Sunday, January 05, 2003

I recently acquired two Lamberto Bava 80s Italian horror classics on DVD: Demons and its sequel/remake Demons 2. Reviewers over at the Internet Movie Database have had a hard time deciding which one is best, so here's my cut out and keep guide.

Score out of 10
Score out of 10
Tagline"They will make cemetaries their cathedrals and cities will be your tombs." A bit pompous and naff, but reasonably scary.8"The Nightmare returns." Um. No.3
PlotA group of cinema-goers are mysteriously walled into an old picture house and are then turned into demons when real life starts to mirror the events on the screen.8Residents in a high-tech tower block are turned into demons when real life starts to mirror the events on tv.6
Best characterBobby Rhodes plays a rabble-rousing pimp with attitude - "rip out those seats and make a barricade!"8Sally the bitchy uber-1980s Birthday Girl - watch her blow out those candles - she's only slightly more likeable when she becomes a demon.6
Inappropriate names of characters?Loads. Who would call a prostitute Rosemary or name the heroes of a film George and Ken.8Again, the hero is called George.7
Sexy male leadsNot much to write home about. Ken looks like a demon even before he's turned into one. George has the biceps, but we don't get to see these until his shirt gets ripped open towards the end.5Yum. This George clearly has been working out - he climbs up an elevator shaft without breaking a sweat.8
Good linesTony the pimp: "She took off dat mask and scratched herself, Candi... because of dat scratch she became a DEMON, an instrument of EVIL, just like they said in the movie, you heard them. Right? Right??? We've got to stop it! We've got to stop the movie!"8Some painfully psuedo-scientific explanations: "It’s a demon claw! I heard that they spread their contagion through scratches made by their claws."6
Moral message?Reasonable - whores and pimps get turned into demons first.6Very moral - only the married and heavily pregant couple survive. Even children die in this film!9
Inexplicable plot linesYou bet! A helicopter crashes through the roof of the cinema for no reason at one point.6Almost no plot to speak of - one group of characters drive around in a car for the whole film, for NO reason and NOTHING happens to them!5
Not so special effectsWatch Rosemary's yellow pus-filled boil swell up and then explode all over the bathroom mirror!8The demon-dog is just wrong - like something you'd win at the carnival.5
Kickin' sound trackYes! Cruise the neon-lit streets of Berlin to Billy Idol howling out "White Wedding". And if that's not enough we've got Motley Crue and Go West (!)8As well as Art of Noise and The Cult, there's also one scene where the party kids throw shapes to The Smiths. It isn't very pretty.6
Shock twist ending?Two for the price of one. The heroes escape the cinema to discover (oh no!) EVERYONE'S become a demon. And as the credits roll the hero's girlfriend spouts demon fangs and gets blown away.8Not really - the hero gets to smash lots of television screens and... then it's all over. What?4
TotalGround-breaking nonsense.81All very well, but does it add anything more?65

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