The Ghouligans (2012) – By Philip Smolen

As a kid I grew up watching all the local New York classic kid shows that featured live hosts. Whether it was Sandy Becker, Chuck McCann or Claude Kirschner, I watched them all. But my absolute favorite TV host had to be Zacherly, the cool ghoul. Yes, his set was chintzy, his jokes were lame and his singing was like fingers on a chalkboard, but I loved him. He just got what was important to kids.

In a nod to those goofy horror host TV shows from the past, a New York production company called the Slack Pack (Pete Bune, Michael A. Koscik and Sean Q. King) has produced six episodes of a pilot TV series called “The Ghouligans”, which features three slacker monsters that live in a dilapidated castle. The three monsters include Wolfgang (Bune), a surfing and rhyming werewolf; Boris (Koscik), a Frankenstein wanna-be monster; and Void (King), one of the last slow moving zombies. Together, the three monsters go from one silly misadventure to another.

Each show begins with the boys having to solve a problem, like getting money to fix their castle, and ends with them usually in worse shape than when they started. The show also features commercial spoofs of classic movies, TV shows and infomercials. Each of the shows that I watched featured a maniacal energy level and a genuine love of all classic horror.

The high points of the shows are the commercial parodies which include spoofs of such movies as “Scarface” (1983), “The Wild One” (1954) and “Jaws” (1975). The main narratives are not as inspired as the commercials, but still echo some classic TV shows like “The Munsters” and “The Addams Family.”

I’m not sure what age group “The Ghouligans’s” is aiming for. The show is too adult for young children (there’s mild swearing and a lot of leering at women in tight clothing), and too juvenile for teens and adults (some of the jokes are real groaners). But I have to admit that the show does tap into that same crazy old-time horror host vibe.

As it stands, “The Ghouligans” is a hit and miss show. Bune, Koscik and King seem to be heading in the right direction, but they’re not there yet. They need stronger scripts and more kinetic action and polish to raise the show to giddy heights. “The Ghouligans” does remind me of those horror host shows I loved as a kid, but right now it reminds me that they still did it better in the good old days.

Episodes of “The Ghouligans” are currently running on The Monster Channel. For more information on the show, please visit these sites: http://www.theghouligans.com and https://www.facebook.com/ghouligans