November 4, 2012

5 Delightfully Twisted Moments in Demons 2 (1986)

As far as I'm concerned, the sequel (and arguable remake) of the 1985 film Demons is a massively underrated gem. Sure, it's roughed up, dusty and has a chip in it... but it's still money, baby! As long as I've been into checking out horror film reviews, I noticed that this movie has been unnecessarily shit upon from day one. And for what I ask? Look, it's gotta be real fuckin' hard to follow up the original film. Demons is a classic masterpiece of celluloid splatter! How do you top the original? The answer is, you don't. Demons 2 shouldn't be faulted for being "so incredibly sub par compared to the original", but rather cherished, for giving us more of what we all wanted after the first film. So let's get this party started... with a few scenes that intrigue me:

1. The Intro

Boisterous music hits during the opening credits of Demons 2, and soon thereafter, a mysterious narrator speaks the following words: "A terrifying centuries old prediction, foretold the spawning of demons on earth. That prediction came true when spectators in a movie theater, were transformed into bloodthirsty fanged creatures and spread death and contagion. Days of terror that convinced the world that Demons can exist."

After the creepy voice-over intro (which was set in pure darkness), the film opens up with a shot of a gleaming knife. Some red grue drips onto it, then a table-side seemingly covered in blood, dripping more and more onto this knife. A doorway slowly creeks as it sways back and forth, its shadows moving across the floor. A large man with a limp comes through the door with red shit all over his apron. He's wiping the grime off of his hands. Who is this guy and what nubile young flesh did he just dismember?! As he cleans off the knife, the camera pans up to a tipped jar of strawberry puree and then over to a table full of pastries and cakes. He then writes 'Happy Birthday Sally!' on one of them.

It's a real mindfuck of an opening sequence, and one totally unexpected. It's also very humorous, especially when you think about it for a while... or happen to be on mind-altering substances. Just one of the many examples of Dario and Lamberto fucking with the viewer in this movie. And believe me, there are many more to come in Demons 2. In fact, I could imagine the both of them giggling like naughty schoolchildren while in the back of the cinemas when this first came out, watching the audience squirm at the not-so-subtle nuances presented within.

2. The TV Documentary

You gotta love the whole movie within a movie angle... especially back when it wasn't so popular and overdone. Everybody in a high tech, high rise building and their dog and/or prostitute is watching this television program about the "Coming of the Demons". We get these really cool roaming shots throughout the building of our potential victims while they all stare blankly at the glowing screen. There's a family with their cute daughter, a kid by himself, an alcoholic lady drinking rum and eating ice cream with her furry dog, an incredibly hot pregnant chick and her irresistibly handsome man, a dirty prostitute and her john who insists they "do it with the TV on", oh, and a girl at her birthday party who absolutely hates her hair and dress.

You gotta love the whole retelling of a movie within a retelling of a movie angle too... it's like poetry, it just sort of rhymes. We've got different, yet familiar looking teenagers here, all with very familiar voices, and they're out looking for fallout items from the Demons plague. They hop over a barbed wire-laden stone gate into the "forbidden zone" to gather up their bounty. It's a pretty grimy area, and as they roam through it searching for lizards for proof of the Demons, we get more dread filled voice-over of impending doom: "The Demons rampaged through the streets. Fear and Death were the order of the day. The Fuck? Then, man learned to fight back and the forces of evil, were defeated. Today that seemingly endless moment of horror is an almost forgotten nightmare. But the questions are still there: Can it happen again? Will we be ready next time? What's being done to prevent it? Is a wall enough to keep an inhuman threat at bay!?"

Apparently a wall isn't enough to keep these subhuman threats "at bay", as both the psychical (and soon, the metaphysical) wall in the film has been obstructed. During their trespassing activities of stupidity, we are treated to such gems of dialogue as: "What happened to those on the other side?" "What happened?! The Demons got 'em and turned 'em into more Demons!" and "Ah, it's nothing... just a scratch!" - A classic line! One of my favorite moments in particular is when the group of teens find a long, sharp fingernail of a Demon in the mud. They all get super excited about it and put it in a glad bag. While dumb girl #1 takes photos, the nerdier of the two guys proclaims: "Our first trophy!". Then the other dude lays down a truly mind-blowing comment with: "You know I read somewhere, they spread their contagion... through their fingernails!" Well f'n gee-whiz dumb fucks! Maybe you shouldn't be touching that shit then. Stupid idiots. One of the girls of course cuts herself and while posing for a photo, lets her blood drip into the dormant Demon's mouth. Go figure. 

