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Night of the Demon (1980)

 -  Horror
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 822 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 33 critic

Professor Nugent and his students embark on a journey to locate Bigfoot believed to be responsible for countless deaths. They disturb a Black Magic ritual and eventually uncover the truth ... See full summary »

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Title: Night of the Demon (1980)

Night of the Demon (1980) on IMDb 4.9/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Prof. Nugent (as Michael J. Cutt)
Joy Allen
Bob Collins
Jody Lazarus ...
(as Jodi Lazarus)
Rick Fields ...
(as Richard Fields)
Michael Lang
Melanie Graham ...
Wanda
Shannon Cooper
...
Sheriff
Ray Jarris
William F. Nugent
Lynn Eastman-Rossi ...
Susan Nugent (as Lynn Eastman)
Eugene Dow ...
Dr. Paxton
Don Hurst ...
Dr. Harris
Terry Wilson ...
Inspector Stack
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Storyline

Professor Nugent and his students embark on a journey to locate Bigfoot believed to be responsible for countless deaths. They disturb a Black Magic ritual and eventually uncover the truth about Bigfoot, and his offspring, but who will believe them? Written by Mark J. Popp <poppmj@cadvision.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bigfoot | death | ritual | student | bloodbath | See more »

Taglines:

An evil mutation embarks on a wave of brutal butchery.

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Night of the Demon  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Professor Nugent's face is hideously burned on a hot stove from his eye area down, and the doctors say flesh is missing from the lower half of his face. But his speaking voice is perfectly normal, indicating that his lips are still intact, which is incongruous with what we see happen to him later in the film. See more »

Quotes

Crazy Wanda: I burned him. I burned him because he killed my baby. And to save its father.
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Connections

Referenced in Video Violence 2 (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Has some surprisingly accomplished moments amongst a haphazard production
8 October 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

James C. Wasson's Night of the Demon (not to be confused with the 1957 Jacques Tourneur "classic" of the same name), is undoubtedly one of those films that would have been lost into the ether of forgotten trash, had it not been for moral crusaders involved in the ludicrous video nasty furore in the early 1980's. Of course, the likes of Mary Whitehouses' lobbying group, 'The Festival of Light' - along with MP Graham Bright, - would have only seen the "nasty" and gruesome shots from the accused films. Seeing a series of gore scenes from 79 films would surely grate on anyone (even someone who likes gore movies), and reading these outside of the context of the narrative fundamentally alters its meaning. In this low budget gore film, there are some significantly gruesome dismemberment and bloodletting - in one scene a motorcyclist has his penis ripped off whilst taking a leak at the roadside.

Night of the Demon is practically a slasher film (prevalent in the horror market at the time), in its approach of the infamous myth of the Bigfoot - or Sasquatch. Professor Nugent (Michael Cutt) takes a group of students to the wild wilderness of America, in search of the beast, who is suspected of being the culprit in some gruesome deaths. The films use of the flashback device is a simple technique used to fit as many kills in as possible. Nugent orates the history of the horrific deaths; each 3 to 6 minutes previous events are show in detail. Interviewing a local eccentric, they are guided towards a mysterious hermit woman, affectionately known as Crazy Wanda (Melanie Graham), and the myth of Sasquatch takes on a satanic edge, involving sexualised rituals, and offering of virgins. It's a bizarre inclusion to the narrative, but one that does eventually bring some obvious, silly, but semi-interesting ramifications - a kind of explicitly fantastical stereotyping of the redneck American "outback" of films like The Texas Chain-Saw Massacre (1974), or The Hills Have Eyes (1977).

Whilst overall the film is substantially awful, there are some technically accomplished - or at least effective - sequences. In the opening a man has his arm ripped off by the monster, the camera zooms onto the stump at the shoulder, the blood pours out, and as the title, Night of the Demon, emblazons the screen, the blood has filled a foot print in the mud of Bigfoot. It's an incredibly simple, but effective idea. Later a pair of girl guides are attacked, the beast bangs the girls together, as they stab each other with the knives in their hands. This incredible scene has the editing spirit of the shower scene from psycho, and cuts in some very gut churning shots of knife penetration.

Night of the Demon does have a few accomplished moments, but the film is generally a very haphazard production, with lamentable narrative drag, and incompetent performances (but it's preposterous to even criticise acting abilities in films like this). Of course, as you would expect also, from low budget horror, the monster - man in a suit - is stupid, looking like Chewbacca with a shaved face and an afro, and they save that beautiful reveal (sic) for the climax of the film. With all these bad elements, I have to say that it is not the worst of its kind. Night of the Demon offers some unintentional laughs, and possibly even some intentioned. Taking the gore scenes out of context would lead to some questioning of the film - some of the special effects are very well done for such a minuscule budget - but it is possibly far too amateurish to be absolutely convincing, but would certainly not damage the mind of any spectator.

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