Like a time capsule chock full of all of the inherent cheesiness of 1980's horror cinema, Anchor Bay's new Night of the Demons DVD is a breath of Flock of Seagulls haircut, pastel t-shirt, and Rubik's Cube filled air. From its "man, these sweet keyboard riffs will never go out of style" soundtrack to its hilariously bad acting and boobs-for-boobs'-sake nudity, Night of the Demons is a fantastically fun and welcome addition to any horror fans DVD collection.
It's Halloween, and Angela (Kinkaid) is having a hell of a party; literally. You see, Angela and her pal, Suzanne (Quigley) are throwing their bash at the nearby abandoned funeral home, Hull House. They hope to put a scare in jock-ish Jay Jansen (Lance Fenton), dim-witted prom queen Helen (Barron), and all of the other "kids" they invited (all five of them, making for a rather dull looking party, especially given that none of these people seem to remotely like each other). When Angela's party games lead to an ancient evil being unleashed and possessing the partygoers one by one, it's a fight to survive the night...of the Demons!
Kevin Tenney's film was obviously influenced by Sam Raimi's Evil Dead, from its eerie make-up to the shaky "Demonic" point of view cam, but it's got a spirit of its own that makes it for a really fun slice of me-decade decadence. While much of the film is played for laughs, it's got a few scares up its sleeves, and the demonic make-up's actually downright creepy (at least when the demon's aren't cracking Freddy Krueger-style one-liners).
I remember renting and re-renting this one way back in the early 90's, but I don't remember it looking quite as nice as it does here, thanks to a gorgeous widescreen transfer courtesy of Anchor Bay. The film looks rich and vibrant, without a hint of artifacting, and sounds just as good. Anchor Bay even dug up an assortment of special features, including a featurette with Linnea Quigley called "My Demon Nights", as well as trailers, television spots, and a commentary by Tenney.
For me, Night of the Demons is both a guilty pleasure and a welcome walk down memory lane, back to a simpler time. A time when blood, bleached blondes, and boobies were the essential ingredients for any self-respecting horror film.
Ah yes...the good ol' days.