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Slightly dorky Everyman Kevin gets a job as a security guard at an abandoned film studio mostly to impress his cold and domineering girlfriend Amy. One night, he chases a burglar into an old film vault which his boss, McCreedy, warned him not to enter. By doing so he releases the titular hobgoblins, little furry aliens who have the power to make any person's deepest fantasies come true and then use those fantasies to kill said person. Kevin, along with the help of Well, Excuse Me, Princess! Amy, the slutty Daphne, Daphne's obnoxious Army boyfriend Nick and phone sex obsessed dork Kyle, sets out to capture the hobgoblins before it is too late.
Hobgoblins is a movie that has to be seen to be believed. The haircuts, fashions and generic music showcase most of what was wrong with the '80s. The plot is completely uninspired, the monsters are blatantly ripped off from Gremlins, the "special effects" are completely atrocious and the soundtrack contains one of the most incomprehensible songs ever "sung" (which, despite this, the movie actually grinds to a hard stop to show the band performing said song in its entirety).
This movie is probably best known for being featured on a particularly memorable episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Rick Sloane, the movie's director, actually requested that the film be featured on the show. Despite this, Sloane and his film suffered some of the harshest riffing that the show ever dished out. Series writer Paul Chaplin commented that the film "[shot] right to the top of the list of the worst movies [they had] ever done". Nonetheless, the choice of this film lead to the creation of an episode that many fans of the show consider to be one of the best.
For more information on that episode see here.
And twenty years later, Rick Sloane made a sequel. Yes, really.
Hobgoblins contains examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: The final gag of the film, a caption reading, "PLEASE REMAIN SEATED UNTIL THE FILM COMES TO A COMPLETE STOP", is actually funny.
- Affectionate Parody: Hobgoblins was clearly meant to parody Gremlins, Ghoulies and other 80s little monsters movies. However, it is so unfunny that the result is that it is utterly terrible.
- All Women Are Prudes: Amy in the first half of the film.
- Artistic License Military: Nick salutes his sergeant.
- Ascended Meme: The trailer for Hobgoblins 2 contains a cover of the "Hobgoblins" song Mike & The Bots sing.
- Auto Erotica: with a side order of Squick.
- Bad Guy Bar: Club Scum, though once we see the interior we learn it's an Informed Attribute.
- Be a Whore to Get Your Man: Double subversion — Kevin tries to stop Amy from doing anything she'd regret, but he is pleased with the new direction their relationship takes by the film's end.
- Be Careful What You Wish For/Lotus Eater Machine: The hobgoblins purposefully corrupt their victim's fantasies to kill them.
- Big Damn Heroes: McCreedy rescuing Kevin at the end.
- Covert Pervert: Amy
- Death by Falling Over: Dennis
- Developing Doomed Characters: It sure does take a while for the title creatures to show up on-screen.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Appears as part of the army boyfriend's "fantasy." He starts randomly chucking grenades around and viciously pointing a submachine gun at his surroundings (though never actually firing it-- perhaps fake explosions were cheaper than a prop gun that could fire blanks?)
- Dull Surprise
- The Eighties
- Eighties Hair: Dear God.
- Fail O'Suckyname: Road Rash. Road Rash.
- Follow the Leader: This movie really hopes that you didn't see Gremlins.
- Rick Sloane has said that he started writing the film before Gremlins came out, but couldn't find backers. In the initial drafts, the hobgoblins were never seen.
- Funny Background Event: The extra in the Club Scum fight scene who overturns his own table no less than three times.
- Outside of Club Scum, each of them passes their wallets on to the next one in the group for safekeeping. The last guy in line calmly pulls a switchblade and mugs everyone.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
Slightly Effeminate Man: I'm sorry. The Donkey Mud Wrestlers are supposed to use the rear entrance.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: You may recognize bouncer Road Rash from the business end of Butch Coolidge's katana.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: The manager at Club Scum, played by Daran Norris, will sound familiar to anyone who has seen Fairly Oddparents. He is also Rodyle, Mercurymon, Spotswoode, Tatsuki, and Knock Out.
- Insecurity System
- Indecipherable Lyrics: Iced Chicken? Pig Sticker? Pig Liquor? Kiss Kicker '99
- The mysterious lyrics are finally revealed here (see video description)
- Jumping on a Grenade: Nick does this during his "fantasy".
- Made of Plasticine: Apparently Dennis was killed by attempting to crowdsurf when nobody was actually there to hold him up. Even though he was like two feet off the ground, tops.
- Make-Out Point: Called "Reputation Road". It's surprisingly elaborate, with signs to indicate where you should park based on what you plan to do. Mike thinks they must have public funding.
- Mickey Mousing
- Mildly Military: While minor in the grand scheme of gaping plot holes this movie has, Nick has an incredible amount of hair for someone a) in the Army and b) just out of boot camp.
- My Girl Is a Slut
- Old Shame: Surprisingly averted with Daran Norris, who despite going on to better things, looks back on his MC role with fondness and without regrets.
- Our Hobgoblins Are Different: They're plush-sized furry space creatures that can make your deepest fantasies manifest.
- They're also incredibly incompetent for monsters. They only manage to kill one guy in the entire film.
- Plot Hole: Why is it the Hobgoblins didn't escape from the vault when it was open for several minutes but the second time it was opened they run out in a second?
- Here's another: Why didn't the old man just blow them up immediately after it was clear they were dangerous? Sure, he would've lost his job but he wasn't too old at the time and would easily have gotten another as long as he could cover up the whole "blew up my last job" thing.
- He could at least have locked the vault. I mean, that's the sole reason for using a vault, isn't it?
- What happened to Dennis's body? Did McCreedy just leave it to rot in the vault?
- Really Gets Around: Daphne.
- Self-Parody: The sequel, at least so it would seem from trailer.
- Speed Sex: After the rake fight, Daphne and Nick immediately make for the van for some celebratory sex, and it's seen rocking vigorously while Kevin and Amy argue in the foreground. They reemerge after exactly thirty seconds, none the worse for wear.
- Thanks for the Mammary: Kyle sure looks excited as he pins the corsage on Daphne's chest.
- Three Chords and the Truth: Club Scum.
- Too Dumb to Live: Most of the characters.
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Amy. Just watch the "rake fight" sequence.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome?: Epic rake-dueling!
- With Friends Like These...: It is sort of baffling to wonder how this group of kids came to be friends.
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him: Why didn't McCreedy blow up the hobgoblins' vault in the first place? It makes a "bit" more sense in the uncut as McCreedy uses the opportunity to screw his boss over on not being able to file an insurance claim because said boss never believed McCreedy about the Hobgoblins. Of course, Kevin is almost certainly going to be fired too, but the movie never really addresses that.
- You Can Leave Your Hat On: And the rest as well, please.