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Night of the Demons (1988)
Sequels Were Milked From This Anorexic Cow?
Worst Movie I Have Ever Seen! 90 Minutes of excruciating film-making. All the ingredients to make this movie a true work of CRAP. Bad acting, bad directing, bad storytelling, bad makeup, bad dialogue, bad effects, and bad reasoning behind certain actions taken by the characters. It also threw in a terrible naked shot of a dumb blond, and a breast shot of a stupid Asian girl, and both attempts were just scary, since these girls are ugly. Some good horror movies came out of the 80s, but this could never be considered one of them. Kevin Tenney also committed one of the greatest sins in storytelling: he introduced characters at the end of the movie (an Old Man and Old Woman). I would vote for it below a 1 out of 10 but the voting system doesn't work that way apparently. Right from the title sequence I knew it would suck and I would return my DVD but Best Buy doesn't refund DVDs, or consumable products as they call it, or so my receipt says. I have "The Dunwich Horror" and that was truly god-awful, but I still feel that "Night of the Demons" (an obvious Evil Dead RIP-OFF) was far worse than "Dunwich Horror." This is just like "The Howling," how in the hell could sequels get milked out of this anorexic cow??? Save your money and get the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (just don't get any of its sequels though) or "The Evil Dead" or "Dawn of the Dead." "Night of the Demons" is a very, very, very bad investment. Every second of it was just maddening, excruciating pain for the audience, because the whole movie all-around was horrible! Do yourself a favor, DON'T SEE IT! You'll be saving some brain cells.
Shadows of the Dead (2004)
It starts out intelligent, but I sigh once I see the doctor taking his sweet time to knock out a zombie that's just bitten a poor woman in a hospital, it seems rather dull, due to the low-budget action and its lack of sound effects, plus when the zombie came after the woman again it just grabbed her throat and pressed her against the wall...yeah, lame.
But then "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven starts, and everything just goes out of control! In the span of less than ten minutes, this film managed to drill a hole of terror into my brain and leave me stunned. The end is just confusing, but most short films are like that, as to how and why the doctor was tied up in a basement by an unseen antagonist. The creature that crawls to his sliced stomach will leave you thrown, due to the film's wild cinematography and the makeup. Twice as freaky as "The Ring."
Beautifully imaginative, confusing maybe but still it won my heart.
The Dunwich Horror (1970)
Amongst the Top Ten Worst Movies Ever
I, a Lovecraftian fanatic, want my money back for ever purchasing the DVD--just watching the trailer made me want to throw it out the window! I suppose for its time it entertained people half-way, but today? I am insulted. Upon watching this, I cared more for the dignified soul of H.P. Lovecraft, that is if he ever had the chance of viewing this in the possible afterlife, since he himself was fascinated with film in the 1920s, and would have been honored to have this "classic horror tale" be displayed unto the screen--BUT NOT LIKE THIS!!!
One good quality: the psychedelic sequences were interesting, and Elizabeth's death looked decent--that's all! I recommend to all who's fascinated to first read the short story "The Dunwich Horror" by Lovecraft, and then view it. You will be shocked--because this "loose adaptation" is missing the true qualities that make the story come to life. Wilbur Whateley was only 15 in the story, yet 9 feet tall, had the most revolting death sequence in mid-plot that's worth seeing cinematic ally, and "Nancy Wagner" along with her girlfriend were not characters within its 10 chapters. Once you understand that "The Dunwich Horror" is a prize-winning story, then you shall see how big of a let-down this movie is. I can say that Daniel Haller at least tried his best, but it's just damn surprising to think that this came out the same decade "The Exorcist" did, so what went wrong with this!?
The screenwriter butchered the masterpiece that Lovecraft created. Daniel Haller made it a laughing stock. Dean Stockwell took some punches (literally, with a security guard), but did very little if no research in how to behave as a demonic hybrid, except growing a mustache and sideburns. Ed Begley did what he could. Sandra Dee didn't belong, but if she was aiming to pass off as a vulnerable, brainless blonde, then yeah she succeeded in putting the "whore" in "horror," not that I'm saying she's a bad actress, just had a bad character. The only real feeling I get after getting done viewing it is that bitter taste in your mouth that vodka leaves in the back of your throat. At least in 1970 all the high school boys had a reason to take their girlfriends to the drive-thru, and were better off not watching it and making out in their back seats.
...or just the way the title should have been spelled, but who cares? Judging this movie, I have to stop and remember that this had a low budget, so the script had to be tinked with. I first read the short story by H. P. Lovecraft, and then viewed it on DVD. Lovecraft invented some fascinating parts in his version, like West and the nameless narrator's house being burnt down, a buried boxer appearing at their backdoor gnawing on a child's forearm and West firing 6 shots into its face, Dr. Halsey being reanimated and going on a killing spree taking down 17 people, West and the narrator entering World War 1 and reanimating a decapitated major, and finally West being ripped to pieces by a horde of zombies in his basement while the narrator watches.
SPOILERS: However, this version stuck half-way true to it: Dr. Halsey being the one who gets ripped to pieces, Dr. Hill being decapitated and reanimated, and a horde of zombies coming after West. With such low budget, how could Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna film a flaming house, World War 1 footage, etc.
I don't know if this was intended to be a horror film, it probably was, but it passed off more as a gruesome comedy. When reading the summary, it sounds like a "Frankenstein" rip-off, but it actually isn't. Frankenstein was resurrected with multiple body parts, West just resurrects dead bodies but has disastrous results if the bodies aren't "fresh" enough, meaning the brain cells haven't depleted too much. For some reason, every Lovecraft movie has to incorporate some new heroine character, like Megan Halsey in this case, even though the story doesn't require one, but for all horny guys out there, this movie does have some eye-catching breast shots. If you viewers have a sense of humor, then you will get at least some kick out of watching this. Jeffrey Combs fits the role as Herbert West 99%, that 1% being his hair: it's black, but Lovecraft wrote him as being blond; other than that, he did a spectacular job, no wonder he went on to make 2 sequels. The unsung hero here is Bruce Abbot, the nameless narrator, who just wants to marry the dean's daughter, whom he sincerely loves, and become a doctor, but West destroys those dreams, and Halsey, and Megan. Dr. Hill might be comparative to Vincent Price; it appears noticeable that his severed head is still attached to his body underneath the scrubs of the guy holding him.
It's not an all-star winner, since the low budget might have hindered a finer quality feature, but it won the Cannes Film Festival for best picture of the year, so Stuart Gordon did pretty good. The score might get irritating after a while, but there are a couple scenes where it ties in perfectly to the mood. All good actors, Barbara playing Megan probably wasn't the best fit actress, but she deserves no bad mouthing, she got nude shamelessly and still stayed in character (hats off). I don't think Stuart Gordon is a great director, but he did a good job here. You probably won't keep it if you buy it on DVD, but if it's ever on TV, it's worth looking at...if your parents aren't around that is.