Night of the Demons (1988) – Scream Factory Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Review
“Eat a bowl of F*CK, I’m here to PARTY!”
On February 4, Scream Factory unleashed a duo of Kevin S. Tenney films from the glory days of VHS horror and late night cable – the previously reviewed Witchboard, and this little gem: Night of the Demons.
Its Halloween night and creepy goth girl Angela is throwing a party at the abandoned funeral parlor Hull House, rumored to be built on accursed land. A group of teens show up for a night of beer swilling, pot smoking and heavy petting. A mid-party séance releases an ancient evil Demon from the bowels of Hull House, hell bent on possessing the souls of the innocent and transforming them into hideous ghouls. Will anyone make it through the Night of the Demons with their souls intact?
Let’s be honest here, Night of the Demons is a massive ball of 80’s cheese with a very simplistic plot and some spotty acting, but Kevin S. Tenney is completely aware of this. With tongue firmly in cheek, he crafts a fantastically enjoyable horror/comedy, one ripe for revisiting. The characters end up being quite likeable and they deliver some truly hilarious dialogue – dated, sure, but still hilarious. The practical makeup effects are quite remarkable for the budget, the iconic demon makeup is truly ghastly and the kills are well thought out, original and deliver enough carnage to slake your thirst for gore. Through some slick direction, Tenney creates a genuine atmosphere of dread – the house itself becomes a claustrophobic and seemingly inescapable labyrinth of terror, the perfect setting for his game of demonically possessed cat and mouse.
The HD transfer on this film is quite amazing and I’d consider it to be some of Scream’s best work to date. For an incredibly dark film, there’s quite a bit of detail and very little digital noise to speak of. Keeping in mind this was a low budget film, I went into this purchase with minimal expectations with regard to picture quality, and came out absolutely blown away. It looks great, and I have a hard time believing that the film could ever look better than it does here.
Scream offers up three audio mixes here: two different 2.0 mixes, and a DTS 5.1 mix which is how I chose to enjoy the film. The 5.1 mix, while not very immersive and very front heavy (to be expected from a film of this age) is still pretty impressive. Angela’s guttural, demonic voice really intimidates and Dennis Tenney’s soundtrack absolutely pulses as the highlight of the audio mix. The Casio synth-drenched score, the classic Bauhaus dance scene, and the hair metal jams Computer Date and the Beast Inside have all never sounded better!
A plethora of special features including two commentaries, an interview with Angela herself, Amelia Kinkade, an immense making-of that stretches over an hour, trailers, and other juicy features should keep fans of the film busy for days. Most of the cast is involved and it truly seems as if everyone had a blast making this film. Night of the Demons is a perfect 80’s chiller: it’s funny, scary, crude, disgusting and just plain old fun to watch. If you’ve never seen the film, expect a good time, gather some friends, some popcorn, your favorite drink of choice and have a blast. If you’re a fan of the film, or series, I can’t imagine how you could be disappointed in this release. Scream Factory provides a really nice HD transfer complete with great audio and a host of features. I would give this one my highest recommendation.
About the Author:
Matthew M. Scott is a freelance writer, obsessive audio-video fanatic, and lover of all things metal and horror! His current project is to complete a co-authored independent horror screenplay Cannibal House (working title) and to begin work on his first novel /short story collection. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattphilth78.