Oh, the horror! Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava teamed up for 1985's Demons and gave us one of the decades classic horror feasts that, despite being logically impaired, achieved coolness on almost every level! Why is it, then, that Demons 2 (aka: Demoni 2: L' Incubo Ritorna) is such a mess?
One word; Muppets.
That's right, Sergio Stivaletti's damn muppets!
Well, maybe not just the muppets, but like Ewoks killed Jedi for me, the little demon beasties in this movie made me wanna kick my television screen in! It doesn't help that Demons 2 is just an all around bad idea with bad performances, special effects that make you wince with embarrasment, and a slapstick style that makes any genuine attempts at scaring the viewer futile.
Demons ended with an outbreak of demon beasties taking over the city and with our heros running to the hills, suggesting that the apocalypse had begun and the human race was now an endangered species. Demons 2 writes that off as an isolated case and takes place a few years later. It is while a movie based on the events that happened in the original film is shown on television that a whole new outbreak begins, this time in a fortress-like apartment building from which no one can escape. See, the demons bleed acid now and the acid burns through the floors, infecting those who touch it, as well as cutting off the power, phone lines, and alarm system. This, of course, is just one small puddle of blood from one demon. See where this is going??
Where Demons was a fast and frivelous splatter fest with some obvious lapses in logic, it was still great fun and one of the best horror films of the eighties. Demons 2, however, does it all wrong. The make-up, monsters, and muppets are all laughably bad, the story moves along at a very laborious pace, and the pay off is a predictably sterile ending that leaves the viewer wondering whether to shut off the DVD player or just plain shoot at it.
There are very few movies with the names Argento or Bava attached to them that I can actually say I disliked, but Demons 2 was bad enough to join that very exclusive club, so I guess that's an accomplishment of some kind.
Oh, and Asia Argento is credited as one of the film's stars, yet clocks in less time than most of the extras. Plus, if any of you are that obsessed with her, she was only 12 when this movie was made, so shame on you!!
Anchor Bay offers Demons 2 as a standalone, or packaged along with Demons in a 2-Pack Dario Argento Collection set. Either version has the same extras, which consist of a commentary with Bava, journalist Cursi, and Stivaletti, as well as a trailer, cast and crew info, etc.
If you are an Argento completist, like I am, the two pack is the way to go, since it shaves ten bucks off of the price of the two movies if purchased separately. If, however, you aren't an Argentophile, leave this one on the shelves and grab the original Demons.