Lamberto Bava, son of the Italian horror legend and giallo godfather Mario Bava, teamed up with modern master Dario Argento (cowriter and producer) for this slick gorefest, a triumph of style and special effects over movie... more » logic. Set in a refurbished German movie palace, our hapless soon-to-be victims arrive for a sneak preview of a horror movie only to see the gore unfold in the audience, as well as onscreen. While the exposition remains murky, one patron finds that an infected cut leads to a gooey transformation, and every one of her victims follows suit until the snaggle-toothed monsters outnumber the humans. The survivors, trapped in the tomb of a theater, must fend off attacks à la George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Borrowing liberally from films such as Dawn of the Dead and The Tingler, Demons also anticipates Scream in its cinema-savvy references, not to mention its undeniably Neve Campbell-ish heroine. The blaring heavy-metal-hard-rock soundtrack and the carnival horror-house atmosphere helps remind us that this is all just stupid fun. Despite the overwhelming body count, excessive gore, and rivers of green demon pus, the cartoonishly grotesque killings avoid the sadistic edge of many Italian horror films. By the climax of the film the premise is long forgotten in a ghoul apocalypse, but who's watching this for the story anyway? --Sean Axmaker« less
Italian horror maestros Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava collaborated on this stylish-but-nonsensical gore fest. Horror film viewers at a newly-reopened German movie palace suddenly have to fight for their lives when the flesh-eating murderous evil in the movie creeps off the screen and starts possessing members of the audience.
As usual with Italian horror flicks, the gore flows hot and heavy... on the other hand, the dialogue is awkward, the acting is stilted (at best), the dubbing sucks and the story barely makes a lick of sense... but the action moves so fast & furious that you won't even notice.
As an added bonus for metal nerds, now-classic tracks by Saxon, Accept, Motley Crue and Pretty Maids are heard during pivotal moments.
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Jefferson N. from BLAIRSVILLE, GA Reviewed on 1/18/2010...
This classic collaboration between Italian director/producer Dario Argento and director Lamberto Bava is truly a joy to behold if you're a gorehound or a horror movie fan. The plot is simple and yet deep at the same time. A movie theater is giving out tickets and a young college student and her friend attend. Inside, we are introduced to a cast of victims who all attend the cheesy movie only to find that something evil is happening. The curse of the film reaches out and begins to infect the moviegoers with it's demonic spell, turning them into slavering, psychotic demon-zombies. And every one that dies becomes another member of this legion of the damned. Can the survivors find a way out of the theater and warn the world of an impending plague...or will they die trapped like rats?
This movie is truly awesome because we get to see plenty of horror cliches to laugh at and at the same time get to see gore by the boatload. The story itself is also funny, but at the same time there seems to be more going on. In the commentary, the director Lamberto Bava doesn't really seem to remember any deep context, but you can almost feel it there in spite of itself. It's like the movie within the movie has reached out beyond it's creators and wants to assert itself as a classic, even though the creators seem to feel it was just another film. Perhaps the fact that Dario Argento was a bit more hands on in this movie than in some of the others he produced later adds to the ambiance of this movie, since he was at his height of creativity at this time. In some capacity, he might as well have BEEN the director on this one as much as he worked on it.
If you're an Argento fan, you have to see this movie. If you're an Italian horror fan, you have to see this movie. And if you just want to see some gory action, you have to see this movie. One of the best from both creators.
A great horror movie!
John Lindsey | Socorro, New Mexico USA. | 08/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Set in Berlin, a new theater has opened which is showing a realistic violent horror movie about demons and the occult then suddenly some of the audiences transform into demons literally and ripping almost everyone to shreds, only some humans must defend themselves and find a way out.
A well made, original and entertaining horror action fantasy from director Lamberto Bava ( Director of " Blade in the Dark" and "Shock") and produced by legendary Italian horror maestro Dario Argento ( of "Suspiria" fame) loaded with great make-up effects, gore, action, a decent story and a nice twist in the end makes this a definite must see movie for fans of the genre. The DVD is quite good in picture and sound with fine extras especially the commentary by Lamberto Bava.
Also recommended: "From Dusk Till Dawn", "Demons 2", "Cemetery Man", " The Church", " The Last Action Hero", " New Nightmare", "Day of the Dead", " 28 Days Later", " The Evil Dead", "Dawn of the Dead ( both 1978 and 2004 versions)", " Night of the Living Dead", " Cannibal Ferox", " Phenomena", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2", " The Toxic Avenger", "Re-Animator", " Videodrome", " Suspiria", " Inferno", " Evil Dead 2", "Freddy Vs. Jason", " A Nighmare on Elm Street"," Hellraiser", " Hell of the Living Dead", "City of the Living Dead", " House By The Cemetery", " Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend", "Rabid Grannies", "Riki-Oh The Story of Ricky", "Blood Diner", and " The Beyond"."
Italian Horror in All Gory Glory
Sal Paradise | Washington, DC | 11/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw this film alongside Beyond by Fulci, and at the time I got the films confused only that Demons was even more horrifying since it takes place in a movie theater and I was in a movie theater when I saw it and subsequently Beyond for the second time. That being said the film is highly recommended for gore afficiandos and films of italian horror. The sequels to this film which I have not seen, received poor reviews. Much like the sequels to Fulci's Zombi were not very good. Yes there's gore in this film but there's at least a bit of story. Great for a drunken weekend with buddies who have similar interests."
Emily R. Jarrell | Newport News, VA United States | 07/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I rate this as one of the scariest and here's why. Years ago, when it was new and playing at the theater I saw it and let me tell you, seeing this film in a darkened theater is one terrifying experience. Perhaps because the demons were terrorizing the victims in a theater, I don't know, but it was beyond creepy and I still remember being scared out of mind to this day."
One hell of a ride!
Lunar Strain | United States | 10/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To say the least, I was totally rocked by this film! I loved the story about people being trapped in a movie theater as a demon is running around turning other members into demons. It's a hell of a claustrophobic thriller! Sure the film lacks some logic and sense in some parts, but its not enough to drive you away from enjoying the movie. Very stylish directing by Lamberto Bava and superb special effects! Gore junkies will not be disappointed. The head bangin' soundtrack is also great. One can't resist to get rocked as the hero is riding a motorcycle through the theater lopping heads off of demons with a sword while Accept's Fast as a Shark is blastin' in the background. A truely memorable scene! The ending is also superb! So don't hesitate to pick up this film; it's one hell of a ride! One of the best and most entertaining horror films to be imported from Italy!"
Some of Argentino's best work,
Derrick Dunn | Woodbridge,VA | 04/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What can be said about Demons ? The one thing that comes to mind is that it's stood the test of time after 16 years. I consider myself a huge movie buff and this is one of the films that scarred me as a child. I can reall watching this flick with my dorm buddies in both the Air Force and colleage and they were enterainted by it. What makes this film so scary is the gore and effects. When I was 4 my parents banned from me seeing this movie. My first time seeing it I know why the film isn't for those who can't handle gore or have weak stomach. The musical score and tense pacing are amazing and if you watch the film in pitch black with surround sound it'll give you a few scary moments. I give the fim *** out of four. I give this rating based on the camera work and score. The film's only bad point is the dubbing."