Night of the Demons (1988)

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A group of oversexed teenagers (as if there’s any other kind) decide to throw their Halloween bash in a rundown mansion with a very dark past. Thinking it would be fun to play an occult party game, they accidentally release an age old demon that’s been tormenting the land since time began. One by one the group’s members slowly succumb to the demon’s power and join his ranks as soldiers of an unholy army. It’s now up to those yet unturned to survive the night, or else become demons themselves.

I don’t personally like demons myself, and it’s not just that they’re such assholes either. I mean yeah, I don’t care for their being such arrogant fucks, but there is another reason I can’t stand the things, and it simply comes down to dinner. They always get in the way of feasting on the living. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been out, trolling the streets for my next meal, and some well-dressed demon comes out of nowhere, asking if I want to destroy the world. No, of course I don’t want to destroy the world, I just want to eat people…or at the very least pigs, pigs taste pretty good too, either way, quit asking me to destroy the fucking world damn it. Plus, you’d think if they were going to actually destroy the world and not just plan for it, they would have done it by now. Personally, I think they just get lonely, tortured souls in hell must make for lousy conversation.

Our Halloween movie of the night starts out on, umm, Halloween night, where a group of party hungry teenagers are heading out to a rundown mansion known as “Hull House” (yes, I know it a little silly, I guess Hell House just sounded too overly used and in a lazy drunken stupor someone just replaced the “e” with a “u” and ran with it). Once there, we learn that Hull House has a very long and evil history involving several horrid acts committed by former inhabitants, and a cursed land stretching back to the Native Americans who avoided the unholy place like the plague. Of course once the party gets started none of that matters as the group begins drinking in excess and enjoying the creepy atmosphere of the lonely mansion. On a whim, the party goers decide to start playing the innocent game of “Let’s piss off the Devil”, ok, it wasn’t actually called that, but it might as well have been. In doing this, they summon up the demon of the land, who starts taking possession of their bodies one by one and causing them to kill or infect the other members of the party with wild abandon. As things go from bad to worse, the party goers soon realize that sometimes it’s better to leave the devil in hell then invite him over for a drink (though if you do invite him please at least remember that his favorite drink is a Four Horseman, he loves those damn things).

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{Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker, and Jameson mixed together makes a Four Horsemen and an interesting night}

I’m a huge undead fan of 80’s horror and this movie is no exception to my love of cheesy, teenage killing gore fests. I love the feel of a movie that I can watch without any expectations of great in-depth characters, dramatic story telling, or watery eyed moments; just something I can enjoy for the gore, death scenes, and great makeup effects that make sure the film doesn‘t come off as a weak excuse of cinematic trash. The only thing that has to be great in a movie like this is the main villain, and with Angela, they do just that. She’s a combination of Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, and that bubbly teacher that used to make you feel horrible in school by breaking you down and insulting you with a big, ear to ear smile on her pinched up little face (you all had one of those too right).

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{Angela, when you’re demonic party just needs a pick me up}

 

The best things about this film are the great makeup effects. Each character’s demonic transformation is a little different so that no two look the same. The gore effects are superb for an 80’s flick and the death scenes are immensely satisfying. When blood flows and limbs fly you get a nice visceral smile at the way it looks, good enough to keep you from laughing, but over the top enough to keep you from squirming as well; it was a perfect combination and I couldn’t have been happier. Especially considering that they perfectly balanced how over the top to go. What I mean by that is that it never goes too far over the top which keeps the film from getting ridiculous. Add in one of the greatest Scream Queens to grace the silver screen (Linnea Quigley) and some great one liners; you’ve got yourself a winner of a flick.

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{Yowza!}

The film does have its drawbacks though. The major one being that after seeing this movie once, you won’t really need to watch it again for quite some time, cutting down on the rewatchability factor. The acting isn’t horrible, but it’s definitely not great either, sometimes giving you the idea that the movie might benefit from a few less spoken lines. The other thing that kind of bugged me was the fact that the movie borrowed a little too heavily from the Evil Dead Trilogy. I know it was their inspiration, but sometimes it just came across as a blatant rip off of another movie.

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{Thankfully there’s still the infamous lipstick scene Night of the Demons can call it’s own. If you haven’t seen it I won’t ruin it for you}

Still, given the enjoyment one will have watching it the first time, it’s still definitely one I would recommend for those eager for one “hell” of a good time. You may not watch it again for some time to come but I can guarantee you’ll at least enjoy yourself while it’s on.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Kevin Tenney (Witchboard, Pinocchio’s Revenge)

Starring: Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead, Silent Night Deadly Night, Creepozoids), Amelia Kinkade (Night of the Demons 2 and 3), and Allison Baron (Blood Nasty, The Haunted)

Released By: Republic Pictures and Paragon Arts International

Release Type: Theatrical Release

Release Year: 1988

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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