Let me start by excusing my lack of detail in this review. There are no memorable acting performances, nothing fantastically breathtaking from a cinematic point of view and, great score and rock songs aside, nothing much to really win over any fans of mainstream cinema. What we do get are fanged, clawed, drooling demons. Lots and lots of them.
The plot sees two girls (along with many other random people) given free tickets to a strange, arty cinema currently screening a weird horror movie about a demonic outbreak caused by a powerful mask. Oh, that mask just happens to be in the cinema foyer. Of course, someone tries it on and as reality starts mirroring the movie things take a quick turn for the worse. Scared patrons soon find that they are now bricked in the cinema with a rapidly growing crowd of infectious, hungry demons. And did I mention that the cinema foyer also has a motorbike in it and a HUGE sword? No, well maybe I should.
This is a wild horror ride, a trip back to crazy carnage of the 80s when none of us minded watching low-quality, poorly-dubbed films as long as the gore content was high and we could also maybe see some scantily-clad European babes. Well . . . . . . that was my view anyway. I was just a young ‘un, sue me. It was a movie I picked up on VHS back when few shop owners actually asked for ID and you could pick up some relatively-unknown Euro-horror for a couple of pounds. Of course, you could also pick up some of the worst dross imaginable but you pays your money and you takes your chances.
Demons is a bit of an easy option for a party night viewing. It starts up pretty quickly and then almost never lets up and, to top it all off, it has one of my favourite deus ex machina ever (something I will not give away here but watch the film and simply enjoy). The assorted characters are great fun, my personal favourite being the bad-ass pimp dude (Bobby Rhodes stealing the movie) who becomes a very, VERY reluctant hero, and everything is geared towards seeing how quickly people will get picked off. While the soundtrack keeps showcasing some more of the greatness of Goblin.
It’s never going to win any awards for its contribution to cinema but that’s not the point. It’s a demon-filled, FX-packed bundle of horror that holds up as well today as it did back in the mid-80s and I love Lamberto Bava for it. People with a firmer handle on sanity may want to deduct a point or two from my rating.
DIRECTOR: LAMBERTO BAVA
WRITER: DARDANO SACCHETTI, DARIO ARGENTO, LAMBERTO BAVA, FRANCO FERRINI
STARS: URBANO BARBERINI, NATASHA HOVEY, KARL ZINNY, FIORE ARGENTO, BOBBY RHODES, PAOLO COZZO
RUNTIME: 88 MINS APPROX