Thursday, October 23, 2008

Film Review: DEMONS 2 (1986, Lamberto Bava)

Stars: 3 of 5.
Running Time: 91 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Dario Argento, Asia Argento.
Tag-line: "Let's party!"
Best one-liner(s): "We CAME to celeBRATE you, not your DRESS." (Eurotrash accent emphasis added.)

Having Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava (Mario's son) collaborate on a film is pretty similar to what the outcome would be if, say, the inmates in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST had collaborated on a novel during that scene where they're totally wasted. The end result is going to be at once hilarious and kinda scary, overall it's not gonna make a whole lot of sense, but ultimately, it's gonna hold your attention in the way that only the work of lunatics can. We got a lot going on here. We got an apartment complex full of people who exist in a post-events-of-DEMONS world, but they happen to be watching DEMONS on TV. The demons come out of the TV (in a pretty awesome VIDEODROME-inspired scene), and start their crap all over again. (I'm afraid that by posting this photo, I will lead some to believe that DEMONS 2 is way cooler than it actually is.)

Then the heroes have to destroy TVs. So I guess there's some sort of anti-TV message. There's a lot of good stuff going on in this movie. We got 11 year old Asia Argento delivering an amazing performance, but then becoming part of a subplot that kinda trails off. We got the seamstress from OPERA as the birthday girl who starts flipping out about horrible 'party crashers' who politely called to ask if they were invited. Well, it doesn't matter cause everyone gets turned into demons anyway. We got the Italian version of Ken Foree (DAWN OF THE DEAD) as the hardass shotgun totin' gym owner:

We got some of the worst dubbing in Italo Horror history, and they even shot it in English! It's well worth a watch if you're into the volatile combination of unintentional Eurotrash laffs and nihilistic horror.

Also of note, Bava is awesomely pretentious on the audio commentary, saying he 'knew DEMONS was making a sociological impact on the populace' when he heard kids on the street saying to each other, 'stop acting like a demon!' You know what, you're absolutely right, Lamberto.

-Sean Gill

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