Review: Night Of The Demons

Night of the Demons Steel Book.jpgNight Of The Demons

It’s Halloween, and ten assorted teens have assembled for a night of debauchery.  The ‘creepy girl,’ Angela has chosen Hull House as the scene; an abandoned funeral parlor that is now steeped in urban legend.  As Frannie says, ‘I’ve heard stories about this place ever since I was a kid. The Hull Family met a pretty gruesome end.’
Judy, the ‘good girl,’ goes to the party with her boyfriend, Jay, who seems nice, but is actually a jerk.  Also attending are Max, Judy’s ex-boyfriend who seems like a jerk but is actually nice; Stooge, the fat jock; Helen, the shy girl; and Roger, the black guy.  The characters are mostly just fodder for the pandemonium that follows, and aren’t really explored beyond the traits I’ve listed, but they are more than sufficient for the story being told.

As cliched as the characters may be, the plot drags them in unexpected directions.  The teens that survived in the end are not the ones I predicted at the start of the film.

The last member of the party is the slutty girl, Suzanne, played by the famous scream queen, Linnea Quigley.  She’s the first to be possessed, though the possessed Angela (whom Suzanne infects by kissing) is the leader of the demons (she’s the one in the movie poster).  I guess that as the host of the party, the demons recognize her as a leader.

The teens pair off and wander throughout the house looking for places to have sex; meanwhile, the possession spreads from person to person, until all but a few of the kids are turned into hideous monsters.

The make-up effects are quite good.  Mostly, they mimic injuries (as the teens turn into demons after they’re murdered in gory ways) though Angela, as the leader, is a little uglier.  One of the stand out scenes is Suzanne’s fake breasts, which she stabs a lipstick tube into.  They look a little rubbery, but are a good likeness for the real things.

There’s a kind of lightness to the movie.  It’s not outright humor, but the tone is more colorful than horrific.  It’s somewhat like The Return of the Living Dead, or Nightmare on Elm Street; there are very violent moments, and some shock scares, but the monsters are a little too wacky to be frightening.  It seems to be very typical of ’80s teen horror.

While not terribly effective as a scary movie,  Night of the Demons is a lot of fun.  It incorporates virtually all the elements of ’80s horror that I love.

For a great Halloween night double feature, watch this and the more recent Trick R Treat.

DVD Review: Curse of the Wolf

Curse of the Wolf

Echo Bride

Terrible acting isn’t just a failure to emote, its a fundamental inability to understanding  how emotions work.  It’s kind of like cooking; a dish which tastes like nothing is still preferable to a dish that tastes like rancid eggs.

To learn more about terrible acting (and makeup and cinematography and lighting, and soundtracks, and fight choreography), see Curse of the Wolf.

Continue reading

DVD Review: Maid’s Secret

 

Maid’s Secret

Switchblade Pictures

 

 

 

 

On the day of their high school graduation, two girls confess their love to a be-speckled classmate, Keita.  Keita is unable or unwilling to decide between the two, and suggests that they meet again one year hence, at which time he will make his choice.

Continue reading

DVD Review: Ninja She-Devil

 

Ninja She-Devil

The Ninja-Thon Collection

Switchblade Pictures

 

 

 

Tsubame is a kunoichi, a female ninja.  The lord she serves under, Kuniyoshi, is faced with a threat to his dynasty.  One of his wives seeks to off him and install her son as the new lord.  To prevent this, Kuniyoshi must produce a true heir, but he is no longer able to leave the castle, and it is too dangerous for his mistress to come to him.  Lucky, Tsubame has a special skill, unique to Kunoichi; the ability to store a man’s ‘seed’ in her womb for up to seven day, before transferring it to another woman.

If that plot synopsis bothers you in any way, do not read on.

Continue reading

DVD Review: Hellgate

 

Hellgate

Anchor Bay

 

 

 

A young woman walks into a diner and is accosted by a biker gang called ‘The Strangers.’  They put her up on the table and rip her skirt off.  Well, the chef is having none of that, so he picks up his shot gun and levels it at them.  ‘That kind of $hit don’t go down in here,’ he says.   The chef keeps his gun aimed at them while the pick up the girl and leave the diner.  That’s right; he doesn’t mind if they gang rape her, he just doesn’t want them to do it on one of his tables.  I mean, people eat off that.

Continue reading

DVD Review: Zombie Christ

 

Zombie Christ

Bill Zebub Productions

 

 

 

 

Zombie Christ presents a polemic against Christian dogma as a framing device for frequent, lingering shots of naked women.  The plot, such as it is, is that the corpse of Jesus (now a skeleton with bits of flesh on it) has been resurrected by some Druids, and set to the task of kill his decedents (which, according to the Da Vinci Code, he had with Mary Magdalen).

The ‘hero’ is a middle-aged overweight man named Michael, who is set to the task of protecting one of the descendants, Mary.  It’s from him that we get most of the contra-Christian talking points.  His arguments rest mostly on the fact that early Christians co-opted many of the stories in their religion from earlier ones (the movie presents the Greek god Dionysus as the source, but the Egyptian Osiris shares a lot of similarities as well).  That fact is true, as anyone with a passing familiarity with ancient religions knows, but it’s presented in the movie in a rather uninspired and messy way.

The actor playing Michael delivers his lines like a new school teacher on his first day; preachy and stilted, like he’s rehearsed it in his head a million times, but can’t keep it together in front of an audience.  It’s only made worse by the weak editing that leaves slight pauses between lines.

In the movie, the ‘Jesus’ that is resurrected as a zombie is not the ‘Jesus’ of the Bible, but instead, the real man to whom all of the magical stories were attributed after his death.

That’s all well and good, but unfortunately, the writer of this movie can’t keep even that simple a story straight.  For instance, when a part of the zombie is cut off, it turns into bread.  It’s a cute transubstantiation joke, but if the zombie isn’t supposed to be the Jesus of myth, then it makes no sense.

Aside from the confusion over whether the zombie is Jesus or not, the writer also can’t get a handle on his character.  In one scene, he attacks a priest for molesting children (implying that he is trying to protect the church), then in another he has sex with a nun, while telling her that he didn’t actually die for her sins (trying to tear down the church).

According to IMDB, this is the 21st movie written and directed by Bill Zebub, you’d think he’d have learned to create a basic character sketch by now.

But anyways, this is a movie about naked women, and there are a lot of them.  The entire film is made up of scenes of women being killed by Jesus, which generally happens after they’ve taken their clothes off.  There’s a lot of nudity, and it’s fairly graphic, but there are no scenes with them touching a man in any sexual way (unless you count the skeleton).

The women are all better actors than the men.  I’m pretty sure the entire male cast is made up of friends of the director who just wanted to be on set to leer at naked women.

The video is quite bad.  It’s a non-anamorphic widescreen presentation, and a heavily pixelated one, at that.  Really, if you’re making a movie whose sole value is in the visuals, at least present them well.

I can respect shallow exploitation films, so long as they deliver on their promise, but I’m not sure that this one did.  There are a lot of ladies, but the internet streaming quality video makes that moot, and the promise of a silly (if not offensive) story is derailed by incompetent characterization.