Friday, August 1, 2014

Only now does it occur to me... DEMONS

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.


Anonymous said...

Say no more! I've always meant to watch this one so this is a great reminder, it looks amazing! And, bonus, I just requested it through SWAN (the consortium that the library I work at belongs to). I have to hand it to them for coming through on this one; never let it be said that the libraries of the near-west Chicago suburbs aren't on top of their zany Italian horror!

Chicken's good said...

I've only got one thing to say about this movie, and that is this:


Sean Gill said...


You'll have to let me know how ya like it. I do love a good interlibrary loan, sometimes you turn up some pretty unexpected stuff.

Chicken's good,

Well played, sir.

Jack Thursby said...

Sweet jesus, how did I miss this one? Just ordered along with the sequel. Thanks Sean.

Sean Gill said...


Sure thing– let me know what you think!

Jack Thursby said...

Just watched this last night. Ridiculously awesome film. Once again your summation was perfect.

Only remaining question is how the hell did they get the rights to that soundtrack? (I'm assuming they did the usual Italian thing of not asking).

Sean Gill said...


Glad you dug it! And the soundtrack is pretty nuts. Also, Argento's PHENOMENA (also 1985) features a more-expensive-than-you'd-think-they-could-afford soundtrack, with the likes of Iron Maiden and Bill Wyman, among others. Perhaps the mid-80s represented a perfect storm of Italo-horror loving hard rockers offering their wares for cheap?