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Hobgoblins (1987)



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Hobgoblins is one of the worst movies I've seen, but it's so hilariously bad that it's entertaining. There is absolutely nothing good about it. Nothing at all. The only redeeming quality it has is that it is utterly bereft of logic.

It's clearly an attempt to cash in on Gremlins and Critters. The premise is that an old security guard on a movie studio lot has been inexplicably keeping gremlin-like aliens in a vault. They are very dangerous beings because they can kill you by making you fantasize about things. They can also, apparently, make you hold them and pretend to wrestle with them.

Why the old security guard hasn't just killed the creatures, I don't know. Nobody believes his story about them, and why he never thought of taking any disbelievers to the vault and showing them the creatures, I don't know. But I haven't even gotten to the best part: the vault is unlocked. The cage around the vault -- an alleged extra level of security -- is unlocked. This guy is always hiring kids to help him out, and they're always wandering into the vault and letting them go, or dying, or something. You'd think after the first time he'd learn to lock up.

Naturally the hobgoblins get loose, and we learn that although they can't open doors, they are perfectly adept at driving motorized carts. They reign terror upon our hero's loser friends, who spend a lot of time clinging to them and thrashing around. The puppetry is hilariously primitive: most of the time the hobgoblins are unmoving plush toys, and once in a while a head nods or turns.

As an example of the hobgoblins' devious mind attack (as well as the movie's illogic), consider the following sequence: a young kid has a crush on an older neighbor. A hobgoblin shows up, and suddenly the neighbor is standing at his door, eager to go out on a date at a notorious make-out spot. So he drives her over, and she tells him to wait in the car while she goes around and pushes it down a cliff. He is only too happy to comply, and she starts pushing away at the car. She's not quite strong enough, though, so this devious attack is largely unsuccessful. Meanwhile, his friends show up and kill the nearby hobgoblin, causing the woman to disappear. But he doesn't listen to his friends' explanation that she was only a fantasy and look around for her. Suddenly, the car, of its own accord, rolls off the cliff. "Now do you believe me?" our hero demands. He does. Because...uh...well, a car rolling off a cliff is sure-fire proof a hobgoblin is causing fantasy dates to appear. I don't know why nobody figured the dead hobgoblin body would substantiate the story.

It goes on like this for approximately ever, and the really annoying thing is that the majority of the cast of irritating people do not die. What are bad horror movies coming to?