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Night of the Demons: Collector's Edition (1988) - Blu-ray Review

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Night of the Demons - Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Review

4 stars

For the past decade or so, Kevin S. Tenney’s Night of the Demons has been gaining momentum in the respect department. It launched 2 sequels and worthless reboot starring Edward Furlong but never seemed to get its due respect when it comes to Halloween-themed movies. Night of the Demons is a foul-mouthed, infectiously fun, trashy-in-all-the-right-ways '80s horror flick that simply doesn’t disappoint. And, no, you don’t have to be only 10-years old to enjoy it, as my wife suggests.

Written and produced by Joe Augustyn, Night of the Demons tells the story of a Halloween night gone wrong for ten high school seniors. It begins with an animated sequence that was ahead of its time. Hand-drawn by a Walt Disney artist flexing her movie muscles, the sequence adds to the overall enjoyment of the ultimate cheeky Halloween night. Two party girls – one dressed in black, the other in pink – become possessed by something otherworldly after attempting a séance inside Hull House, an abandoned local mortuary. They turn on the party guests in weird and wacky ways and create quite the undead army. So much for having a good time…

…but Angela (Amelia Kinkade) doesn’t mind. She’s invited every high school stereotype you can think of for top enjoyment. The original Night of the Demons has them all: the virgin, the slut, the jock, the nerd, the greaser, and the saint.   And they all like to party with the dead and dying. Sure, it’s camp but the film never is anything less than an original horror film that blends what came before in the 1950’s and 1960’s in teenage horror with the mid-1980’s gore-ific effects. But when the camp runs its course, character takes over and our remaining survivors, Judy (Cathy Podewell) and Rodger (Alvin Alexis), prove they are worthy enough to keep our interest in their survival.

There are two fantastic performances here, too. The first one is from Kinkade as the slinky outcast who stirs up all the trouble in the first place. She would return to star in the film’s two sequels as a result of her fierce performance. The other is from Scream Queen Linnea Quigley, star of The Return of the Living Dead, Savage Street, Silent Night, Deadly Night, Nightmare Sisters, Creepozoids, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. Needless to say, she’s a Troma legend and is fully capable of turning out good performances, even if she’s usually topless and evil.

Night of the Demons, under Tenney’s sharp direction, is not unlike Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead movies. It is one central location and showcases a lot of gore and pretty swift camera stylings that produces both shocks and laughs. There really isn’t a scene that disappoints in that low-budgeted manner that the mid-80’s was responsible for. To quote AC/DC, “You want blood, you got it” and that’s what Tenney and his co-conspirators produce in this underground classic that is begging for a line-o-rama midnight celebration.

Halloween night could be every night with Scream Factory’s Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of Night of the Demons.

Night of the Demons - Collector's Edition - Blu-ray ReviewRuntime: 90 mins
MPAA Rating:
Unrated.
Director
: Kevin Tenney
Writer: Joe Augustyn
Cast: Cathy Podewell, Alvin Alexis, Hal Havins
Genre: Horror
Tagline:
Angela is having a party, Jason and Freddy are too scared to come. But You'll have a hell of a time.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Yeah they did. As a matter of fact it was on Halloween night. One of them went crazy and slaughtered the entire family. Then committed suicide. They could never figure out who did it. Too much blood and guts."
Distributor:
International Film Marketing
Official Site:
Release Date:
No theatrical release.
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 14, 1988

Synopsis: On the night of Halloween, 10 teens decide to go to a party at an abandoned funeral parlor. "Hull House", rumored to be built on an evil patch of land & underground stream, is the place. While starting the party, the teens gather around a big mirror to perform a seance...BIG MISTAKE. They awaken some evil force and find themselves trapped and taken over one by one. Now it's a battle for who can survive and cross over the stream before going to hell....

Night of the Demons - Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - February 4, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); DVD copy
Playback: Region A

Shout! Factory brings “Night of the Demons” to Blu-ray in a 1.85:1, 1080p High Definition transfer that is superior to all previous versions. Before this release, the film always looked very dark and fuzzy, and while it is still a noticeably dark film, the fuzziness has been greatly reduced, giving the film the best picture quality since release. Even though the film itself is still murky, as it takes place at night in the house, but now, details can finally be seen through it. Even the effects are cleaned up, like when the demons are summoned through the mirror, and they look eerier than before. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio has also been enhanced considerably, particularly noticeable in the soundtrack. Again, I think anyone would be hard-pressed to deliver higher quality in either department.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • A new commentary with Director Kevin Tenney and Actors Cathy Podewell, Hal Havins, Billy Gallo, and FX Artist Steve Johnson gets things started. Lots of great information fills this track but mainly about the effects and some of the choices made along the way. The original audio commentary with Director Kevin Tenney, Executive Producer Walter Josten, and Producer Jeff Geoffray is also attached.

Special Features:

The Blu-ray is packed with trailers and TV spots that are of that old original dim VHS quality. The “Making Of” featurette runs over an hour long and is packed with a lot of goodies. From director Kevin Tenney being brought in to direct writer Joe Augustyn’s script, to the changing of the title, to friction between many parties involved, the amount of quality information about the struggles of making the movie is insane. There is also an interview with star Amelia Kinkade and a personal photo gallery provided and narrated by actress Allison Barron. Finally, an extensive makeup effects gallery rounds things out

  • You're Invited": The Making of Night of the Demons (70 min)
  • Interview with Amelia Kinkade (23 min)
  • Alison Barron's Demon Memories (4 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer (2 min)
  • Video Trailer (2 min)
  • TV Spots (1 min)
  • Radio Spot (1 min)
  • Promo Reel (4 min)
  • Behind the Scenes Gallery (9 min)
  • Special Effects and Makeup (9 min)
  • Photo Gallery (9 min)
  • Posters and Storyboards (1 min)

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