A bunch of Italians speaking dubbed English are invited to a Berlin cinema (we kid, only because we love) in Demons. It’s an invite-only screening with tickets handed out near a deserted S-Bahn station by a guy in a rather creepy mask. He’s asked by a rather attractive college, “Cheryl”, “Are you dressed like this for the promotion of the film?” To which he answers…well, he doesn’t answer as this is foreshadowing!
Perhaps sensing something amiss, as would be your wont if you were accosted near a deserted train station by a guy wearing a mask, Cheryl conscripts her friend to accompany her (“You sure you want to cut class? I’ll hold your hand if it’s scary!”)
And scary it is. And that’s just the audience, which comprises an elderly couple, some preppy frat guys, an Italian Lou Reed doppelganger, a pimp, a couple of hookers – in short, a motley crew of people (more on that later).
The film screening seems to be a real winner. A trio of friends come upon a tomb and really, the dialogue speaks for itself:
Friend 1: “Hey, it’s an old book and something wrapped in cloth” (which turns out to be…ding ding ding! A mask)
Friend 2: [re, the book] “it says here that demons are instruments of evil!” (Editors’ note: no shit Sherlock!)
One of the intrepid friends puts on the mask:
Friend 3: “Trick or treat.”
Friend 2: “Don’t do that!”
Friend 2: “Whoever wears it becomes a demon!”
Friend 3: “How do you know?”
Friend 2: “It says here, ‘whoever wears it becomes a demon!'”
Absolutely cracking dialogue!
Anyway, in Demons, which Lamberto Bava (son of Mario) says is the favorite film he’s ever done, the protagonist in the movie trailer starts bleeding after putting on the mask. And wouldn’t you know it, the audience treated to this freebie (and are regretting it), start exhibiting the symptoms! And then they’re transformed into hideous demons who tear each other apart.
In the book, 150 Movies You Should Die Before You See it says the story “was an optional extra and what the audience needed was a string of transformations and violent murders to be satisfied…” AND?????
It all culminates in one of the frat guys, swinging a sword while riding a motorcycle through the theatre with Cheryl, chopping up demons, to the soundtrack of…Motley Crue. You see what we did there?
Just great. Good loud gory fun, co-written and produced by the legendary king of giallo Dario Argento.
***1/2 (out of 5)
CHECK OUT OUR DISCUSSION OF DEMONS ON THE REALLY AWFUL MOVIES PODCAST.