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Disappointing 'Demons' style "homage" to Black Sunday
Like almost every other late eighties Italian horror film with a plot that even slightly has anything to do with demons; this film is labelled as a part of the 'Demons' series, started by Lamberto Bava in 1985. This 'series' is very hard to keep up with once you get past the first (and only official) sequel. The title 'Demons 3' was given to Umberto Lenzi's "Black Demons", Michele Soavi's "The Church" and Lamberto Bava's "The Ogre"; while Michele Soavi's "The Sect" (which had nothing to do with demons!) was released as "Demons 4", and this film; released two years BEFORE The Sect, gets the title "Demons 5". Oh, and let's not forget the 'sixth instalment'; Luigi Cozzi's The Black Cat, also released in 1989. Anyway, naturally this film has nothing to do with Lamberto Bava's other two (or three) Demons films, and is actually something of a homage to his father's 1960 masterpiece Black Sunday. The plot focuses on a group of friends skiing in the Alps. They fall into an ice cave and one of their number is killed. The also find a body with a devil's mask nailed into its head; and decide to remove the mask...which naturally unleashes demons and stuff.
After hearing the plot summary, I was convinced that the story, along with the fact that we have a director homaging his own father, would lead to an at least interesting film. However...the result really couldn't have been much more disappointing. As mentioned, the film is not really a homage to Black Sunday at all; there's the obvious similarity of both films having a witch killed by having a mask nailed into her skull, but that's about the end of the similarities. The tone and style of the film is much closer to the aforementioned Demons films; which obviously makes this one very trashy indeed. The one thing I did like about it is the fact that it's set in the snow covered Alps
this provides a refreshingly different location for an Italian
horror, and credit must be given. The film was made for television, and as such the gore is kept down to a minimum. There's a few disgusting sequences...but nothing to write home about. This film has become very hard to find; and an English language version is even more difficult to find...so I wouldn't recommend anyone but the most ardent Lamberto Bava fans goes to any lengths to track down a copy.
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