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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Night of the Demons (1988)

I had high hopes for Night of the Demons. I recently saw the 2009 remake and found it to be entertaining. Therefore, I hoped the original would put a fun, classic 80's horror spin on the story. No such luck. The original suffers in so many ways.

First of all much of the acting is awful and amateurish. Most of the characters are total stereotypes and I couldn't have cared less about what happened to any of them. They lived. They were killed by demons. Big whooping deal!

The first exception to this is Amelia Kinkade [Night of the Demons 1,2,3] who plays Angela, the hostess of a Halloween party gone wrong and one of the first to become a demon. Her possession dance is excellent and her presence on screen is very good. Too bad, everyone else does not rise to her standards. This could be a really great film if this were the case.

Kudos also go out to Linnea Quigley [The Return of the Living Dead, Silent Night Deadly Night] whose femme fatale turned crazy demon is also worth a shout out. The sight gag with a tube of lipstick is not to be missed!

The second weakness of the film is that while there was tons of gory demon make-up, I found myself being bored with it all.  Everything I saw has been done before and done better. Give me Nightmare on Elm Street or Hellraiser over this film any day! Some of the demon make-up was good but the 80's spoiled me and I expect more!

The third weakness is that Night of the Demons was trying its best to imitate The Evil Dead in terms of its snarky attitude and cartoonish over-the-top gore. Epic fail as far as I'm concerned. No comparison between these two films.

Finally, while I'm a big fan of 80's music, the soundtrack suffered because of it. D-List bands composed most of the tepid score which contains some of the most god-awful metal music I've ever heard. A stronger soundtrack would have really helped with film.

Enough already. How this one got a 6.2 on the IMDB baffles me to no end. If you're a fan, tell me why. I'm listening. It's frustrating because this film has SO MUCH POTENTIAL it never quite reaches.

On a positive note, I really enjoyed director Kevin Tenney's [Witchboard] choices of scene composition. He gives the movie a claustrophobic feel during the scenes that take place in the house and the lighting is also really effective.


For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

NOTE: A sequel entitled Night of the Demons 2 came out in  1994 and is about on par with the original. It starts out strong with lots of humor mixed in with its horror. But then, unfortunately it drops its snarkyness which was its biggest asset. The biggest surprise is Night of the Demons 3 (1997) which I think is actually the best of the bunch in spite of its low rating on IMDB. The plot is well developed, the acting is solid, and the overall direction is stronger.

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