Demons (1985, Lamberto Bava)

I remember thinking this was quite bad when I saw it on VHS twenty-plus years ago, and it probably is, but all qualitative analysis goes out the window when you’re watching Demons in a sold-out theater with Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin performing the soundtrack live. In fact it’s a solid horror movie once you throw out the idea that characters or dialogue or motivation or logic matter. What matters is that people are trapped in a theater full of demons – most will be killed horribly and/or turned into zombie demons themselves, and a few might survive. And after the credits roll, you forget which ones survived and why, as Goblin performs a full set of hits synched to music videos of kills from Argento, Romero, and Deodato movies.

Internet says the two who escaped through the hole in the roof caused by a helicopter smashing through the roof (!) are Urbano Barberini (the killer cop of Opera, who’d previously motorcycled through the theater cutting down zombies with a sword) and Natasha Hovey (who turns demonic and dies over the end credits). The victims are gathered by invitation of Michele Soavi to watch a movie about a demonic plague caused by a cursed mask, as the same scenario plays out in the theater. Some hopped-up punks break into the place only to become extra victims. A bloody, oozy, gory good time with a big crowd, and even Claudio was laughing at some of the English line deliveries. I haven’t seen Bava/Argento’s part two, and an attempt to make part three resulted in Soavi’s great The Church.

Hovey inviting doom from Soavi:

Victim #1:

Getting to the chopper:

Brutality in front of 4 Flies and No Nukes posters: