Monday, January 27, 2014

NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - An Instant Halloween Party Blu-ray

I’ve enjoyed the Night of the Demons series including the remake. Though I’ve had a fun time watching the original, it never struck me as a particular favorite movie of mine or a go-to movie for a particular holiday. Perhaps that’s’ because I hadn’t seen it some time but having the pleasure of watching the newly transferred, updated and complete, unrated version from Scream Factory I have come to a new understanding for Night of the Demons. From the courageous practical effects work to Linnea Quigley’s pouting, prominent, panty shot to the perfect 80’s haunted house party vibe, I can say that after watching this release I am more of a fan of Kevin S. Tenney’s cult, fan favorite release. There’s a whole lot to appreciate from interviews to effects features an extensive still gallery.

Synopsis from Scream Factory:

It’s Halloween night and Angela is throwing a party…but this is no ordinary Halloween party. Everybody’s headed to Hull House, a deserted funeral home, formerly the home of a mass murderer. But when the partygoers decide to have a séance, they awaken something evil...and these party crashers have a thirst for blood. Now it’s a battle for who can survive the night in Hull House.


If you haven’t seen Angela dance to Bauhaus in some time, take this opportunity to watch this visually stunning HD offering of a classic Halloween horror picture. It is the perfect amalgam of what it means to be young, dumb and full of cum in the 80’s. It may not necessarily be the scariest of haunted house pictures. I reserve that right to movies like Robert Wise’s The Haunting, The Uninvited or even, the William Castle schlocker, House on Haunted Hill. Still it may be the most fun you’ll have being just a bit grossed out while having the occasional demonic possession effect get under your skin. There’s enough smoke to give you great blue boogies (see interviews for details) and some of the most extensive effects applications ever generated for a horror movie.

Linnea Quigley’s performance is actually the thing of horror legend. There’s a reason she’s the Queen of the Scream Queens (get thee back Jamie Lee). Between her perky, fun, have-a-great-time good nature and her strange, offputting lipstick body art you can actually say she’s a versatile performer. She is absolutely not the window-dressing obligatory 80’s boobie girl (even though this reviewer is in motorboat fantasia when she’s on the screen). She’s a dynamic actress who happens to get roles in really great horror movies and who understand how to use sexuality to invite you to be excited before having your head promptly chopped the fuck off.

The disc contains ample extras including new commentary with Kevin Tenney and actors Cathy Podewell, Hal Havins, Billy Gallo and FX Artist Steven Johnson. There’s also a separate commentary with Kevin tenny and producers Walter Josten and Jeff Geoffray. There are interviews with the cast and crew including Tenny, writer/producer Joe Augustyn and Quigley herself as well as other extended interviews. The disc includes a promo reel, video trailer, theatrical trailer, TV and radio spots and a loaded still gallery. The colors and shadow look brilliant on this release in typical Scream Factory fashion especially the makeup effects. They really pop.

Note: 1080p HD Widescreen 1.85:1 DTS Master Audio Stereo for the Blu-ray and Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1, Dolby Digital Stereo fro the DVD.

The best extras are listening to Quigley discuss the movie and learning as much as possible about Steven Johnson. I was not previously aware of his personal story involving getting the job for Night of the Demons nor did I know his attention to detail and near obsessive desire to create brilliant, innovative effects even on a token production like Night of the Demons (or at least a lesser production at the time… we know better now). His work is outstanding and his interviews are high energy. That lucky bastard married Linnea Quigley? This makes me wish I got into makeup like I had planned out of high school. I never did get to the Tom Savini school. Johnson’s work looks even better once you understand the backstory and how he decided on the aesthetic.

This is the ultimate edition of this release, perfect for the fan boy or girl and built to make you love Night of the Demons. Scream Factory took all the important elements of the film and gave us a little something extra about each including Nathan Thomas Milliner’s fun new artwork (and reversible traditional artwork). This is truly the collector’s edition you deserve. We can only be so lucky to find our own Hull House and then be demonically possessed there.

-Doc Terror

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