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4K UHD Review: MVD Entertainment’s Ghoulies (4K LaserVision Collection)


The 4K Edition of Ghoulies confirmed that MVD Entertainment’s LaserVision Collection is something to cheer about.  The Charles Band-produced Cult Classic gets a 4K Restoration and all the extras.  

The Film 

I’m going to be honest.  When I saw the poster for Ghoulies with that, now cute, lil demon coming out of the toilet it scared the crap out of me.  Literally, I refused to go to the bathroom at night for weeks after that.  I thought that lil dude was going either bite my bits or he was going to suck me down into the hell of the toilet system.  Either way, I wasn’t having any of it.  NONE. OF. IT. 

Cut to years later in Junior High.  I became a fan of filmmaker Charles Band.  Well, I had been a fan.  I just didn’t know it.  Between Maelstrom: The Destruction of Jared-SynTracersPuppet Masters (which he produced), and Robot Jox(also produced) I loved his work I just didn’t associate him with his work.  It was actually a film he made called Meridian that made 13-year-old Adam take notice.  

Meridian was an R-Rated Werewolf Sexual Thriller starring Sherilynn Fenn.  Now, yes there is a lot to unpack there, which we won’t do here, but my hormone-raging teenager self was surprised to learn that Band had done far beyond the Skinamax specials like Zalma King.  Band was more akin to Adriene Lynne with different types of movies beyond the one-note psycho-sexual dramas the king of Late-Night Erotica was.  

My research and fascination with Band’s work led me back to Ghoulies.  At that point that lil dude in the toilet was kind of charming in a Gremlins sort of way.  Which is why the film was produced in the first place.  Band never met an opportunity he didn’t love to exploit like man lower budget B-Movie Producers of similar ilk (Roger Corman, Jason Blum).  The result is something that’s both good in some sections and completely and utterly ridiculous in others.  However, the film never loses its charm.  

In true B-Movie fashion the best part of the film, the ghoulies themselves, are only supporting players.  The film about a cult house in the Hollywood Hills abandoned after the summoning of Satan did not work and left for years in disrepair. That is until a twentysomething couple takes up residence in it.  Parties, summonings, possessions, zombie Satanists, and of course the ghoulies themselves, all show up in a head brew of a horror film.  

The film has a wild charming nature to it.  The PG-13 rating belies a film that is too strong for the rating but not strong enough to get an R.  But more R-rated than Temple of Doom, which creates this strange contrast between the cutesy (ghoulies) and the disturbed (zombie satanist).  However if one thinks hard enough about Charles Band’s Empire Pictures as an entity, Ghoulies fits perfectly within their filmography.  

The Transfer

The 2023 4K Restoration (16-Bit Scan of the Original Camera Negative) of the film presented in Dolby Vision / HDR is a minor miracle.  I think I’ve owned every iteration of Ghoulies since the original DVD edition.  I mention this because the film has never looked better than it does here.  Even the midnight screening on 35mm I saw of the film did not look as good as it does in 4K UHD.  The image is a luster-y dark beautiful transfer.  The image is sharp and retains a subtle sheen of grain that gives it that beautiful 35mm organic look and feel.  The Dolby Vision encoding, it should surprise none, does make the image slightly darker but the benefit of this is that there seems to be zero appearances of the dreaded “crushed black” effect.  MVD Entertainment continues to surprise with its 4K releases and the transfers that rival anything any other boutique label is currently doing.  

The Extras

They include the following; 


  • Archival 2015 Audio commentary with director Luca Bercovici
  • Archival 2016 Audio commentary by director Luca Bercovici moderated by Jason Andreasen of Terror Transmission
  • Collectible “4K LaserVision” Mini-Poster


  • Archival 2015 Audio commentary with director Luca Bercovici
  • Archival 2016 Audio commentary by director Luca Bercovici moderated by Jason Andreasen of Terror Transmission 
  • Video Introduction by Luca Bercovici 
  • Editing an Empire: Interview with Ted Nicolau 
  • The Mind Is A Terrible Thing to Waste: Interview with Scott Thomson 
  • “Just For The Chick Man” interview with Luca Bercovici 
  • “From Toilets to Terror:” The Making of Ghoulies 
  • Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer 
  • 4 TV Spots 

Video Introduction by Luca Bercovici (0:51) – the director thanks the audience for buying the disc and supports this “weird little movie” (his words) and concludes with a great behind-the-scenes production photo.  

