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John’s Horror Corner: Night of the Demons (1988), a fun cheesy campy possessed Halloween night.

October 15, 2016

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MY CALL:  Watching this cult classic and its diverse 80s practical effects should bring a smile to your face. Equal parts dumb and fun abound in this campy, cheesy, somewhat raunchy Halloween movie.  Enjoy.  MOVIES LIKE Night of the DemonsNight of the Demons 2 (1994), Night of the Demons 3 (1997) and The Hazing (2004).

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It’s Halloween and for just one night all things evil roam among us freely.  And not just evil…douchebags are out tonight, too.

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Stooge (Hal Havins; Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama, Witchtrap) and his fellow teenage delinquents are out on Halloween night harassing the elderly and looking for trouble.  Two couples (including Cathy Podewell) have the misfortune of joining these degenerates to a Halloween party thrown by “the weird girl” from school Angela (Mimi/Amelia Kinkade; Night of the Demons 2-3) and her sultry friend Suzanne (Scream Queen Linnea Quigley; Creepozoids, Silent Night, Deadly Night).

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The party is being held in an abandoned funeral home, a haunted venue called Hull House where the family and staff were all brutally murdered. So what could possibly go wrong?

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How about demonic possession?  Much as in the Evil Dead series (1981, 1987, 2013) and Demons 1-2 (1985, 1986), demonic possession is quite contagious.

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This film was clearly the high point of director Kevin Tenney’s (Witchboard 1-2, Pinocchio’s Revenge, The Cellar) career.  This cult classic has its raunchy moments, taking every opportunity to have women changing clothes on-screen, bra and panty shots, abundant boobage, Linnea Quigley offers up the longest naughty panty shot in horror history, and a LOT of sexy dancing.  Sexy demon-possessed dancing actually turns out to be a theme in this franchise.

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Wow! This is like Flashdance (1983) meets Legend (1985).

The raunchiness is heavily complemented by the campy cheese factor permeating the writing.  The malevolent old man with his razor blades, an underground stream that runs in a circle around Hull House (because we all know streams flow in circles!) entrapping the evil spirits, lame dialogue, girl-on-girl kissing to transmit demonic possession like an STD… need I go on?

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The effects and gore include bitten out tongues, demonic faces with mangled demon teeth, the iconic “disappearing lipstick” scene, an awesomely eye-popping eye gauge, fire-scalded melty flesh, tattered demon zombies… this is no one trick pony.  We enjoy a nice range of horror effects entertainment.

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But as far as the plot goes, it’s all pretty haphazard really.  Essentially, a bunch of teenagers go to a demon-infested house, people become possessed and then either try to infect or kill those who remain.  There is no sense of story, climax, challenge or goal other than to survive and escape the house.  Our once semi-clever demons had a few tricks up their sleeve, but by the end they are senselessly reduced to a nearly mindless and tactless zombie horde, and despite being featured on the DVD cover the “Angela demon” is no more menacing or in charge than the others.  Although she probably won the sexy demon-possessed dance off challenge!

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Sort of reminds me of Soul Train or MTV’s The Grind.

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After the “lipstick scene” of course, the best scene was the last—in which a crotchety old man (from the opening scene) eats a lethal pie made from his razor-blade apples.  Cheeky and memorable.

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This reminds me of Bridesmaids fighting to catch the bouquet!

The diversity of effects and the silliness of the growling-laughing demons continues to make this work as a cult classic while clearly offering nothing in the way of substance (or style).  It’s pretty stupid.  But even more so, it’s pretty fun!  Highly recommended for a laugh while unwinding after your Halloween party, or as an installment to mark on your 31 Streaming Films for 31 Days “Horror Calendar.”

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Like an alligator at feeding time. Haha

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