As a fan of both wise-ass comedy and trashy b-movies, it’s only natural for Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show about a man and two robots who hilariously poke fun at some of the worst movies of all time, to be one of my favorite television creations. While there’s certainly room to debate the worst movie ever shown on MST3K, my money is on Hobgoblins, a stunningly inept 1988 creature feature which character Tom Servo accused of giving him “current traumatic stress disorder.”
The film has earned itself a cult following, largely in part to the Mystery Science Theater send-up. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the film, writer/director Rick Sloan, who’s actually gone on record declaring himself to be a crack addicted total idiot who had his brains replaced with rat droppings, filmed an alleged sequel called Hobgoblins 2. At the risk of summing up my review before it concludes, the movie sucks as bad as anything you’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, unlike the original, that’s not intended to be complimentary in any way.
I used the term “alleged” sequel because Hobgoblins 2 is actually more of a remake. It’s in no way a continuation of the original film. It takes all the same characters from the first movie, only to put them in this one where none of them are aware of any of the events that transpired in original (which somehow doesn’t stop Kyle, the effeminate phone sex/internet porn addict from somehow having a Hobgoblins poster hanging in his bedroom). I don’t know if there could have been a good sequel here, but this isn’t it.
Literally everything about this movie sucks. The acting is horrible, the look and sound resemble something that was shot on a cell phone and it’s paced so poorly that several conversations sounds as if they’re being conducted via satellite. Even the winking references to the first movie (the burning down of Club Scum, Kyle listening to “Kiss Kicker ’99” and a flat-out awful recreation of the infamous lawn tool fight) seem forced and pointless.
This, of course, was expected. Obviously the movie was gonna blow, but I rented it in hopes it would at least be fun. Those hopes were quickly relinquished when it became clear Sloan was actually going to attempt to be funny on purpose this time around. If meaningless jokes about people forgetting the number to 9-1-1 and a mental patient going on forever about being beamed up to be with her alien father are your idea of amusing, then you will cackle up a storm here. If not, pass.
The biggest complaint I have about Hobgoblins 2 is an almost non-existent story. In the first movie, the Hobgoblins (Frankie, Sniffles, Bounce-Bounce and The Claw) got into your subconscious and killed you after making your wildest fantasies come true. Here, they appear after you say their name three times (how very fresh) and make you confront your biggest fears.
While that storyline does support the “plot,” it, and the Hobgoblins themselves, have what I’d estimate to be about seven minutes of screentime in a 90-minute movie. As for the other 83-minutes, they follow the old MST3K rule of awful movies which states “it’s economical not to have a storyline, ’cause then you can just film people saying things.” Even in a movie where the fun is supposed to come in the awfulness on display, there has to be something that someone somewhere could possibly find entertaining, which Hobgoblins sort of had. As for this movie, I was too bored to even laugh at how incompetent it was.
I had no genuine expectations for Hobgoblins 2 going in, but the last thing I anticipated was that it would actually give me a greater appreciation for the first movie. Yes it was beyond awful and it would likely have been impossible to endure without the hilarious MST3K running commentary, but it at least had the decency to at least try to create and follow something resembling a story. Nothing here make sense, none of it is worth watching and if it’s actually possibly to soil the integrity of Hobgoblins, this movie does it.
The biggest mistake Rick Sloan made here was working under the impression he could make a cult classic on purpose. Just because you made a movie that was universally ridiculed doesn’t mean you get to act like you were in on the joke the entire time. If everyone involved is treating this like it’s trashy material, what is there for the audience to laugh at? It isn’t funny, it’s just annoying and a little self-congratulatory, and in no realm of reality should anyone be congratulated for making this movie.
- Gives you a reason to revisit arguably the best episode in the history of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- It doesn’t possess one redeeming quality
- “Films” should be made by “filmmakers.”
Final Score: 1.0/10