Hello Meat Sacks.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been off pasta for a month, but ol’ Uncle Frank had a craving for Italian this week. So out came the Lamberto Bava-directed, Dario Argento-produced “Demons”, probably one of the better, more exciting giallos of the 80’s. It’s goopy and schlocky like a good lasagna, with a healthy dose of cheese on top and throughout. Aaaand now I’m hungry.
-Should I watch this?
If you have the patience to get through the setup, you betcha. This movie is fun as fuck once it gets rolling. Ridiculous, campy, poorly acted fun…but fun.
–Should I be drunk to watch this?
Highly recommended. This is the kind of movie that goes best with a metric shit ton of hard liquor in your gullet. Mostly to drown out the god awful acting so you can concentrate on the good stuff.
–Are there titties?
There’s a brief nip flash from a girl who you’d swear wasn’t old enough to have cans, let alone show them. So….that’s uncomfortable. Also, the guy she’s with is playing with her nipple with a razor blade. Not very gently. So, that’s uncomfortable too. But still….doesn’t matter, saw boobies!
I’m pretty sure that, much like some of the more famous Italian giallos (a word that typically denotes thrillers of any kind, literally “yellow”, referencing the yellow backgrounds of the crime novels many of the early movies were based on), the people making “Demons” thought that they were involved in a meaningful and artistic product. Unfortunately this movie is neither. Fortunately, it IS creatively gross and hilariously dumb, and as a result is immensely entertaining.
The first third is a bit of a drag, as there’s not really any major carnage till about halfway through. If you can find a way to get through the god-awful acting and terrible dialogue, you will be rewarded with some very excellent shredding of human flesh, a pretty solid 80’s hard rock soundtrack (dude, Accept!!), and some set pieces that make Verhoeven’s “Robocop” look like “A River Runs Through It”.
The flimsy plot is that an audience has gathered at a run-down movie theatre to watch a mysterious film. The film itself (which is shown for WAY too long) is a parallel to the audiences own plight, as the demons which possess the characters in the fictional movie begin to possess the members of the audience watching. I’m sure there’s some sort of meaning or thrilling intent that Bava and co-writers Argento, Dardano Sacchetti, and Franco Ferrini were trying to rub our faces in, as we, at the time, would theoretically have been sitting in a theatre of our own…but frankly it’s just a time-suck since we’re all just waiting for the vapid, cardboard characters to get massacred.
Thankfully, they do, and many of them go out in very wild and crazy ways, and sometimes even return from the dead as “demons” which get slaughtered in turn. And lest you think I don’t like this movie, let me heap praise on its cool makeup effects, its brutal transformation scenes, some well-done lighting, and that one part where a woman gives birth to a demon through her fucking back. Also, there’s a dude that rides around the theatre on a motorcycle wielding a god damned katana.
Look, basically this movie makes absolutely no fucking sense. Don’t even try. Just sit back, pound a beverage, and laugh at this shit. It’s for the gore-hound set. The people who can sit through poorly over-dubbed shit dialogue just to get to that one part where the guy gets rebar stabbed into his eye. Or the kind of people who cackle at a cute girl getting blood-barfed on by an old Italian guy in heavy prosthetic makeup. Don’t ask why or how the demon-zombie apocalypse somehow begins at a stupid little movie theatre, because I doubt the people who made this know either. Just enjoy the copious amounts of red stuff, and the fact that, if nothing else, Lamberto Bava knows how to make people die.
Not the brightest film ever made but fun as hell once it gets going. Good for a few laughs at the corny dialogue and the cheeseball acting. And great for the wet, sloppy kills. Thanks, Italy!
ATTENTION DEFICIT DRUNK CORNER:
You gotta put some booze in you for this one. It’s, like, the kind of movie this site was made for! So, here’s a fairly simple drinking game that will truly test your livers: Drink to fluids! If you see blood, or sweat, or pus, or whatever…have a sip. Nothing consecutive though, so once you drink to, say, sweat…you can’t drink to sweat again until you see a different fluid first. In the middle of the movie that shit will be relentless! Drink also to pimp-tastic topless sideburns, drink every time someone toots cocaine, and finish your drink for random fucking helicopters! Oh, and just to get the ball rolling, drink whenever you see the word Bartok. Salute!!
UNCLE FRANK’S SPLATTER SCORE:
-4 out of 5 weird Italian demons
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Categories: Wasted Wednesday