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Movie Review: XX
In New Orleans, the Halloween party of the year is going down at the infamous Broussard mansion, once home to some woman who killed herself to avoid the touch of evil. For organizer Angela, the raucous gathering is an opportunity to make some big bucks. Unfortunately, Angela neglects to purchase a permit, and the cops shut things down, leaving a group of friends behind, unable to escape the mansion. Discovering a group of six skeletal corpses in the basement, the gang unknowingly awakens a ferocious demonic spirit called Septem, aiming to possess folks and take over the world.
Oh boy, another remake. After sitting through (and being disappointed by) A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, here's the remake to the 1988 original that had Linnea Quigley doing what Linnea does best. Don't worry, she's in this one too, along with Eddie "I was in TERMINATOR 2, you know" Furlong and Monica "I was in FREDDY VS. JASON and I didn't like it" Keena and Shannon "I was raped by a snowman in JACK FROST" Elizabeth. If it sounds like I was disappointed, I was, but not as much as you'd think.
Director Adam Gierasch has been quoted as saying that he wanted to make this film the type of film that he would've wanted to have seen as a teenager. Well Adam, you've succeeded. You've got hot-looking women running from demons who toss gore around like nobody's business, and I'm not complaining. Pacing-wise, the film hits the ground running once the possession starts and rarely lets up, which should please the MTV generation immensely. As for the acting, everyone is in on the gag, meaning that they really don't take themselves too seriously, and turn in some great performances.
The big highlight is the gore, if you're wondering. Things get messy, to say the least. Faces get ripped off along with the fronts of female chests, anal sex possession (yes, you read that right), and to top things off, remember the lipstick tube scene from the original? Well, it's back, but you probably don't want to know where it ends up. The later demons, however, aren't quite up to snuff from the initial demons in terms of looks. Really, they seem more like Halloween masks more than anything.
Any negatives for this film would have to be levelled at the inclusion of a so-called 'safe room', which causes the pacing to hit the brakes once the characters figure out that certain things repel the demons (such as rust). Also, anyone looking for a smart, scary film will have to look elsewhere, as this isn't one to make you think. Rather, it's a perfect excuse to turn your brain off and just get hammered.
In some ways, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS isn't much different from the original. You have gore galore, boobs and even a cameo by Linnea Quigley and Tiffany Shepis. Honestly though, it won't replace the original in the hearts of fans. It's just too dumb and not scary enough to be taken seriously (not that the original was meant to be smart, mind you). It's another fire-and-forget film that makes an effort to pay homage to the original, but there's not much more to it.
Video: NIGHT OF THE DEMONS is presented in a 1080p 1.78:1 widescreen transfer, which looks about as good as a low-budget film would look. The film is overly dark, and as such, grainy. Black levels are inconsistent, which also ends up burying the colour, which is actually good. This feels more like an upconverted DVD more than anything.
Audio: Unlike the video, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track fares much better. Sporting some great music from bands like Concrete Blonde and Type O Negative, as well as some great ambient sound effects, this is a great listen. The only downside is the dialogue, which sounds thin compared to the rest of the sonic onslaught, but at least you can understand the actors.
First up is a commentary with director Adam Gierasch, writer Jace Anderson and actors Monica Keena, Bobbi Sure Luther, and John F. Beach. This is what you'd call a party commentary. Really, it reminds me of the RE-ANIMATOR cast commentary where they joke around and just act goofy. Pretty entertaining, if only for a story involving Shannon Elizabeth breaking down into tears when faced with non-vegan hot dogs (as if hot dogs were considered meat in the first place).
Following that is the Comic Con 2010 Introduction, which has Gierasch and Anderson on the convention floor in what feels like a last-minute idea to do, to be honest.
Behind the Bloodshed (which according to the menu and package art, is titled 'Behind the Bloodbath') is your typical 18-minute making-of EPK piece that unfortunately doesn't get to the really good stuff about the production.
Lastly is the film's theatrical trailer.
Gore and boobs. That's all you need to know. This remake won't replace the original, but it's an okay way to kill an evening while you knock back a few. The extras, other than the lively commentary, aren't anything to write home about, but it's nice that they included something for the effort.