Demons 2

Saturday, March 8th, 2008 @ 4:11 am | DVD

Demons 2
Tagline: A film by Lamberto Bava
Released: 1986
Starring David Knight, Nancy Brilli, Coralina Cataldi Tassoni, and Bobby Rhodes
Directed by Lamberto Bava
Written by Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava

Format: DVD
Distributed by Anchor Bay
DVD Release Date: September 25, 2007

Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation
Dolby Surround 5.1, Dolby Surround 2.0
Audio Commentary with Director Lamberto Bava, Mechanical and Transformation artist Sergio Stivaletti, and journalist Loris Curci

Premise: One year after Demons tore its way through the world’s gore-loving hearts, Italian horror maestros Dario Argento and Lambero Bava returned once again, unleashing a flood of demonic carnage upon the screen. This time, the residents of a luxury high-rise apartment building are transformed into monsters for a gut-spattered siege, complete with acid blood, cannibal kids, zombie dogs, and a birthday party gone horribly wrong. Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni (Argento’s Opera), Bobby Rhodes (Demons) and Asia Argento (in her first film role) star in this insane shock from “The Golden Age of ‘80s Italian Splatter,” now fully remastered.

Plot Breakdown (spoilers): On the night of her birthday party, Sally is watching a horror film on TV about a group of explorers going into the walled-off forbidden zone, where the demons invaded in the first film. The explorers’ curiosity resurrects one of the demons, who then comes out of Sally’s TV to spread its own brand of demonic misery in her high-rise apartment building. Now, the residents in the building must fight for their survival against a swelling wave of blood-thirsty demons.

Demons 2

The Good: Hot on the heels of its predecessor, Demons 2 came around only a year later to take the absurdity of the first film to an all-new level. The plot and concept is pretty similar to the first installment, involving groups of people trying to escape a building infested with murderous demons. However, there are enough new twists to make this movie an entertaining sequel.

Just like the first film, Demons 2 delivers some gruesome makeup and special effects work. Though not as gory as the first, there are plenty of moments that will make one’s stomach turn, such as the gruesome demon transformation scenes, especially in the case of the aforementioned demon dog. The film also delivers some surprisingly suspenseful moments as well, including one scene in particular that is reminiscent of The Ring and Videodrome.

As an added bonus, Demons 2 is filled with unintentional–and possibly intentional–comedy. Whether or not this is a good aspect of the movie is really a matter of taste. One of the most hilarious, yet awesome, scenes is one in which a group of bodybuilders fend off an invasion of demons in a parking garage. Some of the characters in this movie are so hilariously dumb that it amazes me that they have the brain power to walk and breathe at the same time. For example, a man and his pregnant wife are in a stairwell, when the man declares that he has a plan on how to deal with the demons. His wife implores him not to leave her alone, and he promises her that he won’t–before running down the stairs and leaving her alone in the stairwell. Add on top of this, some poor dubbing and awkward dialogue, and you have the trappings of an entertaining “good-bad” film, for those who are into them.

The DVD is pretty scant on features, but it does provide a nice commentary track featuring Lamberto Bava, Sergio Stivaletti, and Loris Curci. Bava’s language barrier might be a little hard for some people to get past, but fans can still expect to learn some nice information on the creation of the film, including the special effects and plot. This Anchor Bay edition of the DVD is the unrated version, with a few additional minutes of footage, so those looking for the complete experience will want to go for this edition.

The Bad: As mentioned before, the dubbing and acting in this movie is very spotty. While there is some unintentional hilarity to be found in it, it is still distracting and can detract from the mood of the film. Voice actors will pause occasionally mid-sentence, as if they briefly forgot their lines. There is also the typical annoying voice acting for the children, which is so common in dubbed European films.

The plot in this film is a tad nonsensical, and does little to explain how the demons managed to get into our world again – this time through a television screen. The first film at least provided a reasonable explanation as to how the demons came into our world through a movie screen. I guess we’re supposed to believe that the program Sally was watching on TV before the outbreak was supposed to cause this whole mess, but was that a movie or a filmed documentary where those fools actually awakened the demons?

As mentioned previously, the DVD lacks a good assortment of features. The commentary is nice, but aside from that there is not much else.

Final Thoughts: It would almost be unfair to say that this movie is just plain bad. Granted, in a lot of ways the movie is pretty poor, whether it be the miserable acting or disjointed plot. Honestly though, how serious can you take a film that includes a scene with a bunch of bodybuilders trying to break down a metal barrier with everything from barbells to potted plants? If you can get past the film’s blemishes, there is actually a pretty suspenseful and gory film to be enjoyed… and if you enjoy “good-bad” films, then that’s just another reason for you to check this movie out.
Grade: C+ (film) | D (DVD Release)

– by contributing reviewer Chris Neville



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