Sunday, April 20, 2014

"Demonoid- Messenger of Death" (1981) d/ Alfredo Zacarias

 photo Demonoid-Messenger-of-Death_zps2e2ee5af.jpg
I can't remember where I first saw the 'Holy Fuck!' of a one-sheet for tonight's review, either in the once-glorious movie section of the New York Post or the pages of Variety, but I'm pretty sure my thoughts were along the lines of : They're gonna have a helluva time living up to the amount of rule in that poster, what with screaming chicks and slave girls in gold bikinis grovelling at the feet of a bellicose Baelzebub, holding a sword aloft, like some visual interpretation of a Venom lp. Hell, I never even paid much mind to the groping severed mitt above the title. With the constant geyser of horror flicks being released at the time, this Mexican-American cheapie soon fell off my pre-teen radar, and it wasn't until the Media VHS later found it's way into my Panasonic top loader that I fully realized how dead on, balls accurate my original thoughts turned out to be...

 photo Demon01_zps972a52e4.jpg
"I can't see where you are on the sound stage with this damned fog machine...wave your sword, Satan!"
We're treated to a subterranean pre-title sequence where a hooded cult of kooks subdues an fiesty blonde and chains her to a wall before hacking her left hand off with an axe (her top comes off first, for good measure, of course). The mysterious cultist then skewers the disembodied hand on a knife blade as it tries to finger-creep the fuck outta there, placing the hand in the empty left hand shaped box, that looked like it could use a new left hand...yeah, you get the idea. Fast forward to Guanajuato, Mexico (no wrestling this time, I promise), where Jen Baines is visiting her husband Mark (Samantha Eggar,  Roy Jones) at his mine, where the terrified local workers refuse to enter, superstitious that it's haunted. With Scooby and the gang unavailable on such short notice, the couple descends into the mine's depths themselves only to discover a secret chamber when Jen leans into a tentative pile of styrofoam rocks, complete with a sacrificial altar to the devil, and the aforementioned severed-left-hand-in-the-devil's-left-hand-box from the intro. Mark straight ganks the unholy mitt from it's final resting place to prove to the simple fools that the legends hold no water. Guess what happens next...

 photo Demon02_zps5fa490bb.jpg
"I don't wanna sleeeeep, I juss wanna keep on lovin' youuuuuuuu..."
The dust inside the hand box time-lapses back into the rubbery devil's digits, which make their way out of the metal box with the grace of a phony chicken before copping a cheap feel of Jen's calves, and then possessing her husband's own left hand, which then recklessly pushes the plunger on some dynamite, sealing his workers in the mine, then driving off in his wife's Volkswagen Thing, which is still parked in the very next shot. Oh sweet continuity! The hand wins him some folding money at a Vegas crap table before squashing the faces of a pair of local extortionists and dumping a gas can over Mark's head, finally burning him like Megatron does to the Chicago defensive backfield on a game-to-game basis. By now, you know the routine. Ol' scratch possesses the left hands of  everyone from black police officers, who hilariously demand anesthetic-free gore-soaked amputation at gun point ("Either you cut my hand off, or I'll kill you!"), to fat Dr. Mustache, who uses train tracks to release himself from his homicidal lefty, which hitches a ride on the passing train afterwards. Jen confides in a guardian priest named Father Cunningham (Whitman), asking him at one point: "Do you believe there's a hand?", to which he replies, "I believe there's something." That makes one of us...

 photo Demon08_zpsddf90ff3.jpg
"Devil's hand?? Don't be silly, that's my new barrette!"
Russ Meyer favorite, Haji shows up here in a cameo as a gangster's moll. It's hard to believe that in this day and age where, seemingly, every last horror movie ever made, no matter how insignificant, gets lovingly restored and released in a SE dvd/BluRay by somebody, that tonight's flick hasn't seen an official disc yet. Still, it won't likely bump "...And Now The Screaming Starts"(1973), "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors"(1963), or "The Beast With Five Fingers"(1946) as your fave crawling hand movie, by any means, and with zero scares, unintentionally hilarious dialog, and shoddy editing outweighing some passable gore and a decent synthy soundtrack that reeks of the period, yer 'ol pal B.W. is forced to hold up his own favored left with one finger on display, while his right hits the stop button on the remote.

 photo Demon07_zps44066ee3.jpg
"...and then Jesus took his flame thrower...again he gave you thanks and praise..."
 photo nu1w_zpsb81401ad.jpg

No comments:

Connect with Facebook