Night of the Demons
After an entertaining animated credits sequence, the film opens as Good Girl (who, strangely, flashes her butt to the camera) prepares for the high school Halloween Dance. Her boyfriend, Preppy Boy, calls her to say that they've been invited to a different party -- hosted by Goth Chick and held at an abandoned mortuary called Hull House. Although Good Girl is reticent at first, Preppy Boy convinces her that it will be the most authentic Halloween party around and they should give it a try. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
Once there, Good Girl and Preppy Boy learn all sorts of creepy things from Preppy Boy's friend, Exposition Guy, and his girlfriend, Asian Babe. The land upon which Hull House rests was considered evil land by the Native Americans in colonial times, and all sorts of awful things have happened there. Nevertheless, Exposition Guy thinks it's a great place to party and they all walk into the house for an evening of fun. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
Once the batteries die in Big Fat Party Animal's radio, the kids are left with nothing to do but hold seances all night or have sex. Since having sex would mean that someone would have to pair off with Big Fat Party Animal, they hold seances. Whoops, that was the wrong choice! Weird things start to happen, and Goth Chick offers her expert opinion that the house is possessed. Not haunted, mind you, but possessed, and we're treated to a long explanation of the difference. Suffice it to say that the demons worm their way into the bodies of selected party members and the horror begins.
Night of the Demons is typically pointless; no explanation is given for the actions of the demons. They exist only to menace the teenagers and to perform odd bodily functions while in possession of human bodies. (See Quigley's scene with a tube of lipstick for an example of what we mean -- and you thought Molly Ringwald was good in The Breakfast Club!) The kids exhibit the usual idiotic behavior, like sticking around to have sex after they first see evidence of a demon, and their insistence on having said sex results in their immediate destruction. It's the same old gauntlet of a movie: survive the monster assault until sunup, then cut to scrolling credits. It was done best in the Evil Dead films and repeated ad nauseum in such "classics" as Demons and Hell Night.
There are a few fun moments tossed in, mostly courtesy of Steve Johnson, the special makeup effects designer. His demons are pretty nasty looking and the gore can be bone-crunchingly realistic, but the real wizardry comes in the prosthetics during that aforementioned lipstick scene with Linnea Quigley (who would later become Mrs. Steve Johnson, if only temporarily). Horror connoisseurs should at least take some mild interest in the effects on display here.
There are no rewards for guessing that the teens who have sex will die, nor for figuring out how each seemingly unimportant detail will come into play later in the story. Let us just say that if you find the prediction of the plot's development to be a mental challenge, then Night of the Demons should prove extraordinarily entertaining.
Review date: 1/25/2000
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