I’d Buy That for a Dollar: Night of the Demons

So, when they finish remaking all the horror movies of yore, are they just going to start all over again? Is it just going to be one endless cycle? It seems the films of the 80s in particular are presently ripe for the picking, which brings us the 2009 update of 1988’s Night of the Demons.

Directed by Adam Gierasch, the new and “improved” Night of the Demons is a sub-par update of the campy original, taking the same plot, stripping it of most of the fun and humor and replacing it with tits… which is a weird thing for me to complain about. But honestly, it takes more than just a pair of ample mammaries to distract me from the fact that your remake isn’t nearly as fun or as funny as the original.

Bobbie Sue Luther as Suzanne.

If you think you can just shove a pair of boobs in my face and call it a day, then you’ve got another think coming. Is it too much to ask for breasts and laughs? I don’t think so. Just look at Showgirls. It’s got breasts. It’s hilarious. And it’s disturbing… like a car wreck you can’t look away from… but with tits.

Anyway, like the original Night of the Demons, the remake involves a group of friends attending a Halloween party at a house rumored to be cursed. But like most horny, two-dimensional horror characters, these folks just want to party. Curse-schmurse, it’s Halloween in New Orleans, where better to get drunk and make bad decisions than a house of death? Of course, demons crash the party and terror ensues.

Monica Keena as Maddie.

Monica Keena (Freddy vs. Jason, Undeclared) plays “final girl” Maddie… and I’m not giving anything away, you can tell she’s the fighter cause she’s wearing jeans, while her two friends are both dressed in much less fight-or-flight-friendly slutty-cat costumes.

Diora Baird as Lily.

Playing her friends (and the purveyors of the aforementioned mammaries) are: former Playboy Playmate Diora Baird (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Young People Fucking) as Lily, and Bobbi Sue Luther (The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Laid to Rest) as Suzanne. We’ve also got fairly forgettable killer filler: Dex (Michael Copon) and Jason (John F. Beach).

Edward Furlong as Colin.

Rounding out the cast are a serviceable but very KD Lang-looking Edward Furlong (Terminator 2, The Crow: Wicked Prayer) playing Colin and a fairly stilted Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back) playing a bastardized version of the original Angela character. There’s also a brief cameo by original Night of the Demons star Linnea Quigley (Silent Night-Deadly Night, Return of the Living Dead) and her ass, hearkening back to her first appearance in the original.

Now, I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy this remake of Night of the Demons. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as the original. Apart from Shannon Elizabeth, the acting isn’t that bad. Monica Keena makes for a good “final girl,” as previously evidenced by her turn in Freddy vs. Jason. The make-up and effects are good. The demons look pretty awesome. Director Adam Gierasch clearly has respect for the source material.

Shannon Elizabeth as Angela.

But, it’s just not as much of a campy good time. The original film is just so amazingly cheezy and so very much the 80s and the characters are so much more dynamic. Amelia Kinkade as the original Angela is infinitely more interesting than Shannon Elizabeth. Kinkade has this awesome Siouxie Sioux vibe going on. She’s dark and believable and actually looks like a goth who would throw a party in a haunted mansion… and she actually plays the demon. Whereas, Shannon Elizabeth is just Shannon Elizabeth in a black dress with red streaks in her jet-black wig and a stand-in plays the demonic Angela.

Demonic Angela has a midnight snack.

This remake is definitely a watered-down version of the original. Yes, there’s more sex and violence, but in an effort to have more “realism” in a movie about demons possessing party-goers the characters were made pretty bland. There is, however, a gory update of the boobs and lipstick scene that’s pretty awesome. Still, go check out the original Night of the Demons before you worry about seeing the new one. The opening credits of the original Night of the Demons is more fun than the remake. I’ll take Bauhaus, big hair and over-the-top characters like Stooge any day, “Eat a bowl of fuck! I am here to PARTY!”

Check out the trailers for the original and the remake below. Also, check out Angela’s random dance scene from the original… it’s kinda amazing.

Grade: C+


One response to “I’d Buy That for a Dollar: Night of the Demons

  1. Somehow have never heard of this or the remake.

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