Monday, October 25, 2010

Original vs. Remake Comparison: Night of the Demons (2009) vs. Night of the Demons (1988)

Title: Night of the Demons (2009)

Director: Adam Gierash

Cast: Shannon Elizabeth, Edward Furlong, Monica Keena


The original Night of the Demons (1988) is one of those lovable 80’s horror films that was an important part of my formation as a horror fan. There was something forbidden to me about it because it was about demons and Ouija boards, and these things are always scary especially if you were a kid being brought up in a Christian household, which I was. But secretly to me, when I watched it on cable as my parents were soundly asleep, the film was also fun. It wasn’t a masterpiece or anything, there’s no denying the film had its fare share of faults. Mainly some badly executed visual effects towards the ending, but the overall feel of the movie was great. It was the quintessential 80’s horror film. Silly, stupid, but gory and harsh at the same time. Warts and all, I love the silliness of the characters, the heavy metal soundtrack and the dark edge the film had. After all, this one was about a bunch of kids going to a Halloween party in a haunted house. They play with the Ouija board and unwillingly summon demons that torture them. A premise that was filled with endless horror movie possibilities!

The House where demons dwell.

So here comes the inevitable remake that’s a result of the recent rash of straight to dvd remakes of 1980’s horror films. Obviously, it was my duty as a fan of the original to compare this remake to the original. Was it a one up? Was it better? Did it respect the original in any way? First up, one of the things that everyone loves about the original is its title sequence. The purple colors, the music, the art. Sadly, the title sequence on this new one was so lifeless and uninspiring! In fact, its barely existent. It certainly isn’t special. At all. It already went a couple of points down simply for that. I mean, come on. This new remake had a 10 million dollar budget and they couldn’t even afford a decent title sequence? Whatever. Shows how much love was put into making this film. With that crappy title sequence, it already started on the wrong foot for me.

The remakes title sequence is about as inspiring as this shitty dvd cover

Then, we move onto the Halloween party itself. A group of three girls are getting ready for this big Halloween Bash over at the “Broussard Mansion”. That’s right, the haunted house on this one is not the ‘Hull House’ from the originals, now it’s the Broussard Mansion. But that’s just a name change no big deal. The Halloween party on the original was made up of a few teenagers who were mostly looking to have sex, get drunk and high, which makes up a big part of this new film as well. But you know, they had to go bigger and better, so this time around the party is this huge Halloween Bash with hundreds of people, a band playing and they even charge the entrance! The original was a small thing between a couple of friends, looking for some thrills on a Halloween night. They were no more then 10 people, but on this one its this huge thing. The original was a bit closer, more personal in that way. On the remake it’s this big ass production number.

Linea Quigley and her ass make a cameo on the remake.

The tits and ass thing was always a huge thing on the original. Linnea Quigley shows her bodacious body a couple of times through out the film, in fact, she makes a cameo appearance on this one showing her undies once again. Wanting to up the ante this remake had to have even more tits and ass! I think they went a little over the top with it because practically every other girl has a huge set of knockers! Monica Keena (of Freddy vs. Jason fame) appears on this movie, and I’m sure her double D’s had something to do with it. One particular actress has those gigantor type of breasts where they look like they are going to burst out of her dress at any given moment. I’m sure all the guys out there will enjoy this aspect of the film. I guess putting all these hot girls in one movie was one thing that this movie got right.

One of the few things this movie got absolutely right.

The original had the benefit of having experienced make up effects man Steve Johnson (then Linnea Quigley’s husband) as part of the make up effects crew. The results were pretty demonic looking creations. Sadly, this new remake was a huge let down in this department. For example, on the original film the demon hostess Angela looked truly demonic and evil when she was possessed. On this new remake, she looks like a Halloween mask. Fake, and unrealistic. The make up effects work on the remake did not surpass the work done on the original, which is kind of perplexing when you consider that this new film had a substantially bigger budget then the original, whose budget was a measly 1.2 million dollars. The remakes budget was 10 million! They had 10 million dollars and they still couldn’t make a better film then the original! We never get a decent look at the demons because they are always moving either in fast forward or the editing is so quick, you never really get a good glimpse at them. This is the kind of film were you have a better chance of taking a look at the make up effects work in the special features.

