Posts Tagged ‘Demons’

Movie Reviews 300 – Demons (1985)

May 26, 2017

This being my 300th movie review post, the number three has been on my mind of late. I have often referred to members of the triumvirate of Italian horror divinity, namely Mario Bava, Dario Argento, and last but not least Lucio Fulci, in some of my past reviews. They not only defined the slasher genre before Hollywood jumped on that bandwagon, but also resurrected the “giallo” style of murder mysteries. But their far reaching influence not only inspired others, but also fostered projects among themselves and their extended family of collaborators and relatives.

Demons, directed and co-written by Lamberto Bava – Mario’s son and horror meister in his own right – and produced and also co-written by Dario is a cult favorite of the 80’s salvo of European flavoured horror and appropriately begins with a young girl (Natasha Hovey) travelling within Berlin’s marbled foyer subways. Believing she is being followed by a youth sporting a half-face mirror mask, he surprisingly hands Cheryl an invitation card to a free movie event that very evening for which she convinces her friend to accompany her.

The “Metropol” movie venue is an old gothic cathedral whose interiors have been converted into a quasi-museum with neo art sculptures and art pieces woven between the traditional movie posters. The clientele for the evening’s movie is just as eclectic. A boisterous, pimpish dude with his two disco divas (one even sporting a ‘Rick James’ corn row braided coif), a teen couple more interested in making out that viewing anything that will appear on the screen, the blind and spectacled Verner with his lascivious looking wife Liz, Liz’s maistre who is just as interested in making out with Liz as the teens, and two young boys who immediately take a shine to Cheryl and her friend.

As the night’s film reel begins to be projected onto the theater screen ‘this’ film alternates its point of view from the cinema goers to being the film they are seeing themselves which is a horror movie featuring teens in a graveyard and tomb. As the teens discuss Nostradamus’ foretelling of events and find a mask just like that worn by the ticket dispenser Cheryl encountered, the ‘on screen’ movie soon becomes a creature infested slaughter. At that same time one of ‘real world’ the disco divas is having a bit of a problem of her own in the bathroom and is soon screeching, fanged and oozing pulsating puss which is the beginning a infestation that will soon have the entire movie audience scrambling and avoiding one another as the malediction spreads.

Before long theater seats are flying, bodies are piling up and there seems to be endless chases within the stairways, hidden rooms and passageways. To spice things up a bunch of drugged up punks roaming the city also end up breaking into the Metropol in order to avoid some polizei hot on their tails after some late night hijinx.

The action comes to a crescendo with an in-theater, limb slashing, Samurai sword swirling motorcycle chase that would make The Great Escape’s Steve McQueen proud. And that’s before the helicopter drops in! If that does not categorize this as ‘must watch’ I don’t know what will.

While not featuring Goblin music it does include some notable 80’s heavyweight bands and songs while Claudio Simonetti’s score hits elevates the energy.  The masked ticket man was played by Michele Soavi who was assistant director and a frequent collaborator of Argento’s. While Argento’s daughter Asia later became a scream queen (debuting in Demons 2 no less), here his lesser known daughter Fiore has a small role.

Argento and Bava would reprise their production roles for the sequel Demons 2 a year later and while I have yet to track down that movie to assess it myself, based on the Demons 2 trailer on this disk I take it to be much of the same madness.

Movie Reviews 122 – [DVG] Dead and Rotting (2002)

June 15, 2013

Continuing with the reviews of the Demons, Vampires and Ghouls DVD set:

Dead and Rotting (2002)

Dead and RottingThree beer guzzling buddies are goofing around when one of the group is dared to go to the reputed neighborhood witch house. It’s all good fun until the boys run have a run in with the witch’s son at the local bar while the crazy coot is lapping up his bowl of milk. Anyhow, one thing leads to another and the three guys hire the two local junkies to scare up the witch’s house believing they themselves won’t be blamed as the junkies take the fall. But the junkies end up killing the witch’s cat/son (I did say he was lapping milk in a bar and there is hell to pay as the witch goes after both the junkies and the three guys.

The good news for viewers is that it is at this point the scraggy old witch turns into the a young voluptuous gal in order to seduce the boys. And seeing that Debbie Rochon plays the part (even with a few scant seconds of boobage) makes it all worthwhile. You gotta love it when the punishment consists of doing the nasty with Debbie, again and again. At one point one of the boys is just too pooped to continue and comes downstairs to pass her onto the next fellow. Of course they end up paying for this at one point, but it’s hardly punishment at first.

Once again  the acting is pretty solid for the entire cast which makes this one of the better Tempe films out there. The gags and jokes aren’t bad either. The witch effects are decent although I couldn’t quite figure out the “Pumpkin” guys she conjure up. Are they supposed to be just helping hands or are they supposed to be the receptacles for the victims? Whatever. You’ll enjoy this one.