Eric Hayes is a stringer. One notch below the lowest rung of the journalistic ladder. A video vulture preying on police chases, ambulance runs, and random street violence, selling his ...
See full summary »
Returning to the medical school where they were test subjects decades ago, a pair of outrageously twisted serial killers use shockingly brutal sex acts to start killing off a group of drugged-out med students.
Remington, a murderous grifter cons his way into a mother's heart, putting on a fatherly facade to her cherished son, Nicholas. But the second she leaves for work, a torrent of abuse rains ... See full summary »
A group of friends get lost in the seedy streets where they encounter a crazed gang of homeless derelicts that seizes them and one-by-one, horrifically kills all but one man. The surviving ... See full summary »
Impotent and unhappy middle-aged James Fhelleps goes murderously around the bend after an automobile accident claims the life of his beloved daughter Heather and turns his nagging wife ... See full summary »
At the beginning of the 1990s, famous tomb explorer Hu Bayi decided to retire with his fiancée Shirley. But before his wedding, Bayi discovers his first love Ding Shitian, who had supposedly died 20 years ago, is actually still alive.
Eric Hayes is a stringer. One notch below the lowest rung of the journalistic ladder. A video vulture preying on police chases, ambulance runs, and random street violence, selling his footage to the highest bidder and living on a steady diet of cigarettes and bloodlust. For years, Eric has lived off of other people's pain and misery. But he's about to discover something beneath the streets of Los Angeles even hungrier for blood than he is. He's about to discover THE GHOULS. Written by
Midnight Meat Train, but with no budget and less talent.
The plot: A parasitic bottom feeder stumbles into a horrific world, hidden inside the darkest alleys of the worst slums.
The Ghouls is basically a rehash of Clive Barker's 1984 short story Midnight Meat Train (which was adapted into a pretty good movie), but there are echoes of many other influences. Indeed, it seems to revel in making references to cult horror. Unfortunately, there really isn't all that much going on beneath the surface. This sort of story has been told many times. You get some despicable, scum of the Earth photographer/reporter, throw them in with a monster, compare and contrast, and then let the audience decide who's worse. Stephen King did it in The Night Flier, which used a vampire, and Clive Barker did it in The Midnight Meat Train, which used ghouls. I'm sure someone out there has done zombies or demons. Probably Poppy Z. Brite.
When I saw Trent Haaga and James Gunn were involved, I knew it was going to be low budget, but I didn't realize it was going to be quite THIS low budget. It was distracting at first, but I eventually got used to it. The directing, acting, and cinematography were all amateurish, but I guess I got used to that, too. The gore was actually kind of competent.
Unfortunately, much of the movie focuses on long, drawn-out scenes where nothing much happens, characters have repetitive flashbacks, or somebody ingests their drug of choice. I guess it sets the mood, but it's also a bit boring. Probably half of the movie feels like it's moody filler. Shaky, hand-held shots take up another chunk of the movie's runtime, as the film's protagonist is a cameraman. That doesn't leave a whole lot of runtime available to tell the story. Luckily, the story isn't really all that complicated.
In the end, the themes end up being more interesting than the story, and the gore effects maintain your interest more than anything else. If you're able to enjoy guerrilla filmmaking and indie horror, and you aren't looking for much more than a splatter movie with some interesting themes, then this movie can actually work for you. It's dark (metaphorically and literally), grim, and moody. However, it's also inept, amateurish, and kind of boring. It reminds me of Shatter Dead. If you found Shatter Dead exciting, different, and full of spirit, then you should give The Ghouls a try. If you hated Shatter Dead, then don't even think about trying to watch this.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?