Movie Reviews 72 – Night of the Demons 3 (1997)

Gotta confess that when I picked up this DVD in the cheapie bins I missed the miniscule print belittling the first half of the title and really only saw “Demons 3” and thought it was some sort of sequel to Lamberto Bava/ Dario Argento’s “Demons” and it had a decent cover so I did not give it much thought. When I gave it a closer look once back home and saw the smaller print “Night of the”, my expectations immediately sank and it has languished on my unviewed shelf for more than a year. As Halloween approached this year I finally decided to crack it open as the box mentioned something about a Halloween tie in.

But as soon as the opening credits were rolling my brows perked up upon seeing some decent effects and I knew that at least there was more than just a ‘pizza and beer’ budget for a bunch of friends that wanted to make a movie that went into this. After a few minutes of watching I was almost in shock as I realized there was some actual character development and something of a story despite the fact that this seemed it was going to be a ‘teens in a haunted house’ story (actually not a haunted house, but a possessed house as one of the teens corrects the others).

The intrigue is notched up right from the start as a disparate group of kids end up together in a quickie mart when the smart Alec of the group decides to pull a gun on the storekeeper and them have a shootout with the cops who stroll into the store. But their getaway brings them to the house possessed by the sexiest of demons who, one by one, brings the kids to the dark side.

We have sympathy for the detective who retires that very night and is out on his last run who wants to save the kids from making even a bigger mistake than they already have. The kids themselves run the usual gamut including princess, princess wannabe, slut bitch, tough guy, tough guy wannabe, and jock. But unlike the usual haphazard killings we encounter in these movies, the characters are developed enough for us to start routing for some, and eagerly awaiting others to get their comeuppance.

The effects, mediocre at times, does have enough going to it to not ruin the illusion for the most part and is magnificently done for some shots.

I really enjoyed the movie as a whole and now actually want to seek out the first two movies in the series. After all, if the law of diminishing returns applies, they should be even better, right? Besides, Amelia Kinkade who plays the sexy demon is listed as cast in the first two movies so I know they are not totally different from this one.

You scour the cheapie bins, flipping one DVD over another hoping to find that one gem, and it appears that in this case, despite the case of mistaken lineage, the effort paid off. This is why I scour the bins.

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