Night of the Demons has come to Blu-ray courtesy of Scream Factory. The 1988 film written by Joe Augustyn and directed by Kevin Tenney, is a simple tale of a group of teenagers partying at the local haunted abandoned mortuary on Halloween. Of course, demons are summoned, and the group, well, they’re screwed.
The movie was one of those staples for rental in the early 90’s for sleepovers. Despite being a little hokey, silly, and, by today’s PC standards, could be considered completely racist, sexist, misogynistic, etc (by uptight people) – it is actually pretty damn awesome. It was made at a time when monsters were created with makeup, matte paintings were used as backdrops instead of CGI, the “slut” characters (in this case, scream queen Linnea Quigley) were abundant and gratuitous, and what may be thought of now as bad writing or acting, were all just endearing qualities of horror films.
Having only seen the movie over the years either on VHS or television, the new Blu-ray transfer is spectacular. Normally, these movies are engrained in my mind in the state I originally saw them: dark, dirty, disturbing. Something about that original vision made the hokey storyline believable, in a way – and almost could induce a panicked state if one put themselves in the place of the characters, and the situation at hand. The film itself is still murky, as it takes place at night in the house, but now, details can finally be seen through it. Even the effects are cleaned up, like when the demons are summoned through the mirror, and they look eerier than before. Makeup effects, with the brightness finally restored, are far more disconcerting (lipstick trick!). Overall, the new transfer, the sound – everything about the restoration – Night of the Demons deserves.
The Blu-ray is packed with trailers and TV spots that are of that old original dim VHS quality. It would be interesting for these releases to have that pre-restoration copy available to watch, as well. The “Making Of” featurette runs over an hour long and is packed with a lot of goodies. From director Kevin Tenney being brought in to direct writer Joe Augustyn’s script, to the changing of the title (original Halloween Party, which was threatened lawsuit by the Halloween folks), to friction between many parties involved, the amount of quality information about the struggles of making the movie is insane. There is also an interview with star Amelia Kinkade – which is more or less the unedited interview from the “Making Of”. There is also a personal photo gallery provided and narrated by actress Allison Barron, and an extensive makeup effects gallery.
The Blu-ray is a must buy – especially for the “Making Of” extra, which simply shows the love and dedication that went into making this movie. With an awesome restoration, Night of the Demons can be shared and appreciated by the fans.