Demonia (1990)

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Overall Rating 46%
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Ranked #4,719
...out of 8,606 movies
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Genres / Traits: Horror Supernatural Horror Nuns

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Brett Halsey
Brett Halsey
Meg Register
Meg Register
Lino Salemme
Lino Salemme
Christina Engelhardt
Christina Engelhardt
Pascal Druant
Pascal Druant
Review by Tristan
Added: May 19, 2007
Lucio Fulci. One of the "big names" in Italian horror and Giallo cinema. Bava and Argento did their thing, but for me, Fulci will always be number one. He is best known for his work in the zombie genre, Zombie and The Beyond being the key players. However, there is a lot more Fulci out there that most people don't know about, dating back to the late '50s and giving his career a mean span of 40+ years. But as most of his fans would agree, myself included, New York Ripper(1982) was his last film with any real substance.

Enter Demonia. It's 1990, and Fulci has finished two unsuccessful TV "shows" and a handful of films that only hardcore fans could love. This is his chance to pull himself out of an 8 year rut, and get back on track as the Fulci we all love. Will he succeed?

Our movie begins in 1486 Sicily, with a group of nuns getting crucified for what looks like some sort of devil worship, or at the very least, breaking a law against collecting bones. Not a bad way to start off any movie. We are quickly brought up to 1990 Toronto, in a seance scene almost identical to the one in City of the Living Dead. Here we are introduced to our leading lady, archaeologist Liza(Meg Register), who has a vision of the crucifixions, and then passes out. After she awakens, she travels to the same location in Sicily, and after a few interactions with the locals, using a camera that looks worse than '70s porn I might add, she gets some sort of lucky "vibe", breaks through a painting of a nun on a stone wall, and discovers the crucified nuns, some 514 years later.

This follows the horror movie formula to the T, where nobody believes her, but they won't even take 5 minutes to see if what she's saying is true. We're also given another kill scene where a local is dispatched by a nude, headless ghost which materializes in front of him, holding an all-too-real spear gun. Lost you yet? We are treated to a few more death scenes as Liza searches for some answers. She finds them in a crazy old cat lady, who just happens to know every detail. At this point, the movie begins to drag, and inexcusably so. Between the poor storyline, and the awful camera work, it's almost a chore to watch.

To avoid ruining the ending, I'm going to wrap it up, rather than give away the last 20 minutes or so. All I can say is that there was redeeming scene with a man being torn in half lengthwise, and it ended with maybe the WORST ending I've ever seen in a movie. I would have rather had my DVD skip and never end up seeing the whole film.

Remember earlier, when I asked would he succeed? Not only did he not succeed, he pretty much ruined everything good in his career by making this movie. I give it a 3/10 if you're a typical movie watcher, and a 4/10 if you're a fan of Fulci. Keep in mind, you'd have to be a pretty big fan to even want to see this.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 05/20/2007, 02:03 AM
THE BEST?! Fulci doesn't even deserve to shine Bava's shoes, or Agento's for that matter. He did maybe three good films over the course of his career and that was it. Bava and Argento have a much better resume. "Demonia" is one of Fulci's best. 8/10.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 05/21/2007, 11:03 PM
Three good films? And one of them is Demonia? That is the fucking stupidest thing I've ever heard. I love the man, but I'm not afraid to say Demonia was just plain awful. I could have made a better movie.
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 05/22/2007, 12:03 AM
Not if you appreciate the film for what it is -- crap. It is very much like previous Fulci films like "Gates of Hell". Most of the films the man did were more on par with "Demonia" than "Zombi". My comment was more of an insult to Fulci, not a compliment. Fulci was never able to capture the mainstream success of the fanbase of either Bava or Argento because his films were, for the most part, bad. "Zombi" is his most popular one and that is overrated. The best Fulci film to come out has been "The House By the Cemetary" from 1981 -- it was pretty damned good.
Tristan #4: Tristan - added 05/22/2007, 12:21 AM
I really don't agree with you at all on this one. Argento I can see you fighting for, but Bava really is nothing special. I'm not saying Fulci's a better film maker, in fact, a lot of his movies were pretty shoddy, but they've always appealed to me a lot more, and I'm always entertained by them. I'm always interested to see what kind of story he's going to tell, but with Argento and Bava, it's, well, sort of the same thing most times.
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 05/22/2007, 12:35 AM
Bava is nothing special? Are you referring to LAMBERTO or MARIO BAVA? I am referring to Mario. I have to jump on my high horse a little. Bava is one of three most influential horror directors in film history. When I think of five directors that have re-shaped horror: F.W. Murnau, Alfred Hitchcock, Mario Bava, Herschel Gordon Lewis, John Carpenter. Bava revolutionized the lengths to which a horror film could go. He tested boundaries with filmmakers that had never been tested before. He did things Hitchcock was too timid to do -- yeah, that's right -- that HITCHCOCK was too timid to do. He is personally responsible for the success of the Italian horror movement and he spearheaded the resurgence of German Expressionism in modern day film. He is a master.
bluemeanie #6: bluemeanie - added 05/22/2007, 12:43 AM
"Psycho" and "Black Sunday" were both released in 1960. Both films were new experiments in the horror genre -- something that had never been tried before on a mainstream level, and they were both masterpieces. Whereas Hitchcock utilized a more technical zeal to his film, making new strides in camerawork and in shock reality, Bava utilized his skill with German Expressionism and the use of violence as an artform...this was far before any other mainstream directors were taking something so vicious and so sinister and turning it into something so beautiful and so captivating. Hitchcock's was a fear you had to turn away from. Bava's was a fear you couldn't stop watching.
Tristan #7: Tristan - added 05/22/2007, 01:57 AM
I meant his son. I forgot there were two bloody Bavas. No, Mario is a very talented director. I'm not big on Lamberto. But still, I love Fulci to death.
bluemeanie #8: bluemeanie - added 05/22/2007, 09:38 AM
That makes sense. For you to be arguing that Mario Bava is 'nothing special', I assumed there must be a miscommunication.
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