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Monday, October 14, 2019

Night of the Demons (1988)




Another entry into my demon possession marathon. This gem from director Kevin S. Tenney is one of the better-known entries into this specific subgenre of eighties horror and stars a familiar face in Linnea Quigley. Though we don’t initially see her face…

The school dance is lame, so a strange girl named Angela decides to have a costume party at the creepy Hull House. Not only was it a mortuary, but it has a history of murder and insanity. Great place to have a party, right? After picking up some supplies with the help of her friend Suzanne they head out to meet some other kids from school. The normal party nonsense happens until things go sideways. See there really is a demon in the basement and because it is Halloween night the rules allow it to come out and play. That is certainly not a good thing for those partying in the creepy old house.

The remainder of the movie are the surviving kids, fewer of them each minute, trying to make it until the sun comes up and the night is over. That is when the demon and all of the captured souls have to return to hell. Don’t worry about Angela though, she will be back. I mean they did make some sequels!

If you ask me to point out a movie that embodies the eighties low budget horror movie Night of the Demons would be on the short list. It has everything that you would normally find in one of them. There are pretty girls that get undressed, a huge pig of a man that no one in real life would hang out with, the weirdo that again none of the popular kids would go near, and some very poor decisions like partying at a mortuary. Hell, we even get the annoying kid brother and wanna be boyfriend that invites himself to the party! With the characters established it is time for bad things to happen.

Demon Angela
This leads us to the gore and makeup. I’ll start with the latter first. The demonic versions of the cast are excellent. Angela and Suzanne are scary as hell when they go full on demon. But we also get some crazy stuff happening with Suzanne that involve makeup appliances which look so real on screen it is nuts. If you have seen the movie you know what I’m talking about. There are also a couple full burns as the demons are set on fire that look great. Oh and of course the obligatory severed arm attacking someone. All of it is practical and it looks awesome holding up well all these years later. 

If you like the sounds of the eighties you are going to get a kick out of the music. Most of it I didn’t recognized and I’m a child of the decade. But there is one exception when Angela is dancing as she “demons” out there is a Bauhaus song playing. That might not mean much to you, but as a fan of Goth music it was pretty cool and something that I had forgotten or didn’t notice before. Luckily this time the lovely Mrs. Horror Dude was watching with me and pointed it out. She was a total Goth back in the day with purple hair and everything!

If you consider yourself a fan of eighties horror, then Night of the Demons is a must see. It is Linnea Quigley’s second-best role in a genre movie, is packed with everything you could possibly want, and spawned a bunch of sequels that are sort of fun as well. I recommend it.

© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer


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