N is for Night of the Demons

“Eat a bowl of fuck. I am here to Party!”

It’s 1988 and Demons from Hell are all the rage.

In typical 80’s fashion Kevin S. Tenney’s Night of the Demons brings together horribly horny teenagers, awful ripped denim ensembles, questionable acting, a little female nudity, corny one-liners and of course a plethora of soul-destroying demons. It’s pretty rad.

Halloween night is here and Angela has invited a small group of her friends to a party at Hull House, an infamously haunted mansion on the edge of town that nobody ever goes near. Years prior a terrible massacre occurred at Hull House and it’s been a no-go place ever since…until now. Our beloved hostess Angela, who we’re told early on is apparently obsessed with dark things and witchcraft, decides a séance is the best way to bring in All Hallow’s Eve. You can probably guess what happens next.

The séance is a success and a horde of hell’s children rise from the depths of the underworld and crash the party, invading Angela’s body and soul and then passing from person to person in various hilarious and quite frankly terrifying ways. This is where the movie really kicks off. Up until this point it was kinda boring. The set up is as formulaic as you’d expect and as always the group consists of stereotypical characters. They’re all represented here. As stated earlier Angela represents the gothic, moody one with a strange fixation with death. We have the jock, the nerd, the shy one, the slut, the loudmouth who everyone tells to shut the hell up and the leather-wearing tough guy. Oh and obviously we have a black dude too.

I wasn’t really enjoying this until a particular scene helped me turn the corner. Angela has turned the music up really loud (Bauhaus I believe) and with the help of some funky lights (epileptics should maybe avoid this scene) she hypnotically dances, seducing one of the hard-up males. It was incredibly sexual and as demon possession goes quite original for it’s time. It was at this point that I knew Amelia Kinkade who played Angela was a professional dancer first, actress second. Easily the most impressively crafted scene in the entire movie.

Was it scary? Well watching it now some 30 years later then I’d say for the most part no, not really. However there are certain scenes that did freak me out. The demon make-up is really on point. The practical effects and sound is pretty phenomenal, not just for an 80’s genre flick but even by modern day standards. I love horror movies that use real effects and even if they don’t look amazing I still believe it adds more realism to the finished product. There’s a few laughs too even during some of the more horrific scenes. All I will say is lipstick and fake boobs…It’s all meant to be good fun. The acting and writing is a bit poor to be honest but this is a movie very much of it’s time. Horror fans will still love this and aficionados of retro movies in general may even have a soft spot for it too.

6/10

Gavin Logan – Follow me on Twitter

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