Saturday, October 6, 2012

Demons 2 (1986)

Every since I first saw it I never been a fan of Demons 2, but after watching it again on blu-ray I've partly changed my mind. Believe it or not. The first Demons is without a doubt a classic, made to make money fast because Argento went over budget on Phenomena. With a small budget and Mario's son Lamberto Bava doing the directing it became a surprise hit and the producers quickly demanded a sequel. The next year came Demons 2, more or less a virtual remake of the first movie but set in a high rise apartment complex instead of a theatre.

It's my party, and I'll turn into a demon if I want to
Eat you if I want to, eat you if I want to
You would scream too if it happened to you

Yeah, the birthday of Sally Day (Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni) really turned out to be a special one after she decided to leave the rooma for a moment and watch that silly horror sequel on the TV, because it literary scared her to death! Well, she became a demon first and spreading the demon-infection in the luxurious, super-secure, building she lives in comes first - then she can eat the cake! Soon most people in there is demons and a few survivors has to defend themselves with all means possible!

What Demons 2 really lacks is gore. Yeah, and that's kinda important in a sequel to one of the most outrageous, over-the-top and gory Italian horror films ever made. So even if Demons 2 is packed with special effects, all of them are non-gory and the deaths are either very lame or off-screen, it's hardly bloody at all. I have my suspicions how this could have happen:

1. The producers was so happy with the first movie that they wanted a similar movie that even more people would see and less distributors would have censorship-problems with in their own territories.
2. Lamberto Bava just doesn't like gore and graphic special effects - the latter is brought up by Sergio Stivaletti in one of the documentaries on the new BD and Bava states the former in an interview on the Delirium: Photo of Gioia DVD.

I personally think this is a damn pity, because with gore and splatter Demons 2 would have been a superior sequel in every way possible. Sure, the story lacks the extreme absurdness from the first movie - there's no unexpected helicopter for example and the dialogue is slightly less cheesy. But Demons 2 looks gorgeous in a completely different way, wonderful cinematography and a more confident direction by Bava. Here he seem to know what he wants with the movie - to scare people - and not just doing a showcase for the awesome special effects by Stivaletti.

The set-pieces is also a lot more cool, I even learned to like the Gremlins-rip off (or Trilogy of Terror maybe....) in all it's silliness and that demon-child (played by a small person, the same one as in Phenomena: Davide Marotta) and that sequences is actually quite creepy. I also love how the movie they're watching on TV is the sequel to the movie in the first Demons - which makes me wonder, was there a demon-infection in the first film or was it actually a the middle movie in a movie in a movie in a movie? Important questions!

Demons 2 is full-on cheese and it's still not better than Demons, but with the new BD that shows us who glorious this movie looks like it actually becomes a better movie at the same time.a 


Chris Hewson said...

Yeah, I agree, this isn' as good as Demons, but it's still fun.

My biggest issue with it was the people in the garage! 1, they were armed to the teeth with guns, bombs, and melee weapons, but were totally useless! They all died pretty much immediately, and 2, oh, 2-they're able to get the cars started, because they use them to try and block the way into the garage from the demons...Why, oh bloody WHY didn't they use the cars to mow all the demons down?! That would have worked wonders! The morons!

Ninja Dixon said...

I guess it's an anarcho-political statement about the capitalistic views on how to use vehicles such as cars. They could sell the cars more expensive without smearing demon-goo all over them ;)

Anonymous said...

"made to make money fast because Argento went over budget on Phenomena."


I didn´t know that...suppose the monkey was expensive.

"Lamberto Bava just doesn't like gore and graphic"

Mario Bavas son doesn´t like gore...???

Apple has fallen far from the tree.

"(played by a small person, the same one as in Phenomena: Davide Marotta)"

Are you going write something about Marotta...?

I would like that.

"Demons 2 is full-on cheese and it's still not better than Demons"

I haven´t seen neither....thanks for the tip ninja.