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Maria's B-Movie Mayhem-Night of the Demon

Code Red // R // October 11, 2011
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted November 22, 2011 | E-mail the Author
Night Of The Demon:
You want to have it both ways, sonny? How about four ways, or five? You can get 'em all here in this weirdly titled schlock-fest from 1980. It's a slasher movie! It's a satanic movie! It's got so many flashbacks you'd think you were watching Inception! But it's really about Bigfoot! Who is a demon! I think. I'll take my cheeseburger with a side of cheese, please. And if some dude gets his dongler ripped off, all the better!

We're zeroing in on a hospital bed. Professor Nugent is laying there, face horribly disfigured. What happened? And why, since his face is so jacked up, is he able to speak so clearly, as if he has only a sheet of cheap gauze draped over his mouth and nose? Let's tumble back in time for 90 minutes of muddled mayhem, during which we'll travel back a little more. Let's watch my journalistic credibility crumble as I admit I really have no earthly idea what happened in this movie, and I couldn't care less.

It's kind-of not important to understand, anyway, since it could hurt your brain, but if you must ask, there's some stuff about Professor Nugent taking a group of students out into the woods (of course!) at which point they succumb to harassment by an 8-foot-tall hominid. Or maybe it's just a black guy with an Afro and hair everywhere else but his face and torso. You purists will probably join me in saying, "aww HELL no that ain't no Bigfoot!" And you'd be right in saying it. But it shows off Bigfoot's awesome physique, and you can bet someone who made this movie liked seeing that!

So for some reason Bigfoot spends his time creeping up on the Prof's posse, dispatching members like any good Sasquatch would, with axes, knives, and machetes. We're talking back to BASICS with the Bigfoot mythology. In fact I believe Native American mythology had Bigfoot stalking the forests with a sub-machine gun, which must have seemed too flashy for Demon director James C. Wasson. Anyway, perhaps Bigfoot is so testy because the Prof is on the lookout for Bigfoot's midget, hick bride, whom he raped a few years earlier. He's used to better treatment.

Bigfoot is used to being worshipped by a bunch of idiot hicks who think he's a demon. It's only natural that when you encounter a raping, mangy Sasquatch, that you start worshipping it - not as a god, but as a demon. Daft doesn't begin to explain it, but as with most low-budget horror movies - even those from the glory days of the 1980s - daft doesn't equate with scary, logical or competent. Try laughable and ludicrous - but wholly entertaining! Nugent seems to have stepped out of an episode of Room 222, all TV-broad gestures and lightweight emoting, while his students are just typical fodder.

But who's complaining? I WANT my Sasquatch to skulk around like a third rate Michael Meyers, unleashing some seriously corny gore attacks. (Except for that shlong-ripping scene, that hurts! Word to the wise, if you want to take a leak in the woods, make sure Bigfoot ain't around, first.) Night Of The Demon is pure government cheese, in a big-old five pound block of artery clogging stupidity, by the end of which you too will desire to shove Nugent's head into a burning stovetop. Demon is probably third-rate schlock, which makes it either better or worse than it really is. But; it's all bad, and that's good.

The DVD

Video:
Our screener is a professionally manufactured check disk, meaning my assessment is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. Code Red Releasing has placed a conciliatory note at the top of Night Of The Demon indicating that the presentation has been sourced from a 1" video tape master, more-or-less meaning that the DVD looks like a really good, brand new VHS release. The 1.33:1 fullscreen ratio picture is occasionally a bit soft, and film damage is evident but not distracting. Digital Noise Reduction smoothes things out a bit, and in extremely dark scenes sometimes makes the picture a bit watery, but is not the worst thing in the world. Black levels vary, and colors are acceptable. For a cheesy rarity on DVD, Night Of The Demon doesn't likely merit much better treatment, though of course it would be nice, but this is good enough to fit your beer-fueled viewing party.

Sound:
Digital Mono Audio is equally shaggy due to its source, but most of the dialog is reasonably intelligible and the crummy musical soundtrack is mixed in nicely.

Extras:
The main extra here is the presence of Maria Kanellis, who is certainly easy on the eyes. You can watch the movie without her input, or watch with Maria's Introduction and Outro, which doesn't eat up more than two or three minutes. Maria's reasonably personable, ever so slightly sarcastic, and mildly amusing. It's an exercise in underwhelming, so go ahead and skip it. You also get Maria's Fantasy Music Video, watch it only if you really love Maria. Lastly, there are Trailers for three other Code Red movies.

Final Thoughts:
Night Of The Demon is dumb as a stump, suspenseless, and entirely ludicrous. So yeah, it's pretty badass if you like that kind of thing. Stupid gore, a Sasquatch that uses pitchforks and machetes to do his killing, and backwoods interspecies rape - what more can you ask? Well, if Sasquatch is referred to as a demon, and worshipped by a bunch of backwoods morons, then that's a big bonus! Sleaze dorks can consider this a rock solid Rent It proposition.

www.kurtdahlke.com

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