Sunday, October 31, 2010

Demons (1985)

To end the month of October, I think it's time for me to take a look at one of my favorite party horror movies. Usually, these kinds of movies are fun, but they don't exactly come off as classics - they're fun if not exactly great films. Fortunately, there are exceptions to this rule, as movies such as "The Return of the Living Dead", "The Night of the Creeps" and "Evil Dead II" for example have shown. Well, Mario Bava's son Lamberto and Producer/Co-Writer Dario Argento gave the world just that with the movie "Demons."

The plot really isn't all that spectacular - a group of people are invited to watch a new horror movie about demons thanks to a mysterious masked man (Michael Soavi.) Well, one of the lady friends (Geretta Giancarlo) of a Pimp Named Tony(Bobby Rhodes), who bares no relation to A Pimp Named Slickback from "The Boondocks", scratches her face on a mask. Bad news of course, as she starts to turn into a demon of sorts, and soon, the infection starts to spread. Oh, and there's those dumb metal head/punk kids outside.

So yeah, "Demons" is basically various zombie movie cliches mixed with a somewhat dumb "Evil Dead" knock off. To be fair, "Demons" probably won't appeal to everyone. It's unapologetic in how harebrained it is, features music from the likes of Motley Crue, Go West and Billy Idol, and the whole thing lacks a cohesive plot or any real characterization. However, these things actually suit the film perfectly. While Bava actually shows some skill here, with some creative camera work and a great use of color schemes, the movie has no serious artistic aspirations. This is a movie that wants to entertain, and dammit if it doesn't.

And there's so much here to love. The gore is nasty (gouged out eyes, torn out throat, oozing pus, and much more) and very well done by Rosario Prestopino, and Claudio Simmonetti's score is a blast, mixing his usual electronic atmospherics with a slight dance touch (the title theme is pretty sweet.) Plus, the whole thing is done with so much gutso. It's basically Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento going completely nuts with ideas (original are derivative) and going out of their way to make a completely unhinged fun house of horrors. Then there's the dumb punk kids in the car. At one point, they indulge in the best product placement ever - snorting cocaine out of an empty coke can. I doubt Coca-Cola were thrilled by this, but like the whole movie, it's so ridiculous that it's awesome.

As a dumb, head-banging horror flick, "Demons" is one of the best ever, and is a must for fans of the wacky and fun side of the genre. If you haven't seen it yet, then what are you waiting for?

Rating: 9/10

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