On Halloween, I went to the New Beverly Cinema to check out a demonic triple-feature of three awesome horror flicks from the 80’s, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, DEMONS and DEMONS 2!
In the spirit of the holiday, I went as a Wizard, who specializes in Black Magic. When I arrived in line, I was relieved to find a couple of the other New Bev regulars had dressed up as well. My friend CAT was there as Wonder Woman and acting legend, CLU (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, FEAST I, II, III) GULAGER was dressed as a Zombie-Cowboy.
The evening started with an introduction from director, KEVIN (WITCHTRAP) TENNEY before his film, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS. He seemed a little nervous about the quality of the print and the fact that the movie hadn’t played in front of an audience in over 20 years. He shouldn’t have been, because everything held up great!
First there were a few trailers: MADMAN (PLAY THIS, PLEASE!), JOHN CARPENTER’S HALLOWEEN, and CREEPERS (A.K.A. PHENOMENON)
Then our feature presentation…
NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (1988) is about a group of wild teenagers who throw a party in a creepy, abandoned mansion on Halloween night. They decide to hold a seance for kicks, which unfortunately wakes up a sleeping demon, who takes possession of the party’s host, Angela. One by one, the kids are attacked and turned into vicious demons, ala EVIL DEAD.
While not winning any originality awards, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS is a fun, little horror-comedy from the golden age. It wins a lot of points by taking place on Halloween and making effective use of the holiday’s atmosphere. More points go to a pretty decent cast of actors that includes B-movie Queen, LINNEA QUIGLEY. She has one particularly memorable scene involving her often exposed breasts and a lipstick. Good gross-out gore and some nicely staged scares, combined with a wicked sense of humor, made this film a very enjoyable experience to watch with the New Bev crowd.
Afterwards there was a Q and A with KEVIN TENNEY and several members of the cast that included, HAL HAVINS (who played STOOGE, the fat obnoxious guy who wears a pig snout and tells everyone to “eat a bowl of fuck!”), PHILIP TANZINI (Max), JILL TERASHITA (Frannie-the hot Asian girl that gets nude!), ALVIN ALEXIS (Rodger-the black guy who lives!), and JAMES QUINN (he did all the Demon voices and is the star of WITCHTRAP). They all shared stories about how much fun they had making this low budget film. HAL HAVINS stole his famous line from the great JOHN BELUSHI. JILL TERASHITA insisted on re-shooting her nude scene because she thought her acting was terrible and told TENNEY, “I’m already naked in the movie. I don’t want to be naked and suck too.”. Actor ALVIN ALEXIS flew in from N.Y. for the screening and is very proud that he is one of the few African americans that actually survives in a horror movie.
There was a short break and then actress GERETTA GERETTA came out and introduced DEMONS. She talked about how great it was to work with LAMBERTO BAVA and how they filmed most of the interiors in Rome and exteriors in Berlin. The movie was made by Americans, Italians and Germans, so everyone was speaking different languages all the time, including the actors. She also reminisced about living in Italy and working with legendary horror filmmaker, LUCIO FULCI.
Trailers for upcoming attractions at the New Bev: NEAR DARK, DEATH WISH III and JOHN CARPENTER’S THEY LIVE. Then…
DEMONS (1985) is one of my all time favorite Italian horror films. It was directed by LAMBERTO BAVA (MARIO’S son) and produced and co-written by the master of Italian horror himself, DARIO ARGENTO. It centers around a group of strangers that are all randomly invited to the screening of a horror film at a brand new theatre called the METROPOL. Once the film begins, audience members start turning into violent demons and begin attacking other guests. A team of survivors (led by a pimp) band together to fight the demons off and escape the cinema, so they may warn the outside world (if it’s not too late).
DEMONS is one of the most fun horror movies to watch in a movie theatre, because it actually takes place in a movie theatre. I originally saw this movie on VHS and then later as a midnight movie at the MUSIC BOX THEATRE in Chicago, way back in the day. This is the third time I’ve seen it at the New Bev and it’s a treat to experience it with that crowd. You gotta love any horror film that has the hero chopping demons up with a samurai sword, while riding a motorcycle. This movie is filled with throat ripping, eye gouging, puss squirting good times and has a wonderful shock ending that happens while the credits are rolling!
Next were trailers for FRIGHT NIGHT II, HOUSE II: THE SECOND STORY and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (PLAY THIS ONE TOO, PLEASE!)
Then our final feature of the evening…
DEMONS 2 (1986) takes place in a luxury apartment building and once again the demons start pouring out of the woodwork, this time because of a horror movie playing on everyone’s television. It’s up to a new band of survivors to make a stand against the demonic hoard!
DEMONS 2 is a very fun follow-up to the original. Setting it in a huge apartment building definitely makes this feel like a bigger film and it’s got a lot more demons on hand than the last one. It also brings back actor BOBBY RHODES, who played Tony the pimp in DEMONS. In DEMONS 2 he plays Hank the gym instructor and he leads a group of tank top and short shorts wearing, muscle heads against the savage demon attack. Also, a very young ASIA ARGENTO is featured and terrorized for the first time by one of her father’s creations.
I couldn’t think of a better way to spend Halloween, than at the New Bev watching horror movies! A great night and thankfully, not one audience member turned into a demon. Trick or treat!
Tags: alvin alexis, asia argento, bobby rhodes, dario argento, geretta geretta, hal havin, james quinn, jill terashita, kevin tenney, lamberto bava, linnea quigley, philip tanzini, the new beverly cinema