The Night of the Demons Series: Night of the Demons 3
This has been a remarkably easy series to do so far. This isn’t much of a surprise, given that the 3 original Night of the Demons movies are all basically the same film and follow a strict recipe laid out in the original: scary house + incredibly stupid teens + shitloads of gratuitous nudity and sex + gore= fun. Basically, the golden rule here is if in doubt add tits. Works for me. This second sequel, called Demon House in some parts, is the last on-screen appearance of Amelia Kinkade, who went off to telepathically train pets or some such after this, and it is to her credit that she managed to almost make Angela, demon goth queen of a schlocky B-movie series, into a memorable character. Much of the relative success of this cheesy little series is down to her turn, she’s sexy, evil, and downright comical on more than one occasion.
This time around, Kinkade was 32 and as such far too old to play Angela in the same way as the two earlier incarnations. There’s no dancing from her here, for example. Instead, the writers and director Jim Kaufman have turned her into a sort of milf from hell, and it isn’t a bad idea. Kinkade has a neat line in flirtation, and the opening scene despatching the idiot cop who has wandered up to Hull House is a gleefully depraved little sequence. Of course, this is a Night of the Demons film, so I expect depravity to feature high on the list of essentials.
I suppose I should bother with the plot here, but it’s pretty pointless as if you haven’t got the idea by now, then you’re never going to. Group of teens (in this case because of a disastrous convenience store robbery) turn up at Hull House on Halloween. Angela picks them off one by one, transforming them into Demons, goody two shoes survivor girl manages to make it out. Our douchebag group of teens are the least likeable of the series: cheerleader Holly (Stephanie Bauder), her oh-so-jealous best friend Abby (Patricia Rodriguez) are picked up by a group of douchebag ne’er-do-wells led by cretin Vince (Kris Holden-Reid), his slutty girlfriend Lois (Tara Sloane), and minions Orson (Christian Tessier) and Nick (Gregory Calpakis), a misunderstood boy from the wrong side of the tracks. There are a couple of cops and a token black guy as well.
So, our group of less-than-intrepid morons turn up at Hull House, clothing is shed, they all succumb to Angela, and dawn rises. It’s a winning formula, or it should be, but unfortunately this Night of the Demons is nowhere near as entertaining as its predecessors. Part of the reason for this is the script, which is trying so hard for comedy. It’s like an eager puppy that comes up and jumps up and down in front of you just desperate to entertain. Unfortunately, somebody forgot to make any of the jokes actually funny, so to listen to our group of heroes swap “your momma” gags that were tired even when this film was made (“Let’s get off mothers, because I got off on yours last night”) is a tiresome and annoying experience. They really are a fundamentally annoying bunch, and this doesn’t reflect on the actors, who know precisely what is required of them and so fulfill it to the best of their potential.
Then there are the kill scenes, which are hit and miss to say the least. Orson’s demise (post gun-barrel blow job) is damned amusing, and Kinkade could probably breathe life into a corpse during this, but poor old Lois having to menace herself with a sock-puppet isn’t. Abby’s transformation into fuck kitten is erotically charged, but Vince and Lois grinding on the balcony isn’t. You get the idea, for every good scene (ripping out the cop’s heart) there’s something duff such as the crap stand-off scene. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that Night of the Demons 3 is enormously patchy.
However, when on song (usually when Kinkade is on screen), there’s a kind of goofy charm to it. This isn’t a film to take seriously, and there’s a kind of knowing smile to proceedings. When Nick says “I’m just a kid from the wrong side of the tracks with a long career ahead of me in the automotive industry” it feels like we’re part of the joke, and not in a smug Kevin Williamson kind of way. This is, for the most part, a pleasant experience and the film tries so hard that I can’t possibly hate it.
Furthermore, it doesn’t hang around. The run time is only 85 minutes, and Kaufman crams as much gore and nudity into this brief time as he can. Kinkade may not be as limber as she once was, but she’s at her sexiest here, and it doesn’t matter anyway because the rest of the team are more than willing to take up the slack for her. Every single female character in the film unleashes the boob, even survivor girl Holly, and although all outshone by Kinkade, at least they’re putting in the effort. When they aren’t taking their bras off, they’re busy spreading the gore around and in a run-time as short as this one, it’s no exaggeration to say that there isn’t a dull moment. Plenty of groan-inducing ones, but not boring.
Overall, if the series had finished on this film, it would have been a bit of a downer but not the end of the world. Night of the Demons 3 is an entertaining little romp, following a precise formula, and although the equation is now becoming stale, there’s enough here to keep the casual viewer interested. Against that though, I do wish some care and attention had been given to the script, because the comedy is dreadful, and furthermore, I wish they hadn’t tried to use nascent CGI- they didn’t have the budget and the effects as a result (particularly Lois’ snake hand) are pretty terrible. I give Night of the Demons 3 two buggered goats on the flag of Almada out of 4. It’s entertaining enough to pass the time, but not great.
Needless to say, I don’t recommend this one. I do recommend the previous two, and as each film is essentially a stand alone, if you miss this installment, then it doesn’t really matter.
Until next time,