New Angela on top, old Angela on the buttom, which one looks more demonic?

Even the gore is tame when compared to the original. This remake made me question the current state of horror, it seems more and more that horror films are being restrained, held back and censored. So much so that it is evident filmmakers are holding back the gore and blood in their films as they are shooting, for fear of not getting a theatrical release. One scene has a demon ripping another girls face right off, and the skin falls on the floor. It all happens at lightning fast pace, and the skin that falls on the floor looks like its made of plastic! There are literally thousands of horror films being made every year. Yet for some reason, the horror section in my local video shop is the smallest of all. Is there some sort of conspiracy against freaking horror films in the world? Things that make you go hmmm…

But one of the worst aspects of this movie is one thing and one thing alone: Edward Furlong. The phrase “oh how the mighty have fallen” was invented solely for this guy. Wow, what the hell has happened to ‘John Connor’? He’s really let himself go! He looks like shit! Let me put it this way, if I knew I was going to be in a movie, I’d freaking get into shape man! On Night of the Demons, Furlong plays a drug dealer and I guess he kind of has to look like crap for the role, but come on. To make matters worse, he is like a fifth wheel in the movie, simply tagging along with the other younger better looking cast members. Saying the stupidest lines and doing nothing. He looks out of place, and we are supposed to believe that he was/is romantically involved with Monica Keena’s character? Sure, like that’s going to happen! Seriously folks, Edward Furlongs performance on this movie is some of the worst acting I have ever seen on any movie period. There is this really bad piece of acting when he finds a shotgun and he acts all happy about it, the true definition of an actor who has lost it.

Apart from the copious amounts of boobage on this film, I also enjoyed the movies soundtrack which is composed of a bunch of goth/punk bands. The kind of punk bands that love horror movies, and horror in general, so all their songs are about monsters, demons, zombies and horror movies. Bands like Wednesday 13, The Barbarellatones, The Ghastly Ones and 45 Grave. Rocking bands with tunes that any horror fan should be able to enjoy. I also dug that the film had its own Them Song! That’s something very 80’s to do in a film because a lot of 80’s films had their own song and I used to love that. I mean, when they were good.

Not even Shannon Elizabeth could save this one

What we have here ladies and gentlemen is a remake that you might watch and instantly forget. It has a couple of amusing gory sequences, and lots and lots of nudity. But the gore happens so quickly and is edited so brashly that you get the feeling that the directors don’t want you to see anything. You cant even get a good decent look at these demons. As if they were consciously being aware of censorship. Watching this movie, I realized that the glory days of the over the top gory films are drawing to an end. You might want to watch it simply to see Edward Furlong bury his career even further then he’d already buried it with The Crow: Wicked Prayer. Not even Shannon Elizabeth was enough to save this movie, and that’s saying a lot.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Night of the DemonsNight of the Demons [Blu-ray]Night of the DemonsNight of the Demons 2


Unknown said...

"Not even Shannon Elizabeth couldnt save this one."

Sadder words were never written. ; )

Yeah, this sounded like it would be crap and your review saved me some money so I don't feel the need to check it out... until it's shown on SyFy some night for free. Thanks!

Franco Macabro said...

Yeah, for free sounds like the best way to see this one. And when you are in the mood to see a brainless flick, thats really all it aims to be.

Cal said...

i liked tht dvd cover but i get your point. As much as the artwork appeals to me it has been designed to cash in on halloween and seems to have no demon related imiagry at all

Unknown said...

exactly what I figured!

Franco Macabro said...

Youngblood, the thing is that when you compare that dvd cover, to the original films poster (which is waaaay cooler) it just doesnt live up to the awesomeness.

If youre a remake, your supposed to do a one up on the original you know what I mean? And that dvd cover is so uninspired, so bland, so photoshopped. Whipped up in five seconds is the feel I get from it.

Cal said...

yeh i like the feel as i said but your absoloutley right it just looks like every other straight to dvd horror movie released around this seasons cover looks like

I Like Horror Movies said...

After just rewatching DEMONS, that is most disappointing to hear Franco... I had high hopes for this one, but I am still really looking forward to seeing it!

Anonymous said...

I saw it at 4am on starz and turned it off.


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