Monday, January 25, 2010


Imagine Gremlins, only with plush toys instead of gremlins.

Now picture someone rolling around on the ground holding a teddy bear as though it were attacking them... for an hour and a half.

Oh, and the woman on the cover doesn't appear in the movie.

If you think this sounds awesome, you're absolutely right.

The story's simple enough. Two hobgoblins from space land at a movie studio.

Shortly thereafter, the staffs' wishes begin being granted, just before they're killed off. The security guard suspects this turn of events is related to the recent arrival of these two furry aliens, and so he locks them away for the next 30 years. Well... that's not entirely true. The hobgoblins are behind a bank vault door, with a jail cell built around the front, but no one can even seem to walk into the room without the doors swinging open. I guess those doors just worked because the hobgoblins couldn't reach the door handles. Either that or the hobgoblins were just busy keeping themselves amused in there. This may actually be more likely, as only two hobgoblins came from space originally, and when we see them again there are 4 or 5 of them.

In any case, eventually one of the idiots constantly opening that door to the glowing green, fog filled room forgets to close the door for long enough that they escape.

So what do these aliens, sophisticated enough for interstellar space travel, do as soon as they get out after 30 years of imprisonment? Well they simply beam themselves back up to their home pla... oh, no actually they steal a golf cart, and ride around while the kids look at them.

And then I believe we're to understand they scamper off, although they're hand-puppets, so the only way this can be implied is for us to just be shown the characters as they look around at things that are off camera. We're actually treated to this little trick several times throughout the movie, but only in the sets that aren't built to include puppet stages. For scenes where the puppets are operated from just out of frame or set up behind their little stages, Rick Sloane has said that they were operated by a woman who'd just gotten out of a mental hospital; one whose medication seemed to restrict her puppetry skill to the "shake them around" method.

The only other puppetry alternative is explored when the hobgoblins actually attack the characters. In these scenes, the victims actually have to operate the puppets themselves. You can imagine how convincing this is; if anything it just looks like they're trying to force hugs on a bunch of uncooperative teddy bear creatures.

All the characters gradually experience the hobgoblins giving them each a taste of their biggest desires. These fantasy scenes serve to move the storyline along until we arrive at Club Scum. Here we are introduced to Road Rash, who is significant only because he's the only actor who went on to do anything else after this movie.

You may recognize him from his later role as Maynard, the pawn shop owner in Pulp Fiction.

Although the whole point of these fantasies is that the hobgoblins use them to kill their victims, the hobgoblins just can't pull it off. They keep trying, but they just can't seem to do any more damage to the characters than you might imagine a latex puppet's mouth chewing on you might do. No one gets a scratch.

Hell, the military guy is the only guy who takes any damage at all. And it's when he blows himself up with a hand grenade... which causes him to inexplicably be engulfed in flames... at which point he gets up and walks around screaming for 20 seconds of screen time... and then he shows up about 2 scenes later, with only a rash and a pair of crutches... for his sex scene.

Available on Amazon: Hobgoblins (20th Anniversary Special Edition)


  1. Bwa-ha-ha, saw the Mystery Science Theatre version of this film, and for a bad movie its really not ALL that bad. I mean, I've seen worse.

  2. Yeah, the MST3K episode was great...
    "There's been an accident at the studio... We made Hobgoblins"

    But they do get a little out of hand with the Rick Sloane bashing. "Rick Sloane, are you in fact, an idiot... When making hobgoblins, where you high on crack?"

    Those might be reasonable questions for someone like Tommy Wiseau after sitting through The Room, but watching Hobgoblins again last night just made me want to go find a copy of Hobgoblins 2.