A totally unique adaptation of Chekov's A Doll's House...oh, who am I kidding? Forget the fact that it's not Demons...or Demons 2...or even Night of the Demons...but NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2. I suppose I could rejoice in the fact that – bottom line – this way-past-its-prime 1994 splatter fest at the very least delivers exactly what it promises…But I’ll go you one better: on the glass-half-full front, NotD2 makes us cognizant of just how truly funny and fun Tom Holland's 1985 hoot Fright Night (from which director Brian Trenchard-Smith's aspiring horror-hip flick “borrows” shamelessly) really was (and still is).
I imagine that purists would stalwartly insist on seeing Part One before tackling this sequel, less they miss every intricate narrative nuance. No need. Hull House, a combination funeral home and portal to Hades is the home of Angela – hostess from Hell (aka Amelia Kinkade). Thought to have been dispatched in the previous installment, she roams the cobwebbed catacombs waiting for the moment where she can induct her little sister Mouse (Merle Kennedy) into her demonic cult. While it's cool to see the sexy hexy babe chew up door-to-door Christian right pamphlet-laden visitors in the opening teaser, it's nothing compared to what she has planned for the paragons of academia attending the neighboring St. Rita's Academy for Morons – a rigid Catholic school for troubled teens. The teens, whose biggest problem seems to be acting, are also apparently victims of some form of Rip Van Winkle syndrome, as they all look to be aged around 30. Luckily for Angela, Mouse, who resembles a shell-shocked version of Keely Smith, is a newly ensconced freshman. Unfortunately for Mouse, she's the butt of all her fellow classmates’ jokes. Fortunately for us, said classmates (aka mean girls-plus) and their simian boyfriends comprise every asshole you've ever wanted to see bitch-slapped. This is done in high diabolical fashion by the movie's rather excellent SFX team.
NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2 doesn't waste a frame; from the devouring of the aforementioned evangelical couple, we segue to the male contingent of St. Rita's, whose frat must certainly be Cro-Magna-Cum-Laude. They are otherwise engaged in watching the house females do what all college girls do: parade naked around their dorm window by moonlight. Okay, so far this is nothing more than Ted Bundy's feature-length Girls-Gone-Wild video...except for the disturbing sidebar wherein (perhaps in homage to Thriller) the producers cast a lead babe (Zoe Trilling) who looks like Michael Jackson. Oh, yeah – and that these “young stars” have porn names (Ladd York, anyone?).
The question is: does it get tiresome watching even idiots get ripped to shreds? Ask Joe Augustyn, who not only concocted the screenplay, but, as the credits reveal, based it (with assist from James Penzi) upon his own story (whether this means autobiographical is never made clear; in any event, it's his story...and he's stuck with it!). While the intentionally riotous dialogue is so infantile that one ponders the absence of the word “doody” (“...smells like Godzilla's butt-hole,” remarks a character whom we wager even House Intelligence Committee icon Michelle Bachmann would call a fool), there are admittedly some genuinely amusing moments...and characters. And they and their deeds are thoroughly worth mentioning. I'm referring to the disbelieving priest (Rod McCary), who, despite screams for help, prefers to be locked in his room reading a dog-eared copy of Catcher in the Rye. Or his chastising a geeky pimply-demon hunter for desecrating the sacrosanct (“I've had enough of your Halloween shenanigans!”).
The main reason for experiencing NofD2, and it's an authentic one, is to watch and laugh at the hilarious antics of the movie's savior: Jennifer Rhodes as the strict knuckle-ruler-wielding Sister Gloria. Sister Gloria, channeling every Cloris Leachman role Mel Brooks ever wrote, puts this flick over the top. Armed with a WMD artillery drawer filled with multi-calibre yardsticks, Sister Gloria exhibits en-guard swashbuckling moves that rival the thrills of the three musketeers (both the Dumas novel AND the candy). Furthermore, when she subsequently brandishes a high-capacity Uzi beach toy filled with holy water...well, it's enough to bring tears to Wayne LaPierre's beady little eyes. And as for her nunchuck rosary action...it's nun-surpassed.
Of course, what's the point of having a roster of obliging male/female bimbos sans nasty sexual innuendo? Not to worry! From the moment one couple screws in the funeral home's adjacent slab back room (“This is soooo romantic,” coos the twit to her equally dumb-ass boyfriend) to the plethora of limp dick and oral jokes, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2 is sniggering five-star Snooki tribute to American youth and the benefits of bundling puberty with a vasectomy.
As indicated, the SFX are primo – and, believe me, nothing tops the visual pun of seeing a satanic living head lurking in its lavatory namesake. Then again, watching a headless jock playing basketball with his severed cranium does come mighty close.
I should state that a later montage of Angela's lipstick morphing into a throbbing phallus (which then rapes a willing co-ed into orgasmic ecstasy) might be considered in questionable taste, but admittedly would have been a honey of a product tie-in with MAC Cosmetics.
Nothing, however, prepares the viewer for NofD2's perky peak. In this standout sequence a horndog grunter, panting for “Michael Jackson,” gets his seven minutes in not-quite heaven when she bares her formidable breasts – which suddenly turn into menacing claws that go all Tasmanian Devil on his ass; it’s easily cinema's supreme moment of titty talon terror!
Granted, what else would one expect from a movie where a major end title heralds the pic's bug wrangler (Steven Kutcher)? Come on, it's NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2 – not Night of the Brontes 2. Nevertheless I'm sure many of you have been offended by merely reading the above – while (let's face it) others are probably scrolling B-D/DVD best price sites even as you continue to peruse this piece.
What does this Blu-Ray look like? Actually pretty good; it's fairly well shot by David Lewis (who, with Trenchard-Jones, participates in a supplemental audio commentary). The music by Jim Manzie is par for the course – the usual synthesized artificial “come zither” genre score. The Ultra-Stereo surround is okay, accurately replicating the sounds of melting flesh, gurgling blood and gnashed gonads...if that's your idea of popcorn-munching accompaniment.
“Trick or Treat, Sucker!” was NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2's promo headline. Since it was a Republic Pictures release – the company then controlled by Aaron Spelling Productions – I'd have opted “Beverly Hells – 902-Mo'-Fo'!” But that's just me.
NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2. Color. Wide-screen [1.78:1, originally 1.85:1; 1080p High Definition]; 2.0 DTS-HD MA stereo-surround. UPC: 887090053600. Cat #: OF536. SRP: $29.95.
Also available on DVD: UPC: 887090053501. Cat #: OF535. SRP: $19.95.