Friday, May 31, 2013

"Demoni 2" (1986) d/ Lamberto Bava

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Remember how much fun you had the first time you saw Lamberto Bava's schizophrenic cult classic, Demons(1985)? Well, Team Dario wasted little time in banging out a sequel, hoping to cash in on the international success of their original effort, and that's almost never a good sign, right out of the gate. Sure, there's contagion-spreading demoniac mayhem at every juncture, as crafted by the maestro Stivaletti, and fan favorite Bobby Rhodes returns in an almost identical capacity, and Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni lends her inimitably adorable pouty persona as teenaged catalyst to the on-screen madness, but the results fall well short of the first film's vigor in the end. Still, you could do a lot worse...

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"Fix this earring for me, I'm gonna do the Molly Ringwald all goddamned night!"
Sally(Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni) ducks out of her Sweet 16 birthday party only to get caught up watching a documentary on television about that big outbreak of demons a few years back, you remember that, don't you? A group of amateur thrill-seekers scales the high security wall of 'the forbidden zone', where the contagion had been contained, but, after stumbling upon a frozen demon corpse while inside, the investigators unwittingly reanimate the homely fellow, who takes it upon himself to kill the lot of them and dramatically break out of the television screen, infecting Sally, who's too startled to resist, in the process. Naturally, she spreads the evil to her party guests through her fingernails, letting them know that the 'floppily dancing  around her high rise apartment to The Smiths and Peter Murphy' segment of her get together has officially ended.

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"She watched that documentary on television in a highrise apartment building, GET IT?!!?" barks Tony th-errr, I mean, Hank the Personal Trainer (Bobby Rhodes).
The newly-transformed demons spill out of the young girl's apartment, rushing to infect the entire populace of the building after a collective bleed burns through the floor Alien(1979)-style and knocks out the power, leaving salvation this time around to George (David Knight) and his pregnant spouse, Hannah ( Nancy Brilli), as they join with Bobby the Pimp's identical twin, Hank (Bobby Rhodes), who's been pumping iron in the building's gym and also quite adept at battling back the belligerent baddies.Little boys turn into bloodthirsty demons, hell, even family dogs transform into demons here. An embarrassing winged imp puppet with visible strings  terrorizes the expectant mother-to-be. A little girl (Asia Argento, in her debut) watches helplessly as her father is swarmed by demons as the struggle moves to the parking garage. George and Hannah decide to make their way to the roof, finally infiltrating the mysterious self-sufficient television station that started the epidemic, but demonic Sally does her best to stop the couple from escaping. She fails and eats half-blinded impalement death. Hannah gives birth. The baby isn't a demon. Is it finally all over? Of course not.

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They grow up right before your eyes, don't they?
Lino Salemme ( the unforgettable coke-snorting 'Ripper' from the original ) makes a nice cameo here, playing a security guard this time around, and Virginia Bryant is on board as a classy call girl. The soundtrack is handled by Simon Boswell, with a few memorable cuts, but for me, the Simonetti metal score of the original wins out, hands down. Michele Soavi's La Chiesa (1989), originally intended as a second Demons sequel, would follow, and Bava would helm the made-for-tv The Ogre in 1988, which would be known as Demons III: The Ogre stateside, and even Umberto Lenzi's Black Demons(1991) was released as Demons III in several countries. This entry earns itself two wops, a flawed but enjoyable effort.

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"Don't post that one to FB, you missed our collective sideways peace signs and duckfaces!"
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Unknown said...

Might not be the best Italian offering, but it brings back good memories.

beedubelhue said...

Sure does!


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