Only now does it occur to me... that DEMONS gets to have its cake and eat it, too. Of course it's eating it with disgusting, mutated, rat-like demon-teeth,
but that's neither here nor there. Let me explain what I mean.
The four collaborators on the screenplay comprise a veritable who's who of 80s Italo-Horror [Dario Argento (SUSPIRIA, DEEP RED), Lamberto Bava (son of Mario, A BLADE IN THE DARK, BLASTFIGHTER), Franco Ferrini (ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, PHENOMENA), and Dardano Sacchetti (THE BEYOND, 1990: BRONX WARRIORS)] and apparently couldn't decide whether or not they wanted a zombie movie, a supernatural horror flick, a giallo, or a post-apocalyptic thriller... so they made DEMONS all of them.
It's like a child deciding that he's going to grow up to be a rock star, pro athlete, astronaut, and judo master (which, incidentally sort of sounds like Buckaroo Banzai)... but then actually following through with it.
Hell, this movie throws everything at you but the kitchen sink. I wouldn't dream of telling it all, but for starters it has:
Horror director Michele Soavi (STAGEFRIGHT, CEMETERY MAN) as a New Wave Phantom of the Opera handing out fliers to unsuspecting lasses in subway stations:
a movie-within-a-movie about stabbings and Nostradamus... with a Mötley Crüe soundtrack:
a green-goo-spewing Rick James zombie-woman:
who goes on to kill a couple of lovebirds in a moment that has provided me with the only occasion I have ever had to write "double-makeout-strangulation" in my screening notebook:
a carload of German punks snorting cocaine out of a Coke can,
one of whom has computer chip earrings:
a blind man having his eyes clawed out in a gratuitous, grotesque moment that prompted me to say aloud, "Well, at least he was already blind..."
and, the coup de grâce– a Samurai Dirtbike
Note: poster for THE TERMINATOR in the background.
that's eventually used (adhering to Chekhov's rule of Samurai Dirtbikes)
to mow down legions of zombie/demons amid hard rockin' tunes in what might actually be the most "metal" tableau ever staged.
Finally, our heroes make the acquaintance of a European gun-nut survivalist family in a Jeep (?!):
and the youngest son is none other than Italo Horror "that kid" Giovanni Frezza, who can be found in A BLADE IN THE DARK, THE NEW BARBARIANS, MANHATTAN BABY, and THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY:
Furthermore, the movie is accompanied by an insane soundtrack featuring Claudio Simonetti's (of Goblin) synthesized re-imagining of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and hits by Billy Idol, Rick Springfield, Go West, Saxon, and The Adventures. Whew!
So yourself a favor and see this movie. Do it some Saturday night. Get some beers, some pizzas, some popcorn, some friends– and watch the hell outta DEMONS.