The Night of the Demons Series- Night of the Demons 2
This series has been knocking around in my mind for a while now. I first saw the original Night of the Demons (reviewed here) and decided that I needed to see the rest. It’s a solid gold sliver of cheesy schlock, a blast from start to finish with more nudity than a strip club, thefts from seminal horror films, clichéd horror mainstays, an Edam-fest of a script, and more fun than one mind can handle. It’s also dumb as fuck. Hysterical, but unfeasibly stupid. Given that it was made for less than Michael Bay spends on lunch, and turned into something of a hit, it was only a matter of time until the attempt to cash in was made. To be absolutely fair, although it isn’t exactly screaming for a sequel, the central premise is established that these events take place every Halloween, so it isn’t too much of a leap of faith to wheel out another batch of dopey teenagers (played by actors in their late 20’s, of course) for more demonic and nudity filled frolics.
However, I really have to give credit to the makers of this. The original was marked out from the crowd by two exceptional performances, the first was Linnea Quigly as slut/ demon, but more important was sexy goth queen Angela, played by Amelia Kinkade. It is indeed Angela’s party, and we’re all invited. Clothing optional.
Interestingly, and this is absolutely hilarious, Kinkade’s last acting gig was Night of the Demons 3: Hell House, and she changed careers. I wouldn’t ordinarily mention something as mundane as this, but Kinkade is now (and this is superb) a pet psychic/ children’s illustrator. This is hilarious.
Anyhoo, this time out, we’re introduced to a new set of teenagers. Slutty Shirley (Zoe Trilling), her friends Bibi (Cristi Harris) and Terri (Christine Taylor), generic boyfriends Kurt (Ladd York) and Johnny (Johnny Moran), nerd demonologist Perry (Robert Jayne), and bullied Mouse (Merle Kennedy) who is Angela’s orphaned sister. They’re attending some kind of catholic school run with an iron rosary by the fantastic Sister Gloria (Jennifer Rhodes) and Father Bob (Rod McCary). Shirley decides that she’s got no interest in Sister Gloria’s lame school dance, so go off to party like it’s 1999 elsewhere. The natural location? Well, obviously that will be Hull House because the wildest parties take place in demonic hell-holes. Through a series of fuck-ups they manage to summon Angela, and through an even bigger fuck up, they take her off the property. Hilarity ensues before Sister Gloria weilds her Rosary like a nunchuck and our survivors take down the demonic hussy with morning approaching.
This is an absolute blast. The script isn’t quite as good as the first one, which to be honest was never going to give Mamet sleepless nights, and doesn’t contain the same level of humdingingly good one-liners. There’s nothing here, for example, to compare to the awesome “bowl of fuck” line from the original, and it feels as if all cleverness here went in to working out how to allow Angela to cross the border of Hell House. Still, I don’t really give a toss, because, to be honest, the film is just too damned entertaining.
There are several things that I consider to be essential for a Night of the Demons film, and the first is that there had better be vast amounts of nudity, and director Brian Trenchard-Smith (one of the all-time schlock kings) lays it on with a trowel. This is an astonishingly brazen film, even having our teenage douchebags spying on the girls changing with binoculars, which is just an excuse to pack as much boob and minge into the run time as he can possibly get away with. So, score one there. However, he’s not finished yet, so Night of the Demons 2 also contains a fair amount of lesbianism. Fan-fucking-tastic.
It’s also, and this is going to sound a bit daft, but deliberately comical. This is horror comedy, and it is genuinely laugh out loud funny on more than one occasion. Blundering twat Kurt is the vehicle for most of the comedy here, and he gets the single best line of the film: “Name’s Kurt, but the ladies call me king snake”. However, he’s also the butt of much of the visual humour in the film, including playing basketball with his own head, and the absolutely hilarious hand-job in the car scene. I was, and this is no exaggeration, howling with laughter at this sequence.
Talking about Kurt, It’s fair to say that York does well in the part, but the film is stolen by the women. Firstly Kennedy is good as Mouse, but not as good as the others, including Harris as Bibi, but the performance that really blows the rest out of the water is Trilling’s amazingly sleazy turn as Shirley. This is a fantastic performance, and almost made me want to watch everything else she’s been in. Finally, Rhodes is flat-out hilarious as Sister Gloria. Nevertheless, this is the Angela show, and the film lives or dies depending on how well Kinkade holds up. Just as well she’s on fire here and it’s true to say that from the opening sequence with the God-botherers, to her dance at the party, she’s clearly having a blast.
The monster effects are about par for the course, being cheap and cheerful, and although the snake thing at the end is faintly ridiculous, it’s still a good effort considering the budget. However, I’d like to give full marks to the death by killer boob effect, which is a simply magnificent effect, reminiscent of Videodrome amongst other things. Clearly this isn’t in the same league as Cronenberg’s classic, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the effect had been lifted from that film. I’m sure Trenchard-Smith used this effect elsewhere in his career, notably Leprechaun, but I may well be imagining things.
This is a fucking riot. It’s so stupid that it ranks on the autistic spectrum, but really, who gives a shit? I watch Night of the Demons film for comedy, boob and silliness, and Night of the Demons 2 has this in spades. It really was a very smart move to make Angela more comical than she was in the original, and the film, while always entertaining, is simply lit up by Kinkade. However, the other feature of Night of the Demons 2 that raises it above the crowd is ninja-nun Sister Gloria. What a fantastic idea, and Rhodes not only seems to be enjoying herself, but the enthusiasm for the silliness she shows causes the demon fighting scenes to be an absolute riot.
Overall, this one I do recommend. I’d like to thank DocP for the rating for this series, as it’s a cracker. I give Night of the Demons 2 two and a half flags of Almada out of a possible 4, because this is an absolute slice of cheesy gold, and is completely beyond the ken of certain individuals. Basically, for Halloween, you can do far worse than dig this film up, get some beer in and laugh at Angela’s party.
I think what we have here is a sequel to a fairly cheesy piece of schlock that might well be better than the original. You don’t see that often.
Until next time,