Director: Kevin Tenney

Starring: Cathy Podewell, Billy Gallo, Linnea Quigley

Year: 1988

Want a belated Halloween surprise?  Watch Night of the Demons and be shocked that it’s actually, surprisingly, inexplicably good.  Teens at a party, a haunted house, blood & boobs, b-movie extravagance; we’ve seen it a hundred times before, a thousand, but rarely is the feeling captured and the production done so well, rarely do we walk away feeling like we got our money’s worth this much.  It’s more than just 80s horror, it’s 80s horror done right, and that’s fairly rare, especially from something as random as this movie appears to be.

Instead of going to the stupid school dance, a group of teenagers decide to do something a little different for Halloween; throw a party at a supposedly-haunted abandoned house.  Judy and Jay, Frannie and Max, Helen and Roger, Angela and Suzanne, Stooge and Sal, kids from different groups gather together to party, to get drunk, to get laid, and maybe freak themselves out a bit.  But it’s quickly not fun & games, and the house isn’t haunted; it’s a conduit for demons who want to inhabit the bodies of humans, and they’re ready to come out to play.

I was shocked that Night of the Demons was so good.  It starts out silly, a homage to others, you’re not quite sure where it’s going to go, you meet all the terribly-acted characters, and things get rolling.  Then the gore starts, and it’s honestly strong, with solid scares and gruesome deaths, and a smattering of sex/boobs/butts/kissing; the standard b-movie fodder.  What makes this typical flick remarkable is how well it’s grounded in the genre, how well if gives us what we want, while at the same time concocting original themes and action sequences, never dumbing down or checking out.  It’s fun, it’s funny, the blood & effects are nice, the location & set are great, and things simply work, much more than they should for some 80s insanity.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆



By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils