June 7, 2016

Movie Review: Demons 2

In 1985 Dario Argento, coming off the release of his insect driven horror film Phenomena, teamed with Lamberto Bava (son of the great Mario Bava), coming off of Blastfighter, to create an absolute splatter classic. The movie was called Demons and it is an amazing, surreal, stream of consciousness gorefest that sees the events taking place in a horror movie crossover and start affecting the audience in the movie theater. It was a successful release a sequel was put into production and released just a year later. Demons 2 came out in 1986 and for a long time I thought it to be by far the inferior film. Things change.

Demons 2 picks up some years after the original film and is set in an apartment building populated with a variety of folks, all waiting around to become demon fodder (especially the group at a birthday party, close quarters and ripe for bloodletting). It purports that the events of the first film actually happened but humanity was able to figure out a way to defeat the demons, ultimately building a wall and trapping them inside, or something like that.

Now, I cannot say I like this better than the first, I don’t, but I can say that I have a newfound respect for it and I like it a lot more now than I ever did before. The movie is not afraid to be weird, it is not afraid to not make any sense, it is not afraid to exist on a gory and surreal level. It is what it is, it makes no apologies, and you can take it or leave it.

Early on characters are watching what appears to be a news/opinion program which is discussing the events of the first film and wonders if something similar could happen again. At this point, it transitions into more of a movie/documentary hybrid thing that follows an ill-advised group over the wall and into the supposed demon city. Of course, they run into trouble and find a live demon, this is where things begin to go awry. This is an early oddity for the movie, is this real, is it a movie, just what is this? It fills essentially the same role as the movie at the Metropol in the first film, just without the mask.

Before long, a demon crosses out of the television set and the people in the apartment building flip the switch into survival mode. There is plenty of blood, some great demon transformations, and a cast that is quickly whittled down. There is a lot of screaming and running, plus some absolutely great stuff in the apartment gym with a group of wannabe survivors led by the inimitable Bobby Rhodes, who also played the pimp in the first film.

With Demons 2, there really is not a lot to know. This is not a film that concerns itself with logic or explaining why things happen or how. This is what led me to really begin to enjoy this movie and think of it in a light much closer to its predecessor. It gets right down to business, letting the crazy flow freely, like opening up the tap and just letting the water run where it may.

Watching it now, I wonder why I didn’t like it so much in the past. It has all the right elements. It is not a movie to be taken seriously, it revels in its own absurdity. It lets the blood flow and never looks back. It is a movie that is just crazy, from the weightlifters trying to get out, to the demon baby, to, well, you name it and it is pretty crazy. Basically, if you are looking to be simply entertained by a horror film, this is a good choice. There is nothing wrong going with a little insanity to go with your blood. Press play and enjoy.


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