Featuring The Ghouligans! Mini-Series vol. 1 and 2
A group of people who truly embody the DIY spirit are The Ghouligans. Beginning in the mid 2000s with a handful of no-budget web shorts, that put Universal-inspired Monsters in cheesy comedy sketches, these ghastly goofs have been dedicated to their hand-made horror-comedy for years, producing two DVDs and tirelessly touring conventions. Finally they’ve landed a TV show which highlights what The Ghouligans are best at: classic horror-humour with a ton of heart. Though all 6 half-hour episodes of the first season, which can be best described as a cross between The Munsters and SCTV, you can truly see how much fun, love, and elbow grease this ghoulish gang have put into this project, and on such a criminally low budget.
BLOOD: A Touch here and there for humour’s sake
BUDGET: Estimated at $65,000
If there’s one thing you can say about the Ghouligans, it’s that they’re dedicated to their style. Almost to a fault, they’ve stuck to cheesy horror-laced comedy à-la Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Cracked magazine’s Monster Party and the many corny horror hosts of yesteryear.Now on their third project -except for a bigger budget- nothing’s changed.
Starring Wolfgang the werewolf, Boris the Frankensteinian monster, and Void the zombie (this time without Count Farnham the Vampire), these two DVD releases include 3 half-hour shows each, making up the complete first season of the Ghouligans TV show. Each episode is set up like a classic comedy/variety show, with the titular trio introducing the plot at their stagey home, and then embarking on a miss-adventure (ie. Going to Egypt, Taking care of a pet blob, picking up women). Along the way, we are also introduced to several new characters, including Count Fleming the playboy vampire, Bob Tutankhamen the mummy, and the Monsterettes.
Although most of the humour is made up of gags that were getting old when Abbott and Costello did them, groans are stifled by the shear fun of the show, and blend in nicely with the cardboard sets, obvious practical make-up and effects, and retro surf-inspired soundtrack. Not strictly old-school though, the vintage vibe is melded with more modern references seen in handful of sketches (the Ghouligans pulling off some Jackass style pranks), fake trailers (Scarfish, a gill man version of Scarface), and joke commercials (Buzz Bin, a compilation CD featuring monster-themed ’90s hits, including “Wu-Tang Clam (Ain’t Nuthin to Shuck Wit)”) that break up each episode. What really sells the show, however, is the actors’ earnest commitment to their ham-filled material.
Devoid of biting humour or scares of any kind, The Ghouligans! Mini-Series may not be for everyone. But for those looking for something to sit alongside their Melvin The Monster collections and Monster Squad TV show DVDs, these spooky goofballs will fit in nicely.
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