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The Ghoulies are horrible and mischievous little demons that act as the titular antagonists of the Ghoulies series of comedy-horror films, though they were not the only antagonists in the series as these impish creatures could normally only enter the world via the use of dark magic and forbidden ceremonies as well as highly stylized Satanic rituals. While mischievous and tricky, they are demons by nature and should be treated as dangerous beings.
The story begins in the year 1962 when a cult of Satanists, with the demons present, is led by the evil man named Malcolm Graves who is about to sacrifice his newborn son Jonathan to Satan. Jonathan's mother Anastasia objects, but Malcolm would not listen. To protect the baby, she places her protective magical amulet around him. Malcolm grabbed the baby, but was repelled by the amulet's power. He shouted that the baby was taken away from him forever. One of the Satanists, named Wolfgang, takes Jonathan into hiding and raised the infant as his own child. Malcolm, looking for an alternative pawn, decides to kill Anastaisia instead by magically tearing out her heart (done offscreen).
Twenty-five years later, Jonathan, now a grown teen and has inherited the manor where the ritual had taken place 25 years ago. He is a college student and has a girlfriend named Rebecca. She meets Wolfgang, who is currently the caretaker of the manor. While Jonathan checks out the house, he stumbles upon Malcolm's altar in the basement. He slowly becomes curious as he goes through Malcolm's belongings. Later that night, as they celebrate their new home, Jonathan and Rebecca invite their friends for a party. Jonathan came up with an idea to do a ritual (more on this later): he tries to summon a ghoulie but his friends kept interrupting him. When he eventually finished his ritual, nothing happens so they all went back upstairs.
As Jonathan's curiosity grew, he summons the ghoulies and this time they appear. He makes Rebecca worried and Wolfgang afraid, knowing that he was becoming more corrupt. Later, he summons two elves named Grizel and Greedigut. They tell him that to achieve knowledge and power, he must perform a ritual during a full moon with seven others, but they are reluctant to tell him that the ritual would resurrect their long-dead master, Malcolm. Later that night, Jonathan, along with a spellbound Rebecca, invited all of their friends to a dinner, they were given sunglasses so they wouldn't notice the ghoulies at the table. Jonathan cast a spell that made everything dark and the table disappear. Rebecca gave everyone the robes of the old cultists. Then Jonathan performs the ritual in which everyone participates (albeit unknowingly). Suddenly, Malcolm rose from his grave as a zombie.
Later, Jonathan and Rebecca invited their friends to stay the night. As resurrected Malcolm returns to and enters the house, he disguised himself as a temptress and killed one of the guests. Then he had taken the control of ghoulies and has ghoulies kill all the others. Rebecca was overwhelmed by the ghoulies and fell down a flight of stairs, killing herself. Jonathan was overcome with grief and tried to find his robe to bring her back, only to find Malcolm wearing it. It turned out that Malcolm's evil influence made Jonathan trifle with ghoulies, black rituals and ultimately resurrect him. When Malcolm was about to kill his son, Jonathan was saved by Wolfgang, who learned magic of his own after all these years he was in hiding. As he and Malcolm engaged in a magic battle, they were both destroyed and vanished without a trace. With their mutual destruction the victims of ghoulies come back to life and fled for their lives as the house crumbled to the ground. As Jonathan drove away, the ghoulies were seen in the back of his car.
Larry and Uncle Ned drove a truck to an amusement park with their attraction Satan's Den. They had to stop in a repair shop and four demons from the first Ghoulies sneaked in and hide in the truck. The creatures arrived at the carnival and hide inside the Satan's Den. The arrogant owner of the carnival P. Hardin threatens to fire the employees if their attractions are not profitable and assigns the dwarf Sir Nigel Penneyweight to work with Larry and Ned in the Satan's Den. He also hits on Larry's girlfriend Nicole, much to her annoyance. When the audience sees the titular demons in the Satan's Den, they believe that they are part of the attractions and the entertainment becomes a sensation... That is until people start turning up dead by the evil creatures. Eventually panic ensues in the carnival. Now Larry, Nigel and Nicole had to use the dark incantation to get rid of the creatures.
Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College
A "Ghoulies" comic book is found in a frat house bathroom. The comic secretly holds powers over three lost Ghoulies that are imprisoned within its pages. They are soon released by Professor Ragnar who is obsessed with occult stuffs. He uses them in an attempt to stop 'Prank Week' where frats play tricks on each other for a tinfoil crown. Skip Carter and his frat house of party animals are destined to take back the crown but he is having problems with his girlfriend who is dating his arch rival, Jeremy. When Jeremy frames Skip, resulting in his expulsion, the Ghoulies are sent to kill Skip and any other frats that stand in their way. Soon the creatures wreak havoc that is initially dismissed as elaborate pranks by the partying frat houses until a couple at the school realize the pranks aren't so innocent.
Jonathan Graves (hero from the first movie) returns, now a retired occultist turned police officer. His latest assignment finds him battling his former girlfriend Alexandra (Stacie Randall), who has escaped an asylum and tries to summon forth the demonic forces Graves trifled with in the first film.
The two Ghoulies in this film are not the same as the original three Ghoulies. They are slightly bigger and have a more dwarf like appearance. They also act more as supporting protagonists or anti-heroes.
- Fish Ghoulie: this Ghoulie is the most recurring character and unofficial 'leader' of the Ghoulies from the first 3 Ghoulies films. The Fish Ghoulie is a small, greenish imp. He has sharp teeth to bite, maul and black eyes. The Fish Ghoulie is often seen in a toilet. He loves to cause mayhem and trouble, just like the other Ghoulies. The Fish Ghoulie changed his appearance during the first three films; in the first movie he is very small and pale-green colored in the first movie. In the second film the Fish Ghoulie is darker colored, larger, and muscular. And in the third movie, the Fish Ghoulie was very light colored, even larger, and had a personality with a speaking voice that was based on Moe Howard of the Three Stooges. The Fish Ghoulie does not appear in Ghoulies IV.
- Rat Ghoulie: This ghoulie, along with Fish Ghoulie, was the most active in the first movie, as it and its friends killed of Jonathan Graves' friends. In the second movie, it was just as active, yet it had the ability to spit slime. In the third movie, while it was smarter than the Cat Ghoulie, but that is not saying much. His personality was based on Larry from the Three Stooges.
- Cat Ghoulie: This ghoulies also made its debut in the first Ghoulies. In the first movie, this ghoulie didn't do much. In the second movie, the cat ghoulie meows, hissing like a real cat and has nimble hands to utilize tools. In the third movie, he was the dumb one and had a personality that is based on Curly from the Three Stooges.
- Flying Ghoulie: This Ghoulie has no hind legs, so it prefers to fly. It made a couple of brief appearances in the first movie, and made more appearances in the second. It made no more appearances in the last two.
- Clown Doll Ghoulie: This ghoulie is a ghoulie that was inside the clown doll. It is in only one scene from Ghoulies. It happens in the middle scene of ghoulies were he rips the clown head to rise up to attack.
- The Monkey Ghoulie: this ghoulie was one of the ghoulies that Jonathan (from the first movie) summoned. It appeared only in the first movie.
- Giant Ghoulie: Looks very much like Fish Ghoulie, only a lot bigger. This Ghoulie was a cannibalistic adult-sized demon, summoned from Hell by Sir Nigel Penneyweight to eat the rampaging Ghoulies. It did eat the demons, except the Fish Ghoulie. It then went after Sir Nigel, thinking he is a demon. Larry and his buddies hid in a trailer. The Giant Ghoulie pursued them and pounded on the trailer, until Larry placed Sir Nigel's costume outside, stuffed with explosions. The creature ate it and exploded into a cloud went back through the portal.
- Toad Ghoulie: this ghoulie is practically a glutton. Only appeared in Ghoulies II.
- Lite & Dark Ghoulies: two new ghoulies named Lite and Dark. Unlike their demonic cousins they are basically the good guys. Ghoulies Lite and Dark only appeared in Ghoulies IV.