Mariska Hargitay makes an inauspicious feature film debut in this trashy little 1984 horror picture from co-writer/director Luca Bercovici. Michael Des Barres (the former singer of the New Wave super band Chequered Past) plays Malcolm Graves, a cat-eyed Satanic lord whose death isn’t as certain as his creepy mansion’s newest master (Peter Liapis) believes. Malcom's unkempt grave resides on the home's remote grounds.
The great Jack Nance, of David Lynch fame, barely gets any screentime as this cheesy film’s narrator. Between its ‘80s era trappings of ugly fashion and pot-smoking, goofy little ghoulie creatures, and “Time Bandit”-styled demon servants, “Ghoulies” is a misjudged throwback to the much better “Basket Case” franchise that inspired it.
Still, it’s fun to see Mariska Hargitay with her baby fat playing a disposable teen character in a tight red dress and big hair.
Rated PG-13. 81 mins. (D) (One star — out of five / no halves)