Demons (1985)

   
Directed by: Lamberto Bava

Written by: Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava & Franco Ferrini

Story by: Dardano Sacchetti

Starring:


Urbano Barberini .... George
Natasha Hovey .... Cheryl
Karl Zinny .... Ken
Paola Cozzo .... Kathy
Fiore Argento .... Hannah
Guido Baldi .... Tommy
Fabiola Toledo .... Carmen
Stelio Candelli .... Frank
Nicole Tessier .... Ruth
Bobby Rhodes .... Tony
Geretta Geretta .... Rosemary
Nicoletta Elmi .... Ingrid, the usherette

Release Dates: Theatrical: October 4, 1985 (Italy); May 30, 1986 (USA)

Rating:

 

A strange silent man in a silver mask sends complimentary tickets to locals for a movie premiere at a new movie theatre which is a horror film about demons.
All sorts arrive at the theatre including two prostitutes with their pimp. One of the prostitutes sees a mask as a display at the theatre and puts it on her face for fun. The mask cuts her face and she feels itchy the whole time in the theatre.
Also two girls go to see the movie as well but one of them hates horror films so two guys keeps them company.

Later on the prostitute doesn't feel well from her cut and goes to the girls washroom. In the film a person does the same thing with another mask and it cuts the actor and then he turns into a demon. This happens to the prostitute in the washroom.
When the other prosititute sees if her friend is okay she is attacked and then turns into a demon like her friend.

Then one by one people are slayed and turning into demons too.
The survivors try to escape the theatre but it is walled up and they are trapped not only that, no one is projecting the film as they all think that is what's causing the people turning into the demons as they destroy the movie projector.
They try to find any way to surivive this hellish nightmare.

 

The movie seems to start off nice and darklike with some credits and then a subway rolling by with passengers. Then when it comes to a stop one of the characters named Cheryl is walking out alone and someone is following her which seems a bit chilling and she senses she's in danger. This adds a nice suspense to a beginning of a horror flick. But a strange man in black wearing a shiny silver mask offers her a ticket to an opening of a movie theatre in which I thought seemed necessary and mysterious. Of course the terror can't happen right away leaving the surprising terror to happen much later on. I found this character in the mask almost a paying tribute to Phantom of the Opera. It boggled me to wonder who the hell this person is or if he's actually human or not.
I did like a scene with Cheryl and her friend Kathy walking to the theatre in which this seemed to be a nice fun touch to the flick with two friends trying to enjoy their night out as well as them not knowing the name of the movie in which it draws even more of a mystery since most complimentary tickets would announce what was playing. There's some good liners with Kathy saying that she hopes it's not a horror movie and being terrified of them and I was thinking that she's in for a nasty surprise.
When people are in the theatre it was neat seeing movie posters as well as posters on rock bands like AC/DC plus a cool motorbike for a display with a silver demon mask in which we have all types coming into the movie theatre along with an usher named Ingrid eyeing people while entering in which she comes across as someone incredibly mysterious and if she will be behind the madness to what the terror will become later on. Plus there's a Pimp named Tony and his hooker friends and one of the hookers named Rosemary goofs around with the silver mask and gets cut by it as this leaves an impression that something bad is going to happen to her later on by how this scene was very focused on this situation.
Then the movie starts which looks quite cheesy but yet this looked so enjoyable watching it as well as Kathy getting disappointed that it's a horror film after all in which anyone who's terrified of them would be in a terrible state of mind worried that they're gonna freak out. I loved her one liner telling Cheryl that if she has a heart attack it's all her fault and then Ken approaching her and acting charming towards her which seems to work well when a woman is scared of a horror film she can embrace with the man and he assures her it will be okay. This was well put in and one of my favourite moments in the film. It was quite uplifting.
There is the traditional scene when a girl named Hannah buries her head in her boyfriend Tommy chest too scared to watch when the scary moments happen. It looked fun to watch everyone's reactions while watching this supposed premiere.
While watching the screen the teens goof around with some of the stuff you're not supposed to as we all know in a horror film is a big no no as the terror will unleash itself. There's even a moment one of the actors on screen puts on the mask and has a scratch on his face in which we go back to Rosemary as her cut is getting worst. The suspense really piles up when she walks into a ladies washroom and then the terror unleashes when we see what happens to her cut.
Next Rosemarie's hooker friend goes into the washroom to see if she's okay and her head is turned which seems to be a common thing in a horror movie like this one as you expect that this woman isn't the same anymore when she shows her face again.
As the movie rolls along people witness an incident and it's based right on what's happening on the screen in which everyone tries to escape but everything is walled up as this is an unsolved mystery as to how this all of a sudden happened. Was it evil magic??? It seems to look clever as this movie theatre is evil and will let no one out. Then everyone goes to the film projection room hoping to find someone there which seems to be a surprise making me wonder as to what will be found and no one is in there with the movie playing automatically. I was definetely thinking that the theatre had a life of it's own.
The hookers pimp Tony seems to be heroic this time trying to help everyone survive the people now turning into demonic zombie's as this looked very entertaining as well as making him very likeable now instead of being sleazy and rebellious.
There's another neat moment with Kathy acting out of it rolling her eyes in which this leaves a suspenseful impression that she is about to turn especially when she turns her head a couple times. You feel bad for her since she was one of the nice girls and innocent one's too who hated horror films but now it's happening to her or we may all think. A great special effects happens is when a green type of demon bursts out of a person's back which seems to be a nice moment in the film blowing your mind.
There's another spooky moment with the couple Hannah and Tommy climbing through a vent and in another area some demonic hands are crawling through too which can give people nightmares when watching this as things are too quiet and you know that these two are in danger. Yes indeed this scene was pretty scary.

