Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nilbog Is Gil Bellows Spelled Backwards? Oh My Godddddddddddd!

I didn't watch 2010's Goblin because it starred the on-a-straight-to-DVD-rolling Gil Bellows, but I have no shame in saying I should have. See, I rented the movie because it's set during Halloween--something that I still find shockingly rare for most horror films--and involves a goblin, and really, what can there possibly be not to like about a Halloween film involving goblins?
Well, as it turns out, teenagers.
But not Gil Bellows. Or goblins. 

Those are things to love.
Quick Plot: An 1831 flashback introduces us to Hollow Glen, a cursed town besmirched during a bad season of crops. How to fix such a Wicker Manny problem? Sacrifice a mutant baby of course!

The fact that tossing the li'l bugger into a bonfire produces a sound like shattered glass should alert the folks that something is awry. More pressingly, the sudden appearance of an 8' tall CGI monster who slashes through period-garbed extras seals the deal.

I know I should move on to the main storyline of the film--wherein Mr. Bellows channels Yoda and his bratty daughter whines--but let's pause for many moments to discuss the titular character. Goblin--I like to think he's really named GOB, pronounced as you expect if you have good taste in television--is pretty amazing. By pretty I mean amazingly. So GOB is amazingly amazing. See what I mean?

He's essentially the inbred cousin of a Nav'i, one who prowls the woods instead of Pandora and eats babies in place of 3D rainbows. Somewhere in his gene pool, I'm pretty sure a Blood Gnome snuck in (though the phalicness was weaned out). Most importantly, he's cross-eyed.

Leading to what I imagine are deleted scenes where the victims awkwardly ask GOB if he's actually looking at them, then GOB lets out a single tear, nods, the victim screams, apologizes because he or she feels really bad and uncomfortable, then screams again when GOB lets it go and kills them. 

Why don't I make movies?
Flash forward to the present day, where Gil--who still looks young and adorable, even if slightly high off of exhaust fumes--is driving his second wife, baby son, horrid teenage daughter Nikki and her skanky friend Cammy into the woods to close a business deal. They stop at the local diner for a hearty helping of ominous warnings, mostly issued by the token Crazy Ralph old guy who can't possibly know what he's talking about when he says the newbies' baby will be eaten by a goblin.

Because, like, there are BIGGER problems to deal with DAD. You don't even TALK about Dead Mom anymore! And you care more about that cute baby you had with the far more pleasant woman than you do about ME! I'm SEVENTEEN! I like, NEED you to care about me.

Dad! I mean, DON’T TALK to me! Especially in front of BOYS! You're like, so LAME! And you hate Dead Mom. And I hate you. And I hate my baby brother who like, TOTALLY needs someone to watch him? Seriously? It's like you hate me. I wish the goblins would come and take you away right now.

Sorry readers, I found myself channeling the character of Nikki. Perhaps my biggest beef with Goblin is the fact that the first hour of the film INSISTS on making its main character THE MOST HORRID PERSON IN THE WORLD. 

Yes folks, my biggest problem in this movie had nothing to do with the half-price CGI monster who wears assless chaps.
Nope, it's the chick, a nasty, angst-filled brat who can't say two words without making me want to call David Bowie to see if he accepts older half-sisters on his Goblin staff. This girl is positively evil.

Granted, I'm the youngest in my family and therefore may just not identify with the plight of the oldest child. So maybe this is all my fault. Perhaps if I was a pretty 17-year-old growing up today with a pleasant dad and nice enough stepmother, I too would have every reason to ditch baby-sitting duties long enough for someone to kidnap my baby brother and feed him to goblins. Or just one. Because that is all you need.

High Points
For a not very good movie, Goblin does boast a few decent sequences, including an excellent baby crib reveal that shows director Jeffery Scott Lando might have potential with better material/CGI caliber goblins
Low Points
Look, I understand that having an angsty teen as your lead could work when she uses the journey of saving her baby brother from being eaten by a goblin as a growing experience. But honestly, making her just a nice young teenager who has to save her baby brother from eaten by a goblin really wouldn't have taken ANYTHING away from the whole saving-brother-goblin thing. And would have made the audience not want to see the star die a painful death

Credits Curiosity
Not something I expect in the opening credits sequence: U.S. Casting by One Person, followed by CASTING By Someone Else. At that point, at least tell us WHERE Goblin was was filmed (and cast)
Lessons Learned
What's in for goblin style in 2010: Assless chaps, Grim Reaper hoodies, and bone earrings

Attractive yet bland eighteen year old boys are turned on by fake blonds with oddly parted hair talking dirty. By dirty, I mean using the kinds of come-ons that befit the Sweet Valley High twins (or at least Jessica). Sample exchange: 
“You are so hot!” 
“ might get burned"

Arguing is not helpful
When burying your own wife/mother, it’s vital to dress the part of a mourning family with proper black dresses or suits. Try to avoid dirt stains, but really, what can you do?

I’m not sure whether Goblin was made for the SyFy Channel, but I’d bet a mutant baby that it was. It’s not good, but it’s passable enough light horror along the lines of Skeleton Man. The CGI effects are hilariously adorable, as is the titular goblin himself. So I guess those who like leggy goblins, go for it. All others, stick to a more laughable Gil Bellows as the villain facing Steve Austin in Hunt to Kill. It’s a performance worth goblining for.


  1. This review reminds me of the babe.

  2. What babe? You mean the babe with the power?

  3. Not nearly as promising as the title or artwork would suggest, but I found it to be fairly entertaining (for all the wrong reasons).

  4. He's one of the most versatile actors of our times, TD!

    The more I think of it Aaron, the more I wished it did more with either the 1800s flashback--which, wait, weren't sacrificial burnings more of a 1600s thing?--or its actual Halloween setting. Ah well, goofy good fun nonetheless.

  5. Ugh, Hunt to Kill has a super bitch of a daughter in it too, which is the first thing I thought of when you started to hysterically go on about the turd daughter in this film.

    Bitchy daughter and assless chaps are a bit of a draw for me, for the record, so despite your lack of love for this one, I wouldn't count it out as a part of my viewing future!

  6. I totally FORGOT about the teen in Hunt to Kill. I guess I'd been so incredibly distracted by Bellows 'bad guy.' I'd say the girl in Goblin is worse, but I'm not asking either to cat sit.

    I'd actually love to hear your thoughts on Goblin. It's so wrong, and yet so right, so cheap, and yet so Chuck NOrris Ate My Goblin Baby....