Another Halloween, another direct to video horror movie that’s probably better than 90% of what you’re going to see in the theaters this month. Night Of The Demons, directed by Adam Gierasch (Autopsy), is a remake of the 1988 film of the same name (which eventually spawned two sequels of steadily decreasing entertainment value). The original starred 80’s scream darling Linnea Quigley, who bared her breasts and entrails at every opportunity back when I was a lad. She was a delight, I tell you. The original film was completely idiotic, disgustingly tacky, and absolutely hilariously bad. It was a staple of mine as a young boy, and, well, might explain a few things about me today.
As is my wont, I digress. Kindly suck it.
Gierasch’s remake isn’t much better, but then, it’s not supposed to be. Shot in 2009 with the intention of being a Halloween theatrical release, it was dumped into the junk pile and finally released on DVD last week. It’s hardly a classic, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some joy to be found in it. Last week’s DTV Halloween feature, Trick R Treat, was actually a genuinely good film, a smart, funny freakshow that remains pretty damn entertaining. Night Of The Demons does not fit that bill. It’s dumb, rather vulgar, and yet…
Night Of The Demons uses the basic framework of its predecessor for a plot: many moons ago, a group of people held a seance that inadvertently opened a gateway, and through that gateway seven demons escaped seeking humans to possess, worlds to enslave, puppies to kill and most likely, to pee in your sock drawers. Their plot was foiled, all the people died, and a legend was born. Now, the house that they died in lies empty, and is rented by Angela (Shannon Elizabeth), a gothed-up b-movie slutbag who wants to throw the mother of all Halloween parties. Attending the party are the usual selection of misfits and miscreants, including the slutty one, Suzanne (Bobbi Sue Luther), the sluttier one, Lily (Diora Baird), and the level-headed, non-slutty one, Maddie (Monica Keena). Rounding it out on the male side are two random dudes know one knows but one of whom is also slutty and the other who looks like David Arquette from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and skeevy drug dealer Colin (Edward Furlong).
Guess who lives.
But first, let’s take a moment to marvel at that cast. I know, right? A gathering of gloriously gratuitous garbage. When Edward Furlong (who looks like he’s been eating his way through the downward spiral that’s been his post T2 career — seriously, dude is one puffy motherfucker these days) is arguably your biggest name? Your movie’s got issues. But damn it, they’re surprisingly fun to watch. Monica Keena is probably the best of the lot, but that’s not saying much. Furlong — I dunno. Aside from T2 and Animal Factory, it’s not like he’s had a stellar career. He’s an annoying twat here, but entertainingly so.
Anyway, they all get together for Angela’s party, which is the type of ridiculously decadent, over-the-top soiree that only happens in movies or in social circles well beyond my existence — booming music yet everyone can hear each other, glow in the dark drinks, gothic decor, girls dressed in Halloween costumes that they need to wax for. You know how it is. The party is broken up and our lovable seven kooky kids find themselves locked into the mansion, and (shocker!) the demons find their way out, possessing them one at a time, and then hunting the remaining kids down.
You really don’t need to know any more than that. It’s not like there are any startling revelations or brilliant, labyrinthine twists to the plot. Would you like to know what there is? Tits. Gore. Gory tits. Screaming. Some pretty good banter. Gratuitous collegiate lesbianism. Worms coming out of people’s mouths. Conveniently placed weapons (including a shotgun just lying around in the basement). And, of course, tentacles.
It’s fucking awesome.
Because mark my words, Night Of The Demons is fucking stupid. It’s 10 pounds of stupid in a five pound sack of shit. But goddamn did I find it entertaining. It’s not particularly scary, the acting is mediocre at best, but it’s got its heart bloodily worn on its sleeve. It’s clearly meant to be a throwback to goofy 80’s gorefests like the original. It hearkens back to a gentler time for horror movies, when we could delight in the insane and ridiculous carnage of films like Frankenhooker and Sorority Babes At The Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (god, I loved that one).
It’s clearly the silliest kind of homage to the silliest kind of film, using some of the original ideas and scenes from the original, including the adorably gross “shoving the lipstick into the boob” bit (only this time it emerges, coated in ichor, from the lovely lass’s nethers). It features ludicrous leaps in logic, and what may well be the dumbest protagonists I’ve seen in years. Seriously — they scream at each other while hiding. They drop flashlights. They run around in circles, or better yet, run upstairs instead of out the front door. One of them accidentally cuts his own leg with a handsaw.
It cracked my shit up.
No, Night Of The Demons is no Trick R Treat. It’s not going to ever find a place in the upper echelon of horror movies, or even B-grade horror movies. You won’t enjoy it unless you either love the old splatterfests, or have a good handle on tasteless, stupid, tongue-in-cheek, buckets-of-blood silliness. Get a group of friends together, get fucking hammered, and you may well enjoy the ass off of it. Or, you can watch another goddamn Saw movie.
TK writes about music and movies. He enjoys playing with dogs, raising the dead, and tacos. You can email him .