"Night Of The Demons (1988)
Shout! Factory Blu-Ray Review
Starring William Gallo, Mimi Kinkade, Cathy
Podewell, Linnea Quigley and Hal Havins
Directed By Kevin S. Tenney
COLOR/1988/1 HOUR 30 MINUTES/UNRATED
Aspect Ratio: 1:85.1 Anamorphic Widescreen
DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio Stereo
When I was growing up, I was scared of horror movies and that was thanks largely to watching "Amityville 2: The Possession", which was a truly disgusting film that still is just that for me and led to nightmares soon after on a school night of all things. However, years later after watching "Alien", "Friday The 13th", and "A Nightmare On Elm Street" i started to conquer my fear for them and they weren't that bad eventhough I still hold "Amityville 2" in the lower pits of horror hell that I still hate. "Night Of The Demons" was one of the movies I actually did watch with my sister many a time after numerous airings on Showtime and Cinemax and was one of the more entertaining cheesy horror movies I had seen around that time along with a few others including the ever cheesy "Witchboard" and my ultimate guilty pleasure (sadly not on DVD or Blu-Ray yet!) "Remote Control" starring Kevin Dillon and Dede Pfeiffer.
"NOTD" is a rather ambitious horror movie with an interesting premise: It's Halloween (duh!) and a young goth beauty named Angela (the sexy without demonic make up Amelia "Mimi" Kinkade) who decides to have a Halloween bash at Hull House, a now abandoned funeral home where it used to be a home of a mass murderer. The group of partygoers (Willam Gallo, Hal Havins, Cathy Podewell, Linnea Quigley amongst others) bash is interrupted by a seance which Angela holds and gets interrupted by a prank in the middle of it. Little do they know that they have awakened an evil spirit that soon possess one of them one by one including a lesbian kiss with Angela (who turns into the Queen demon bitch the rest of the film) and a series of elaborate deaths that lead to transformations. Judy (Podewell) and remaining partygoers have to find a way to survive the night until sunrise when Halloween officially ends along with their night of terror.
The film was ably directed by Kevin S. Tenney (who helmed "Witchboard" which I mentioned earlier and is a guilty pleasure in that surprisingly still works stylistically as well in terms of story. Kinkade is very sexy and appealing in her part which makes the film all the more terrifying and the major reason it does succeed. Without her, the film is just another routine horror film without punch or appeal. The film is finally making it's Blu-Ray debut as a combo pack after being released by Anchor Bay on DVD ten years ago featuring the complete unrated gory version of the film which went out of print years later and it's a wonderful package complete with alot of great new special features that Anchor Bay wasn't able to secure for its' release.
They include: A fun new commentary with Director Kevin Tenney, Actors Cathy Podewell, Hal Havens, Billy Gallo and Steve Johnson the Special Effect guru on the film. It also retains the old commentary from the Anchor Bay release with the Director and Producers Walter Josten and Jeff Geoffray. All new cast interviews with the Director Tenney, Writer/Producer Joe Augustyn, William Gallo, Amelia Kincaid, Allison Barron, Alvin Alexis and Actress Linnea Quigley along with a host of others in a terrific 70 plus minute documentary that looks back on the film's history, production and the making of it. The cast and crew really have a blast on the retrospective sharing their personal insights and stories. Actress Allison Barron has her own mini retrospective as she personally shows her personal collage of personal stills from the making of the film as well as the promotional tour she endured with actor William Gallo as the film opened in various markets in 1988. A promotional reel, the original home video trailer, the film's original theatrical trailer, TV and Radio Spots and Still Galleries are also on hand here.
After viewing the film for the first time in over ten years, I couldn't help but look back at the film rather fondly. It isn't a masterpiece of horror without question like other horror films I hold in very high regard like "An American Werewolf In London", "The Thing", "Trick R' Treat", and "The Howling" to name a few. It certainly is up there and is enjoyable for what it is and does exactly what it supposed to do very effectively. The film was remade in 2009 starring the sexy Shannon Elizabeth taking over the role of Angela with the lovely Monica Keena and Diora Baird and "Terminator 2's" Edward Furlong starring, which as also very stylish and an interesting take on the original. Fans of the original will be thrilled with this Blu-Ray because this is the best the film has ever looked and will enjoy all of its' new special features which fans will enjoy along with the nice conceptial artwork that graces Shout! Factory's special editions. "Night Of The Demons" is definitely a product of its' time without question but there's a enjoyably cheesy aspect that still makes it one of the genre's best entries for the decade of the 80's. Recommended.