Demons (1985)

DVD Cover (Anchor Bay Reissue)
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Overall Rating 63%
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Ranked #2,833
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Connections: Dèmoni

Several people are invited to join the opening of a new movie theatre. As the horror film shown to the guests gets more and more violent, the people start to transform one by one into bloodthirsty demons. The remaining guests begin the desperate battle for their lives. --IMDb
Review by bluemeanie
Added: April 24, 2007
As far as the horror genre goes, in my opinion, the Italians are truly the masters of the craft. Japanese horror would be nowhere without the influence of greats like Mario Bava and Dario Argento. These guys are responsible for some of the most shocking and controversial horror films ever, long before "The Ring" and "Audition" thought about scaring people. Lamberto Bava, son of Mario Bava, is also included on this list for his exceptionally scary and enormously fun horror film, "Demons", released in 1985.

Set inside a West Berlin movie theatre, "Demons" centers around a group of people trapped inside this movie theatre doing battle blood thirsty demons on the warpath. As they watch the film unfold on the screen, the film starts to take over the souls of the people watching. "Demons" takes the idea of the traditional horror film and really adds some creative sparks. It also turns the holy of holies...the movie theatre...into a nightmare, using every part of the movie theatre as a killing ground for the creatures. There is also the added twist of having the movie on the screen running at the same time as the movie we are watching, and it is nice to see how Bava intersects the two and keeps us guessing at the same time. The name Bava is just synonymous with horror.

All of that said, "Demons" is definitely a film for the 1980's. It features the same kind of blood and gore techniques that "The Evil Dead" made so popular when it was released. The budget is a bit larger than that of "Evil Dead", but the same ideas behind the gore are present. I remember watching this film when I was younger and being absolutely traumatized by what I was seeing. The same could be said for "The Evil Dead". However, I think "Demons" has held up far better over the years than "Evil Dead". I can watch "Demons" today and still be scared during certain sequences. "Evil Dead" has lost its ability to affectively scare me.

To truly appreciate horror, you have to discover the Italian masters, and I would include Lamberto Bava in that group alongside his father and Dario Argento. "Demons" is actually one of the finest from that sub-genre. It has more modern day horror than Argento's earlier work, and it has more entertainment value than Argento's newer work, and it takes what Mario Bava did and just amps it up a few notches. This is a film Mario Bava probably would have made when he got further along in his career, if it had not been taboo to do something like this back when he was in his prime. This might have been his film after "Black Sunday" -- who knows? "Demons" is one of the best horror films ever made; a truly frightening and entertaining, blood soaked experience. 10/10
grain of sand #1: grain of sand - added 04/24/2007, 04:40 PM
I'm so glad you reviewed this, I saw this when I was younger and have had it in the back of my mind ever since.
the gore is great and its a really fun movie, I plan on finding this.
Ginose #2: Ginose - added 05/02/2007, 11:09 PM
Wow. This movie always continues to blow my fuckin' mind. A classic that never EVER gets boring.
Tristan #3: Tristan - added 05/14/2007, 03:27 PM
I think Lamberto outdid his father, with this one. And after the two sequels (Third one being called The Church) I think it's safe to say he was a huge contribution to Italian horror. 10/10
Tristan #4: Tristan - added 05/14/2007, 03:30 PM
Sorry, it's The Ogre. The Church is something different.
My bad.
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 05/14/2007, 05:29 PM
Wow. I don't see how Lamberto Bava outdid his dad. Mario Bava is probably the most influential horror director ever, next only to Alfred Hitchcock. His style and methods are mimicked in almost every horror film you see today. "Demons" -- as amazing as it is -- is just not on the same level as "Bloody Sunday". I have watched both sequels -- loved the second film, but loathed the third one and really thought it should have ended with two. Lamberto Bava's career has also been pretty lacking, with the exception of the "Demons" films. Mario Bava's career was longer and far more influential and productive.
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #6: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added 07/11/2008, 08:12 AM
I feel like I'm in an alternate reality.... The acting, dubbing, sound, premise, story - all were horribly dreadful! The make-up effects are the only thing worth a positive mention in this movie, and they weren't even that fantastic.
Okay, so you must all obviously love it for its camp and cheese factor then. I guess it can certainly provide a lot of entertainment for trashing, but Christ, giving it a 10 still seems incredibly ludicrous for a proper rating in my eyes.
bluemeanie #7: bluemeanie - added 07/11/2008, 10:47 AM
This movie still has some insanely bad ass shots. It's like "Evil Dead" on acid. Yes, it's campy, but it's also a damned fine horror film.
Nirrad #8: Nirrad - added 08/05/2008, 07:17 PM
This movie was a fun ride. Great gore and some good sequences. I didn't think it was like "Evil Dead" on acid with it's camera work though. This is something I would have loved as a kid. Overall a fun movie. 8/10
Chad #9: Chad - added 08/17/2008, 01:53 AM
I suppose I'm in the same alternate reality as Jason / Sex Cyborg. I love horror and I love eighties cheese, but this? This was fucking wretched. Waste of time / 10.
bluemeanie #10: bluemeanie - added 08/18/2008, 03:28 PM
Yes...you are both evidently residents there. And what a sad and desolate place it is.
Shakes #11: Shakes - added 01/22/2009, 11:04 AM
Shakes #12: Shakes - added 01/23/2009, 06:42 AM
Fuck you because i love this movie. see i'm VERY passionate!
Lucid Dreams #13: Lucid Dreams - added 04/28/2009, 08:27 PM
This movie was decent, it had some really excellent gore scenes (guy with the eyes being torn out), but overall a little overrated. 6/10
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