Sunday, 3 February 2013



The first Demons was scarcely a classic, but it was nasty, gloopy fun: a splattery zombie movie set in a cinema in which a steel mask hanging on display in the foyer pricks the face, Black Sunday style, of a young woman who then goes Total Zombie, apparently ushering in an Undead Apocalypse via the horror movie on the screen. For all the absurdity and ludicrous characters, it's probably one of Lamberto Bava's best films (close to flawed giallo A Blade In The Dark, but leagues ahead of the unspeakable dullness of Graveyard Disturbance) and certainly the biggest; enough of a hit to warrant a sequel. A pity it's laugh out loud hilarious in the worst Golden Turkey way: a ridiculous orgy of rubber gremlin puppets and reality-bending silliness that makes absolutely no sense and is too funny to be remotely scary or horrific. Put bluntly, it's a disaster.

It would appear that the Apocalypse from the first movie was somehow averted and the site fenced off, but some teenage morons with the cumulative IQ of a Jaffa cake scale the walls with absolutely no difficulty and stumble aimlessly around the ruins until one of them cuts her hand and spills blood on the corpse of a demon. Hey presto, it comes back to life! But then the demonic force reaches out, Videodrome style, through the TV sets of the residents of an apartment block (shades of Cronenberg's Shivers), turning enough of the viewers into demons who immediately start to infect everyone else. Maybe there's refuge in the parking garage - that's where all the bodybuilders and surviving party animals have headed....

None of Demons 2 adds up. Presumably this malarkey amidst the ruins is a live broadcast (how else could the demons get through?) but it's shot and edited and acted like a regular crappy Italian horror movie and really looks no different to Demons 2 itself. We get a demonically possessed child, but out of him suddenly bursts a rubber monster that looks like something out of Gremlins, rampaging around the apartment until it's killed with a handy bottle of sulphuric acid the victim fortuitously keeps on the drinks trolley. We also get a possessed dog, which in long shots is a glowy-eyed dog in a blonde wig and in close-up is a puppet thing that would have been laughed off the set of Dr Who in the Sylvester McCoy years.

What you don't get is very much in the way of gore - it's been downgraded to a 15 certificate which is pretty much as soft as you can get for a demon/zombie horror movie - or any characters worth caring much about. Demons 2 really is pretty terrible: it might manage to raise a few laughs at the rotten effects and the now-hilarious 80s fashions, but mostly it's just awful, and it's a long, long way down from Demons. As with the first one, it's produced by Dario Argento.



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