Demons 2 (1986) – By Joshua Samford

 As someone who wasn’t really a fan of the original film Demons, I can’t say I didn’t go into this sequel with just a little bit of antagonism towards this series. The original Demons, for my money, had some great gore – a decent idea behind it but actually not enough script to hold all the jumbles of good things together. Now here we are with this sequel, produced likely for a quick buck; with even LESS plot or semblances of logic – and I actually think I enjoyed it. Maybe it’s because I first saw Demons before I had experienced all of the Italian horror scene of the seventies and eighties. Maybe if I went back and gave it another chance now it might be the best thing since sliced bread. I’ll have to add it to my collection sometime soon I think. Demons 2 however, is so dumb, so ridiculous and so beyond making a point whatsoever – that I think it makes its downfalls into its strongsuits. If that makes any sense at all. God, I think I’m pulling a Demons 2. What I’m saying is that by the time the demons of the story start to show up in the most ludicrous fashion, and it becomes obvious that we the audience are never going to be filled in on just what the heck is going on in this scenario – it becomes SO easy to just turn your brain off and enjoy the classic genre staple of a bunch of people trapped in a small location trying to fight off outward forces. We’ve seen it done in just about every zombie flick since Night of the Living Dead – but Demons 2 just has that certain attitude of… well, if they don’t care, I guess I shouldn’t really care. So, in the end, everyone outside of the snooty critics or people with good taste – they all walk away happy.

Now, since we’re doing a roundtable this month of horror movie masters and their works in the greatest of all fields – you’ve got to admit Demons 2 is a pretty odd choice no matter how you look at it. Yes, I know this, but since it was on my "to-watch" list and there are more than one master at work on this project I figured why the heck not. Being that the film is directed by a legen himself, Mr. Lamberto Bava to be exact. Son of the late great Mario Bava, a man who himself might be the most unknown pioneer of the horror genre or in general filmmaking as we know it. Lamberto scored himself quite the reputation as well with films like the original Demons, A Blade in the Dark, Macabre, Delirium and this fine film we present to you here today: Demons 2. In the writing department, at least credited towards it (really don’t know much about his involvement, so don’t shoot me one way or the other), there is also Dario Argento who also helped with the first Demons film and his track record – well it speaks for itself. Demons 2, I won’t lie to anyone, it’s not a great film. Not even what I guess I could consider a "good" one. Really, on a scale of one to ten, in terms of plot relevance, detail, fine filmmaking and general logical narrative – Demons 2 lands pretty low. I would be a lie if I tried to convince myself that this was really a "good" movie, it is however a very fun one. At least that’s my opinion. I’m the kind of guy who busts a gut when the movie I’m watching dares me to take it serious, when it goes far out on a limb and the twig snaps. I wouldn’t say I catch myself laughing at the movie, but more or less deriving entertainment from the film one way or another and I like to consider that laughing alongside it. After all, it was built to entertain and no matter how it comes about as long as that goal is achieved I figure the film can’t help but be a success in some form or another.

So, the plot… yes, the plot… my mind has drew a blank. Plot, there was plot? Oh yeah, I seem to recall some of that. Essentially, from what I can gather from my failing memory and a couple of google searches usually involving the terms "Demons 2 – WUT?!?!?". In our film an apartment building is full of ruckus as a party takes place on one floor, a gym is crammed full of good looking healthy people staying trim and young children/nice looking women stay up watching television. On the television a program based around Demons plays, in what I guess is supposed to be a documentary (though it’s shot from several angles and lit just like a film shot on a production stage) we are shown some teenagers disrupting some tomb-like surrounding where the Demons from the title lay in dormant. It doesn’t take long and people start to wind up dead – and it doesn’t take long for those Demons to pop out of the television set. You heard me right, yes, the Demons somehow travel into our world via this television program. Why isn’t the world overrun with them? I don’t know. What gives the Demons power to do this? I don’t know. What exactly is going on from the film at this point forward? I don’t know, but it’s like Night of the Living dead with a bunch of buff aerobics people fighting zombie-like Demons… and featuring car crashes. I’d say that sounds pretty entertaining.

From then on out it’s a fight for survival as anyone and everyone starts to go all Demon-ish, including a young child (AWESOME!!!) and a horrible transformation featuring a demon dog (DOUBLE AWESOME!!!). Needless to say, it is all a bit ridiculous, but in a good way. Demons 2 may not be a great piece of work by anyone’s stretch of the imagination, but it’s a hoot if you’re in a silly mood like me the majority of the time. I even plan to give it a watch on my big Halloween I’ve got planned coming up. Gobbless Lamberto Bava, when the man is making gold he makes gold, but when he’s making bronze… heck, it’s at least a little bit shinier than most.


Rogue Reviewers Roundtable Topic: Masters of Horror

Josh’s Review Site: Varied Celluloid