1985 / 1986
"Demons" promises demons, and gives you just that. "Demons 2" promises demons, too, and does the same. What more could a horror fan want?
Since their short theatrical runs and long lives on VHS, Lamberto Bava's pair of "Demons" films have built a strong cult following " one which is bound to snap up these new DVDs with commentary, trailers and behind-the-scenes footage. Although the flicks have been issued on shiny discs before, Anchor Bay is making them available in anamorphic widescreen for the first time ever, so gorehounds now can witness all the gushing blood, oozing pus, spilled guts in the director's intended aspect ratio. Viva technology!
The plot of "Demons" could be no simpler: A group of patrons invited to a special movie premiere find themselves wishing they'd stayed home when the horror on screen becomes real-life. They're trapped in the theater with hordes of hellish, bite-happy demons (not unlike George Romero's "Living Dead" zombies, except faster, hungrier and messier).
The immediate sequel, "Demons 2," transfers this template to a high-rise apartment complex, where residents experience the same invasion after watching the movie on television. It's virtually a remake, but so much fun on its own that I don't care.
These are poorly acted and laughably dubbed, yet what's important is that they earn their hard-R ratings with vim, vigor and viscera (not to mention Eighties rock). The Italians know how to do hardcore horror right, and the "Demons" duo is one of the shining examples.