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Demon Wind (1990)

Blu-Ray Cover (Vinegar Syndrome)
Genres:
Horror, Supernatural Horror
Director:
Charles Philip Moore Charles Philip Moore
Starring:
Eric Larson Eric Larson
Francine Lapensée Francine Lapensée
Rufus Norris Rufus Norris
Jack Vogel Jack Vogel
Stephen Quadros Stephen Quadros

5.9 / 10 - 3 votes

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The strange and brutal deaths of Cory’s grandparents has haunted him for years. Determined to discover the truth, he has returned to the desolate region where they lived, along with a group of friends, to try and uncover the mystery. Ignoring warnings from the locals that the area is cursed, Cory and his friends soon realize that the legend is true, as the Demon Wind, possesses and destroys them, one by one, turning them into monsters from hell. --TMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: June 30, 2005
In this early nineties horror film (though I'd swear it looks to be mid-eighties), we find that our hero Cory (Eric Larson) and his girlfriend Elaine (Francine Lapensée) are headed out to his grandfather's farm in order to find out what happened to his family. You see, his grandparents both mysteriously vanished one Sunday while the rest of the town was attending church, and his father killed himself soon after Cory met him. Therefore, Cory believes that there is some sort of curse on this land, and he intends to find out what exactly is going on. He's not alone, however... he brings along a small army of friends. There's Chuck (Stephen Quadros), who is both a magician and karate expert, Stacy (Jack Forcinito), another magician who hangs around with Chuck, Jack (Mark David Fritsche), your typical nerd, Bonnie (Sherry Leigh), the nerd's girlfriend, Dell (Bobby Johnston), the typical jock, Terri (Lynn Clark), the jock's girlfriend, and finally, there's the required demon fodder of the film in Willy (Richard Gabai) and Reena (Mia M. Ruiz).

This assortment of eighties-teens head out to the farm, but before arriving, they stop at a gas station to ask for directions. Your typical superstitious old man under the name of Harcourt (Rufus Norris) appears, and warns the kids of the dangers that await out on that land. We wouldn't have a movie if they took his advice and went home, so of course, they laugh his warning off and head onwards. Upon arriving at what remains of the house, they notice two things; one being that the house appears to have gone through a pretty major explosion, as nothing remains short of the structure and a wall or two. The second thing they notice is a cross in the front yard with a human skeleton attached to it. This isn't enough to scare our band of travelers off, so they trek onwards into what remains of the house. What happens there is enough to scare them off. They leave small dust-clouds in their speedy run back to the cars (which it took three of to get everyone out here), only to find that none of them will start. It's decided that they will walk back to the gas station, to they start walking and manage to get a few miles away... but that idea is nixed as well when a heavy fog rolls in. When the fog passes, they find themselves right back at the farm. All of this is nothing compared to what's to come when night rolls around, however.

This movie is very similar to another supernatural-events-in-the-middle-of-nowhere film, one which you may have heard of. It's this little known flick called Evil Dead. While there's enough original ideas and events to keep this from being a total rip-off, you can tell that writer and director Charles Philip Moore took more than a small amount of inspiration from Raimi's 1983 horror masterpiece. On the one hand, this does work out nicely... after all, if you're going to rip off a movie, going after one of the horror classics is always a good start. Moore also has a good eye for what works and what doesn't, and in turn, makes a movie that would most likely be highly enjoyable to fans of Ashley's first on-screen appearance. On the other hand, however, it tends to hurt the movie a bit due to... well, it's a lot like Evil Dead. If you've seen Evil Dead (and who hasn't), you'll see a lot of the twists and scares coming long before they pop up.

Another thing that this movie does have going for it is the over-the-top visuals and effects. There's a lot of stuff here that you just don't see in today's horror, such as a woman dying at the hands of a ten-foot long tongue which emerges from the skull of a bull. There's plenty of bizarre imagery such as this as the movie rolls along, but things get completely wacky towards the end of the movie when <Spoilers>Satan's son appears, Cory turns into some sort of mutant kung-fu superhero, and the two wage war with one another. </Spoilers> All of this looks surprisingly good for what appears to be a pretty low-budget horror film, with the exception of one thing: the lasers. Yes, the laser effect is used over and over throughout the running time, with lasers shooting from a skull into Cory's head (giving him some insight as to what's going on), lasers shooting from the main demon's hands, lasers shooting from a book, and... well, I think you get the point. These cartoonish effects look absolutely horrible, and really, they added nothing to the movie (even if they had looked good). Why they were included is beyond me, but they were and they do a good job at lowering the entertainment value of some scenes.

Overall, the movie is a great horror film with a few originality problems and a few effects blemishes. With those two things aside, this is really worth a check-out if you can find a copy. You'll need a region-free player though, unless you can find one of those ultra-cool hologram-covered VHS copies. Either way would be well worth it though, especially for fans of Evil Dead. 8/10, and that score would have been higher had Evil Dead not come out seven years prior.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 07/13/2005, 07:05 PM
I have owned this film for a long time, but did not get around to seeing it until about a year ago. This was a far better horror film than I expected, and is one of the better filmed horror pictures from the 1980's -- creative and nice to watch. It did come out around the same time as "Evil Dead", which I am sure hurt its chances at mainstream success, but it has survived on video, and one day DVD.
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