Friday, March 11, 2011

Not on DVD Week: Demonoid: Messenger of Death (1981)

As "Not on DVD Week" comes to a close, I think it's time to remember why I did this. I didn't do this to celebrate or condemn movies because they aren't on DVD. No, I did it because I wanted to take a look at these movies, especially if they had a little something, be it good or bad. Well, that's exactly what "Demonoid: Messenger of Death" has-something. Granted, that something (a demon that possesses people's left hands) which is pretty stupid, but it at least stands out as different.

The workers at a Mexican mine don't exactly want to go there because of a curse. Well, Jennifer (Samantha Eggar) and Mark Baines (Roy Jones) go in anyways, and accidentally unleash a demonic force that has a fondness for possessing people's left hands. I guess Ned Flanders was wrong when he said "Lord Love a Leftie." Anyways, the only way a person can free themselves from committing acts of evil is severing said hand-which will then go after someone else and kill or possess them. Can Jennifer and Father Cunningham (Stuart Whitman) stop this handy horror?

As you can tell from the premise, "Demoniod" is about as goofy as they get. The plot really doesn't hold up to scrutiny, most of the performances are lackluster, and the film is loaded with moments that are unintentionally hilarious. The highlight of those goofy moments is a police officer demanding "cut my hand off or you die!"

In spite of it's problems, I found myself kind of enjoying this movie. It's not really good, but the whole concept is so daffy that you can't help but go along with it. It's like "Death Bed: The Bed That Eats" or "I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle", only played straight and without evil inanimate objects. Apart from that, Eggar and Whitman aren't great, but do their best carrying the material, and there's something perversely amusing about seeing people finding different ways of getting their hands severed, providing some fun bloody moments. Add a great score by Richard Gillis, plenty of (unintentional) laughs and a downbeat (though predictable) conclusion, and you've got yourself an amusing little piece of trash cinema. It's amazing that a movie this offbeat hasn't gotten a DVD release yet, as it's the kind of cult oddity fans of trash live for.

And with that, "Not on DVD Week" comes to an end, and with a pleasant surprise. I hope you had fun, and with luck, some of these will receive a proper release some day.

Rating: 6.5/10

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