The Night of the Demons movies always had the best VHS covers. Always. As an adolescent, all I needed to see was one of those great covers peaking out at a VHS store to know exactly the kind of movie I was going to get. Those covers were never misleading. While the original movie and its sequel are both widely available in the US on DVD, the third installment is very difficult to come across. Luckily, I found a used Canadian copy in Daytona Beach a couple of years ago. Unlike Night of the Demons 2, this DVD came in a box sporting the same cover as the old VHS. Its menu, though spare on extras (scene index and set up... come on), also shows that fantastic old picture (see above).
A remake of the original in post production starring Shannon Elizabeth in the role of Angela... well, I can't lie to you, it is going to be awesome. It looks like Edward Furlong and Tiffany Shepis are going to be in it, too. I can't wait
However, the original series should not be overlooked.
The first installment had Linea Quigley. The sequel had Christine Taylor. The third... Well, it doesn't have anyone that you are likely to have heard of. But, Night of the Demons 3 does give us Amelia Kinkade as "Angela" for the third and final time. After completing this movie the actress went on to become a successful Hollywood pet psychic. I am not kidding. I even once saw her on E! (where there was no reference ever made to her having once been an actress).The team here at Tower Farm (okay, the two of us) have always been fans of time padding in movies. Well, this movie offers a fine example. After an opening sequence that establishes that Angela is back, we are treated to incredibly long titles. To add to this, the titles are accompanied by a computer generated cartoon (that looks like work done on an Apple 2e), that repeats itself over and over again. My guess is that was done to nudge this flick past the 90 minute mark.
The 1990s body double rarely get the recognition that is deserved. Throughout the theatrical films of the 1970s and 1980s, body doubles were routinely used. However, for the most part, an attempt was usually made to match the body to that of the actual actor/ actress. For a brief time in the 1990s, this was just totally thrown out the window.
In Night of the Demons 3, we are treated to a strange scene in which our high school (?!) heroine, Holly, and her best friend, Abbie, are making plans for the night while changing their clothes. Abbie, played by Stephanie Rodriguez is topless throughout the scene and there is really no doubt that no body double is being used. However, the Holly character (Stephanie Bauder), is framed very differently. Whenever Holly is topless, her face is completely cut off the screen, or her hair is covering it. Oddly, too, when Holly is wearing clothes her body looks very different than the body shown when she is uncovered. It is basically like choosing Gisele Bundchen to body double for Rachel Ray. Well, this makes for one very strange moment when Abby's face and Holly's body are in the same shot. Is Holly supposed to be 9 foot tall??
So, the group decides to get some beer at a convenience store. While in there, the only black character starts "snapping". This means he starts talking to the clerk in the way that all white writers in the 1990s had their black characters talk. You know, the whole "your momma is so...." thing. Honestly, the only thing missing is a Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics tee shirt to fully ensconce this scene in the 1990s.
The clerk, who looks pretty much like Emilio Estevez is going to look in 10 years, overreacts and pulls a gun. Blah, blah, blah... the kids think they killed they accidentally shot the guy and drive off to hide in the old Hull House. This, of course, is where Angel lives.
Because this is a Night of the Demons movie, there really are no surprises from this point forward. This movie becomes completely about the kids getting possessed by demons and Angela making Freddy-esque wisecracks along the way. Oh, and Angela has another weirdo dancing scene, too.
This is not a complaint. I mean, I don’t want Metallica to start releasing dance albums (well, this is not entirely true). So, Night of the Demons follows a formula and it works.
Abby plays the shy, bookish, best friend of our female lead. She had chosen to paint herself up like a cat for the school costume partly. As you are sure to have already figured out, this means she will turn into a cat-like demon. If any of you saw Catwoman with Halle Berry, you were undoubtedly doubled over with laughter throughout her over-the-top performance... just remember the scene when she rolled a ball of catnip all over her face.
Unfortunately, Abby's cat demon is not the lead here. But, her performance is equally over-the-top and hysterical. I mean it, I really love when actors do this sort of thing. Abbey repeated says "meow" and makes scratching gestures with her hand. It always comes off like a Muncie civic Theater warm up exercise for little kids, not the work of professional adults.
Oh, and in a scene reminiscent of the opening of Color of Night, Angela simulates oral sex with a gun. But, she does Color of Night one better by spitting out the bullets after she is finished. Of course, this turns on the nerd that was holding the gun in the first place. It is the sort of trick that one might expect from Chris Angel, not from the main monster in a movie. But, it certainly makes for a memorable scene.
As we've said before, sequels are always better than the originals. This series further proves the statement. Parts 2 and 3 are equally awesome follow ups.