The lead character George really knew how to act heroic by driving a motorbike killing these demonic zombie's which was another nice pointer to watch showing marvellous stunt driving.
What's more entertaining is some punks who hotwired a car is parked near the theatre and the head one named the ripper acts obnxious demanding the rest to pick up some spilled cocaine in which I was thinking that this seems peaceful outside compared to what's happening in the theatre. There's even some comedy added in the film with some police officers trying to stop these punks but are doing a lousy job with how they're trying to deal with all of this. Then the theatre door opens for these punks thinking that this is another mystery as to who opened this door. Maybe the theatre itself???? The police find someone lying in an alley and then BANG! This person is not what you think at all. A good pointer with the writing put into this.
More unsolved mysteries occur like a helicopter crashing in the theatre and the driver dead. I could never figure out as to why this had happened.
Then we see the guy in the silver mask when a couple of the survivors try to escape and trying to kill these survivors. I never understood whether this character was human or not and doesn't explain as to where he came from. So there's many unsolved mysteries in this film. But that's what makes it so much fun at the same time.
The near ending is the best but I won't give that away begging for a sequel in which a year later one did arise.
Bottom line is when I looked at the video box and read about the film and to find out the music groups that was used in the film I was expecting it to be an interesting 80's horror flick and I was right.
At first I thought the flick was just average as it just mainly took place in the movie theatre which can be a bore but I watched it again.
Yes, there were some boring topics but otherwise it was fantastic although some of you may disagree with me as this film is a cult classic which means half hate it but half love it for it's certain appeal like with other flicks such as Last House on the Left, Phantasm, Evil Dead and Sleepaway Camp.
I loved the film of what was happening and suddenly it was happening to the viewers in the theatre.
This film was almost like an Italian version of George A. Romero's zombie flicks but I enjoyed this one far more better.

The acting was overdubbed with certain people and voiced by American actors but yet it seemed not too bad. Lead actor Urbano Barberini (George) had that clean cut guy next door appeal in which he seemed like a nice choice to portray this type of role for a film like this one. He shows alot of dynamic energy onto the screen too whenever he is struggling against the terror in the theatre letting out a ton of great energy and not lacking any of this. Shows a great amount of aggression while going in for the kill on a motorbike. He seemed like a fine character actor.
Natasha Hovey (Cheryl) had that perfect innocence to her in which she was perfect for the looks on this. It is hard to tell if her voice was overdubbed or not but she seemed to have that nice type of appeal to whenever she perfroms acting very clever in her role. She shows some good energy running up towards someone asking for another ticket in which she shows good energy while asking. Shows a nice speech on explaning with what is happening in the theatre which seemed nice and strongly clear showing good characteristics. She seems to come across nicely onto the camera and can be well remembered in her performance to anyone who has seen this film and I could see her getting work in other shows.
Karl Zinny (Ken) brings a nice charming type of attitude just being your everyday friendly guy who likes to have a good time in which he seemed to know on how to be like this character. He also has a great terrifying anxious attitude too when the terror starts letting out a ton of great anxiety. Does a great job freaking out and acting paranoid towards his onscreen friends as well as good blocking moments on him running away. He was another great character actor whom would be fondly remembered too.
Paola Cozzo (Kathy) looked beautiful and healthy looking in her role. SHe shows off a nice sensitive appeal to her role as someone who gets scared easily but tries to be calm about everything. There's a good disappointed reaction on her while watching a movie as well as her responses. She really draws to her role and shows nice expressions to different topics in the story in which you can tell that she worked hard and earned good credit to what she did in it. Does a terrific job by acting expressinless and acting out of it during the near end of her performance as she made those moments look memorable in her performance for anyone who saw this film.
Fiore Argento (Hannah) was a bit over the top at times with her fearful attitude while watching the horror movie but again it sounded like that her voice was overdubbed. She seems to show some good energy with her role in other spots and seemed to draw attention onto the screen too. Seems to show some nice fearful energy hiding her head into the shoulder of someone. So she deserves credit for her supporting role.
Bobby Rhodes (Tony the Pimp) stood out the most with the supporting cast members although his voice was overdubbed by an American actor. Yet he seemed to have a nice masculine look to himself making his role look perfect along with his sleazy and charming type of bubbly attitude too. He really shows off alot of anxiety and power when the terror happens and really gets into what he does.
He really brought out alot of aggressive energy on trying to survive and talking to the others in which he really brought alot of great energy.
Geretta Geretta
(Rosemary) certainly knew her craft to portray a hooker in the theatre with her nice sarcastic actions and rebellious attitude really showing alot of spunk in her role. She shows alot of nice energy into what she did. When she was goofing by putting on a demonic mask she seems to act natural with what she's doing as well as reacting to a cut on her face. A nice sarcastic reaction on her when she is forced to put out a cigarette and giggling as she seemed like a natural rebellious type while behaving like this. Does well by reacting to her scratch on her face as well as her fearful reactions in terror while in the washroom finding out on what is happening to her. Plus she also really got into the horror mode when she changed into a demon acting believeably scary and deadly with her attacking others. She was a good character actress and became a cult icon due to her role in this film.
Nicoletta Elmi
(Ingrid, the usherette) really drew attention to the film as an employee at the theatre with her beautiful sharp looks and had a goos hissing type of speaking in which you wonder if she is behind the madness going on in the theatre or not. Plus she had a good no nonsense serioussness to her characteristics too.

