Monday, June 14, 2010

Demons Four: Demons II

After the big hit that was Lamberto Bava's Demons, a sequel was a given.  What did Bava have in mind to follow-up?  Well, in fitting fashion, the sequel involves people watching the sequel to the movie-within-the-movie.  This does answer the question everyone had about the first film: how much more Meta can a movie get?  The setting is new- an apartment building- but the plot is just about the same.  Monsters come out of the movie, wreak havoc and death ensues.  This movie is not just a rehash, however, adding a few new ideas and monsters to the mix.  Will it live up to the original movie though or be a pretender?
The film is centered around the inhabitants of a nice apartment building somewhere in Italy.  It happens to be our main characters' birthday, a fact that she wants everyone to know...dammit!  She's not exactly the most likable character, so it's a good thing that she's not the focus of the whole story.  While the drama of her party is going on, local television is airing the sequel to the evil movie that caused the chaotic and bloody scene at The Metropol in Demons.  You think that there would have been some backlash against that movie, let alone someone actually making a sequel!  Hell, they pulled La Fin Absolue Du Monde (look it up!) after one airing!  Naturally, this causes some issues for our film's heroes.  By the way, Ringu fans- suck on this effect from 1986!
All hell breaks loose as our party host gets bitten, causing some widespread infection amongst the group.  It spreads to the building as well.  The result is not pretty, a fact that anyone who has seen REC can attest to.  On the plus side, it does give the lady a lovely makeover...
I have to mention that 'Tony the Pimp' shows up again, this time playing a workout instructor who is in the building on the fateful night.  In addition to that, the movie features the debut of one Asia Argento, proving that Dario keeps it all in the family.  Of course, he also does that in regards to movies which feature rape, but that's another thing entirely.  The movie ups the ante from the first one by introducing a demon child- yeah, these movies go there!  You've got to give it up for the demon dog too, people!  If you like some lovely, lovely set-up for pathos, check out our pregnant heroine trying to fend off the evil demons at the door.  Will she make it out?  Will the film have a happy ending or make your 'cross the river?'  I'll never tell.
This movie is good, hitting all the right beats that it has to.  The action is good, the atmosphere is great and it really makes you feel that there is no way out.  Besides, 'Tony' is back to kick some ass and flex his pecs!  Here's the question: is it as good as Demons?  Well, yes and no.  In many ways, the original is still the superior film, since it is the one that introduced the kick-ass premise of the series.  In other ways, Demons 2 offers up more action, new monsters and even more gore.  Not to sound like a complete cop-out, but both films have strong aspects to them and are not always fair to compare.  I like both films a lot, but I still give the slight nod to the original over this one.  It's nothing personal, Demons 2- you're just not the same movie.  On the plus side, you're not just the same movie.  By the way, make sure you got with Anchor Bay's DVD of the films, as they offer the Unrated Versions, good extras and the best transfer available.  You're always good in a pinch, A.B.!
Up next, we cover one of the first unofficial sequels to Bava's films.  This will not be pretty.  Stay tuned...

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