Demons (1985)


I first saw this movie back when I was a kid, because I thought the original VHS cover of the freaky looking demon was cool and me being a fan of demon movies, I knew I had to give it a chance. The movie then became one of my favorite demon movies and I later purchased the remastered VHS that was part of the "Dario Argento Collection". Dario obviously didn't direct the film, but he did write and produce it. Recently I got the movie in what's called the Dance of the Demons (one of the original titles), which really kicks the US set in the nuts, because this set is a 3-disc, which is loaded with extras including deleted scenes, making-of, and even an hour-and-a-half feature. It comes with the first two movies, plus a sweet box and booklet. It's a great collector's item in my opinion. Sadly it's only for those who have DVD players that can handle the Pal format, because it's a Raptor release, which is a German-based company.

Anyway, the story basically follows these two female friends who get handed a ticket to a reopened movie theater. Apparently some masked man who is associated with the theater hands the tickets out to people around the subway area. The girls decide to check it out and there they meet two other guys that got tickets. While everyone who got tickets start entering the theater, a prostitute, who's on a "date" of some sort with her pimp gets a cut on her face while playing with a prop mask in the lobby. She thinks nothing of it and goes to her seat, like everyone else in the theater. The movie begins and it's revealed to be a demon movie, so we get a movie-within-a-movie thing going on in the beginning, and a lot of the stuff within the movie happens in "real life". Once people within the movie see demons, the prostitute runs to the restroom to discover her cut has grown larger and she soon turns into a wicked-looking demon. It doesn't take long for the mayhem to spread and more demons to spawn, because one scratch from their claws will turn someone into one of them. Now everyone in the theater must ban together to fend off the demons and find a way out of that deathtrap.

I really love this movie, because not only are the effects pretty sweet and gory, but the plot and characters are very interesting. Although the movie basically centers on the two girls and two guys, it has a lot of smaller characters that play their own parts in the movie -- the pimp eventually becomes somewhat of a leader role when the demons start appearing, there's also smaller character roles like a blind man and his niece who's meeting a guy to have sex with him, and a young couple on a date, and later on we're introduced to a group of young "punks" who enter the theater to escape the cops. Another thing I really liked about this flick is how the demons kinda reminded me of zombies a little, because they'd usually go around in packs and spread fast. When it was time for people to turn into the demons, they really don't spare any easy transformations in the beginning -- we get to see a lot of graphic transformations with all the blood and puss; great stuff!. Later on in the movie we also see a demon come out of a girl's back, which was good, because it made the demons less repetitive, because obviously seeing the same-old thing gets boring after a while.

As for scares -- the demons alone are pretty freaky, but due to all the cheesiness, the movie doesn't really have any good scares. That doesn't really matter to me considering it's more of an entertaining movie than a scary one and I'm sure that's sort of what they were going for. The hero towards the end of the movie reminded me a little of Ash from the Evil Dead films, because of the torn clothes and the all-around all-kicking of the demons with the samurai sword. In the end this movie still remains one of the best demon-related movies that I've seen and it just seems to get more enjoyable over time. Even the special effects don't seem too out-of-date.

One of my favorite demon-related movies. Has a lot of sweet gore and creature effects; fun story and interesting characters. Highly recommended!
One of my favorite demon-related movies. Has a lot of sweet gore and creature effects; fun story and interesting characters. Highly recommended!