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Demon Divas And The Lanes Of Damnation (2009)

DVD Cover (Wild Eye Releasing)
Genres:
Bowling, Horror, Horror Comedy, Supernatural Horror
Director:
Mike Watt Mike Watt
Starring:
Brinke Stevens Brinke Stevens
Debbie Rochon Debbie Rochon
Amy Lynn Best Amy Lynn Best
Lilith Stabs Lilith Stabs
Robyn Griggs Robyn Griggs

5.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: November 06, 2009
Mixing together one part "be careful what you wish for" dramedy and one part supernatural horror, Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation is an odd little movie from the fine folks over at Happy Cloud Pictures that could have went either way. Now, I must admit to being a fan of the company and the folks who run it, but seriously: a pack of female demons that run a bowling alley as a cover for their human-hunting escapades? That story arc mixed with a love triangle and the old-fashioned "popular kids pick on nerdy kids, nerdy kids get revenge" plot? It really could have been a flop. I'm happy to report that it wasn't, and in fact, it was a damned fine film that managed to do everything that the filmmakers set out to accomplish: it has laughs, it has babes, and it even has some great gore.

The storyline centers around five women - Morgan (Brinke Stevens), Natalie (Debbie Rochon), Crystal (Amy Lynn Best), Babs (Lilith Stabs), and Mandy (Robyn Griggs) - who own the local Coventry Lanes bowling alley. As you may have guessed by reading the opening paragraph, these aren't your typical ladies; no, they are ancient demons who use this alley as a sort of feeding ground, but the catch is that they're almost djinn in nature. These women will con their unsuspecting victims into making some sort of wish, give them whatever it is that they desire, and then... well, that's when the proverbial shit hits the fan.

This leads us to Lisa (Nikki McCrea) and Taffy (Sofiya Smirnova), a pair of nerdy girls who work as waitresses at this fine establishment. Lisa has the hots for Johnny (Aaron Bernard), the leader of the local frat house, while Taffy simply wants to become a member of a prestigious sorority. Unfortunately for both of them, there's Rochelle (Stephanie Bertoni). Rochelle has her eyes set firmly on Johnny, and she also happens to be the leader of the aforementioned sorority, so needless to say, those two gals are at odds with this snooty young lass and her popular friends. In fact, it's almost enough to make them wish that they could get the upper hand. Wait, did I say "wish"? Did I also mention that they work at a bowling alley run by demons who specialize in wishes? Oh, I think you can see where this is going, and when those sorority girls decide to throw a mixer at the bowling alley, all hell will break loose.

What I enjoy most about the offerings coming out of Happy Cloud Pictures is the way that they take tried and true ideas and make them fresh again. Take The Resurrection Game as an example: on the surface, it's nothing more than just another zombie movie, one that would snugly fit in with the dozen others that are released each and every week. However, once you dig into the movie, you realize that there is a lot more to it than what other filmmakers are doing, you realize that the storyline is just a little deeper, and you also find that the entire product is just that much more satisfying as a result. Demon Divas follows the same ideology: the general plot wouldn't seem out of place amongst the wave of supernatural horror flicks coming out of the eighties, but once you sit down and immerse yourself in the plot that Mike Watt has put together, you discover that this is a film that stands out from the pack.

Really, that is one of the best words that I could apply to the film: eighties. It feels like something that would have came out of that glorious decade, in that it's not one of those horror movies that tries to make a statement and it's not a movie that tries to be ultra-gritty and realistic. It's different from the fine releases of the eighties in that it's not satisfied with saying "Here's some blood, here's some tits, thanks for coming", but it's very similar in its attitude. It gives the audience what they came to see and has a good time while doing so, but again, the writing contained within proves that it doesn't aim to please only the lowest common denominator.

What really sold the film in my eyes was the cast. Now, I'm not going to go down the list, as there truly wasn't a bad performance to be found: I think most readers of this site know who the gals playing the demons are and have seen them before in other films, so you know what you're getting into with them. Suffice it to say that if you're a fan of any or all of the five ladies, then yes, they will give you something to cheer for. I do want to point out some of the names that you may not have heard of though, chief among them being Sofiya Smirnova and Nikki McCrea. I thought that both of those actresses did a damned fine job, and even though neither of them have reached the status of "scream queen" just yet, they more than held their own alongside the veterans. Sofiya Smirnova in particular is excellent as the naive-to-the-point-of-retardation heroine, and as I've said before, I simply love watching that woman work. Henrique Couto shows up in a minor role and is hilarious, and then there's Bill Homan as a "book club" member. Homan, to be blunt, steals the movie every time he shows up, and truth be told, I'd pay money to see this character get his own movie.

Is Demon Divas a film that will change your outlook on the horror genre? No, but it is a film that will damned sure be a hit in the eyes of any fan who appreciates a movie that can flawlessly blend together multiple genres while also presenting an entertaining night in front of the tube. As with most of the Happy Cloud Pictures catalog, this one deserves your cash. 10/10.
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benloveshorror #1: benloveshorror - added 08/08/2010, 04:13 PM
I wish someone would this out on DVD already. I really want to see it. It's got two of my favorite actresses in it (Debbie Rochon & Brinke Stevens) and it sounds like Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama or Nightmare Sisters. And we don't get many movies like that anymore.
Bill Wolford #2: Bill Wolford - added 10/18/2011, 06:04 AM
some good news about this.....a release date! Street Date: 10/25/11
Chad #3: Chad - added 10/18/2011, 10:14 AM
If you can't wait, you can buy it straight from the filmmakers at happycloudpictures.com - $10 + $2 shipping, and they usually throw in some goodies with your order.

Also, if you buy from them, you get the original case with a quote from me on the cover!
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