t pretty.
This is a cheap looking film. Not just the kinda cheap that says “We couldn’t afford decent creature effects, so just lie on your back and wildly shake this stuffed animal to make it look like it’s attacking you.”, but the kinda cheap that furnishes Kyle’s house with the bare minimum of home decor (I saw a couch and not much else). It reminds me of the kind of movies I used to make back in high school where everything was just made up on the spot. Script? Who needs a script when winging it with a group of acting-challenged friends will do just fine?
I’d also go on about the continuity errors, but that would take the rest of this year and all of 2016 to go over.
It’s bad enough that Hobgoblins meanders from Point A to Point “Fuck It” like a shit-faced drunk trying to play hopscotch, it’s even worse that this film is another case of a plotline I’ve referred to before as connecting the idiot dots. This film does not survive without its characters doing the absolute most dumb-ass things, and they must be dumber than a box rocks, and retarded rocks at that, to get their asses kicked by a couple of pissed off sock puppets that look like they got stuck in the lint trap.
You know the best way to defeat them aside from giving them a good 60 minutes in the dryer? Locking the vault that you keep them in is a good start. Perhaps the cage that encompasses the vault too? You don’t need a safety lock. Jam a chair up against the doors – hell, wrap a zip tie around that bitch. Those little bastards can stop a 2,000 pound load on a skid jack dead in its tracks.
Sadly, those imbeciles responsible for dropping the ball there actually represent the brightest of the bunch in this film. The IQ level only gets worse from there. Here’s the evidence…
1) Kevin, aka “The Hero” – God help them all if everyone else’s life rest in the hands of this whiny, emasculated sad sack. His skill at flipping light switches on and off will prove to be life-saving.
Hobgoblin fantasy: None ’cause his whip-cracking girlfriend Amy doesn’t allow him to have any.
2) Amy, aka “The Bitch” – Every man’s worst nightmare, Phoebe Cates, this she-Devil is not. Amy is cold, emotionless and though we don’t see it, she most likely has Kevin’s balls in a highly visible trophy case as a reminder to her boyfriend of which repressed square wears the pants in the relationship.
What a cunt.
Hobgoblin fantasy: Go figure, she performs a stripper routine (and by strip I mean she removes her gloves) and – God bless her, tries so hard to talk dirty to the crowd, begging them to “treat her like dirt” or “take her under the table”.
“Oh… yeah… my boyfriend… Oh, yeah… I want you to treat me like dirt and – like insert your penis into my vagina and then – like inseminate your seed into my reproductive tract under the table… Oh, yeah… I’m so talking dirty right now.”
Kyle, aka “The Horndog” – He’s addicted to phone sex and wants to get laid, so much that not even he and friends getting attacked by the Hobgoblins is enough to deter from calling up Miss Fantazia for another round of dial-up dirty talk.
Someone needs an intervention.
Hobgoblin fantasy: Fantazia arrives at his place, dressed like a Poison groupie, wanting to go all the way – slut – with him ’cause she likes to go all the way on the first date – mega slut. Lucky for him, nearby hangout Reputation Road has an “All the WAY!!!!” section located just beyond the area designated for “Kissing Only”.
Nick, aka “The Muscle” – He served two months in Army “training”, and all of a sudden he thinks he’s Gen. Patton. He likes to pork his girlfriend Daphne (just in case the van vigorously rocking back and forth doesn’t clue you in, writer/director/producer Rick Sloane throws in a “Boing-boing-boing!” sound effect to really hammer home the point), and he’s also a major idiot.
Between the incorrect saluting and the military-grade weaponry he’s so freely given, both Nick and his sergeant break about fifty million Army codes of conduct.
He has a hard time distinguishing his friends coming up with a new “kinky” dance and his friends being horrifically attacked by the Hobgoblins.
All that training in two months and the best he can show for it is fighting Kevin with a rake.
Kevin and Nick’s garden tool duel on downers actually makes Obi-Wan and Darth Vader’s geriatric grudge match in Star Wars look like Yu Shu Lien vs. Jen Yu in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Obi-Wan, though, was old as shit, and Darth Vader was a quadruple amputee with a bitchin’ case of asthma. I’m not sure what Kevin and Nick’s excuse is, but smart money’s on they suck. Better curl up in the fetal position and kiss our asses goodbye, America, ’cause we are so fucked if this is the best we got protecting us.
Hobgoblin fantasy: He leads a grenade-throwing, Uzi-shooting commando raid that has him going ape-shit in the local club, until he’s killed by a grenade thrown by his own sergeant.
“Et tu, Brute?”
Somehow he not only survives, he’s able to avoid getting a single burn on his body after being burned alive by a grenade.
Daphne, aka “The Slut” – She dreams of having a truck full of soldiers run a train on her. Enough said.
Hobgoblin fantasy: Sergeant Parker offers her that truck full of soldiers, but she turns it down ’cause the Cubs have a legit chance to win the World Series this year, so I guess absolutely anything else is possible.
Still a slut, though.
As you’d expect, it ends with Amy finally wanting to have sex with Kevin, Nick and Daphne getting their freak on in the van and Kyle looking for a phone.
How the hell did they survive? This should’ve been like shooting fish in a barrel for the monsters.
Surprisingly, Hobgoblins was submitted to Mystery Science Theater 3000 by none other than the film’s director Rick Sloane. Whether he was in on the joke the whole time or just trying to save face over this cheaply made abomination, I don’t know. What isn’t the least bit surprising is how quickly MST3K accepted his submission. All the character stupidity, cheap production design and whatever the hell they’re passing off as the monsters put together have clearly given the show, as Don Corleone would say, an offer they can’t refuse.