In Lamberto Bava's "Demons", a private showing of a never-before-seen horror film at a city theater called "The Metropol" meant death for all those who attended the screening; as the reels of the film came with a deadly curse. The movie-within-a-movie was about the discovery of ancient artifacts of demonic lore; and thus, the theater would seem swarm with fast-running yet zombie-like demons. It was a clever mash-up of the kind of sensibilities brought up by classics such as "Night of the Living Dead" and the films of Hershell Gordon Lewis. For me, it was a night at the movies to remember; and to others, it's an exploitative gore-fest made specifically for the gore hounds, and lacking in all substance. They're right.
Now, Lamberto (who is the son of Mario Bava) has made "Demons 2". Perhaps it takes place at the same time as the first film, but just in a different place; the setting this time around is in a large apartment building, on the night of one girl's birthday party. The birthday girl isn't having much of a good time at all - in spite of the loud music that is so gleefully pumping and the large selections of various desserts and foods that have been prepared - and thus, she retires to her bedroom and starts watching a television program that is airing on that particular night.
Little does she know, the program that is being broadcast has the same conditions as the film screened in The Metropol from the first film. It's a show about demons; and in an instant, one of the in-movie villains pops out of the screen and attacks the woman. She then becomes a demon; infecting everyone else present at the party, and soon the whole building.
It would seem that this horror sequel fared well with genre fans as well as avid gore-hounds; but it didn't exactly impress me. I'm a big fan of "Demons" and I'd even go so far as to call it great, classic, but undeniably guilty entertainment; I have seen it so many times, and each time I love it. My prediction for "Demons 2" is that I won't be so eager and quick to revisit it in the future; because on the first try, I really didn't enjoy myself. "Demons" created a very large mountain for Bava to climb; and he only makes it to the half-way point. Once again, he displays unique visual style; but this time around, he just lacks the ambition and "what the hell" attitude that made the original work so well. Some people appear to have been able to look past my main complaints; good for them. I'm just not seeing it.
Returning from "Demons" is the lame (but funny) dialogue, the poorly fleshed-out characters, and fan favorite Bobby Rhodes (who plays a gymnast here instead of his "Tony the Pimp" character from the first film). You might notice that I didn't mention a return of the outlandishly over-the-top gore effects from the first film; and that is because in all honesty, it just isn't there. Sure, "Demons 2" has a few good, inspired scenes of gruesome deformation and mutilation, but it still feels like a big step down from the daring material on display in "Demons".
I know, I know. I've been comparing "Demons 2" to its predecessor perhaps a bit too much; but how else could I go about reviewing it? There is no other way to vent my frustration and disappointment other than to consistently bring up just how much Bava's debut feature set up for the bigger, and literally "badder" sequel. While "Demons 2" is far from a bad film, it fails to provide the sort of wild, likably ridiculous ride that you'd expect given its awesome premise. Others might think just a little differently, and if you like the original film, you might want to check this one out; but underwhelming gore and a few good laughs can't make up for a lack of soul and a lack of genuine entertainment value. I'm sorry to say; but "Demons 2" may just be one of the most potentially fun but boring films ever made.
Demons 2 is a more accomplished film than part one. Instead of taking place in a movie theatre, this one is featured inside a state of the art apartment complex. The direction is more up to par with Lamberto Bava's style and it has more interesting characters. The international print of this movie is about three minutes longer with several juicier scenes that were toned down during the film's intial American release back in the late 80's. Personally I like Part two more … more
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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