If you remember The Munsters sitcom, the Laugh-In variety show, and the Groovie Goolies cartoon, then imagine them all rolled into one monster show loaded with the twang of surf rock monster music. The guys from The Ghouligans were nice enough to hook me up with two DVDs to watch, so I’m pretty much caught up on every episode.
These short half hour shows follow the shenanigans of Wolf Gang (werewolf), Boris (Frankenstein monster), and Void (zombie) and all their friends…and enemies. It’s campy. It’s slapstick. It’s loaded with monster and horror movie puns, as well as pop culture references. There are in-between dance breaks with the Ghouli-Girls. There’s even canned laughter and applause for that authentic feel.
Each episode has a “main story” about our three monsters, but it is constantly interrupted by intermissions loaded with mock movie trailers, shorts, and commercials in true old school variety show fashion. Just as with those old shows, there are parts that will make you laugh out loud and other segments you’ll groan at. In fact, I personally found that most of the time, the interspersed segments were funnier than the main storyline!
If you love horror, classic and contemporary, you’ll find plenty of in-jokes you can appreciate. Here’s my breakdown of favorite moments from each episode.
We meet the monsters and learn how secondary character The Phantom marred his face. There’s also a “Night of the Living Void” spoof of Romero’s classic (awesome), a “Ghost ‘B’ Gone” commercial, and a spoof of a Godzilla and King Kong city fight starring Boris and secondary character Krill Gill.
The monsters find a treasure map and go on an expedition for a mummy’s tomb. There’s an “I’m Too Sexy” fashion show montage, including Boris in drag! There’s an awesome commercial for a music collection with monster satire versions of 90s classics. And finally, there’s an awesome mock trailer for a black and white horror movie version of The Ghouligans that paints these fun loving characters as sinister monsters.
The monsters get stranded on an island and taken captive by beautiful native ladies! There are also clips of Boris and Wolf Gang playing pranks on Void that involve his zombie body being pulled apart. Great funny stuff.
But my favorite parts of episode 3 include a commercial in which Wolf Gang is obsessed with how his football-playing buddies look in their jeans, plus a short about an evil villain that has to be stopped by two superheroes, one of them being a big beefy guy wearing just spandex pants and a cape. Slurp.
DISC 1 BONUS
Disc 1 includes a music video for a song called “Dance Like a Monster.” It’s classic monster surf rock and a perfect song for a Halloween playlist.
Count Flemming, a friend of the monsters, comes over and dresses them in Drac drag to go partying at a vampire club. Two awesome commercials include a “sponsor a monster” campaign to feed hungry children…to monsters, plus a Ghouligans doll commercial.
Wolf Gang gets his hands on a cursed remote control that gets the monsters stuck in their own show without any control over how it plays out. This one is loaded with good segments, including an uber-gory Ghouligans horror movie trailer, a Boris “head sauce” cooking show, Wolf Gang doing a parody of George Michael’s “Faith” video, and a “Fry Hard” movie trailer starring Krill Gill.
The final episode is actually the strongest one focusing on the monsters themselves. And that’s because it really is focused on the monsters, without any segment interruptions. Void is being badly bullied so Boris and Wolf Gang have to help him battle the bullies. This one actually has a cliffhanger ending…and something ominous is brewing for the Ghouligans!
DISC 2 BONUS
This is a funny short, but it’s also an actual commercial for a real video store that still exists on Long Island! And man, do the people in the video look like they are from Long Island…circa 1985. Best of all, Dave Campfield of the Caesar and Otto horror comedies has a cameo!
Get the DVDs on THE GHOULIGANS WEBSITE.
By the way, The Ghouligans guys are cute when they’re naked. I mean…when they’re out of monster makeup.