The Night of the Demons Series: The Remake 2010
What’s the point of this film? Seriously, someone tell me, why does this film exist? The original Night of the Demons films were cheap and cheerful schlockfests stuffed full of boob, gore, comedy and silliness. They were also made for practically nothing, and coasted through on the charms of Amelia Kinkade as Angela, the hostess, quite literally, from hell. So, in 2009, some bright spark thought that it would be money in the bank to remake a mostly forgotten minor series, to update it for the kids in the 21st Century. Except they forgot one important thing: Night of the Demons without Amelia Kinkade is like reforming the Beatles with Julian Lennon in place of his father. Completely wrong, totally pointless and somewhat depressing.
There isn’t a lot to say about this film, really. It’s just so depressingly cynical. I suppose that a half-arsed attempt has been made to inject some life into the story, but really, there isn’t a lot going for it. This time around, instead of Hull House, we’ve got some mansion in New Orleans, home to a bloody massacre (shown in old film-reel) in the past but hired out by Shannon Elizabeth’s party promoter Angela. Her and her partner Diana (Tiffany Shepis) are throwing a huge fucking rave for cash. Enter our heroic group of twenty somethings, led by Monica Keena, Diora Baird and Bobbi Sue Luther and their interchangeable boyfriends, who for reasons too boring to get into remain trapped inside after the cops throw everyone off the premises. For reasons even more boring than those other terminally boring reasons, the world’s fattest, shittest drug dealer, called, laughably, Colin (Edward Furlong) is also trapped inside. Honestly, Colin the dealer. I ask you, who thought that was a good idea? Anyhoo, our intrepid heroes discover a group of 7 corpses in the cellar. Angela gets bitten by one, and things start to go horribly pear-shaped for the collective. First they play a game of spin the bottle, which results in Diora’s boyfriend snogging Angela and thereby getting demon-itis. Diora is, understandably, a bit pissed at this, so takes him off to a room in the house for a spot of anal sex. No sooner than you can say “up the wrong ‘un” than his bout of rectal fun infects her with Sexually Transmitted Demonicness. I wish I was joking about that, but I’m not.
The rest of the film sees Monica, douchebag boyfriend number 2 and fat drug dealer attempting to fend the demons off until morning. Oh, and they reveal the truth about what happened; discover a room with magic symbols that fend off demons and so forth. Other terminally boring things happen, such as Demons being allergic to rust- which is fair enough because old nails and whatnot can give you tetanus, Diora has a half-arsed attempt at repeating Quigley’s epic lipstick scene from the original, Furlong eats the crew and I struggle to give a shit. At any point.
This is one of the most staggeringly point-missing remakes out there. All three of the original NOTD films cost $2m less to make altogether than this film. What’s insulting, however, is that you can’t see where the money went. It’s perfectly shiny, and I suppose the old film effect is quite good, but it just doesn’t warrant having any kind of budget. Secondly, if there’s one word I would use to describe the original NOTD, then that word would be “Gleeful”. There’s enough boob to keep the United States Army from missing their girlfriends, and enough ketchup thrown around to boost shares in Heinz into the stratosphere, but it’s all done with a sense of fun. The original films were cheesy as hell, but they were playful and inventive.
This, needless to say, isn’t the case here. If there’s one word I would use to describe the remake, then that word is “crass”. It’s trying too hard- the original didn’t include dialogue like “if you put it in there, it will need lube”, or the lipstick scene didn’t result in a torrent of menstrual blood. Basically, what I’m getting at here is that the Night of the Demons remake is trying to up the ante on the pretty garish originals, but is doing it in the worst possible way. Instead of being playful and amusing, it’s dour and cynical. Instead of being comically over the top, it’s unpleasant and mean spirited. There’s just nothing in it to hold a candle to the original.
The other thing here is that this desperately wants to be as trashy as the original series: we’ve got champagne fellatio, demonic anal sex, lesbian kissing and so forth, yet for some reason there’s naff all in the way of actual boob on display. The only juggs that come out are Baird’s and that’s for the lipstick scene, and I had the feeling that if they hadn’t have had to push it through a nipple then even this top would have stayed up. It’s strangely coy. Take for example, Angela infecting Suzanne: this has potential, there’s a slow dance, a touch of light lesbianage then the camera pulls back for a crap special effect, and the moment is gone. This is neutered Night of the Demons, and as a result totally pointless.
It’s also both referential and boring. The essential problem is one of bad writing. The film breaks down into three characters running around like headless chickens before getting stuck in a room. This does not a good horror movie make, especially when your main conceit has been robbed from Argento (the writing on the wall). To alleviate the boredom, the whole film is stuffed full of references; both visual and textual. For example, Linnea Quigley makes a brief appearance, and recreates her bending over scene from the original, or the two girls are dressed in the same costume as Abi from NOTD3. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. So, between bouts of boredom, there are groan inducing references to spot. This is the Scream 3 of the Night of the Demons series.
The acting is utterly professional and acceptable. Elizabeth does not, despite arguably being hotter, have the charisma, charm and appeal that Kinkade had, and this is one of the central problems to the film. Angela was absolutely fucking fantastic when Kinkade played the part, and she isn’t a better actress than Elizabeth, so why doesn’t it work here? On the other hand, Keena and Baird are OK, the cameos are ok, and Furlong is fat. That’s all there really is to say about it, because like everything else here it is wholly professional, very shiny, and completely bland.
Overall, this is fairly wank and a total waste of time. I’m giving it half a flag of Almada out of 4, and that’s wholly for the black and white filmreel stuff- which is streets ahead in terms of imagination and execution than anything else on display here. I’m making it sound really awful, and I am being very unfair because it isn’t totally horrific. If the original films didn’t exist then this would be a slightly crasser, but completely unremarkable entry in the genre. However, the original films do exist, and the damned thing keeps trying to remind us of them, so it becomes simply an exercise in redundancy.
Basically, just a fucking waste of time. Watch the original films, particularly the second one, and pretend it doesn’t exist.
Until next time,