Horror Movie Review: Night of the Demons (1988)


It’s Halloween night, were horny teens are having a party at an abandoned funeral parlour with a chequered past…oh & someone decides a séance would be a fun way to pass the time. Man, I love 80’s horror….

Night of the Demons is a classic horror movie with some of the most memorable scenes of any era. Combining great visuals, a top soundtrack, amazing make-up, great acting & a tongue-in-cheek approach to horror. I’m a huge fan…

At the beginning we see an old man being frightened by one kid with a fake rat & shouted at by another load in a car. He’s a bit of a cranky old fella & we see that he has a particular nasty treat for trick-or-treaters that come to his door that night (razor blades & apples). This will all be relevant at the end of the movie…

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Angela & Suzanne (played by my favourite scream queen, Linnea Quigley) are throwing a Halloween party at Hull House, an abandoned funeral parlour & they’ve invited a select group of friends & school-mates to join them.

We have:

• Stooge, the obnoxious pig.
• Max & Frannie, the horny couple & know a fair bit about the history of Hull House.
• Roger, the nice guy/coward.
• Helen, the one who constantly wants to go home.
• Judy, the heroine & innocent one.
• Jay, the potential boyfriend of Judy who turns out to be a bit of a dick.
• Sal, the bad-boy who went out with Judy once & still wants her.
• Angela, party host & resident Goth.
• Suzanne, the ‘ahem’ promiscuous one of the group.

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All ten members of the party are having a good time in the very creepy Hull House when the music cuts out (batteries run out). Angela decides a séance would be a fun idea & they all sit in front of a large mirror. Frannie sees a demonic face & her own death which scares her & causes the mirror to smash on the floor. In the basement the furnace opens releasing a demon that first inhabits Suzanne before she then passes it onto Angela.

Now the party really gets going as one-by-one the group is killed off & transformed into pawns of the demon.

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In a movie like this effects were always going to be the most important & it does an extremely impressive job of looking the part. Angela particularly deserves special mention as her demonic possession looks brilliant. As well as great make-up there are some gory deaths that include a snog that results in a tongue ripping, an eye-gouging during sex & one couple getting killed while getting busy inside a coffin. Its fun to see & while you can wonder about the sort of people that think having sex in a coffin is a good idea it doesn’t feel out of place.

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Seeing as the demon possess a few of the women of the group at first it makes sense that it would worm its way into the rest of the group by using seduction. For example, Angela dances seductively to try & gain Sal’s interest (he is more freaked out then turned on) but Stooge does see an opportunity.

Everyone involved does a stand-up job of in the acting department even if it does go over the top at times. It just fits really well alongside some of the more wacky moments of the movie. I think it is worth mentioning how some characters start off as a certain type & end up in a completely different role by the end of the movie. Sal’s early low-life behaviour reaching heroic stages at the end in an attempt to save Judy & Jay starting off as the clean-cut good guy but ending up being a slime-ball was pretty clever. It was nice to see some characters reacting to some of the strange stuff going on rather then blindly pretending like nothing has happened.

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The movie moves at a frantic pace leading up to the final 20 minutes & this is where it kind of stalls with 2 characters managing to avoid the other 8 demons in a pretty small funeral parlour for some time & a protracted wall-climbing scene that sees the demons really not trying very hard.

Thankfully that is not how the movie ends…I don’t want to spoil it for you but cast your mind back to the earlier scene with the old man & his apples with razor blades in them. Someone is going to get their comeuppance!

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There is so much to love about this movie particularly the attention to detail with make-up & deaths. There is a standout scene that has stuck with me for years involving a handy place to put lipstick when you don’t have a bag, you have to see it for that scene alone! When people talk about classic 80’s horror this is the movie they are talking about.

Night of the Demons
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    The Final Score - 9/10
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