BUCKY SCHUYLER is an Admin at Horror Sci-fi and More, an outstanding page for horror fans who like to get into a wide variety of titles. You’ll be seeing more from Bucky and his cohort in crime, MOZZ during Italian Horror Week. This is Bucky’s first IHW, and we want to welcome him to the fold. Below he recounts a Lucio Fulci film that may be somewhat less known to the casual Italian Horror fan, Demonia.
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I'm back for my third review this time it’s an early 90's film from Italy simply titled Demonia. This is yet another Lucio Fulci film done by me. Now I didn't do this cause I love the man's work or what it is he has done for horror films from Italy. No, this film was selected from a large list that I had and figured this is the one film I have never seen before. Yes, shocking this is my first watching this film cause it’s the one film I could NEVER get my hands on in any form be it beta, VHS or even DVD. But this day is a glorious day as thanks to (THIS SECTION HAS BEEN EDITTED TO PROTECT THE REVIEWER!). So after finding it and taking the time to get it I will finally get to see this film on my own television. Anyway I will stop my bragging and simply explain some bare essentials of the film as it stars Brett Halsey, whose ventures in the horror/sci-fi/fantasy genre are no stranger to us fans. I mean look at his list The Black Cat, Touch of Death, Ratboy, Twice Told Tales, Revenge of the Creature and Return of the Fly. Various roles on genre shows like Buck Rodgers, The Bionic Woman, Dukes of Hazzard, Love Boat and Fantasy Island are to name a few. Hell I have no clue why I mentioned the Love Boat here but this man's list is filled with great stuff. Hell I didn't know this guy was Bolivar Trask from the X-men animated series!!!!! Anyway since I practically used up most of my lines here bragging about one man and left out his co-stars I will list them here Meg Register, Christina Engelhardt, Lino Salemme.
Review and Discussion Contain Plot Spoilers.
Now the film starts off in 1486 Sicily, with an angry mob dragging a group of nuns down to some cellar or basement of something and they forcefully throw them against crosses and begin to nail them to it. Now if this is a religious attack for the moment someone should have reminded the guy who nails the first nun that the nails are supposed to go into the hands and feet. This guy just murders this nun right out the gate by nailing her in the trachea, now the blood spray that only splattered her face was decent but I felt they could have given her more blood to spit out her mouth but at the time this film was made I was only 9 maybe 10 years old and to me any blood spray was great so I would probably have fought with myself over that but anyway they nail the rest of the nuns the right way and they just leave. They leave the nuns there and the movie jumps to present time at the time that being 1990 and they are in......TORONTO, home of the Bluejays (FUCK YOU JOE CARTER!!). Sorry. But yeah they jump to Toronto and then back to Italy which to me doesn't feel like they were ever in Canada to begin with. But our main female character Liza (Meg Register) is holding a séance with a group people when she has a vision of the nuns and faints. I felt it would have had more impact in the scene had she fainted and fell to the floor but she slumped over in the chair and stayed there like a statue. But she is taken back home to Italy by her boyfriend Paul (Mr. Halsey) who’s a noted archeologist and her former college professor. Why am I not shocked that the boyfriend was her teacher at one point in time?
Months pass by and the two are working together on a dig site where she finds a monastery and learns about the terrible acts that happened there and Paul tells. Liza she should not bother with the supernatural side of the story due to her breakdown or half ass attempt at fainting months back. But his presence there was supposed to help her but they spend most of their time drinking and partying with the crew. Yes there is a camp fire dance party and horsing around and all kinds of shit that shouldn't be happening around an historical dig site. There are numerous people in this countryside that tell these people to avoid the supernatural parts of the story and just concentrate on the history of the sites but do this woman listen to these pleas of just leave it the hell alone? Nope. She goes deeper into the monastery crypt and finds a room behind a wall and begins to attack it with a pick-axe til she breaks on through to other side (HA!). This other room is where she finds the charred remains of the five nuns still hanging from the same crosses they were nailed to some five hundred years ago. But she flees the crypt in horror and into the arms of Paul who just mentally beats her down for being stupid technically and doesn't realize that her opening the other crypt has freed the spirits of the nuns and allowing them to act out supernaturally!!! Example the first person to tell her to leave all well alone gets harpooned in the gut but the ghost of one of the nuns.
Now as days pass by the townspeople become pissed off and who would blame them. Hell one of them even openly discusses killing the visitors, this meaning he is up to killing anyone who just walks into the village that’s a tourist. Now during all of this Liza goes to a local church to try and find some information out only to discover that the book she is reading has pages ripped from, no surprise there it’s easy to hide dark secrets by doing that but doesn't deter the person looking for the information from going Scooby Doo. But this is where she meets a strange woman who invites her to her place to hear the story and yada yada.
But that night two diggers get blind drunk and stumble around the ruins of the monastery and watch a shadow on the wall come to them, this effect is achieved by someone simply holding a doll up to a flashlight and moving it closer to it. Now these two idiots both fall into the same hole and to their deaths on spikes, where these spikes came from and why they were there is never answered. Fulci appears in the next scene as an Inspector whose there about the deaths and questions Paul about the area.
The next day Liza arrives at the strange woman's house. Now to me this is odd cause they just met hours ago and not once did she ask her what her name was or even if she was a loon. But anyway this woman tells Liza this tale of the nuns who practiced satanic rituals and had sex with minors to drink their blood after they murdered them and reached orgasm. Now if any of these nuns became pregnant they waited the nine months to have said baby to only toss that baby into the fire. Now while this is going on the cops make the matter urgent when they find the severed head of one of Paul's colleagues impaled on a ships anchor in the water. So they assume that the killer is the town’s local butcher so they go after him. But before they could get to him he's killed by another ghost of the nuns as he tries to close shop, he's first clobbered with a pig’s carcass before being dispatched of by a meat hook through his neck and then has his tongue pulled from his mouth and then nailed to a chopping block. This scene had the most blood and to me was the best death scene in the whole movie at the moment. Cops now blame Paul. Typical.
The townspeople are pissed and blame anyone at the dig site and mount an attack on it. Funny how this went from a horror movie to almost being a Game of Thrones episode. Paul tries to get his crew out but can't find Liza, not shocked cause the female character always ends up becoming lost somewhere in the film. Now there is a couple amongst the diggers and they have a young son who goes missing from the camp site. So the father goes looking for his son and ends up getting caught by the nuns and placed inside a trap. No the son who was being dragged away by a nun breaks away only to discover his father tied up now this man BEGS AND PLEAS with his kid to just stay away, does this brainac listen to his father? Nope and he trips over the rope that would trigger his father’s death and causes the demise of his father. Dude was torn in half, sorry but this death scene was the BEST death the whole movie to just watch this man get split from the balls up to his chest was great.
The climax is fast as the mob angrily searching for the cause of this whole thing hunts down Liza as Paul searches for her only to be stabbed in the gut by a ghost nun but really turns out to be Liza whose now possessed. He stumbles around to find Liza before the angry mob boss but he falls down badly wounded the mob just runs right past him no care in the world and they find the crypt that she found earlier in the film and she appears before them foaming at the mouth some greenish yellow crap and hanging from the cross. The mob not giving a shit sets Liza and the other nuns corpses on fire as Paul finally makes his way into the crypt a few seconds too late pushing his way past mob members to only find Liza on the ground at the foot of the cross no longer possessed by the ghosts of the nuns but is dead. And that’s how the movie ends. No happy ending. I don't think Fulci ever believed in a happy ending in any of his horror movies. But the man sure hates eyeballs, yes eyeballs. Cause he killed a character in this film by having cats claw out their owner's eyes. Now to me this film was good it was mediocre in some form or another but as compared to the other Fulci film I reviewed for Italian Horror Week this was the better of the two films.
NOTE FROM THE DOC: The first poster above is from a designer called Silver Ferox Design. I adore it. I wanted to make sure that everyone checks out Silver Ferox Design and supports them. This is gorgeous!