Sunday, June 7

Demons 2: The Nightmare Returns (1986)

A.K.A. Dèmoni 2: L'incubo ritorna
Directed by Lamberto Bava
91 Minutes (uncut) / Anchor Bay VHS / 1.66:1 Widescreen

Essentially Demons in an apartment complex without the "good." A sensational documentary depicting investigators poking around a condemned demon infestation zone sparks the apartment entry point for a demon through a television. A raging hellraiser emerges from the set and soon tenants are turned into equally bug-eyed Hades sweat hogs quicker than a competition eater downing twenty hotdogs. Our male hero is stuck in an elevator when the shit drops and now must fight his way back to his pregnant wife. The remaining humans hold up in a basement car garage led by Bobby Rhodes, the badass pimp in Demons, only this time appearing as a badass fitness instructor leading a band of aerobisizers and a young Asia Argento.

Yeah, I'm afraid to say the majority is right, this "sequel" is definitely lacking. The manic energy that powered the first film only arrives in fleeting spastic fits. There's a wasteful sequence where the pregnant wife is tormented by a very Gremlins-like shrieking mini-demon. She seems to inadvertently toy with the damn thing choosing to avoid the obvious like stabbing weapons or just kicking the mutha square in its wide Audrey "feed me" mouth. This annoyance is intercut with a well-staged battle in the parking garage and hero elevator shaft cable climb while under demonic menace. We're also treated to pointless scenes of another group of cruisin' punks that ultimately end up in a car crash--never to be seen after that!?!

Bava and the host of writers deal in trade-offs like these throughout. For every entertaining tidbit, there's noticeably blander crap that must be endured to get the next interesting morsel. This is fairly consistent, so you're never too inclined to do the patented remote reach, but you feel like a half hour after downing a greasy Big Mac and fries by the time the credits roll. Mildly bloated and edging on a dry heave. The big question that's never answered is how mankind conquered the demons from the first film. The narrator of the faux documentary even makes vague light of this battle, that would have made a fucking awesome sequel. Oh well...

Film: 4.5/10
VHS Picture: 7/10
VHS Sound: 7/10 (loud!)
* Avoid the Imperial VHS, it's cut by 3 minutes compared to Anchor Bay's VHS and DVD releases.


The Man-Cave said...

Definitely not as good as the first and not as fun. It was good seeing Rhodes again leading another battle, but the ending was a little out there.

Unknown said...

I loved the first DEMONS, but this one just didn't do it for me. Like you pointed out, it has its moments, but there are too few of them. A full on sequel dealing with a demon invasion would have been better than a watered down remake of the first (in an apartment building instead of a movie theater).

Kevin J. Olson said...

Yeah, this is one of the more drab Italian Horror films...although Bobby Rhodes as Hank the weight lifting coach is worth the rental alone. "Keep pumpin' baby, you'll never get the strength in those legs."

Was there ever an official third Demons film? I thought I remember seeing something about how Soavi's The Church was supposed to be the third installment. Because Black Demons was just Zombi 3, right?

I have hard time keeping all of my millions of Italian horror titles in check.

I love this blog, by the way. Keep up the great work. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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