Demons (Demoni 1985) Review
Written by: Constantce
I love me a good demon movie. Bava’s Demons is the king of what I’ve seen so far. What is so great about Italian horror is that it takes itself seriously. It exists to scare and to shock. There are very few comic or even tongue-in-cheek moments. Clichés are left for the lesser directors. Bava and Argento want to investigate and exploit the inner mechanisms that make fear tick.
The movie opens kind of like Suspiria and Creepers do, with a girl who seems out of place. Cheryl (Natasha Hovey) is riding the subway, and looks so lost. She’s given a ticket by a strange masked man to a movie, and decides to go with her best buddy, Kathy (Paola Cozzo). Their trip into the Metropol theater seems interesting at first, but they have no idea what’s in store for them. The build of the action is incredible, with a film within a film. The audience members are watching a nerve-wracking movie, with a couple of young folks exploring the grave of Nostradamus. Their tension exploits your tension, and it works really well. When the shit starts to hit the fan, you get even more drawn in.
One thing that is fascinating about Demons is the subtle jab at different undesirables, the most obvious being the anarchist coke-heads. There is also a black man with two women who are acting pretty obnoxious, and while it’s not said outright, you get the impression it’s a pimp with two of his girls. These characters seem doomed from the get-go. Are they the true demons of society? Hm. Hard to say, especially because the supposed pimp is so strong and brave. But there are more innocent folks involved too, like the lead characters, Cheryl and George (Urbano Barberini). Let alone the cute young couple that just wants to make out in the back row. How will they fare? Can they fight the demonic forces and survive, let alone triumph?
Enough about the deep stuff. The effects are awesome. There is a transformation scene that is one of the best ever. It involves teeth, and it’s hardcore enough to make you reach into your own mouth to make sure everything’s okay in there. If teeth aren’t your thing, eyes probably are, and there’s a gouging that is Maven-List worthy.
You can tell I’m recommending this film, right? If not, I’ll spell it out for you. This. Is. A. Great. Horror. Movie. Go. Get. It.