June 13, 2012

Night of the Demons III (1997)

"A group of young criminals accidentally shoot a police officer. To avoid being arrested they hide out in an abandoned house. When they realize that the house is haunted, they start to wish that they had turned themselves in when they had a chance."

Since both "Night of the Demons" and "Night of the Demons 2" homaged better movies, it came as no surprise that this second straight-to-video sequel wouldn't be any different especially as it was a Canadian production.

For those of us who've noticed a pattern, Canadian horror movies generally rip-off everything with hardly an original moment in their whole back catalogue. Everything is oddly paced, any actors who give memorable performances disappear without trace (presumably for breaking some clause in their contracts for daring to rise above mediocrity), and there's a definite feel to Canadian horror movies which is impossible to explain but instantly recognisable.

"Night of the Demons III" pretty much ticked every box for mediocre sequel, including its mercifully short runtime, yet it was slightly more serious than its predecessor and had a couple of good moments too. It was certainly a lot better than director Jim Kaufman's TV movie "Whiskers" (which, of course, I had to watch for my other blog) from the same year.

Unlike "Night of the Demons 2", this sequel couldn't be watched as a standalone movie in its own right because far too much of the background story from the previous events at Hull House was left unexplained. Although Abbie (played by Patricia Rodriguez) blurted out a couple of lines to fill in some details after the fact, "Night of the Demons III" assumes that you have watched the first two instalments, and then, bizarrely (since this was written by Kevin Tenney), completely ignores them in favour of its own re-imagining.

Of course, Amelia Kinkade reprised her role as Angela, but it was a very different Angela to the original character. Nearly ten years on from "Night of the Demons", she wasn't as scary looking underneath the horror make-up, but Amelia Kinkade never really had the face for such a sexy role as the incubus which Angela had become. Her sexy bits ranged from gratuitous to embarrassing fillers including sucking bullets from the barrel of a pistol and de rigueur faux-lesbian kissing.

She did look the best that she'd ever looked in "Night of the Demons III" but she was still not quite my cup of tea. I'd guess that I'm not hers either so it's only fair.

Anyway, time to get into the plot such as it was. Basically, a group of even more dislikeable teenagers than usual ended up in a van together, caused a shootout at a convenience store, and running from the law with one of them mortally wounded, decided to seek refuge in Hull House. I could fill in all the details, but just like the creators of this film, I can't really be bothered.

Suffice it to say that the "teenagers" were comprised of the usual stereotypes. To give them some credit, a couple of them did actually look like teenagers although, obviously, none of them actually were. I think the youngest member of the cast was twenty-one.

With them all being stereotypes, the angriest and nastiest one just had to goad the demonic Angela into appearing, and so, of course, she did along with a load of footage taken from the original "Night of the Demons" movie. This sequel was so lame, it didn't even have a big enough budget to reshoot those parts!

Curiously, Angela was never addressed by her name so I wonder if there was some thought about making a completely different movie at some point before they took the easy way out to grab a few dollars. Who knows what went on? This was a mess anyway which turned into the same old "teenagers in a haunted house" slasher as all the others.

I did like that it wasn't a comedy and I liked the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" effects even though they weren't anything you'd ever want to refer to as "special" except in a derogatory way. Unfortunately, I'd seen all this before and done better elsewhere.

Of course, this is going into "The Dungeon". It wasn't just a terrible horror movie but a terrible movie of any kind. It was the kind of thing which most people would fast-forward through just for the boobs, but having avoided it like the plague for years on Zone Horror, I felt that I finally owed it to myself to sit through the whole thing to see how bad it really was. I wish I hadn't.

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