3. Little Boy Answers the Phone

Number 3 and 5 in this list are two more instances of simply executed scenes that help intensify the viewers sense of unease. As the film goes between the TV program within a movie and the real life people at home watching it, a low boiling sense of dread begins to build. The stupid teenagers are getting closer to discovering Demonic activity, and the viewers are now really glued to the tube. Inside one apartment, a young boy is laying on the floor watching the scary show in awe, when suddenly the telephone rings. He gets up to answer it, and then drops a bombshell of absolute hilarity!:

"Hello. No daddy isn't... home. Neither's mommy. I'm alone! Yes, goodbye."

This really is a film that deserves a drunken midnight theater audience track. Admittedly, I was utterly toasted the first time I ever saw this, so anytime one of the characters said something so over-the-top stupid I felt a tingling through my body. But this one left me not only flabbergasted, but incredibly giddy as well. My eyes widened, and I slowly cracked the biggest smile ever, as what I had just seen, I never imagined could ever be done... and with such finesse. From the low droning music, the weird shit going, all of the teasing, and then this? A fucked up little scene like this just screams the fact that Bad Shit is Going to Happen! You bet your ass.

4. Demons 3-D?

"A Demon! Hey, that's crazy!", Sally says with a little bit of bewildered wonderment. After throwing multiple fits at her birthday party, she's been distracted and has become completely immersed in this gruesome program about the supposedly true events detailing the Demons' uprising. "Blood... nurtures the dormant seed of Evil! How can the Demons be stopped? Is another apacoalypical prediction about to come true? The winds of death will sweep across the world, and whole continents will be cast adrift in an ocean of blood." Just as these words are spoken by the whimsically grim narrator, the first Demon from the television show stares a hole into the viewers soul. A low droned bass line hits, sending chills down the spine of anyone watching this alone in the dark.

As the demon slowly approaches the screen, we see his view of Sally through the television... her face, glimmering in the blinking light. He then starts pushing his face through the screen, into her world, and terror ensues. When the television goes to static, Sally dismisses it as her own imagination. Like a few of the other characters in this movie however, there's something inside of her now. But what happened to this television Demon? Was his split-second rotting flesh and blood incarnation simply imagined? Do the Demons actually require physical contact to spread their "disease"? Or are poor and unfortunate lost souls just so easy to succumb to these creature's horrendous nature and influence?

5. Sally Blows Out Her Candles

Or rather, fails to do so! As Sally's blood is quickly becoming infected from that Television Demon's possession and her body begins to boil, she slowly makes her way to her birthday cake while her guests sing for her. She's writhing in pain, but trying not to let it show as she bends down to blow out her candles. The veins in her arm are protruding and she looks as if she's trying not to drop her intestinal track out her ass. Everyone's oblivious. She finally musters up enough breath to blow out her candles, but alas, one of the candles is still left lit after her unworthy blow. So sad.

I guess her private wish isn't going to come true. What horrible luck! This small part of the much more elaborate scene is a really nice touch, and it's the little things like this that really make Demons 2 such a fun experience. These are some of the cool details written into the film, which range from ironic to amusing, downright silly to diabolical. Oh and speaking of horrible luck, there will be more to come on my coverage of this not-so-fan-favorite flick, including more of the awesomeness most viewers either overlook or dismiss. Keep your eyes peeled!


Jennifer Fabulous said...

Your reviews are endlessly entertaining and hilarious. :)

Have you ever seen Silent Night, Bloody Night? I picked it up on a whim a few nights ago and it seems like something you might enjoy ripping apart. Lol.

Oh, and I'm not surprised you got Thelma Todd in my doomed starlet quiz. I wouldn't expect anything less!

DrunkethWizerd said...

I haven't seen that one yet, no. Oh hey, thanks for reading too.

My words are my own and as of posted from their creation forward I hereby claim originality to them. Pictures may prove to be promotional items and are the sole possessions of their respectful owners and/or companies. I do not sell, nor do I buy. I only rent, so therefore, nothing I own is truly mine.