The Archival 2015 Audio commentary with director Luca Bercovici begins with some general thoughts on how this all began with the idea for the film.  Some of the other details include writing the script in 10 days; how the film was initially intended to be scary and eventually turned into a more whacky and zany tone; the finding of the location in the Hollywood hills; the casting of the film – working with Johanna Ray; the fact he didn’t see the Ghoulies until two weeks before production – and derpy they were and how this shifted everything in the film; setting the record straight that this wasn’t a Gremlins ripoff; the fact that he was in a band and that band’s music appearing on the soundtrack; his relationship with Charles Band – before, during, and after the production of Ghoulies; and much more.  Bercovici gives an informative walk-down memory lane commentary track.  Note that there are quite a bit of silence throughout the track.  

The second Archival Audio commentary from 2016 by director Luca Bercovici moderated by Jason Andreasen of Terror Transmission opens with Luca and Jason introducing themselves and joking about the reasons Jason is moderating.  Some of the details include the production design and locations of the various sets; a discussion of the work of cinematographer Mac Ahlberg; the casting of the various actors – which includes a discussion throughout the various actors like Jack Nance, Lisa Pelikan, Mariska Hargitay, Michael Des Barres, Ralph Seymour, Peter Lipasi, and others; how the humor came to be developed into the script; a larger discussion of the Charles Band brand and the style of horror and genre films his Empire Pictures would make; and much more.  This is the better of the two tracks with Jason and Luca being in conversation throughout the film.  The conversation prompts some great anecdotes from Luca.  

“From Toilets to Terror:” The Making of Ghoulies (29:49) – The archival making-of featurette covers everything from the inception to the production and release of Ghoulies.  This beautifully produced making-of covers all the bases, editing the various footage from the film, b-roll, and behind-the-scenes photos to take us through the film’s interesting production.  Beyond the making of the film the Band brothers (Charles and Richard) also discuss the rise of their specific filmmaking production house including some truly interesting tidbits about their rise including why they created a distribution arm for this film, why Ghoulies began as a 3D movie, and much more.  Featuring comments by Charles Band, Richard Band, Michael Des Barres, and others.

Editing an Empire: Interview with Ted Nicolau (27:30) – The archival interview with Nicolau begins with where his love of horror came from.  Some of the other details include how he got his start in his Film career – including the two films that transformed him and transitioned from Pre-Med to film at University during the 1960s; his moving to Los Angeles and working on Roar which eventually led to his start Editing; working on Tourist Trap – meeting and beginning to work with Charles Band; being hired again by Band for Ghoulies; his work on Ghoulies – discussing his editing on the film, the issues that arose; and much more.  

The Mind Is A Terrible Thing to Waste: Interview with Scott Thomson (22:02) – The archival interview with the actor begins with Thomson discussing his character and how he got the part through his work with Luca previously.  Some of the details include a discussion of his work on Frightmare – before working on Ghoulies; his time working with Casting Director Johanna Ray; the film’s primary location in Hollywood – some great anecdotes from the production; and much more.   

“Just ‘Cos The Chick Man” interview with Luca Bercovici (33:46) – The archival interview with the director begins with how get caught the “acting bug” because of a girl, hence the title, and his beginning his film career as an actor.  Some of the details include his time on the Shogun set – because his father wrote and produced the film and how he helped the actresses during the casting of the film and how that evolved to a role behind-the-scenes; working with Charles Band – including how he began acting with him, then writing, and eventually directing Ghoulies, along with some crazy anecdotes from the production; and much more.  

Theatrical Trailer Ghoulies (1:55) 

Theatrical Trailer for Ghoulies II (1:23) 

Photo Gallery – The 42-image gallery consists of production stills, behind-the-scenes phones, and poster art.  The Gallery can be navigated using your next and back chapter stop buttons on your remote.  

TV Spots (1:25) – consists of 4 30-second TV Spots.  

The Final Thought 

Ghoulies has been given the the deluxe treatment by MVD Entertainment.  From Transfer to Extras to Packaging everything’s **chef’s kiss** perfection.  Highest Possible Recommendations! 

MVD Entertainment’s 4K UHD Edition of Ghoulies is out now 

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