Night Of The Demons
Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by Adam Gierasch
Starring Edward Furlong, Shannon Elizabeth, Monica Keena, John F. Beach, Diora Baird, Michael Copon
Release date: October 19, 2010
While today’s horror filmmakers are either curbing the curse words for PG-13 teen-friendly flicks or increasing the realism for torture porn, Adam Gierasch brings us a fun, but spooky tale perfect for Halloween with his remake Night Of The Demons. This remake invokes the spirit of its predecessor — the 1988 Kevin Tenney film of the same name — by employing lots of blood and gore created mostly through practical effects. The two tales are similar in that party-goers unwittingly unleash a horde of demons on Halloween night, but the original film takes place in a mortuary where a séance releases the demons. Gierasch’s version brings the Halloween party to modern-day New Orleans to a mansion with a mysterious past.
It’s Halloween night and Angela Feld (Shannon Elizabeth) is planning the biggest party in town at the Broussard Mansion, a long-unoccupied New Orleans manse whose previous occupants went missing 85 years prior on the same night its owner, Evangeline Broussard, killed herself by hanging. In an effort to make some cash, Angela lures the paying party-goers to the mansion using its spooky history as bait.
Angela’s plan works perfectly, as the party heats up with tons of liquor, girl-on-girl action, and good debaucherous fun; that is, until the cops come and bust it up. After most of the guests leave, Angela and her friends realize that they’ve somehow become locked in the mansion with no way to escape or call for help. As they explore the creepy haunt, they unwittingly release its demon occupants. Now, they must uncover the secret of the mansion in order to defeat the demons and make it out alive.
Along with all of the aforementioned blood and gore, there’s a plethora of demon possessions, along with boobies and of course sex — this time, of the backdoor nature, if you know what I mean. I know, those crazy demons! Speaking of the demons, yes, they’re quite horny, but also peculiar. In one scene, Diora Baird‘s character Lily, while possessed, bares her breasts and sticks a tube of lipstick into her nipple — I’ll leave it up to you to figure what orifice she retrieved it from.
The lipstick scene is a throwback to the 1988 film, but with a twist, though it’s not the only nod to its predecessor. Linnea Quigley, who played Suzanne in the original movie, has a cameo where she somewhat reenacts a scene from the original involving her panties. But for the most part, Gierasch, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jace Anderson, owns this revised tale. Its heroine Maddie, played by Monica Keena, is someone you can root for — she’s smart, practical, and when necessary totally kick-ass. (Horror fans will remember Keena from her lead role in 2003’s Freddy Vs. Jason.)
Along with Monica Keena and Shannon Elizabeth, there’s another familiar face in the main cast — probably the most familiar face: Edward Furlong, who we all know as the young John Connor in Terminator 2. When I first started watching the movie I didn’t realize Furlong was in it, so it took me a little out of the story when he appeared as a seedy-looking drug dealer who crashes the Halloween party. But once I got used to him, I enjoyed his performance, which was sprinkled with comic-relief one-liners (we learn in the audio commentary that a lot of that was Furlong ad-libbing).
There’s also a scene set to Type O Negative’s “Black No. 1” (how very appropriate) where two girls kiss while dancing around in the air, that starts out artistically beautiful, but doesn’t end very well for one of them. Not only does the scene look great and spolights the film’s creature effects, it also shows how spot-on Gierasch was in picking the various songs for the film (matter of fact, I’m thinking the soundtrack would be worth a purchase). The only issue I had with the scene is how silly the “gore” looks (I don’t want to give it away) when one of the girls, shall we say, loses something. But, I’d rather see that than CGI (digital effects were mostly used for enhancements).
Night Of The Demons might not be the most original of films, but it is highly entertaining. The movie opens up with a sepia, silent-film sequence that takes place in the 1920s at the Broussard Mansion where we get a glimpse of what happened that fateful night when Evangeline killed herself. It’s a clever opening, and was so eerie itself that I’d love to see the rest of that tale, and enjoyed it when the film flashed back a few times to the 1920s. Once the movie takes off in modern-day New Orleans on Halloween night, you’re immediately engulfed in that atmosphere, as a gothic-punk rock soundtrack accents the mood. It’s playful at first and seemingly too safe, as we see little children happily trick-or-treating and revelers out in the streets, which only makes it worse once we get to the mansion and the demons appear. This version of Night Of The Demons has a similar look and tone to last year’s Trick R Treat, which has become one of my favorite horror films; watching these two movies back-to-back would make a great Halloween viewing.
Both the DVD and Blu-ray come with the same set of special features. I would have loved to see the film in Blu-ray, but I was sent the DVD copy, which still looked great.
— Audio commentary from Monica Keena, Bobbi Sue Luther, John F. Beach, writer/director Adam Gierasch, and writer Jace Anderson
This was feature-length audio commentary with the director, writer, and some of the cast. As happens with other commentaries that include the actors, this one is sullied by star Monica Keena, who constantly interrupts the filmmakers when they’re trying to explain their filming methods or ideas behind the story. This would have been great if it was just the director and the writer, who attempted to give the technical details of scenes and behind-the-scenes tidbits. Keena kept talking about herself and Edward Furlong and Bobbi Sue Luther’s boobs (she’s a Carmen Electra-looking well-endowed beauty), or would try to make sexual jokes. If you can get past all the interruptions, Gierasch and Anderson are worth listening to (the other two actors don’t speak all that often, but when they do, it’s at least relevant).
— Behind the Bloodbath: A Look Inside Night Of The Demons [18:21]
A featurette that’s a behind-the-scenes look at the film, with on-set interviews from stars Monica Keena, Edward Furlong, Shannon Elizabeth, John F. Beach, Diora Baird, Bobbi Sue Luther, Michael Copon; writer/director Adam Gierasch; and producer Greg McKay. Not really all that interesting, except for the parts with Gierasch and McKay; the rest is the cast saying how much they loved working on the film and with their co-stars, and all of them talk about what the movie is about. Definitely not enough behind-the-scenes clips.
— Intro from Comic-Con [1:07]
A very quick clip of co-writer/director Adam Gierasch and co-writer Jace Anderson on the floor at Comic-Con (I’m assuming San Diego Comic-Con). They talk a little bit about the film, and their thoughts on the story.
The DVD immediately begins with trailers for other Entertainment One films, one of which is Sucked, a horror film which stars the likes of Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop. Typically I skip over these types of DVD openers, but since I wasn’t that familiar with Entertainment One’s films, I let it run. I’m glad I did, because I plan to check out some of these films now, especially Sucked (being the hard rock/heavy metal fan I am — I saw even Alex Lifeson from Rush is it — this makes it a must-have for me).
There’s also a red-band trailer for Night Of The Demons [1:22] within the Special Features area of the disc that I’d say gives away a lot of the film, and showcases some of the best scenes in the movie. Therefore, I’d recommend skipping over this trailer and save it for after you’ve seen the whole film.