An actress who plays a juvenile delinquent which is played by Italian actress Enrica Maria Scrivano almost shows her full breasts when there is cocaine on it and someone is scraping it off.

Oh yeah, the gore piles on almost as gruesome as an Evil Dead flick.
We have some people transforming into demons and boy it isn't pretty.
Lots of puss and bubbles yuck!!!!
That isn't all.... the demons rip peoples throats out.
Nasty eye gouging.
Hair is torn off a persons scalp revealing insides.
Lots of blood splattering.
Demons fingers stabs through a blind man's eyes.
A green demon tears out of a woman's back.
A ripped cranium.
A helicopter propeller slices a demon and more.
If it's gore you want then rent this one.

The music composed by Claudio Simonetti is great for the film in which there's good low rumbling and deep bonging sounds especially for the silent creepy moments. There's also the odd cheesy synthesizer violin suspenseful sounds used alot of times for the real adventerous moments but yet some of it sounded typically stale and didn't really flow well at all. But there's also the odd heartbeat sounds as this sounded pretty cool with some drumbeats too along with nice rumbling sounds too.

The soundtrack was superbly done in which there's a dance type track by Simonetti with their song "Demon" in which we hear some hissing sounds and clattering effects with spooky keyboard playing too.
A song supposedly used in the film was Rick Springfield's "Walking on the Edge" but apparently only the first bit was played and I think it was combined with the "Demon" track. The beginning is creepy synthesizer music so it works with a creepy voice effect too.
We also have a balls to the wall soundtrack with 80's hair metal groups.
When the audience is watching the movie we hear Motley Crue's tune "Save Our Souls" from their Theatre of Pain album but the song never made it to become a hit but still a great tune. There's good vocalising along with creepy back up vocals sounding totally horror like along with great heavy guitar riffs and drumbweats. The song was incredibly useful for all of this and no other song could've been any better.
Then a real wild insane vocalising on a band known as Pretty Maids with their song "Night Danger" with great pounding guitar playing which was used for a scene when the people in the theatre are trying to break through the doors and walls in order to escape which works perfectly well for all of this and can be easily remembered while listening to this when this moment happens. The song is very hard fast and heavy.
We also have a number by Billy Idol which is none other than "White Wedding" which was played in the car the punks stole while they were outside of the movie theatre and scraping up some cocaine that they spilt in the car. The lyrics of course were pretty creepy and how he sang them so I can see why they used this track.
A scene where George acts heroic riding a motorbike through the theatre a song by Accept titled "Fast as a Shark" is performed in which there's heavy drumbeats and fast loud thumping guitar riffs with the vocalist sounding insane which seemed to go with the beat to this plotline.
Then close to the end when George and Cheryl are trying to run away from the madness in their town there's Saxon with their heavy duty track "Everybody Up" as there's terrific guitar sliding as this really fits into the moments when they're running away and going on an adventure.

Frank: WHORES!... you can tell them a mile away.
Ruth: What do you care?

Kathy: If I have a heart attack it's all your fault!

Rosemarie: Ow, shit, I scratched myself
Tony the Pimp: That will teach you to touch things.

Tony the Pimp: What the hell happened to Rosemary?

Tony the Pimp: She's right, she put on that mask and scratched herself, get it? Because of that scratch she became an instrument of evil, you heard it, we got to stop it I tell you, we got to stop the movie.

Tony the Pimp: Come on grab her legs and help me throw her over the stall! Come on what you waiting for?
George: I WON'T GIVE YOU A HAND CHRIST SHE'S DEAD... LEAVE HER ALONE!
Tony the Pimp: YOU AINT WORTH SHIT!

Tony the Pimp: They won't get me, that's for sure.

Nina: Hey hot dog, next time let's rip off a Ferrari, this heap's got no class.
Hot Dog: Just like you airhead, been putting out for too long.
Nina: Asshole!

Nina: [showing Ripper a photo] This was me, I was only one year old.
Ripper: Already selling your twat, eh?
Nina: FUCK YOU!

[surrounded by demons in the theater]
Baby Pig: Shit! What the hell are these things?
Hot Dog: I dunno, Baby Pig. Why don't you ask them?
Ripper: Hey, I'm not wasting any more time fighting these shit-heads. See you guys in hell!