June 12, 2012

Night of the Demons 2 (1994)

"High-schoolers throw a Halloween party in a mansion haunted by a young demon."

You've probably guessed it already from my last post, but this week is "Night of the Demons" week for me. Although I don't particularly like any of these movies, I thought it was about time to get them all out of the way so that I never have to watch the stupid things ever again.

"Night of the Demons 2", directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith (of "BMX Bandits" fame), is arguably the best of the 'Night of the Demons" sequels but it's still not a very good horror film and is very much a product of the '90s when nobody was really watching serious horror anyway.

In 1994, everybody was into vampires of one kind or another and, of course, Brian Trenchard-Smith wasn't silly enough not to notice the trend. The trouble was that he chose to work many stupid bits from "The Lost Boys" (1987) into "Night of the Demons 2" while, obviously due to his own nationality, also homaging a certain New Zealand movie - Peter Jackson's "Braindead" - from a couple of years earlier.

So, instead of being a real horror movie, once again "Night of the Demons 2" fell flat on its face into the horror-comedy genre and we all know how much I hate those. It's lamentable that it could have been a very good film if it had been treated more seriously or maybe had a bigger budget rather than equalling that of original.

I suppose what gives this movie a special place in a lot of horror fans' "guilty pleasures list" is the abundance of nudity and the softcore sex scenes. I was pleasantly surprised by all the hot actresses including Cristi Harris, Christine Taylor (yes, the one married to Ben Stiller), and Zoe Trilling (from "Amityville: The Evil Escapes"). I'm not going to say anything much about their acting since nearly all the actors in this were only eyecandy, but they weren't too bad.

In case you are thinking that it's all boobs and blood, "Night of the Demons 2" does have a slightly better story to it than the first movie, a lot of teen romances going on, and, of course, a nun who "kicks ass for the Lord" even more than Father McGruder.

Sister Gloria, played by Jennifer Rhodes, was easily the most famous member of the cast at the time and was still kind of hot for her age. Is it wrong to fancy nuns who wear make-up and lipstick? Maybe that's why they don't. You'd think that someone would have pointed that out during the filming but, like so many other goofs, plotholes and flaws, I doubt that anyone even cared.

Things which stood out for me in a really bad way were Merle Kennedy's awful haircut, the cat scene which promised something very evil (but, fortunately, didn't go that way), the demonic Angela (once again played by Amelia Kinkade who looked too old for the part) failing at being sexy, and, because it was trying to be "The Lost Boys" at the end, the demons were now very much vampires who could be defeated in the same ways.

Squirt guns and balloons full of Holy water, crucifixes, sunlight, and even an overused offer of self-sacrificing substitution lifted from "Salem's Lot" (or "The Exorcist" to give credit to the original source) really hammered home the lack of originality throughout this very commercial pulp horror product.

The practical effects were okay. For those who loathe CGI, there was even some early use of that too but certainly not of the same calibre as "Jurassic Park" from the year before. It was cheap, nasty CGI which really jumped the shark (or the snake) especially right at the end.

Even though I pretty much hated 90% of "Night of the Demons 2", it was actually quite watchable. I didn't have to switch it off a couple of dozen times and come back to it, and I'm quite proud of myself for making it through in one sitting. I was going to put it in "The Dungeon" but, in fairness, it belongs in the "Just Average" category due to the time it was made. There were far less entertaining films which came out in 1994, and, unfortunately, I've seen those too.

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