A blog exploring the sexy, shocking, surreal, and silly side of horror films.

December 6, 2010

Night of the Demons (1988)

Night of the Demons (1988) 

Director: Kevin Tenney

Night of the Demons did for demon-possession movies what Return of the Living Dead did for zombie movies. Both took a well-worn horror genre in the late '80s and injected it with a youthful punk vigor and rock-n-roll party attitude. And both starred Linnea Quigley getting all kinds of naked!


It's Halloween night, and goody two-shoes Judy (Cathy Podewell) is convinced by her boyfriend Jay (Lance Fenton) to ditch their plans to attend a high school party and instead celebrate Halloween with brewskies and tunes at Hull House, an abandoned -- and allegedly possessed-- mortuary. They are joined by a motley crew of obnoxious yet charming punkers, jocks, and pretty girls including horny Suzanne (Linnea Quigley), meat-head Stooge (Hal Havins), and witchey Angela (Amelia Kinkade). While turning a seance ritual into a party game, Angela accidentally stirs up evil demons that posses some of the teens and proceed to terrorize and mutilate the others. Trapped in Hull House, Judy and her friends attempt to survive until morning, but every one of them that dies returns as a possessed corpse out for their blood. Night of the Demons doesn't break much new ground in the genre, but it's an endearing and energetic dark fantasy with plenty of gore, gratuitous nudity, and excellent makeup effects courtesy of Steve Johnson. From its animated opening sequence to its slate of quotable one-liners ("Eat a bowl of fuck!"), Night of the Demons carries itself with a restrained sense of camp and doesn't take itself too seriously, yet it delivers some serious Halloween horror fun and outlandish visual effects.

Rating: 4 / 5 Stooges


Before we talk about the blood and guts, I was honestly shocked by how much I enjoyed all the teen characters in this film. Sure, Cathy Podewell has the line delivery of a 10th grade drama student. Sure, they're broadly drawn 80's stereotypes, but every young actor breathes some unique life into their characters. They're obnoxious, as teens can be, but they're endearing, especially Stooge. He's part Animal House, part Bill and Ted, and park Bulk from Power Rangers fame. Night of the Demons wouldn't be half as fun without this group of young actors, memorable characters, and nubile young starlets. 

Bleeding gums. A clear sign of gingivitis.
But yes, Night of the Demons brings the gore. Carnage doesn't kick off until almost half-way into the film, but the buildup satisfyingly sets the stage. Once the demons start going for blood, they don't stop. Flesh ripping, eye gouging, impaling, and a disappearing lipstick nipple trick that needs to be seen to be believed. Night of the Demons isn't a meat grinder film, but there's plenty of painful deaths and fantastic demon makeup. In fact, several gory scenes were cut from the film but can be seen reintegrated on the Anchor Bay DVD release.

A demon's face on Christmas morning


More than blood, when you think Night of the Demons you should think boobies. In the spirit of its juvenile energy, there's plenty of bare boobs, bums, and a bouncy bounty of the female form. Linnea Quigley, in particular, spends large sections of the film with her fanny in the camera, even going bottomless. It's lowbrow nudity for nudity's sake, but it's all done in good fun.

If you wake up nude in a coffin, bed head is the least of your problems.

On Tuesday, December 7th, Horror in the Hammer is screening the 2009 remake of Night of the Demons at Fright Night Theatre. Although I've come to the 1988 film later in life, the original Night of the Demons now occupies a proud place on my DVD shelf and I see why it's maintained a cult following. It's definitely entered my staple of Halloween-time films. I'm now curious to see how Night of the Demons has been updated.

Will the remake stand up? If you're in the Hamilton area Tuesday night, come check it out for yourself.

Horror in the Hammer's Fright Night Theatre: 

Night of the Demons

 $5.00 Admission 

Tuesday, December 7 · 8:00pm - 11:00pm

Staircase Theatre (www.staircase.org)
27 Dundurn St N
Hamilton, ON

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails