Horror Movie Review: Hobgoblins (1988)

Widely considered to be one of the worst horror movies ever made. Hobgoblins is a 1988 low-budget comedy horror directed, written & produced by Rick Sloane.

The movie begins in an old movie studio where the night security guard, Dennis (Kevin Kildow) disobeys his superiors’ instruction to not go into the film vault. Inside his fantasy of being a rock star comes to life but he dies on stage all while unseen creatures watch.

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Some time later Kevin (Tom Bartlett) takes the now vacant job in the hope that his girlfriend, Amy (Paige Sullivan) will be impressed. After being shown around he is warned to stay away from the film vault.

Later Amy is less then impressed at his strength while fighting Nick (Billy Frank), the army-obsessed boyfriend of Daphne (Kelley Palmer). She is the most annoying character of the entire film, obsessed with sex to the point of irritation, something that has the second worst character, the nerdy Kyle (Steven Boggs) lusting after her.

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Kevin is upset about Amy’s rejection so tries to prove his manliness by pursing a burglar the next evening. The chase leads him into the film vault where he discovers the hobgoblins. Small gremlin like, hairy space aliens that crash landed on the studio lot decades earlier. The night guard boss has been closely guarding them ever since. Seeing as they have the power to make a person’s wildest fantasies come true.

Unfortunately the fantasy will also kill them as the hobgoblins make it so that whatever they dream of will turn against them.

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The little creatures escape & make a beeline for Kevin’s house where they set about making his friend’s fantasies come true. Fantasies such as being a stripper, being an army commando or getting to bed a sex-line worker. You know, the usual…

Will Kevin be able to save his girlfriend & friends or will the hobgoblins make his wildest dreams come true too?

The better question is…will you care?

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Like many a bad horror, movies like Hobgoblins end up gaining a cult following where they are considered to be ‘so bad it’s good’. A term I’ve never fully understood but can at least get on with a bad horror that is somewhat entertaining. Hobgoblins is not entertaining. Nor is it a well-told story, a well-paced plot, a well-acted flick or a silly comedic gore-fest. It’s absolutely nothing, filled with the most asinine sequences.

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Take the ‘fight’ between Kevin & Nick, where they use rakes. This goes on for ages & repeats over & over again. At no point do they ever actually try to hit each other. Then there is the mind-numbingly long ‘Club Scum’ sequence that includes a full song by a punk band.

All of this might have been just about ok had the payoff been worth it but it isn’t. These creatures are about as deadly as Gizmo from Gremlins! When the actors have to pretend they are getting attacked by them it takes on a new level of utter rubbish as they can clearly be seen holding onto crappy looking puppets.

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Considering how much of this movie is themed around sex there is a surprising lack of nudity. Even at the end, the heroes all go off to have sex with each other leaving the odd man out, the geeky Kyle to call up a sex line. Hilarious.

Hobgoblins is not a funny movie. Its ‘comedy’ lies in pointing at characters like Kyle & saying ‘look at what a loser he is’ or at characters like Daphne & saying ‘look at what a slut she is’.

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Hobgoblins is not a scary movie. Rubbish looking puppets & fantasies with very little imagination involved mean that the movie it’s trying to rip off (Gremlins) has more scares.

Hobgoblins is not a good film. In fact it’s rightfully one of the worst films ever made because it has no charm & is in no way entertaining.

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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

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