Splatter Time Fun Fest 2014: Dèmoni (Demons, 1985)


I always knew the movies could turn you into a bloodthirsty neanderthal!

Screenplay By: Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava, Franco Ferrini, & Dardano Sacchetti
Directed By: Lamberto Bava

Flat out fun, that’s the best way I can think of to describe Dèmoni. I know there are some who aren’t fans of fun as a critical analysis, but if the shoe fits I say. In this case the shoe most definitely fits, because as a traditional film Dèmoni has very little going for it. There’s no characterization, a storyline that makes no sense, and moments that happen for no other reason than being cool. That’s okay though, because Dèmoni is a film entrenched in being cool and having fun. A helicopter falls through the ceiling of a movie theater, and it doesn’t make any sense as to why it fell or how it left such a small hole in the ceiling. But, that helicopter fell and it was damn cool when it fell and it added to the fun of the film as whole.

When the shit really hits the fan in Dèmoni there’s a scene where the remaining characters are all a fuss in front of the now gone doors to the theater. The character of George completely wigs out and has what could best be described as a manic breakdown. Later on the same, now smaller, group of characters think they’ve found a way out only to be confronted by a dead end. In that scene every women in the room freaks the hell out and enters a state of hysteria. There’s no real reason for their hysteria or George’s earlier freak out, but they happen and that’s a great thing. Lamberto Bava is willing to go with the crazy in Dèmoni. He’s willing to have a room full of screaming women right after he had one of the men completely lose his shit. Dèmoni goes for it in every scene and every moment and that is a shining quality that enhances the film untold amounts.

The practical effects are another aspect that enhances Dèmoni. Ooze, goo, slime, and blood run rampant throughout Dèmoni. Sometimes the gore is simple, other times such as when a demon vomits his entire stomach contents all over a girl the gore is gag inducing. But, it’s always terrifically done. Rosario Prestopino is like a magician in his ability to get the most out of rubber heads and bloody syrup. I didn’t have to stop and think about how stupid something looked during Dèmoni. Instead I was consistently impressed with the technical craft on display in the make up and practical effects department.

Dèmoni does take some very feint jabs at the idea of the horror film as being socially responsible for abhorrent behavior. On a different day I’m sure I could have gotten more out of that aspect of the film. Today was not that day, today was all about the fun I had with the craziness of Signore Bava’s film. I’m a big fan of horror movies that create a crazy fun atmosphere and don’t bother making much sense of anything. I’m happy to report that Dèmoni is such a film, and the first film from Signore Bava that I can come away from with happy bubbly thoughts. Dèmoni is a wild ride, the sort of fun ride that horror fans should want to be a part of and to cherish.




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