Joe Dante, who directed “Gremlins” and its sequel, is known to uplift schlock horror. One of his very first hits was the 1978 B-movie “Piranha” that was very intentionally an imitation of Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws”. In a world full of “Jaws” imitations, “Piranha” broke the mold by being really good – and funny, too. Spielberg, in turn, became the executive producer of “Gremlins” as his career was in full swing. As a result, Dante’s “Gremlins” got the kind of backing not only to ensure that it was both well-written and expertly performed, but that its practical monster effects ended up looking absolutely amazing.
Conversely, there is “Hobgoblins”, which came out four years later in 1988 with, clearly, a very small budget. The movie was created by Rick Sloane, who is actually the exact opposite of Joe Dante in that he takes ideas and injects as much schlock as possible. Sloane is probably best known for his counterfeit “Police Academy” series “Vice Academy” – a franchise where police trainees solve most of their sexual problems. The strangest thing about “Hobgoblins”, however, is that, despite the fact that it is obviously an imitation of “Gremlins” (more on this later), the often incomprehensible plot looks little like it. to the plot of “Gremlins”. ”
“Hobgoblins” is the story of Kevin (Tom Bartlett), a young man who keeps a movie studio safe, who stumbles upon a group of evil aliens being held in the safe by an older guard. – the titular hobgoblins. The rest of the movie involves Kevin and his friends fighting the hobgoblins.
Why do so many people know of such a seemingly innocuous ‘Gremlins’ knockoff? The answer is in the details.