Sunday, October 25, 2015

Horrors of October - Night of the Demons

Night of the Demons (1988)

A group of high schoolers head to a deserted funeral home for a Halloween party only to slowly be killed and/or possessed by a demonic force. This title came to me through Shout Factory TV's The VHS Vault, a special one week web endeavor where a small selection of cult movies are presented online in VHS format. The low quality certainly benefited this specific title, especially since it's largely a haunted house flick, but it does lose major points due to a slight video-audio sync issue that botches all of the frights and musical stings. Now as for the film itself, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS perfectly encapsulates the style and substance of 80's horror. You have the randy, horny and annoying cast of teen characters (played by older actors naturally) and their colorfully pulp talk ("Eat a bowl of fuck!"), blatant T&A including a shot where a very well breasted woman sits up and says, "What was that?", a killer rock soundtrack and a nice synth score, delectable practical gore effects, and of course scream queen legend Linnea Quigley. Add in some quirky camerawork (dig that shattered mirror shot) and the best interpretative dance scene this side of FLASHDANCE and you have yourself one hell of a movie. There are two things that do hamper the fun factor, unfortunately. Kevin S. Tenney's direction is quite good but once the thrills of sex and violence pretty much dry up near the one hour mark, you have to sit through a last act that is nothing but walking and running with the remaining living cast. Plus, though she has a good scream factor, final girl Cathy Podewell is unquestionably poor as an actor and makes her character very unlikable and pathetic. Nevertheless, this EVIL DEAD clone is a rollicking good time.


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