Demons / Demons 2 (DVDs)
Starring Asia Argento, Anita Bartolucci, Nancy Brilli, Virginia Bryant, Antonio Cantafora
Directed by Lamberto Bava
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
From the son of one one of horror's greatest maestro's, Mario Bava, comes two of our genre's most violent and memorable imported films from the Eighties -- Lamberto Bava's Demons and Demons 2 (both produced by living legend Dario Argento). To call them classic is an understatement. For the uninitiated out there who aren't familiar with the work of Bava (and shame on you if you aren't) this is a great place to start.
1985's Demons tells the tale of a group of kids who are invited to a sneak preview of the latest horror movie. Once getting there they realize that they have a lot bigger problems than over-priced popcorn and flat soda. By the way -- fuck you, Muvico! Ahem ... where was I? Oh yeah! You see one of those dirty punks took what they thought was a display mask off of an in theatre prop and put it on. Said mask once donned ends up unleashing hell upon the unsuspecting crowd turning them one-by-one into flesh tearing demonic creatures.
Demons was a national and international success, and the very next year we got -- you guessed it -- Demons 2. This second film in the series tells the story of a bunch of smarmy rich folks who live in a luxury high-rise apartment building that end up once again getting turned into unholy denizens from the bowels of the Earth. Demons 2, while not as cohesive film as the original is still a lot of fun! Acid blood? Check! Cannibal children? Check! The most wicked blood bath of a birthday bash since, Happy Birthday to Me? It's all right here!
Normally each of these DVD's would have gotten separate reviews, but since these are re-issues with the same exact features as last time I've decided to review them together. So, if you have the DVD's already with the same exact features what would be the benefit of getting these, you ask? Honestly, it depends on how much of a tech fanatic you are. The prominent aspect of these re-releases are the transfers of the film's themselves. Anchor Bay has painstakingly had them remastered, and now both movies are available in anamorphic 16x9 widescreen with brand new 5.1 sound mixes. These flicks have never looked or sounded better and believe me it really shows.
In terms of supplemental material Demons features an excellent audio commentary with director Lamberto Bava, F/X artist, Sergio Stivaletti, and journalist, Loris Curei, along with a behind-the-scenes featurette. Demons 2 is a bit more bare bones, sporting only an equally as good commentary featuring these same folks as listed above.
For you horror loving DVD fanatics out there who simply must have the latest and greatest, this is quite simply a must have. Everyone else who already bought these editions years ago may want to take a pass. Still, kudos to the 'Bay for providing transfers so clean it's like watching the movies for the first time all over again.
4 out of 5
3 out of 5
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