Scream Factory is extremely efficient at their job of releasing and cleaning up many of the lost genre gems of the 1980s and 1990s. I'm beginning to have a hard time introducing each new Blu-ray or DVD versions of the movies they save from obscurity. It's now time for "Night of the Demons" to make its high definition debut.
Weirdo party girl Angela (Amelia Kinkade) invites a group of school friends to a Halloween party at the secluded Hull House. It's the perfect place to host the get-together, considering it was once a funeral home with a mysterious past rooted in the occult. It doesn't take long before the good times go bad, as each attendee becomes possessed by demons or killed by them.
I remember seeing "Night of the Demons" back in the early 1990s and thinking it was absolutely awful in every way. I thought the acting was bad. I thought the special effects were unbelievably cheesy. Watching it again now, I realized that the acting really WAS bad… really bad. However, I would categorize it as "so bad, it's good." I was completely wrong about the special effects. Every severed limb and gory sequence is handled with care and efficiency.
It's safe to say "Night of the Demons" has probably never looked or sounded so great. The hi-def conversion didn't take any of the 1980s "real film" flavor out of the viewing experience. The clean picture makes sure that every spurt of blood is as bright as it should be. The audio upgrade surrounds the audience in all the blood-curdling screams and squishy gross-out sound effects you can think of.
The Scream Factory Collector's Edition of "Night of the Demons" is unrated and claims to have more gore and violence. There certainly is a lot of blood dripping and oozing out of people. There's also some full-frontal nudity and these characters curse like sailors. It's pretty standard stuff for a 1980s horror film.
The movie might have demons, but don't expect anything remotely theologically sound from a religious standpoint. That's not the point of "Night of the Demons." Nothing is to be taken seriously in this fun and entertaining grade-B flick. I guess you could say the message of the movie is don't conjure demons or mess with the occult.
As we've all come to expect, Scream Factory's Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack comes with some great bonus material. New commentary is provided by Director Kevin S. Tenney and actors Cathy Podewell, Hal Havins, Billy Gallo, and FX artist Steve Johnson. A second commentary track features Director Tenney, Executive Producer Walter Josten, and Producer Jeff Geoffray sharing their insights. New interviews with both the cast and crew include Director Tenney, Writer/Producer Joe Augustyn, actress Linnea Quigley, and others. A promo reel, video trailer, theatrical trailer, TV and radio spots, still galleries, and more are found as well.
Revisiting "Night of the Demons" for this special Collector's Edition made me appreciate it more than I did when I first saw it 20 years ago. It's a near-perfect example of schlock 1980s comedy/horror with parts that will have you laughing out loud. It also reminds the viewer how much fun movies were when there were practical effects versus everything being CGI the way it is today.
"Night of the Demons" Collector's Edition is available now on Blu-ray.