Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Night of the Demon (1980)

Together with Ryan Schifrin's Abominable, Night of the Demon could be the best Bigfoot movie (or Sasquatch Schamsquatch) ever made. No kidding, it's a promise. I'm not sure you would agree with him, but remember that a Bigfoot movie must be entertaining and not even close to pretending to be some crappy, overrated wannabe-nature show with someone filming firs for ninety minutes. Night of the Demon is good old exploitation, close to be a slasher - but with a grotesque monkey-man instead of masked serial killer.

The story is as simple as my mother's taste in men (she likes them bald with a beard): a team of students go out in the forest to examine a Bigfoot-sighting, and during the way they are telling stories about the attacks - who show in graphic details - and then finally meets a satanic sect and the monster itself in the end. It's very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very simple writing, but believe it or not, it's competent made and with some interesting visual solutions.

First of the all, the title sequence is awesome in it's simplicity: if I ever make a creature feature myself I WILL steal the blood-runs-into-bigfoots-footstep, which both is a stroke of genius and a great mood-setter for the rest of the movie. Night of the Demon is a gritty, cheap and cheap (did I mention cheap?) movie, made just to show the gore, blood and shocks. It has tits, gore and blood - and a monster. What more to expect from a good movie?

Even if the story is very episodic it's also effective, and the constant flashbacks makes the movie fly by like a Catholic priest on his way to a Justin Bieber concert. Sure, some of the actors can't act themselves out of a wet paperbag - like the sheriff in the beginning and end of the movie - he looks like a scared rabbit in front of the camera, and some of the female talents probably never even thought the same morning that they would appear the in a movie. My favourite being the lady in the van who seem to go through all the screams in her meager acting-register.

The effects are very cheap and very bloody, so just don't expect any fancy schmancy Tom Savini-style effects. This is down and dirty, bottom-of-the-barrel effects which works very good and fits the movie perfectly. I love how the filmmakers focus on the effects and lets the camera linger on the prosthetics or pumping blood long as possible.

The DVD from Code Red is probably the best the movie ever looked, and I'm quite sure it will from no one be the best version ever released. Not perfect by any means, but people who actually complain about a movie like this not looking perfect has a special room in hell next to people whining about 3D movies and still paying to see them every time and those who actually claims "the only movies being made today are remakes".

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