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Demons, 1985

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“SMASH EVERYTHING! SMASH EVERYTHING! SMASH EVERYTHING!”

Director: Lamberto Bava
Writers: Dardano Sacchetti, Dario Argento
Stars: Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Karl Zinny

Demons is pure uncut Italian nonsense. Right down to the subplot involving a bunch of lug heads, one named Ripper, snorting coke out of a can of Coke. And when I say subplot, I mean it literally has nothing to do with the movie you’re watching until they literally walk into it; at which point they mostly disappear from it.

I did enjoy Demons though. The make-up and SFX are occasionally REALLY gnarly and effective. Like when we watch someone’s teeth fall out as demon teeth grow in. The story doesn’t make much sense, and any thoughts you might have about this being “about” something, like whether horror movies really drive people to violence or not, are totally abandoned by the end when it’s made clear the movies are merely a setting here.

But man oh man, the last 20 minutes of Demons are worthwhile nonsense. While the execution is never as cool as the ideas, there are some seriously crazy b-movie ideas throughout the finale that I loved. And where this ends up is certainly much bigger than you’d think at its outset.

Pleased to find myself recognizing some of these actors now that I’ve really taken a deep dive into Giallo and other Italian Horror. Urbano Barberini and Nicoletta Elmi are both Argento alums that I recognized right away.

The best part about it is the Simonetti theme, which is both a high compliment and an insult I suppose. But that sucker rips.

SCORE: ★★☆☆☆

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