By Demons Be Driven

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Produced and co-written by Dario Argento and directed by Lamberto Bava, what we’ve got here is basically a spaghetti Evil Dead set in a movie theater as random people invited to a preview screening of a movie about “the mask of Nostradamus” (there’s a whole subgenre of horror films based on him: Blood Of NostradamusMan Without A Body…but that’s a tale for another day) are possessed by demons, grow claws and shark teeth and start drooling green gunk…

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(She’s actually quite breathtakingly gorgeous before she gets all demonized)

There’s too much mayhem right off the bat to truly get to know any of the characters and they’re all pretty generic, but the emphasis here is clearly on action, scares and gore. There’s also some surreal makeup FX and a hard-rocking soundtrack: Motorhead, Accept, Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” and…Rick Springfield. Fans of 70’s Euro-Horror will recognize Nicoletta Elmi,t he spooky kid from Deep Red, Bay Of Blood, Flesh For Frankenstein etc…she’s all grown up here and plays the sinisterly sexy usherette in the green dress…

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Part 2 shifts the setting to an apartment building, where the demons crash a yuppie birthday party (guests dance to “Panic” by the Smiths. There’s also songs from Peter Murphy, Love And Rockets, The Cult and Dead Can Dance.) and the first demon climbs right out of a t.v. set. The makers must’ve seen Videodrome and the makers of The Video Dead must’ve seen this. It’s a cool gag that became a cliche real quick…gotta laugh to think of the kids who watch The Ring and think it’s something radically different…

 

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There’s also a really great scene with a demon dog…and  a strangely cute miniature demon (this picture came out around the same time as Gremlins, Critters and Ghoulies), A group of bodybuilders (there’s a gym in the building) lead the tenants in the battle against the demonic yuppie scum…

 

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