Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
Night of the Demons (1988)
It’s Halloween night and spirits are high. Well, most are. There’s at least one curmudgeon who hates the holiday and trick-or-treaters and has bought apples and razor blades to ruin their evening. Judy (Cathy Podewell) has a date with Jay (Lance Fenton). Innocent and outgoing, she isn’t sure why he asked her out, but decides a party sounds fun. Sal (Billy Gallo) likes Judy and is dismayed to learn she has a date but bribes her little brother Billy (Donnie Jeffcoat) into telling him where it will be. Angela (Amelia Kinkade) is throwing the party, along with her friend Suzanne (Linnea Quigley) in an old deserted former mortuary. She has an interesting method for acquiring snacks for the party, which involves using Suzanne in a very short skirt as a distraction. Good thing Suzanne is obsessed with being the center of attention and is not self-conscious in the slightest.
Also coming to the party are Stooge (Hal Havings), Rodger (Alvis Alexis) and Helen (Allison Barron). Stooge is an asshole with a jock mentality who thinks he can boss people around. Sadly they let him do it. But his car breaks down on the way and they have to walk the last part of the way to the party. The final party-goers are Frannie (Jill Terashita) and Max (Phillip Tanzini).
The house is not only deserted, but it’s creepy and dilapidated. Angela isn’t exactly a polite hostess and
Suzanne is boy-crazy. When Stooge’s radio dies while they’re all dancing, they decide to play games. Finding a large mirror, they all sit in front of it to see their past lives. But something else is there, something that shows Helen an image of herself that causes her to scream. And then the demon takes over Suzanne’s body! She lures Stooge into an upstairs bathroom, but not before laying a major liplock on Angela which sends a demon into her as well!
Suddenly this party doesn’t seem to be such a good idea after all, and it becomes a race to see who can survive the night of the demons.
I hadn’t seen this movie in years and always liked it then, but I realize now that distance lands enchantment. It’s not as good as I remembered. A lot of the acting is the kind you’d see in a beginner’s acting class, although some of the actors are better than that. The story is simplistic, and actually not very scary. But if you take it as camp, it’s not the worst. Not like Puppetmaster, which I revisited and couldn’t get far enough into the movie to pass judgement, it was so bad. I’ll give it 2 Stars, and I’ll make the observation that if you enjoy T&A, you might like it better than I did since that isn’t really my thing. And Linnea Quigley obviously has no problem with taking her clothes off for the camera. Nuff said.
Saturday the 14th
In Eerie, Pennsylvania, a strange caped man and his wife( Jeffrey Tambor and Nancy Lee Andrews) are attempting to purchase a particular house for reasons of their own, but the realtor (Carole Androsky) says there is a problem. Namely, the house has recently been inherited by another family. This is distressing news, as there is something in the house that Waldemar and his wife have been trying to obtain for a very long time. Hundreds of years!
John and Mary Hyatt (Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss) are shocked at the reading of John’s uncle’s will to learn that he left his house to them. They are ecstatic to finally have a house for themselves and their two children, Debbi (Kari Michaelsen) and Billy (Kevin Brando). But when they see the house, it isn’t quite what they had imagined. It’s so creepy, their dog won’t even come inside and runs away.
Despite the realtor’s claims that this house is a fixer-upper, it gives off more of a creepy mansion vibe. The TV only gets one program on all the channels – The Twilight Zone. Things are falling apart. And there is nothing for the kids to do, as the weather prohibits going outside. Or does it? While Billy is exploring the house, he runs across an old book and begins to read it. Unfortunately, he has found the Book of Evil. It’s filled with pictures of monsters, and every time he turns the page, the monster disappears from the page only to appear in the house!
A fishman in the bathtub, bats in the belfry, and creepy monsters raiding the kitchen in the middle of the night? What’s a family to do? They call an exterminator to help with the bats, and a man comes to their home, hoping this will be the one! Dr. Van Helsing (Severn Darden) has apparently been seeking the book for a long time, much like Waldemar.
Unfortunately, Mary has invited all the relatives to a party on Saturday the 14th! Unless they can get these monsters under control, the world as they know it will come to an end!
I haven’t seen this movie in a long time and have always enjoyed it, and I’m happy to say that hasn’t changed. It’s a fun, campy, funny movie with some familiar faces, such as Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss, as well as Jeffrey Tambor. A light-hearted spoof of horror movie tropes, it’s a fun watch and safe for the kids as it isn’t really scary. I’m glad I found it again (it was streaming on Shudder). I give it a solid 3.5 Stars.