If you’ve ever watched a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode and thought to yourself that you’d like to see the movie without the riffing, then here is your chance. Many of the MST3K episodes feature films that are somewhat difficult to find, but thanks to Vinegar Syndrome, you can watch the monster mash that is Hobgoblins, with a shiny new transfer even! Let’s dive in and see what we get.
The Movie Itself (4/5)
With a handful of Gremlins knock offs out there, it’s almost an instant claim to fame to be dubbed as the worst one. Couple that with the honor of being riffed by the masters of Mystery Science Theater, and you have yourself the recipe for a cult hit.
The story, while simplistic, is actually pretty fun, in that so bad its actually great sort of way. A young man man with a new job as a security guard wants nothing more than to impress his girlfriend. However, when he inadvertently lets loose a pack of alien monster hobgoblins from the studio he works for he may have endangered not only her and their closest friends, but everyone else in the city too.
The hobgoblins, who have been locked in a vault for 30 years let their victims live out their wildest fantasies before they meet their demise. Their only weakness? They are attracted to bright lights…
So, with a synopsis like this, it should come to no surprise to anyone that this film is loaded with incredibly cheesy scenes, however, what would be it’s weakness actually ends up being the movie’s greatest strength — the bad acting, the awkward interactions, the synthesizer soundtrack to a rake fight — all are incredibly endearing and an absolute joy to watch. That is, if you enjoy the bad but good flicks. Otherwise you’ll likely be as disappointed as you expect to be.
Visuals/Picture Quality (4.5/5)
Sporting a new 2K transfer, Hobgoblins looks so good on Blu-ray. Yes, there is still a lot of film grain, which is to be expected, but the colors pop wonderfully, the darks stay dark, and the textures stand out incredibly well. The difference between this and watching the MST version is beyond night and day, fans will absolutely be thrilled.
Score/Audio Quality (4.5/5)
The audio track was a bit quiet, but satisfying overall. The synths are as wonderfully absurd as you would want, and the grenades and fights are all punchy and exciting. A well done track.
Special Features (4.5/5)
It’s always refreshing and exciting to me to review a release with a solid set of special features. Too many releases have little to no offerings, which is a crying shame. Vinegar Syndrome has done a great job here though, including a good range of content:
- Commentary with the Writer/Director Rick Sloane.
- “Hobgoblins Revisited” – while in standard def, this feature has Rick Sloane discussing the origins of the movie, his reactions to the MST3K riffs, and visits several of the locations used in the film (including a little bit of trespassing to boot)
- Interview with creature effects designer Kenneth J. Hall
- “Making a Disasterpiece” – a reunion of cast members
While there’s only about an hour of content here, and about half being in SD, the special features are still quite entertaining, with Rick Sloane being super charismatic throughout. Don’t skip these!
As is standard with Vinegar Syndrome, Hobgoblins comes in a good looking clear Blu-ray case with two sided art and great looking art on both the Blu-ray and DVD discs.
- Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
- DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Runtime 92 Mins
If you like movies that are so bad that they end up being super good, then Hobgoblins is quite likely for you. It’s cheesy and over the top in all the fun ways, and is just a blast to watch. However, if you can’t let loose into the absurdity, then this one will fall flat fast. I definitely recommend trying though, as Vinegar Syndrome has put together a great package with a gorgeous transfer!
You can pick it up here.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.