The problem with having a lot of movies is that it can be difficult keeping track of what you have. I have all of my movies listed in an exel file but even then, there have been times where I miss a movie because for some reason or another, it didn’t get added to the list. Take today’s movie for instance. I knew for a fact that I owned this movie and had actually grabbed it with the other movies to watch this week but for some reason, it was not on my list. So as I kick myself for my lousy bookkeeping (again), I might as well go ahead and watch today’s movie, Night Of The Demons.
The plot: Stooge, Helen, and Roger are on their way to a party when they pass by an old man carrying some groceries and Stooge decides to moon him. As the old man is yelling at them, another kid, Sal, runs up and scares him, causing him to drop his grocery bags. As he is picking up his groceries, Judy offers to help him but when he yells at her, she leaves and he continues picking them up, muttering that those kids will get theirs as he is holding an apple an a box of razor blades. Judy gets home just as her boyfriend Jay calls and tells her about a party that Angela is throwing at an old mortuary called Hull House and she reluctantly agrees to go. Jay picks her up, then they go pick up their friends Max and Frannie, and head to Hull House, passing by Stooge, Helen, and Roger who have stopped to deal with a flat tire. When they arrive at the house, they look around for a minute and Jay wants to scare Stooge and the others when they get there but as he goes to hide in a coffin, he ends up being scared by Sal, who had heard about the party from Judy’s brother. With everyone there, the kids start having the party and dancing until the radio suddenly goes dead. Angela decides to do a seance type game but needs a full size mirror to do it and Stooge and Roger manage to find one. Angela has everyone sit down and stare at her reflection in the mirror and it suddenly turns black but someone makes a comment that causes them to all look away. When Helen looks back at the mirror, she sees a demonic face appear and she screams, just as the mirror falls and breaks. As Judy goes to try and comfort Helen, the group hears a noise coming from the basement. Down below, in the crematorium, the furnace door opens and something emerges and ends up possessing Suzanne. As Roger and Helen both want to leave, being freaked out by what is going on, Suzanne tells them to take Angela’s car and leave. Jay, Judy, Max, and Frannie decide to explore the rest of the house and Suzanne asks Stooge to escort her to the bathroom, then kisses Angela before she leaves, causing Angela to become possessed as well. Jay, Judy, Max, and Frannie find another room and Max tells a legend concerning the land that Hull House is buried on before Jay signals Max to leave them alone so Max and Frannie leave. Jay tries pressuring Judy into haveing sex, believing she has done it with Sal before, but when Judy refuses, he goes off and leaves her alone in the room. Outside, Roger and Helen find that the gate they came in has disappeared and a brick wall now surrounds the property. As Roger tries to find a way through the wall, Helen mysteriously disappears and Roger, hearing something call out his name, runs and hides in Stooge’s car. Back inside, Suzanne goes into the restroom and locks Stooge out, then she suddenly ages and disappears when Stooge breaks into the room. Meanwhile, Sal notices Angela starting to act weird when the music and strobe light starts back up and she begins to dance. Stooge returns to the room and Sal decides to leave as Stooge dances with Angela. Angela asks Stooge to kiss her and when he does, she bites his tongue off, causing him to become possessed. Sal finds Suzanne in the bathroom with make-up all over her face and decides to leave but finds the door locked and when Angela, who had stuck her hands into the fireplace, starts approaching him, he turns and runs. Jay comes across Suzanne and she seduces him into having sex with her but her face suddenly changes and she gouges Jay’s eyes out. Max and Frannie are having sex in a coffin and hear Jay’s scream but think it is just a prank until a demonic Stooge shows up, breaks Frannie’s neck and then kills Max by repeatedly slamming the coffin lid on him, severing his arm. Roger had fallen asleep in the car when he is roused by a jolt and finds Helen’s dead body on the roof. Heading back inside, he sees a demonic Angela and runs from her, only to run into Sal, who is also trying to find a way out. The two manage to find Judy and free her from the room she is in but when Angela approaches, Roger runs away while Sal grabs Judy and hides in a room. They find Suzanne cradling Jay’s dead body and Sal tells Judy to run as Suzanne knocks him through a window. Judy finds herself trapped in a hallway and when she sees an open door, she heads inside, only to find the dead bodies of Max and Frannie, which suddenly come alive and try to grab her. Trying to find a way out, she comes to a doorway closed off by iron bars and sees Roger on the other side but Stooge shows up and tries to catch them. Running into Suzanne, Judy makes her way upstairs and out onto a balcony and sees Roger below but Angela shows up and tries to strangle her. Sal managed to climb up the water pipe and save Judy but as they are struggling, they end up falling off the balcony and Sal ends up impaled on a stake below. Judy tries climbing down the wall but when Stooge appears she falls but Roger catches her and they run when Stooge follows them. Judy and Roger end up in the basement, Judy hears the demons talking and realizes that if they can manage to survive till dawn, then they will be free. When the demons start pulling the pins from the door, Roger panics and cowers in the corner but Judy manages to break one of the gas pipes free and use it as a makeshift flamethrower to burn them. Judy and Roger try to leave but when they run into Jay and a burned Angela, Roger panics and jumps through a window. Judy follows him and says they have to get past the wall. Roger uses some of the barbed wire to scale the fence then leans down to help Judy climb it. When Angela and the others show up, Roger ends up falling over the other side but climbs back and succeeds in pulling up Judy and they fall over the fence to safety as dawn breaks and the demons return to hell. As Roger and Judy walk back home, they pass by the old man’s house and the old man sees them and comments about them going to hell for being out all night. When he goes back inside, his wife brings him a piece of homemade pie and when he asks her what she used, she tells him she used the leftover apples. The old man ends up being killed as one of the razor blades that he had placed inside the apples slices his throat and his wife kisses him on the head and says “Happy Halloween, dear.” as she drinks her coffee.
Night Of The Demons met with mostly negative reviews in it’s initial release but has sense received more positive reviews, currently holding a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the favorable reviews praised the special effects as well as the campy humor found in the movie. The movie only received a regional release but it made over $3 million at the box office, making it a box office hit given it’s $1.2 million budget, and had it opened nationwide, it was projected to have earned over $13 million it’s opening weekend, which would have made it one of the highest grossing horror movies of the decade. The movie would become a cult hit and spawned two sequels as well as a remake in 2009.
I always felt like this was one of those underrated teenage horror movies and having watched it again, I still feel that way. This is not your usual horror 80’s horror movie but it is pretty good. The acting was a mixture of good and bad, with veteran Scream Queen Linnea Quigley doing a great job as Suzanne. Cathy Podewell (Judy), Amelia Kinkade (Angela), Alvin Alexis (Roger), and Billy Gallo (Sal) also did good jobs but I have to admit that Harold Ayer (the old man) was really funny. The plot was pretty simplistic but did a good job with the set to make it feel a lot scarier while adding a dose of typical teenage humor to keep it from being too serious. The special effects were pretty good and did help with making the movie scarier, especially when they were used for some good “jump” spots. A good, fun horror movie that is worth a watch.
Rating: 3 out of 5