Demons (1985) (aka Demoni) Review
Written by: azathoth
A great movie written by Dario Argento and directed by Lamberto Bava. A complete gore fest! I consider this to be the finest of any demon type film, which is different from a zombie type film. Demons are unnatural, crazed terrors that just want to kill you, rather than eat you. Sort of like that crazy aunt with all the cats.
Our characters include the main girl Cheryl and her friend Cathy. Then there are two guys that hit on the girls, a Pimp and his 'ladies', and a blind guy and his cheating wife. There is a nice side plot with a bunch of coke snorting punks. Everyone else is there just to become demon chowder. Michele Soavi (director of "The Church, aka Demons 3") plays a tall freaky dude with a metal mask that covers half his face. Nicolette Elmi ("Deep Red") plays a rather good looking Ingrid the usherette.
Masked Man scares Cheryl at the beginning of the film by acting like he is stalking her through the Berlin subway system, only to eventually give her a ticket to a free showing at the local movie theatre. After all that hassle she goes back and asks for a second ticket for her friend Cathy.
Our lunchmeat arrives at the theatre. The lobby is decked out with some weird furnishings, including a dummy on a motorcycle holding a sword in one hand and a shiny metal mask in the other. Interestingly, the sexy Ingrid seems to be the only employee in attendance. The guys hook up with the girls. Tony's Ho #1 tries on the mask and scratches her face. Finally the movie gets started. It's about two guys and two girls trying to find the tomb of Nostradamus in an old cemetery. The tomb has a familiar looking mask, which one of the moron guys tries on. Hey, he scratches his face in the same place as Ho #1! He begins to act weird and Ho #1 doesn't feel well, so she goes to the ladies room. The guy in the movie becomes a demon, I wonder what's going to happen to Ho #1? Ho #2 finds out and dies quite nicely in front of the whole crowd. We're 1/4 of the way through the film!
That is pretty much the plot. The rest of the movie is people trying to stay alive as the demons convert their victims into more demons. By the way, the theatre has locked itself down a la "House on Haunted Hill". Mostly, the people don't stay alive so much. The side story involves three drug fueled punks and a girl who likes to have cocaine snorted off her body with razors. Eventually the cops chase the foursome into a mysteriously unlocked back entrance to the theatre (yet none of the patrons could find this door?).
There is not a whole lot of plot besides hell being unleashed on earth. But it is a fun ride through crazy land. The end scene was nice, though not entirely unexpected.
There is action aplenty. Helicopters fall through roofs, the samurai sword is put to good use on a motorcycle (!), not to mention all the head clobbering. Practical gore FX are the dominant display here, and they are great. Music is good with some unexpected performers-Motley Crue, the Scorpions, and Billy Idol. The sound equalization is not very good as screaming is much higher than ambient noise. The colors on my DVD print (Anchor Bay, 1999) was a bit muted. The dialogue was OK, except for some of Tony's lines, which are fun.
Great movie for gore hounds and zombie fans. Though not exactly zombies, the demons act close enough. Think Tom Savini met "28 Days Later". Highly recommended. Good for a Halloween party.