While the brutality and torture continues to escalate in modern horror, every once in a while, a farcical show like The Ghouligans comes along, celebrating classic movie monsters and capturing the spirit of more innocent monster comedies like The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Groovie Goolies.
Creeporia – which consists of a series that was then combined into two movies that were then combined into one long three and a half hour movie for streaming – brings the concept into the modern age, adding baddies like Leatherface and Hannibal Lecter to the mix of “classic monsters.” It also injects whimsical animation, silent film sequences, classic movie clips, and musical numbers into the live action scenes.
Much of what takes place feels more like skits strung together than an actual plot. I couldn’t even tell when the first “movie” ended and the second began, because plot, which is pretty damn entertaining, is weighed down by too many unnecessary distractions. In fact, it’s not until an hour in that the story really kicks in.
Here’s the basic premise when you strip it of the excessive fluff. Vampire actress Creeporia was locked away in a movie studio prop coffin since the 1950s, when she was working on Roger Corman. After two crewmembers let her out, she reconnects with her old monster friends, getting a job as hostess at the local wax museum where they all work.
Sad because kids don’t think they’re scary anymore, the monsters have now given up and simply pretend to be figures in the wax museum. But the place is going under, so Creeporia comes up with a plan to help her cute boss save his business. The monsters put on a musical!
I think that is the plot of the first movie. In the second movie, Creeporia’s boss-turned-love-interest becomes possessed, so she and her monster friends must figure out a way to exorcise his demon. Just as the first hour took too much time getting to the point, the last hour also drags on way too much. It also relies heavily on animated scenes, as well as a lengthy silent film segment that becomes tedious after a while. Finally, the monsters take on a 2D videogame demon monster that looks like something out of a Super Nintendo game.
The character of Creeporia is like a much more innocent Elvira (the film seriously lacks sexual double entendres), the horror references are loads of fun for diehard fans, and there are plenty of funny moments sprinkled throughout. However, there is so much padding that this is better watched in small doses as originally intended – maybe 20-minute to 30-minute installments at a time.
It really would have benefited the creators if they had paired the two films down to one feature running about an hour and a half. The script would have been tighter, the funniest jokes could have kept the laughs coming nonstop, and the pacing would have been vastly improved. Not to mention, Creeporia should have been given a couple more songs, because her big number, which sounds like a mashup of “Thriller” and “Weird Science,” totally rules.