In Demons (aka Demoni), the 1985 B-movie horror film from Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento, a mysterious film screening is suddenly infested with infectious demons, with the helpless audience trapped inside the theater.
The ’80s horror movie uses dated B-movie effects work. This said, a lot of the practical effects are well-staged, on top of being delightfully doused in corn-syrupy gore. One scene, in particular, uses masterful use of low-budget practical effects in its manipulation of fingernails and teeth.
The narrative is simple enough, if not reductive in its departure from its initial meta-textual bent. The concept of the character’s situation being mirrored in the film they are watching makes for great commentary on the nature of audience satiation in the face of the horror genre. This concept is, of course, abandoned once the camera is bashed in by a crass pimp, but it’s fun while it lasts.
Additionally fun is the film’s heavy metal soundtrack, mainly played out in the car of a B-plot narrative of characters who snort cocaine out of a Coca-Cola can while Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” blares over their erratic arguing.
Demons is mainly this: B-movie fun. You can groan at the poor dubbing and acting, or the breakdown of the plot into a paint by numbers body count tally. But why bother when you know what you’re getting into? It is the same as hundreds of horror movies you’ve seen before with some added caveats for further discussion, and, for a horror fan, that’s all that the film needs to be.
Demons can be found on Amazon Video here.
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)