Blood on a Budget

Blood on a Budget: The Ghouligans!

on March 21, 2014 | 4 Comments

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.

THE GHOULIGANS! MINI-SERIES VOL. 1 AND 2
Starring Pete Bune, Sean King and Michael Koscik
Written and directed by Pete Bune, Sean King and Michael Koscik
Slack Pack Productions

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.

You can pick up both DVD on The Ghouligans! website and see what they’re up to on their Facebook or Tumblr.

PATRICK DOLAN

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Tags: comedy, Frankenstein, ghouligans, Hilarious House of Frightenstein, monsterrettes, retro, slack pack productions, Universal Monsters, vampire, variety show, vintage, Werewolf, Zombie

Responses to Blood on a Budget: The Ghouligans!

  1. David Goulet says:

    Interesting find! How family friendly is this series?

    • Serge Miller says:

      That would depend on your definition of “family friendly”. I picked this up because I’ve always seen these guys at cons and was happy they finally got a show. There’s no “cussing”, no nudity, so it would get a “PG-13″ rating on that alone. But just like Spnogebob or Bugs Bunny, there’s innuendo that is pretty in-your-face if you know what they’re referencing to begin with. If you’re a little kid you probably wouldn’t pick up on it. The only scene I think would take some explaining is a sight gag that involves the question of babies’ paternities. But honestly, as a father who has to sit through the Disney Channel and ABC Family, I’m stunned at that these “family channels” consider permissable for family consumption. That said, as a 40-something horror fan, I got a lot out of it just on my level of fandom alone.

    • Sean King says:

      The whole series is very family friendly. There are some mature jokes that the kids won’t get, but the parents will. And a tiny bit of the red stuff to make everyone happy.

  2. James Taffurelli says:

    Hey David, there’s a subjective answer to that question depending on the kid. It’s definitely got a lot of humor that kids will love (along with a lot of references that may fly over their heads), but there is a touch cartoonish violence mixed in there. It’s by no means a gore fest but there are a few scenes that may be jarring for a younger kid maybe below 6-7 years old (or a kid who hasn’t been exposed to anything like that before) keep in mind we were kids in the early to mid 1980s where the definition of kid friendly was a little different than it was today. I’d say if were comfortable showing your kids a movie like the monster squad, gremlins, or the goonies they should be safe with this. Mainly we set out for something that horror fans could watch with their kids which i think were successful with, but maybe a test watch before you let the kids in the room to watch it?

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