Demons 2 (1986)

When we last saw the demons, they had begun their plot to take over the world by overrunning a free showing of a cheesy Italian horror movie at one of the local theaters in Berlin. The movie ended with the city beset by all sorts of demons-related violence and the survivors of the movie theater assault were headed off in a jeep to find safety in the country.

It would be safe to assume then that Demons 2 would turn it up a notch and depict the epic clash between man and demon as they battled for control of the entire world, right? Uh, no, but would you settle for a bunch of demons overrunning an apartment building? What if I told you that the apartment building had a weight room?

Obviously, director Lamberto Bava is content to merely remake instead of expand upon the original Demons. That’s kind of disappointing, since the prospect of a demon war involving specially trained marines or at least a band of scrappy survivors hunting demons down at least sounds cool.

But on the positive side of things, this remake gives Bava a chance to ditch the parts of the first movie that didn’t work (the story, the characters) and enhance the parts that didn’t fail badly (the gore, the heavy metal music). Somehow he gets it twisted around and manages to do all the above with less aptitude than before, proving the old axiom that an Italian horror movie is only that particular director’s worst movie ever until he finishes his next one.

As near as I could tell, there was a documentary on TV about a bunch of dopey teens entering the Forbidden Zone where the demons were contained. And how were they contained? Well, there was this big wall with razor wire on top of it and no one could possibly get in or out except for the dopey teens who threw a rope over the wall and climbed up on top of it. Good thing the demons weren’t that crafty, huh?

Demons 2 One

These folks look around and appear to be in the area of the movie theater from the first movie. They’re looking for some souvenirs and find the claw of a demon. They also find a dead demon and somehow or other one of the morons bleeds on it, causing it to wake up!

After the demon comes alive and kills these idiots, it starts running at the camera so that it’s coming straight at your television. Then it comes right through one chick’s television and into her room and turns her into a demon! And during her birthday party no less! These are truly the forces of darkness, are they not?

Sally and her birthday party are all located in the super modern high rise apartment building known as The Tower. Among its many high tech features is that once there’s a demon invasion detected, the entire building goes into lockdown so that no one can escape. Not so good for the tenants, but the rest of the city probably thinks it’s a pretty sweet selling point.

All the doors and elevators are shut down. The windows are double paned and bullet proof. And apparently no one bothers to try and come into The Tower during any of this and finds that it’s in lockdown and contacts the authorities.

Demons 2 Two

Since we’re in an apartment building that means Bava is free to follow a number of different people in their efforts to fight off the demons. You’ve got the party goers. You’ve got a pregnant woman. You’ve got her husband trapped in an elevator with a call girl. You’ve got a little kid. You’ve got a woman with a pet dog. And you’ve got all the weightlifters!

The demons periodically attack these people with the expected gore shots of people getting clawed and demons losing their baby teeth so that their demon teeth can come in. But Bava isn’t content to rehash the old demon encounters of the past. He decides to have the little boy turn into a demon and harass the pregnant lady.

Even better (and by better, I mean dumber) is when a baby demon comes out of this kid and runs amok in the woman’s apartment. It’s great that you could get Sergio Stivaletti or whomever to build you a little demon puppet, but it doesn’t look like much beyond a puppet when it’s on screen.

And if I was sitting there a bit aghast at the scene where the woman traps the puppet in her hide-a-bed, then I was pretty much petrified when after it clawed it’s way out (the woman even tried to clip its claws with some garden shears!) of the bed, her boyfriend saved the day by stabbing it with an umbrella!

Demons 2 Three

Suffice it to say that the movie was worse in every respect compared to the original Demons. For instance, the apartment building setting is worse than the movie theater since all the action is split up into different parts of the building and only seems to involve the same twenty tenants. And where are the rest of the occupants of this mammoth structure?

Though the first film had the action taking place in different parts of the movie theater, there was an overall sense of claustrophobia since we all know how big movie theaters are and how they’re generally constructed (i.e. we know where the projection room is in relation to the balcony). This apartment building stuff seemed to just move from elevator to weight room to parking garage to roof without any real flow.

The characters take longer to die in this one, so they are more annoying and even worse, there’s a set of characters that are traveling to the apartment building, but never even make it because of a car wreck! What was the point of that?

Throw in the fact that the gore is just stuff we’ve seen before in the first movie, combined with the awful addition of the puppet and a dog that turns into a demon, as well as the abysmal musical selections for this one (The Smiths? Dead Can’t Dance? Who are these losers? What happened to Motley Crue?) and you’ve got a movie that Rick Springfield couldn’t even be persuaded to get involved with.

© 2014 MonsterHunter

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