The F*cking Black Sheep: Night of the Demons 2 (1994)

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

THE BLACK SHEEP is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATH. We’re hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Dig in!

NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2 (1994)

DIRECTED BY BRIAN TRENCHARD-SMITH

Don’t look now friends, but we cats only have nine more lives until Halloween. Slice an artery and spill some confessional blood about your plans for the evening below!

In the meantime, we redirect our attention to a F*cking Black Sheep of a not just a horror movie in the abstract, and not just of a horror sequel, but of a damn fine Halloween-set horror sequel at that. Yup, we’re speaking of the one-and-only NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2, directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith. Straight-up, I don’t know how anyone can dislike this flick. It has everything you want from a horror joint, especially for one made in the listless and neutered era of 1993-94. As a sequel, NOTD 2 pushes the technical envelope forward from where the original left it in 1988 and does so while upping the not just the terror quotient, but the subgenres of horror as well. In that regard, NOTD 2 slightly more of a Best Movie you’ve Never Seen than an outright F*cking Black Sheep, as those few who’ve seen it swear by it (solid 6.0/10 IMDB rating, but with only 4,541 votes). We’ll get into why NOTD 2 kicks so much ass below, and why it’s the perfect F*cking Black Sheep to get down with come All Hallows Eve!

Right off the rip, one can notice the held-over talent from the original. While director Kevin Tenney is replaced by Trenchard-Smith, the same writer (Joe Augustyn) is back, as is the titular demon, Angela (Amelia Kinkade), and DP (David Lewis). Therefore, consistency is maintained between both the OG and the sequel, even with a lengthy six-year interim. Story-wise, Angela’s demon comes back to haunt when, after her parents committed suicide, her younger sister Melissa aka Mouse (Merle Kennedy) ends up staying at a religious boarding school for mischievous youth. Mouse is bullied by a trio of gorgeous lasses – Bibi (Cristi Harris), Terri (Christine Taylor), and Shirley (Zoe Trilling) – who, along with their idiotic boyfriends Johnny (Johnny Moran), Kurt (Ladd York) and Z-boy (Darin Heames), end up throwing a Halloween party at the accursed Hull House. While all the straight-edge kids attend the school Halloween dance, it’s time for Angela to show why she’s such a delirious and deleterious demoniac!

Never mind the plot conventions, this movie is all about how palpable it’s decrepit décor and macabre mise-en-scene feels throughout. The dusty interiors of Hull-House are everything you want in a demon-possessed haunted house. The cobwebs, and dangling lacy frill that looks like dead snakeskin (foreshadow?), the freaky candle-lit shadow work, the aural gusts, whipping thunder, arched windows, the back-lightning and crashing strobe FX, etc. all work wonders to put you in a specific time and place. Production designer Wendy Guidery and set decorator Mary Gullickson deserve all the credit for creating such a creepily lived-in environment. The sheer look and feel of this film is what horror flicks are all about!

Of course, where the movie excels ahead of the original is the campy tonal blend of horror and humor. The OG had a deft balance, for sure, but NOTD 2 takes the cheese-factor and ups the dosage by a good fourfold. Dopey dialogue comes with every legitimate hair-raising scare, which makes for a fun ass time during Halloween, laughing one minute and covering your eyes and mouths the next. It’s what a visceral horror-comedy should be. Take, for example, the holy-water super-soaker and water-balloons. Following THE LOST BOYS, while forerunning FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, the idea comes to a hilarious and horrifying head in the end when such instruments are called upon to quash the evil possession. Watching an odious demon get blasted with a super-soaker and balloons lets you know where the filmmakers’ heads were at while making it. The objective: to give us a fun-filled horror-show that cracks as many smiles as it does pretty little heads!

Speaking of, let’s address the most outrageous blitzes of violence. One of the narrative threads deals with an accursed tube of lipstick, which Bibi brings to the Halloween party. As a conduit for Angela to prey on unsuspecting victims, the lipstick possesses Shirley and, like pretty much everyone else turns her into a demon. However, the splendid make-up and superb practical FX work in the scene by Steve Johnson’s XFX Inc. are second to none. The lipstick grows, almost like an erection, out of the tube until it becomes a gross, fleshy umbilicus out to rape the poor girl. The squirmy varicose tail of the creature accosts and slithers up Shirley’s dress in a major HOLY SHIT moment I still can’t shake!

Another pitch-perfect dose of horror-comedy comes with a wicked hand-job. That’s right, when Terri and her dude get busy in the backseat of a car, nothing can prepare you for what transpires. As they make-out, a hand travels down towards the guy’s junk. He thinks it’s Terri willing to give him a quick rub-and-tug. Only, when he looks down to his crotch, the demonic hand Angela flips him and Terri the bird. Then a vicious attack ensues! That’s what this movie does so brilliantly, set you up to let your guard down, and as soon as you do, WHAM, you need a f*cking EKG paddle. Whether it’s brutally braining Z-boy with a spiked bat or having Sister Gloria (Jennifer Rhodes, the real breakout hero mind you) throw her rosary around like goddamn nunchucks, the blend of hardcore horror action with waggish creativity is where this movie soars the highest!

I mean, the flick even becomes a full-on gross-out-Peter-Jackson-gory-body-horror-outing by the final act. Father Bob (Rod McCary) becomes a viscid blob of gelatinous green goop that explodes in a way Lionel from DEAD ALIVE would run from. F*cking hell! Even before that nauseating spectacle, there are scenes of maggot-ridden blood puddles and green vomit crawling with beetles. I swear this movie pulls no punches and pulls out no stops! One need look no further than the final five minutes when Angela’s visage is morphed into a giant coiling serpent. I’m telling y’all, this movie is f*cking insane.

The only reason I can think that it’s been so unfairly panned is the proximity to the original. Sequels that are released six years after the original are tough to keep in the collective consciousness of filmgoers. Raimi did it with EVIL DEAD, but even as a demon vs. demon movie, EVIL DEAD is superior to the OG NIGHT OF THE DEMONS. Point being, had this very sequel been released just one or two years after the ’88 original, it’d likely be viewed as less of F*cking Black Sheep and more for what it truly is: a genuinely amusing horror-comedy worth revisiting every Halloween!

GET NOTD 2 ON BLU-RAY HERE

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

5371 Articles Published

Jake Dee is one of JoBlo’s most valued script writers, having written extensive, deep dives as a writer on WTF Happened to this Movie and it’s spin-off, WTF Really Happened to This Movie.