Saturday, 12 November 2011

NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (1988)


Ahh, you know you're in for a fun film when Linnea Quigley's in the cast. This is a delightfully chaotic and entertaining piece of mid eighties horror which spawned two sequels and a remake, none of which matched the fun of this first film.

A bunch of teens head to a spooky house in order to indulge in The Standard 80s Horror Film Party Somewhere Bad. This time it's in an abandoned mortuary. After the kids conduct an impromptu séance as a party game, demons are unleashed from their otherworldly prisons and go about butchering some characters, possessing others and causing some beautifully manic chaos for eighty-something minutes.


Night of The Demons is a gloriously archetypal look at 80s horror, from the soundtrack and the cast to the tracking shots, the demon makeups and the set dressing. It's awesome. Angela, the lead demon by the time the climax comes around (and indeed in the two sequels), is everything you could want from a b-movie horror icon. Her outfit, her voice and her demonic makeup are perfect fodder for fans of 80s schlock.

The story is hokey and full of plot holes, not to mention moments where characters could EASILY have escaped their fates if only they had actually stopped standing there screaming and had actually run off, but that's part of its charm.


Linnea is clearly having a bit of a laugh with the whole thing, even when she's required to force a finger right through her own nipple. She certainly earned her Scream Queen credentials in this (and indeed 'Return of the Living Dead') and deserves every bit of fan appreciation she gets, for the simple fact that whenever she's onscreen she seems to be having such a great time making the film. That tongue in cheek atmosphere is very appealing.

The glorious thing about Night of the Demons is that it holds up well as a film despite its dated effects and hammy acting, well, because it never takes itself remotely seriously. It's a valiant attempt at creating a budget Freddy/Jason/Pinhead type character in Angela, and it's hard not to be entertained by her demonic antics, even when they're a tad nonsensical.

It's the sort of film which is referred to as a 'romp', because that's exactly what it is. Beheadings, gore, zombies, demons and teenagers being taught they shouldn't play with the supernatural? It must be Night of the Demons.


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