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Demons 2 (DVD)
Member Name: sunmeilan
Demons 2 (DVD)
Advantages: Enjoyable enough if horror is your thing
Disadvantages: Too similar to the original, poor special effects, wooden acting
This sequel to director Lamberto Bava's Demons - and is also directed by Bava and produced by Dario Argento. Having seen the original, I knew pretty much what to expect - a gory, budget bloodbath with wooden acting and dodgy special effects. And that is pretty much exactly what I got. Nevertheless, poor quality aside, it is still entertaining. The acting initially seems a lot more wooden than it actually is, mainly because the film is dubbed in English, but the actors, of varying nationalities, are speaking their own languages - sometimes English, sometimes Italian. The acting quality isn't brilliant, although I think it is a slight step-up from the first film, where the acting was truly horrendous.
Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni plays Sally and is probably the worst of the actors. Sally is a spoiled little madam who can't decide what to wear to her birthday party and really deserved a bit of a slap for making such a scene about it. Thankfully, although her role is pivotal to the film, she spends much of it as a slime-ridden demon (more about the special effects later), which is strangely infinitely preferable to her teenage girl form. At least as a demon, we know she is supposed to behave badly. There's also a rather hilarious gym instructor, played by Bobby Rhodes, who, probably not deliberately, added a real touch of humour to the film.
George and Hannah, played by David Edwin Knight and Nancy Brilli are better. George is a relatively dull character, who likes reading and then is transformed into the hero of the piece. It's not realistic, but it is entertaining watching him change and, although he is either being boring or killing demons, I thought Knight was perfectly competent in the role. Nancy Brilli was actually quite good as Hannah and is easily the character for which everyone will feel most sympathy. It worked for me anyway. She genuninely looked frightened when being attacked and obviously really cared about her unborn baby. I really wanted her to survive out of all of them.
The story is okay - not terrible, but certainly not the best I've ever seen either. On the whole, it's incredibly similar to the original, in which the majority of the 'story' also involved a group of people being hounded by demons. There was one particularly silly twist in this one though, presumably put there to differentiate the film from the first one, which was the ability of the demon to reach Sally through the television. This is daft enough, but then we have to witness the ridiculous stretching of the television screen as the demon manages to pop through from his televeision world into Sally's living room.
As the film was made in 1986, the special effects are generally dire. I wasn't expecting them to be great - they were poor enough in the first film - but I think they were even worse here. The demons don't look at all natural; they appear to be either wearing masks or caked in make-up, which I presume wasn't really the intention. And then there was the slime. I'm not sure why the demons needed to be covered in slime, but they were - it oozed from them as if it were coming out of their pores. Still, it was marginally better than the green stuff that burst out of the demons in the first film! It isn't really frightening though, despite the classification of 18. The setting was dull in comparison - it was either wasteland or the tower block.
In the first film, the soundtrack was very much heavy metal based. In this film, it is a little bit gentler, including tracks from The Smiths, The Cult, Gene Loves Jezebel (remember them?!) and Dead Can Dance. Anyone who grew up during the eighties will recognise these bands and personally, I really enjoyed listening to them again. The eighties theme continues with the big hair, wacky make-up and loose-fitting clothes and ought to be laughable - but the clothes at least are making a come-back these days, so they look quite normal.
There are a handful of extras - mainly short features about Dario Argento and his films, which aren't specific to this film at all. In fact, the same features are included with the DVD of the first film, which defeats the purpose for me. All are in Italian. Finally, there's a trailer in English - thankfully of this film rather than the last one.
I should really be panning this film. Certainly it isn't held in great esteem by the majority of people - it only scores 5.2 out of 10 on imdb.com. However, I did enjoy it quite a lot. The pacing is good, there is always something going on, and the bad parts are generally quite funny. Anyone who likes Hollywood quality horror will hate this, because it looks so amateurish. However, if you like budget horror and are willing to give it a go, it is at least entertaining, despite its faults. Generally, I would say give it a go if you can get hold of a cheap copy. Three stars out of five.
The DVD is available from play.com for £2.99. I bought my copy from Poundland.
Running time: 90 minutes
Summary: Not bad if you like budget horror