Sunday, March 6, 2011

Demons & Demons 2

 These two classic late 80's horror films were the start of my Saturday nights viewing. It is funny to look back at these two because since the first and only time I watched them in 1988 I've never wanted to see them again. Why?? Because they terrified me!! Demons is one of, if not the scariest, horrors of the 80's. After some of my recent forays into 80's horror flicks I decided to revisit them both. What I saw made me laugh. Why, they aren't scary at all! I must have been one chicken of an eighteen year old to be scared by these! But of course it isn't that at all. Things have moved on and these movies have stayed where they are. Mired in the 80's. 
 But for the datedness they are still good viewing. I enjoyed them but kept scatching my head, how on earth had I forgotten so much? I honestly couldn't even remember the helicopter falling through the roof!!!!! This is a scene that has attracted alot of derision but to me horrors can get away with it. Plausibility isn't a great strength of this genre after all! Of the two I prefered the second one the most. I could remember three scenes from it so in 1988 it must have been the one that stood out then to. I will always remember when the demon comes out of the Television set ( a la Samara in The Ring). It has stayed with me until this day, and for some reason it sometimes pops into my mind when I sit in front of my computer. God damn sometimes I even think of the first movie when I go to flicks and have flash backs of the theatre with its mysteriously bricked up walls!
 The other two scenes I remember vividly from the second film are when the boy hides behind the air conditioning grate and a demon lifts it up but doesn't see him. The other being the boy who jumps in a car in the basement scene and the demons are all looking at him through the windows. It was an extremely scary scene way back then.
 And here I come to the guts ( no pun intended! ) of these two horrors. And it is that what scared me with these films has stayed with me for twenty three years. Going to the pictures and thinking of Demons just because it was based in a theatre really shows how scary these films actually were. It is dumb to sit in front of my computer screen and think of Demons 2. It's not that I believe that those things will happen but it is the impact they had on my young mind and how they have stayed with me.
 But they have dated visually. The make up and special effects are very 80's and look old. But when made these two movies had a serious reputation for horror and scariness that only The Evil Dead had previously obtained. I remember so well their reputation and the talk about them, and when I watched them I could see it was justified. Scary as hell and damn violent. They remain some of the most explictly violent films of any genre of the 80's. The eye gouging scenes were bloody and revolting, the puke, the scratches, etc, etc, made these movies the cult classics they have so rightly become.
 The first movie brought back some other real memories because of its soundtrack. Accept, with 'Fast as a Shark, Saxon with, 'Everbody Up', Billy Idol with, 'White Wedding', etc. My god I grew up listening to that stuff! I still have my Accept and Saxon albums that I brought all those years ago!!! 
 Interestingly I didn't realise at the time I watched these that they were Italian and were dubbed. It didn't show in 1988, but is more than obvious now. I believe that the Italian horror film industry has a real following within the horror watching community. If Demons is any gauge I can see why. At the time Hollywood wasn't making anything like this. Unfortunately I don't know anything of the history of them . I would like to know if they were as controversial when released as Evil Dead was. I know Dead never played in NZ cinemas as it was considered too hardcore for the times. I have a feeling they were straight to video to protect us all from the moral decay they would have caused potential viewers!
 Oh but how things have changed. Gory films like this are common place and we hardly raise an eyebrow when they come along. This puts the perspective on the Demons films. In their day they were the cutting edge of horror and gore, and whilst dated, are still great horrors and 'must' viewing for anyone with even a remote interest in the genre. Of all the horrors I watched as a teen these are the two ( besides The Evil Dead ) that made any real impact. I still think of certain scenes from them over any other horror from that time. To me this shows the enduring greatness of them both.
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  1. Glad that you checked these out, Brent. I had a lot of fun when I revisted the original on DVD recently. Demons 2 was actually the first (or second, I cannot remember) Italian horror film that I saw in the theatre. I haven't seen the sequel in quite a while. I guess I should give it a spin soon.

    I've been enjoying your writing, Brent, and I hope all is well. Great stuff here lately.

  2. These two movies are great, and the first one might just be my favorite Italian horror film- even before greats like Dario Argento's Suspiria, or Fulci's films. It's so gruesome and fun, and has some silly moments, but somehow they seem to fit. Glad you enjoyed revisiting them!

  3. I did enjoy revisiting them! They may be silly but somehow horror can get away with it and is a part of making it a stand alone genre.