Demons 2 (1986)
By: J.R. McNamara on August 11, 2012  | 
Arrow | Region B | 1.66:1, 1080p | English LPCM 2.0 | 91 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Lamberto Bava
Starring: David Knight, Nancy Brilli, Coralina Cataldi Tassoni, Bobby Rhodes, Asia Argento
Screenplay: Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava, Dardano Sacchetti, Franco Ferrini
Country: Italy
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The only thing better than 'food' to come out of Italy is 'horror films'. Seriously, the perfect night would be garlic bread, lasagne, and Argento or Bava, all washed down with a nice Chianti (insert suckling tongue noise here). Demons 2 proves however that not everything from Italy is meant for the perfect evening,

Demons 2 is directed by Demons helmer Lamberto Bava and written by the crew that bought us the first one (Bava, Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini and Dardano Sacchetti) but if you're expecting the quality of the original your expectations will be shattered.

Demons 2 has us in a super hi-tech apartment block, where various occupants are going about their business of dinner with family, studying for tests, being an 8 year old left home alone, fucking high quality prostitutes, and having a birthday party. The party is for total superbitch Sally (Coralina Cataldi Tassoni) who complains about everything and locks herself in her bedroom after hearing that a particular person she didn't want at her party was coming anyway. Whilst in her room, she watches, like many other occupants of the apartment block, a documentary about the recovery of mankind after the last Demon incursion. Unfortunately the documentary appears to be cursed… or something… and a demon comes out through her TV set, starting the infection all over again. Luckily for the rest of humanity the demons can't escape the block, but neither can any of the occupants. Or can they?

To put it bluntly, it's pretty bad. Badly acted and dubbed at times, with some dreadful dialogue and nonsensical plotlines that don't affect the main story in the slightest. For example, some parents are driving home to their son at the same time as the aforementioned unwanted party guest, but neither of them make it, so why waste time showing that?!?

The script is just a breadless crap sandwich with no real logic as to how the demons even appear! The TV show being watched by the apartment block dwellers is a doco whose cameraman is never revealed, and I guess he is demonproof as the demon never attacks him! Inconsistencies continue until we see it's done by a demon TV station, which is like a normal TV station but with disco lights… and that is supposed to explain everything? For this horror fan, that just doesn't wash!

It's not all bad though. While Demons 2 isn't as gruesome as its predecessor it does feature some creative effects work. The sequence where the demon first emerges from the TV set is technically impressive for its time, and we are given a wider variety of demons here, the highlight being an amusing "demon dog" transformation sequence! The quality of the special effects is generally solid, until you get to the puppet demon which makes the Ghoulies look like something from Weta!

I also enjoyed the music selection on the soundtrack, and so should 80s music fans as it features a lot of bands I liked as a teen: The Smiths, The Cult, The Art of Noise, Fields of the Nephilim and others.
Demons 2 is presented in its intended 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Restored from the original negatives the 1080p image is generally sharp, though compared to the immaculate presentation of Demons it's a little grainier.
We get the original 2.0 mono audio here and considering the age of the film it's surprisingly crisp and clean. This film can also be watched with its Italian Audio track.
Extra Features
The first thing I should comment on is the excellent packaging design and the non-digital extras. Like most Arrow Blu-ray's this film has been released with 4 covers on the double-sided slick along with a double sided poster that has art from Jeff Zornow on one side and the Italian art on the other. We also have part two of the comic Demons 3, written by Stefan Hutchinson and Barry Keating, again with art by Zornow, which tells the origin of the half faced guy form the first film. Lastly we have a booklet titled Twice the Terror by Calum Waddell which is an interesting celebration of Lamberto Bava, both through Waddell's and Bava's words.

On the disc we have a cool couple of extras as well:

Creating Creature Carnage is a discussion with Italian special effects artist Sergio Stivaletti. If you are interested in make up effects, it is a pretty interesting look at the ideas for this film and the first one. Mind you, it is subtitled so be prepared to read!!

Bava to Bava: Luigi Cozzi On The History of Italian Horror is exactly what the title suggests and is the perfect sequel to Cozzi's discussion on the first Demons Arrow Blu-ray release. Again subtitled it is an interesting look at the history of horror in Italy, and a great companion to books like Italian Horror by Jim Harper, but be warned: if you are like me and you're always looking for films you have not seen before, this will fatten up any wishlist you have at any online DVD or Blu-ray retailer!

There is also a director's commentary hosted by Calum Waddell featuring Bava, Stivaletti and journalist Loris Curci. It's a fairly average commentary, with not much commentary at all but when they do speak they do have interesting things to say.
The Verdict
Feeling like a string of effects sequences linked by a flimsy and ridiculous story, Demons 2 is an unexceptional film that is content to merely float around the middle of the horror wading pool. The first film is an Italian classic, but its sequel is just OK, so watch the original again instead.
Movie Score
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