Demons 2 (1986) – By Duane L. Martin

Ok, I reviewed Demons, now it’s time to review Demons 2, the sequel with quite probably the lamest premise of any…well, to be honest I’ve seen lamer premises in my time, but this one was pretty lame.  Why?  Here’s what happens.  People in this big, fancy apartment building are watching a movie…I guess…about the original demon infestation and the walled city it took place in.  Why do I say I guess?  Because they’re watching it on television like a movie, yet it seems to really be happening, so I really have no idea what the hell it was supposed to be.  Anyway, these four idiots (two guys and their girlfriends) climb the wall and go into the city where they eventually find the dried up body of a demon.  Well natually one of the idiot girls had to scratch herself, and while they other idiot girl was taking their picture with the demon corpse, she drips blood all over it like she’s leaking from a major artery.  Guess what happened then.  Go on, guess!  Yep, that’s right.  The demon rehydrated and killed the girl who dripped on him after he chased her down and she was abandoned by the others.  Then he turns and starts walking back, straight at the camera and through the television of one of the apartment dwellers, thereby turning her into a demon.  There’s no mention of what happened to the guy holding the camera.  Don’t even get me started on that whole thing.

Ok, so this girl was having a birthday party and infects everyone there, so now they’re all demons too.  Acid blood starts dripping through the floors and infecting everyone it comes into contact with, but it also kills the power in the building, even though there’s inexplicably power in different scenes.  It also locked the whole building down so that no one could get in or out.  From there it’s basically like the first film.  People trying to survive and escape from a locked down building, only in this film there’s two major differences.  First, the “hero” actually has some semblance of brains (even if his pregnant wife doesn’t), and second, the pimp from the first film who’s playing a gym instructor in this one actually lives until close to the end, which is cool, because in both films he was really the only interesting character and they killed him off fairly early in the first film.

While this film has a FAR lamer premise than the first film, it does have something that even outdoes that.  The first girl who got infected had an ex-boyfriend who was a total douche bag.  He’s out driving around and acting like a total dick with his girlfriend, his friend and his friend’s girlfriend.  They’re racing through the streets and the girl he’s with keeps telling him to slow down.  He insists he knows what he’s doing and that he’s never been in an accident several times before…guess what?  He gets in an accident right outside of the building with the parents of a kid who’s alone in the building as they were racing home to get to him.  Now, Sally’s guy friend that her friend sent down to stop him from going up to her apartment has been waiting out there for quite some time and wasn’t locked in the building with the others when everything went down, so he’s there to help.  Guess who else is there to help.  Go on, guess.  Nevermind, I’ll just tell you.  It’s a freakin’ ambulance that comes driving up with its sirens blaring within like twenty or thirty seconds of the accident.  Seriously?  They just happened to be right there, and felt the need to turn on their sirens to drive what?  Fifty feet or so?  Oh, but it gets better.  See, after devoting screen time to both the kids’ parents and the douche bag and his friends, that’s the last we ever see of them.  There’s not one single mention of any of them, or the guy who was waiting for them throughout the rest of the movie!  So uhhh…ok.

Now, what’s actually good in this film?  Well, aside from the relatively intelligent hero, there’s a little boy that turns into a demon, and then eventually rips open so this other puppet-like demon can be born out of his back.  This puppet demon chases the hero’s pregnant wife around the apartment, and during this entire scene I swear she never displays even the slightest bit of intelligence.  I’m not going to get into all that, but it’s pretty ridiculous how many times she could have gone on the offensive and failed to do so, preferring instead to run around like a frightened victim.  Anyway, the puppet demon was actually a lot of fun, and between him and the midget they had dressed up to play the demon version of the little boy it added a whole lot of fun to the film.

Something else that was fun was how stupid all the gym rats and other people were as they tried to escape through the parking garage and ultimately had to try to defend themselves there.  I mean…brainless doesn’t even begin to describe them, and don’t even get me started on the fact that they were ripping seats out of cars to set up a barricade by an entry door.  Seriously?  Have you ever tried to rip a seat out of a car without…oh, I dunno…unbolting it from the floorboard first?  Yeah…not happening.  Anyway, they barricade this door, but then the demons end up flooding into the place through this huge, open ramp that cars drive down to get down there.  So wait.  You mean to tell me you go through all this trouble to block one little door and it doesn’t even occur to any of you to block off the biggest entrance into the whole place?  Seriously?  Yeah…that’s about par for the course in these movies.

As I said in my Demons review, I’ve never been impressed with Argento, Bava or Italian horror in general.  While Demons 2 is arguably a lot more fun and more well made than the first film, the painfully ridiculous premise, the disappearing characters and the poor acting throw it pretty much into the same category.  It’s not just a one time watcher.  It’s actually better than that, but like I said about Demons, it’s not one of my go to films when I want a fun horror movie.  I’ll also say about this one that someone like Sam Raimi could have taken this premise, fixed it and turned it into one hell of a fun film.  As it stands, it’s got its moments and too many flaws to count, but it’s definitely worth pulling out once in a while for a little bit of stupid fun.

Like Demons, Synapse remastered this one in 1080p from original vault materials and did a completely new color correction on it.  It also has the International Enlish stereo soundtrack and newly translated optional English subtitles as well as the theatrical trailer.  Both films look and sound excellent, so if you want the best possible copies of these two films, look no further than Synapse.

So…that’s about it.  If you’d like to find out more about this release, you can check out its page on the Synapse Films website here.