Saturday, June 27, 2009

Night of the Demons 3 (1997)




by JM

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??

Anyhow, these two are off to some sort of high school costume party and their car breaks down en route. So, they are picked up by the high school badasses. And this guy.

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.


Now, I don’t want to ruin a lot of these possession scenes. I mean, each one is pretty great. But, I will concentrate on the best on in this movie. It involves the character of Abbey.

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.


Four fingers.

8 comments:

  1. JM,
    Thank you for spending lots of time on the character of Abbey, who really is the reason to watch this movie. When someone upstages Amelia Kinkade, you know that person is a true talent.
    -Billy

    ReplyDelete
  2. You said, "Angela simulates oral sex with a gun. But, she does this 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."

    I could not agree more and I'm glad you mentioned it! I was getting further and further thru your review and I was like, he better discuss the gun fellatio! I think it's the only scene where I've ever seen someone give head to a firearm and for that reason alone, I love this movie!Let's see that one on Magics Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed!

    Did you notice how Amelia Kincaide became a much better actress over the course of these three movies? Her Angela by the third is really something to be reckoned with. Too bad she didn't make any other movies. But a pet psychic! Gotta follow your dreams, man.

    And the eyeball martini on the box art is my other favorite part!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Billy and Jenn,

    Thanks for the nice comments. I agree, Billy, that Abbey is the true standout in this feature. It is hard to not love a character that says things like "...If I had a body like yours, I'd never wear clothes". She is perfectly goofy. And, when she becomes a hyper-sexual cat-person... watch out! Wait a minute... I actually think that Halle Berry completely just ripped off her performance. I just described the plot of CATWOMAN!

    Jenn, I agree that Amelia Kinkade really did get better and better throughout these movies. I really hope she at least gets a cameo in the remake (but, I'm not holding my breath).

    By the way, she seems to be blonde now and does not look very much like Angela anymore. She has a dippy pet psychic website at www.ameliakinkade.com that is kind of fun to check out.

    JM

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hate DVD covers that are misleading, I can appreciate that there is an art to a good DVD cover but it is annoying when there are images on covers that never appear in the final film.

    “a pet psychic” – I won’t even ask.

    Argh! I despise time padding without irony, if the characters are winking at the camera the whole time and they know it’s all pointless (like in Funny Games) then it’s fine but when crappy characters have inane conversations that never lead anywhere it kills me!

    I once saw a rubbish, old slasher flick where a black actress had a clearly white body double, unless black women nowadays have white boobs…? Speaking of, I despise the ‘snapping’ characters you describe, nobody black I’ve ever met has been anything like that.

    I adore Halle Berry’s “Catwoman”, it’s a funny flick – the villain was brilliant.

    I think you two and I are the only ones who presume sequels are better than the originals (except in the case of Joy Ride 2) – sequels usually have everything of the first film, plus more gore and ridiculousness.

    - Zac

    ReplyDelete
  5. I havent seen this one in years, but I remember hating it and I thought I remembered it being independent of the other two films, as an "in name only" sequel under the title Demon House?? Maybe I need to get out the old divx and rewatch, I loved the first two! Thanks for the review Tower of the Farmliest Farmitude

    ReplyDelete
  6. Zac-- You are right about JOY RIDE 2. I wrote a review for that one months ago, but the movie is so boring that I can't even find anything funny to put in the review- outside of the trucker's voice sounding like Barry White.

    Carl-- I am confused by the whole DEMON HOUSE thing, too. The movie I own is written by Kevin Tenney (who did the first one) and definitely follows the story of Angela. But, I think a different movie, DEMON HOUSE, may have been promoted as NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 3 at some point. I think it is kind of like the confusion around HOUSE 3 and HOUSE 4.

    Anyway, I am glad you both liked the review. Thanks!

    JM

    ReplyDelete
  7. That would explain a lot, damnit.. god damnit.. I fucking hate when I get corn squaggled by misleading titles.. Stupid Demon House.. That ranks up there with the copy of Mutant I bought that was misrepresented by the wrong film's cover art.. Wayne Brady is gonna have to slap a bitch?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hard to find, indeed! Netflix doesn't even list this one as existing...I'm pissed...I can't rest until I complete the trilogy!

    ReplyDelete