Demoni 2 (1986)
Director: Lamberto Bava
Coralina Cataldi Cassoni/Sally
David Edwin Knight/George
A TV show about demons turns the boring tenants of an apartment high-rise into flesh-hungry creatures. A doggie demon, a toddler demon and a reject from "Ghoulies" ensue…huh?
I watched this tepid sequel back-to-back with the fun original "Demoni" and let me tell ya...it wasn’t all that. First off, it discards what happened in the first one with a half-baked narration. Why didn’t it go with the “end of the world” ending the first one left off with? Am I supposed to assume that the events that took place in "Demoni" were “taken care of”? I didn’t buy it. The film proceeds to tell pretty much the exact same story Demoni did but in a different setting without the fun factor, the energy, the gore or the quality.
I’m shocked to know that the same people that were behind the groovy first film are also behind this weak sequel. Were they high on crack or something? The first film had a polished, colorful look; this sequel is way too dark and bland-looking. The first film had really good special effects that knocked my condom off; here, they look like crap and are very under whelming. The first film had high energy and an engaging score; here, the film plods along slowly and the score is just "there". What happened?
This sequel also attempts to take the elements that the original showcased further but falls flat on its face in that regard as well. A kid demon? Come on! Way too tacky! And what the hell was that demon baby all about? What a cheapo puppet! It looked like a giggling Ghoulie on acid or something. Was I supposed to laugh at this monster? Be afraid of it? Who knows, but the bottom line is; someone was smoking way too much reefer when they tossed that idea into the mix. I could get started on the demon dog but I won't waste anymore review space on the bad ideas and the bad effects, just read what I said about the demon baby…again. It’s the same damn thing. They should’ve stuck to the basics.
Character-wise they also try to better the original. Where the first one hardly had any character development at all, here, they try to flesh the people out. Ounos problemos: these are plain or unlikeable folks and I’d rather see the killings already then learn about them. The most despicable character of the film is Sally (Cassoni) whose freakin' annoying in human form with her bratty behavior and who still tested my nerves in demon form. I’m surprised nobody slapped that beeyatch out! The only saving grace in terms of characters is the glorious return of Bobby Rhodes (Hank) from the original "Demoni" who plays a different dude here. Much like his part in the first one, he plays another no-bullshit, take charge kind of hombre. He’s the most sympathetic person in the film and sure knows how to kick that demon booty. YOU GO, BOY!
Since the film is not as fast-paced and fun as the original, the plot fuck-ups bothered me a lot as well. Stuff like “who keeps an acid bottle on their kitchen table?” or “how the hell did that dog get up so high to look in the peephole?” annoyed me. This sequel also sports an identical subplot to the first film about “dudes in a car driving around town”. But instead of giving this subplot more validity than it had in the original, they end it with the people in the car getting into a car crash and that’s that. WHAT??? Talk about filling in clocking time! Could’ve had them get to the apartment complex and then ripped them to pieces or something. How hard would that have been to write in? The subplot here is totally useless.
Anything good about this turkey, you may ask? Well, the “Videodrome” rip-off sequence wuz pretty kool. I also liked the seldom hints of style that popped up. Gotta love that shot with the demons walking, eyes glowing and blue backlights blazing in the background. I also dug some of the action scenes (very "Night Of The Living Dead") and the Cult song “Rain” made my day. Rhodes is also hilarious again with his atrociously stinky dialogue. And seeing hottie “Asia Argento” when she was a kid (yes, she’s in the film) was also kinda slick.
But overall, why watch this sequel when the original tackles the exact same themes and situation in a more fulfilling way? I say toss "Demons 2" in the toilet along with those damn "Ghoulies" and "Children of the Corn" series. Then flush it down…
The demon transformation looked pretty cheesy and the kills were weak. I can’t believe this was the un-rated version! Where’s the sauce? We do get some axe action, some gun action and a few gooey bits, but they’re nothing compared to what "Demoni" served up. Was Sergio Stivaletti slacking off?
Coralina Cataldi Cassoni (Sally) annoyed the shit out of me. She’s kind of cute in that 80’s bimbo way but her character is a childish bitch. David Edwin Knight (George) just bored me as the “hero”. Nancy Brilli (Hannah) had potential. She’s pretty and having her be pregnant upped the stakes of her character. Unfortunately, the film pits her against a demon kid and a silly-looking puppet. Her presence is wasted. Bobby Rhodes (Hank) returns and delivers another engaging, bad-line filled kick ass performance. I love that guy!
T & A
None whatsoever. How does that happen?
The sumptuous style that made "Demoni" so good is practically absent here. The film is shot in a pretty straight-forward manner (where are my gnarly camera angles?), lacks energy and looks way too somber. I missed the bright color schemes of the original. Was Bava on sedatives when he shot this sequel?
The score by Simon Boswell is sleep-inducing compared to the one Claudio Simonetti gave us in the first. At least we get some kool songs by Dead Can Dance, The Smiths and The Cult.
Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Like the DVD for "Demoni", this DVD also has a demon head coming at you when you select an option and it's still "fun times". Let's see how the rest holds up.
IMAGE: Like the DVD for the original, this one is presented in 1.66:1 Widescreen. Since the film is so dark, I had a hard time appreciating the image quality. I also picked up on more grain here than in the first. But I guess this is the best treatment this sequel will ever get.
SOUND: Like the DVD for the original, we get a Dolby Digital 5.1 remix made for this re-release and a weaker Dolby Surround 2.0 sound. Again stick to the 5.1.
EXTRAS: The extras here are less fulfilling than the one’s for the Demoni DVD.
Audio Commentary: We get a commentary track by director Lamberto Bava, effect artist Sergio Stivaletti and journalist Loris Curci. The commentary is less informative and less interesting than the one put out for the first one. They do talk more extensively about the "making of" the effects here as opposed to the commentary on the first Demoni DVD though. Once again, we get to hear lots of Italian, so brush up on it.
Theatrical Trailer: We get a nearly 3-minute trailer for this poor sequel. I will say that it’s a bit more interesting to watch than the trailer for the first one, but it's still way too long.
Talent Biographies: We get info on Bava (director), Dario Argento (producer, co-writer) Sergio Stivaletti (effects), Dardano Sacchetti (co-writer), Simon Boswell (music composer) and Asia Argento (actress). Again a harmless extra.
I’m sure that seeing "Demoni 2" mere moments after viewing the first one didn’t help its case in respect to my opinion, and maybe if I would’ve been really messed up on booze, I would’ve laughed at the stupidity that this flick had to offer...but on second thought, I don’t think so! The awful pace and lack of energy would have put me to sleep either way. At least then I could’ve dreamt about a better sequel. Stick with the original "Demoni" and call me in the morning.
This flick was written by: Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava, Franco Ferrini and Dardano Sacchetti.
Michele Soavi’s "The Church" aka "La Chiesa" is also known as "Demoni: Part 3".