June 11, 2012

Night of the Demons (1988)

"On the night of Halloween, 10 teens decide to go to a party at an abandoned funeral parlour. Hull House, rumoured to be built on an evil patch of land and underground stream, is the place."

Shot in four weeks with a budget of $1,200,000, "Night of the Demons" looks as if it was knocked together over a weekend with a budget of $1000.

This dated piece of typically '80s crap from director Kevin Tenney still has a bit of a cult following, but I really don't see the appeal. Introducing the world to the demonic Angela character (as played by Amelia Kinkade), and having the most random "lipstick inserted into a fake breast" scene, really aren't anything to be proud of.

Even worse, this rubbish spawned two equally awful sequels and an unnecessary remake. Although the remake was slightly better than all of them, there's not one of these "Night of the Demons" movies which is actually scary. It's all about being "cheesy" and typically "B movie" fodder rather than creating a good story.

In the midst of this year's terrible heatwave, I just had to torture myself even more by watching them all again. Not being able to sleep has a lot to answer for, but it still took me the best part of three days just to finally get through this first one.

Pacing is all over the place, the dialogue is embarrassing, and how things go from A to B is just one poorly executed contrivance after another. Borrowing heavily from the "Evil Dead" movies doesn't help matters much either.

Honestly, if hadn't been for Cathy Podewell being mouth-wateringly beautiful in the role of Judy, I would have switched this off about 10 minutes after the annoying animated credits and never returned to it.

On the plus side, "Night of the Demons" does have some extremely well done make-up effects for the time and enough horrible characters to make their deaths somewhat satisfying. There isn't one character who isn't just nasty in some way, so if it was intended as a satire of selfish American teenagers, it certainly got that part right.

Of course, all the usual tropes are in this apart from the ending (not the ridiculous epilogue) which breaks one of the most overused ones. I won't spoil it for you, but it was probably a refreshing change back in the day. There had to be some reason (other than a little bit of nudity) why this movie was able to claw back three times its budget.

I can't say that I enjoyed "Night of the Demons" or got anything out of it apart from an even greater loathing of Linnea Quigley's lack of acting ability.

I'm not going to lie to you and say that I watched this with any intention of liking it either. I loathe slashers especially when they are dressed up to fool you into thinking they are supernatural movies instead.

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