Combustible Celluloid
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With: Nicoletta Elmi, Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Karl Zinny, Fiore Argento, Paola Cozzo, Fabiola Toledo, Stelio Candelli, Nicole Tessier, Geretta Geretta, Bobby Rhodes, Guido Baldi, Bettina Ciampolini, Giuseppe Mauro Cruciano, Sally Day
Written by: Lamberto Bava, Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini, based on a story by Dardano Sacchetti
Directed by: Lamberto Bava
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 88
Date: 10/04/1985

Demons (1985)

3 Stars (out of 4)

A Screen Break

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The son of legendary Italian horror director Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava cut his teeth by assisting and directing second unit for many of his father's great films. As for his own filmmaking career, I think fans agree that Lamberto didn't inherit a great deal of his father's genius, finesse or skill. Fans would also agree that Demons is probably Lamberto's best film, not because it approaches Mario's work, but because it's so ludicrously entertaining. (Dario Argento also worked on it.) A creepy masked man invites several people to a free movie. A woman cuts herself on a lobby display and turns into a zombie-like beastie. After the first 20 minutes or so of watching the movie, the audience realizes that it's trapped inside with a hoard of real monsters to deal with (if anyone gets scratched they become infected and turn). A pimp becomes a Superfly-like hero for a short while. The film dispatches its victims with effortless speed and imagination; every conceivable form of gruesome death is here. In one sequence a newborn monster springs forth out of a woman's back! It even has a motorcycle, a samurai sword and a helicopter crash. The soundtrack is filled with 1980s-style heavy metal, which, on certain Italian films, replaced the original score. The next year, Lamberto directed Demons 2, followed by several other sequels with various titles.

DVD Details: Anchor Bay and Starz! re-released Demons and Demons 2 on DVD in 2007, both mastered in 16x9 widescreen for the first time. Extras on the Demons disc include an audio commentary track by Lamberto Bava, make-up man Sergio Stivaletti and journalist Loris Curci, a featurette and trailers.

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