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Directed by Rick Sloane
Produced by Rick Sloane
Written by Rick Sloane
Starring Tom Bartlett
Paige Sullivan
Steven Boggs
Kelley Palmer
Billy Frank
Music by Alan DerMarderosian
Cinematography Rick Sloane
Editing by Rick Sloane
Distributed by American Cinema Marketing
Release date(s) July 14, 1988 (USA)
Running time 92 min.
Country USA
Language English
Followed by Hobgoblins 2 (2009)

Hobgoblins is a 1988 low-budget B-movie directed by Rick Sloane, often seen as a rip-off of Gremlins.[1] It earned infamy after it was shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000, making it famous as one of the worst films ever made.



The film opens with a man named Dennis investigating an old vault at an old movie studio. While inside, his fantasy of being a rock star comes to life, but he dies while performing on stage. His boss, Mr. McCreedy (Jeffrey Culver), closes the door upon discovering the body.

A young man named Kevin (Tom Bartlett) takes the vacant job so that he can impress his girlfriend Amy (Paige Sullivan). After his first shift, he drives home to Amy, finding that his two friends, the sex-crazed Daphne (Kelley Palmer) and the dorky Kyle (Steven Boggs), waiting for him, and Daphne's Army boyfriend Nick (Billy Frank) arrives. In one of the film's most commonly mocked scenes, Nick and Kevin spar with rakes in a long, protracted, repetitive scene. After Kevin loses horribly, Amy berates him for his weaknesses while Daphne and Nick have sex in Nick's van in the background of the scene.

While in pursuit of a burglar the next evening, Kevin stumbles across the vault, which contains a small group of hairy, demonic little aliens — the hobgoblins. They escape, leaving Kevin stunned. His boss, the elderly Mr. McCreedy, explains that the hobgoblins crash landed on the studio lot decades earlier, and he has been closely guarding them ever since. The hobgoblins have the hypnotic power to make a person's wildest fantasies come true; however, they also kill their victims in the process when people's fantasies turn against them.

The hobgoblins go straight to Kevin's house, where his friends are partying, as they are attracted by the bright lights. The hobgoblins quickly make their fantasies come true, but with dire consequences. The quiet, prudish Amy's fantasy leads her to the sleazy nightclub Club Scum. Kevin and the others follow her there. It turns out that Amy's deepest fantasy is to lose her sexual inhibitions and be a stripper.

The nightclub erupts into chaos while Kevin and his friends try to kill the rampaging hobgoblins. Nick is given a fantasy in which he leads a commando raid. In the melee, Nick is set on fire by a hand grenade thrown by his commanding officer and is apparently killed (again, his fantasy goes to extremes and turns against him), though he returns later in the movie, bandaged and on crutches, but otherwise unharmed. Kevin kills the hobgoblin in control of Amy before she can have sex with the scruffy bouncer Roadrash (Duane Whitaker). Although Amy is restored to her original personality, her experience leaves her less sexually repressed than she was before.

Thinking that all the hobgoblins are dead, Kevin, Amy, Kyle, and Daphne return to the lot to report back to Mr. McCreedy. Kevin is confronted by the burglar from earlier that night and beats him in a fight, finally proving his bravery to Amy. Kevin's victory is short lived as the burglar (yet another phantom created by the hobgoblins) pulls a gun from an ankle holster and aims it at Kevin. Just as the burglar is about to fire, McCreedy shoots the alien, thus saving Kevin's life. The remaining hobgoblins run back into the vault, which McCreedy has filled with explosives. The hobgoblins are then blown up. Amy promises to have sex with Kevin, Nick returns to have sex with Daphne, and Kyle, odd man out, asks to use McCreedy's phone, presumably for more phone sex.

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Hobgoblins is perhaps best known for being shown on episode #907 of Mystery Science Theater 3000. MST3K writer Paul Chaplin later commented on Hobgoblins, saying, "It shoots right to the top of the list of the worst movies we've ever done."[2] Rick Sloane in fact submitted Hobgoblins to the MST3K team himself, and enjoyed the episode enough that he based the theme song to Hobgoblins 2 on a song Mike and the Bots sing during the episode.

DVD releases

  • Hobgoblins has been previously released on DVD by Retromedia.
  • The MST3K version of the film was released by Rhino Home Video as part of the Collection, Volume 8 DVD set.
  • The original Hobgoblins cast members reunite for the MicroWerks DVD of Hobgoblins and Hobgoblins 2, released June 23, 2009. The 20th Anniversary interviews are given by Tom Bartlett (Kevin), Kelley Palmer (Daphne), Steven Boggs (Kyle), Billy Frank (Nick), Tami Clatterbuck (Fantazia), Daran Norris (Club Scum MC), Kenneth J. Hall (creator of the original Hobgoblin puppets), and Rick Sloane (writer/director).


  1. ^ Jason Gibner, Hobgoblins. Allmovie. URL accessed 28 April 2006.
  2. ^ Episode 907- Hobgoblins

External links

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