One more clarification: This is most certainly not because Night of the Demon was so brutally terrifying that I blocked out the very memory of the damned thing. Oh, no! When I set out to review every movie on the Video Nasty list, bar none, be it the original 39 Video Nasties or the 35 Secondary Video Nasties, I knew I was going to have a few rough moments. Also, I always make it a rule to review fairly, ensuring that what ever movie I am watching is fresh on my mind... and I couldn't remember a damned thing about Night of the Demon and I expect I'll forget it all again soon, as if I were a character in It!
This is the reason I had to watch this big, fat, hairy deal over and over. Hell, right now I've got it playing on the screen next to my HTML Edit, just to keep me going.
Night of the Demon may well be the most forgettable movie I've ever seen. By the way, yes, this is a comedy website, no, none of the above is a joke! I could tell you that it had something to do with Bigfoot and the Woods and I could tell you that there was a hot, naked redhead in the movie... and that is all I remembered.
Oh, hang on, the naked redhead just took the screen...
Okay, where was I? I totally forgot, man!
Oh, yeah. Some idiotic College Professor awakens from a Coma after being horribly mauled and proceeds to tell us (and the cops) just how he got that way. He's damned calm about it too, showing the approximate emotional range of any given character from Frozen Scream! He tells the cops that the stories they've heard about the woods are true... and, since they apparently hadn't heard them any more than you or I have, he proceeds to tell us all about it.
After recovering some lame-ass Blair Witch Project/ Cannibal Holocaust/ Cloverfield type footage of two women in some Manet painting getting jumped on by either some guy in a gorilla suit or my late Uncle (judging from the Back Hair), Local Professor Nugent and some of his students embark into the Hundred Acre Woods where Christopher Robin Plays to see if he can find Biggie the Foot. Luckily (I guess), he's got this Grizzly Adams wannabe named "Mr. Carlson" to either show them around the woods or just be rude to everyone (or both). Carlson reveals apparently the only Douche who can claim to have seen Ol' Sasquatchio and lived. They call her Crazy Wanda McGinty (Melanie Graham) which is... good because... that's her name. I'm skeptical, though, that she REALLY saw the Bigfoot dude because she didn't die laughing.
Soon we get a good look at "The Monster" (credited to Shane Dixon) for ourselves and I was surprised (all... three... times) to note that this thing doesn't look like that bouncy/ grainy Bigfoot film we've all seen. He looks like Chewbacca, man! I was like "Dude, you guys are on Kashyyyk, aren't you?" Give this guy a Bandolier and a Crossbow and you're ready for a Death Star Assault. Who knew he'd retire to Video Nasty country? Where's Han when you need him?
But I digress. About an hour of forgettable screen time is wasted on the gang discussing finding "Crazy Wanda", asking how to find "Crazy Wanda" and rowing a boat toward the possible home of "Crazy Wanda". Folks, I honestly can't remember the other two times I watched this, but I almost immediately figured out the whole plot from this point on.
Interspersed throughout the dragging-on filmic remainder are poorly delivered campfire stories depicting urban legends about the Notorious B.I.G.F.O.O.T.'s victims (none of whom are as nice to look at as that redhead). These include Bigfoot lightly tapping a lumberjack on the shoulder with an axe, causing him to bleed profusely, convulse and die; Bigfoot ripping off some guy's penis as he's trying to take a leak; Bigfoot offing two innocent Girl Scouts of AMERICA... AMERICA, now... with Knives. CHEWIE, NO!
But then it's back to the same old crap that PASSES for the rest of this film. The slow-ass plot drags on through rip offs of The Wicker Man and Rosemary's Baby! Naturally, they must piss off the locals, annoy each other and, yes, hand us a big, hole-lousy bag full of BAD ACTING.
This one is, most definitely, an independent film. Judging from its content, it's less surprising that it was banned in England as one of the original 39 Video Nasties than that it managed to obtain a Video Distribution Deal in the first place. The BBFC and the DPP couldn't just ban ANY movie. It had to be a film distributed in the UK on Video. In short, you can't be a Video Nasty without first becoming a Nasty Video. Many more severe films than this one aren't on the list because they weren't attempted for distribution in the UK. Night of the Demon was indeed a Video Nasty, and was thus a Nasty Video first... the old standby VIPCO is to blame for this one.
So what's so bad about Night of the Demon? Well, the acting, the directing (by James C. Wasson) the writing (by Mike Williams), the music, the special effects, the Chewbacca impersonation... I'll bet even the camera was low rent.
Look, I sympathize... it's not easy to make a good film on a low budget, but how about a little emotion, folks? Case in point... a guy and a girl are having a monotone discussion by the campfire in voices so dull, I might have believed they were reading each other the sports page or the obituary section. The next scene they're having Campfire Sex, man! What the-? Giving another listen, I realized that they were actually engaging in "Pillow Talk". Really? THAT passed for seduction? What'd the Van Dude say to the Redhead, man? What college is this and are they taking Graduate Studies applications?
Look, ladies, I wear a Size 13 REALLY BIG SHOE! That's pretty big, man! Come hunt me!
Sigh... but it won't stop, it just keeps rambling on and on and on, rambling on, rambling on and on without end. When the main plot slows down (which is invariably) they simply roll their asses on to yet another Flashback-within-a-Flashback Campfire Story. Hell! It even continues on beyond the laughable revelation that the "Demon" of the title only looks like a Wookiee from the back. From the front he rather looks like one of Willy Wonka's Oompa-Loompas... which might explain the constant flashbacks. Perhaps it's his way of saying "I've got a-no-ther sto-ry for you!"
And, of course, the young people are consistently picked off one by one, especially during the long, drawn-out scenes where they're trapped in a forest cabin a la The Evil Dead. What fun... no... seriously, WHAT fun?
As to what made this one a "Video Nasty", the "Obscene" angle was most likely related to the murder right after the nude scene and a few grotesque moments relating to suggested rape. Further, the "religious" angle of this film does push a few boundaries. None that really cause a major stir now, but they sure might have irritated a few Brits during the age of censorship. That's not to mention the entrails removal (and fling around). And then there's that whole penis-ectomy scene. There may be some more crap that I'm forgetting because... well, you know.
Those obnoxious and twisted religious scenes are the closest this movie comes to really being "scary". Most of the time it's either "Boring" or "Gross". The rest is cheese, most of which is straight out of the Ed Wood school of film-making.
I sympathize, really. The film is bad, but they did their best for the budget they had. Using a series of Exploitation Horror techniques they managed to make a truly gory and violent picture that ultimately didn't manage to make a whole lot of sense.
I couldn't've been that much more surprised if Sy Snootles and the Max Rebo Band (featuring Droopy McCool, of course) had showed up to rip into a quick number before the closing credits (most of which differ from IMDB.com's entry) rolled feebly across the screen. Possibly with some Oompa-Loompas dancing behind them... I can see it now:
Watching a film that's entirely crap,
How could this mo-vie have been so... bad,
Want another NIGHT OF THE DEMON?
How about a night of the SPACE ACE, STAR CHILD and CAT MAN
To go with it? If so, Pick up KISS ALIVE II!
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