Night of the Demons (1988)

We’re really getting to the real headliners of Nights of Demons Month for B-Movie Enema!  I mean, how can I not?  This week is the week I get to talk about the inspiration for the title of the entire theme month!  Not only that, but it is one of my favorite horror movies as a kid.

Yup, it’s Kevin S. Tenney’s Night of the Demons.

With next week being Halloween proper, what better movie to talk about than a movie that told a 12 year old me what happens when adults (or possibly older teenagers) go off and party for Halloween in a scary house?  On top of that, we’ve got a hot witchy spooky chick and Linnea Quigley putting lipstick on her boobs before literally shoving the lipstick into her boob. 

Goddamn I love this movie.

Alright, so here’s the deal…  Angela (hot witchy spooky chick) is throwing a party at the Hull House.  This place is well known for its pretty goddamn sordid past.  She invites all of her friends (Suzanne, Stooge, Helen, Sal, Rodger, Judy, and Jay) and pretty much plans for a night of general debauchery and shenanigans.  Unfortunately, shit goes south in a big fuckin’ hurry when the demons possessing Hull House awaken and run amok.

This movie ended up tripling its budget in a relatively small release and ended up being a massive cult classic on home video and cable.  I know I rented the movie a bunch of times whenever I’d have a sleepover at my buddy’s house.  It ranks among some of my very favorite Halloween-themed horror movies.  Quite frankly, I like it a whole lot more than most of the Halloween sequels!

So the fuck am I still chatting about this shit?  Let me start it up and get into the real tricks and treats!

The movie begins with a rockin’ and rollin’ car barreling down the street with Stooge (a big ol’ meathead wearing a pig snout), his girlfriend Helen (who is tired of Stooge’s constant antics), and Rodger (appropriately wearing a pirate costume).  They see an old guy walking down the street and Stooge moons him.  Boom, right there, we know everything we need about them.  Stooge is a pig, Helen is probably too good for him, and Rodger just likes having a jolly good time.

The old man, though, for no real purpose in the story to be honest, but a fun little thing that works with the Halloween theme, is scared by Sal, who suddenly approached him on the sidewalk, and it is revealed he has razor blades and apples in his bag.  I know this was an old urban legend, but I never quite figured out how the whole razor blade in the apple trick worked.  Wouldn’t you know that there’s something wrong with the apple from all the juice all over it from the old turd shoving a blade into it?  I just feel like it’s something that sounds legit, but the logistics of it doesn’t lend to being realistic.  I’d look it up, but I’d probably either A) end up on a porn site anyway or B) be put on a list somewhere or C) a little of both.

So anyway, we meet squeaky clean (and really cute) Judy.  She’s going to the school’s Halloween dance with her boyfriend Jay, but he calls to tell her they have an invite to go to Angela’s party.  Judy is a bit unnerved by Angela, but that doesn’t stop her from dropping her jeans and panties and getting dressed in her Alice in Wonderland costume (fuckin’ A).  Also…

Squeaky clean also means sexy lacy white bra… Nice.

There’s also a bit of a love triangle.  Sal shows up to take Judy out, but her brother says she’s going out with Jay.  Her brother squeals about the party going on at Hull House for a couple bucks.

But fuck that…  It’s time for dat asssssss…

Must… buy… Tide…

So that’s Suzanne (Quigley) showing off the assets.  Meanwhile, Angela is going around the convenient store grabbing all the supplies needed for the party while the guys working at the store are distracted.

So we’ve met everyone important.  In less than 13 minutes, we get everything we need to know.  Judy is the good girl, Jay is Prince Charming, Suzanne is the sexy one, Angela is the bad girl, Stooge is a big dumb moron, Rodger is the black o… I mean the happy-go-lucky one, Helen is just kinda there, and Sal is the bad boy Judy probably really wants.  Max and Fannie are picked up by Jay and Judy on the way to the party.  They are friends of Jay’s.  How great is it when you get everything you need in the first, like 15 minutes?

Max and Fannie also help provide the back story for Hull House.  It is a super large funeral parlor and the original owners all died in a grizzly way.  They were all kind of surprised that the gates were left open and allowed them to go right up to the abandoned place.  Max also tells of the legend that the brick wall surrounding the funeral parlor was built over a running, underground stream.  That’s to keep the evil spirits from escaping the land the house is on.

Everybody arrives, and the party kicks off.  It’s just a bunch of kids hanging out in a creepy ass funeral home, drinking beers, and dancing to some good ol’ heavy metal music from the late 80s.  When the batteries on the boom box suddenly die, the idea of having a “past life seance” is brought up by Fannie.  I’m not sure if that was a real thing or not, but it is basically all of them sitting around looking in a mirror and seeing their past life.  Sounds like bullshit.  But whatever!  It’s Halloween and it sounds like fun.

What’s less fun is when Rodger hears some spooky sounds in the other room.  He and Stooge check it out and Rodger returns completely fucking scared stiff.  Stooge found a full length mirror, though, and they do the seance.  Rodger excludes himself, but is soon joined by Helen when she sees a really scary monster thing in the mirror followed by a dead girl.  The mirror falls over and shatters.

Worse, there are a bunch of sounds coming from the basement.  The camera takes us there and we’re shown the scary monster head thing is in the crematory oven.  It escapes and we have a really cool POV shot of the monster flying through the house until it makes its way to the party and possesses Suzanne.  Angela then states that the banging, the cold breeze and stench that came through with the demon were all signs of demonic possession and they really should consider getting the fuck out of town.

Angela’s insistence that they leave leads to one of my most favorite lines in film history – Stooge, completely dead set on staying to party exclaiming, “EAT A BOWL OF FUCK!”

I learned so much as a kid watching this movie.

Helen and Rodger want to leave but they don’t have their own car.  Suzanne gives them Angela’s keys so they can leave.  Jay wants to go “exploring” with Judy and Max and Fannie want to go find someplace weird to fuck.  Before Suzanne takes Stooge elsewhere (she says to find the bathroom, but c’mon…  A possessed Linnea Quigley is more likely to poop on a man than use an actual toilet), she locks lips with Angela, possessing her as well.

Max gives additional back story to the site where Hull House stands.  Apparently, this was always considered unclean land by the Native Americans.  I guess a young brave got lost and when he was found, he was in a tee pee made by a squaw’s intestines while he was eating a person’s leg.  Gnarly.

Outside, Rodger and Helen can’t find the gate.  Helen believes they’ve died and gone to hell.  He doesn’t believe it but when he turns to try to figure out what the deal is with the brick wall, Helen disappears.  He also hears a scary voice calling his name.  He finds a car and barricades himself inside.

Learned so much…

Back in Hull House, Jay gets denied sex from Judy and basically leaves her in a part of the house alone.  Stooge is locked out of the bathroom while Suzanne starts getting all weird looking.  In the main room Angela starts dancing by the fire for Sal.  Sal decides to get the fuck out of there, and that’s when Stooge comes back.  Stooge, giving no fucks about Sal’s warning that Angela is acting super fucked up, decides to put the moves on anyway.  She ends up biting his fucking tongue out of his mouth.  Sal finds Suzanne who is putting lipstick all over her face.  Sal says he’s gonna go home, and Suzanne decides to give her lipstick a new home.

In her tit.

I… I have to wonder if I saw this movie at too young an age. Hmmm.

Jay finds Suzanne and she unzips his fly and he just goes with it.  I kinda don’t blame him.  Sal tells Angela that he’s leaving and she reveals that she’s warming her hands in the fire.  Like, literally, her hands were on fire from having them… in the fire.  Outside, Helen is found, but she’s missing her fucking face.  This causes Rodger to get out of the car and run for it.  Jay gets the absolute WORST case of blue balls when Suzanne starts fucking him, then freaks out because he’s looking at her, and then claws his eyes out.

That’s happened to me before.  No shit.  It really happened to me before.  I have a terrible time picking women.

Stooge shows back up to interrupt Max and Fannie’s fuck sesh.  He’s all demoned out now.  He first breaks her neck, then slams the coffin lid on Max.  By the way, they were fucking in a coffin.  That’s some freaky shit, man.  Rodger sees Angela and she’s starting to get pretty gross looking now.  Sal teams up with Rodger to try to figure out a way out of there.

Sal and Rodger find Judy, but they have trouble ahead because Angela is full on demon now and floating down the hall at them!  Unfortunately for Sal and Judy, they find a window, but it is in the room Suzanne is in.  She pushes Sal out the window while Judy makes off down the hallway.

What I really like about this stretch of the movie is how much like a haunted house it is.  Doors are opening and closing and letting people in and out and when you get into a room something terrible and scary is waiting for you.  You begin screaming like a girl and guys are laughing at you, and you realize that you’re never going to be a real man despite being 41 years old, and…

Wait.  I was kind of projecting there, huh?

But for real, what makes this movie so great is that it incorporates a slasher element, the old dark house setting, and the ghost and demon business all into one movie.  It’s not exactly acted super well, but it is effectively shot with great makeup and really uses its setting that has a lack of space and light really well.  With both Rodger and Sal outside and Judy trapped within the house, there is a really tense chase scene as well.

Judy gets to a window and climbs out.  Rodger is on the ground below, and Sal is above climbing over the crest of the roof.  Unfortunately, Angela is there too.  Just before Angela can get to Judy, Sal wrestles with the demon and they both fall off the roof and onto the ground.  Angela appears to turn back to normal, but Sal is impaled on a wooden stake.  She gets to the ground level, but Stooge and Angela (who is back up for another round and still a super scary monster chick) are there to cause some trouble.

For some reason, Judy and Rodger go back inside the house and into the basement.  They lock themselves into the boiler room, and Judy decides that they probably should go into the crematory oven thing because that has to be a way out?  She finds a skull and realizes that’s…  That’s not the way out.

They figure out that the demons won’t leave them alone because it’s Halloween and it’s the night that demons can hang out and not go back to hell.  Judy is all like, “I bet if we just hang out until dawn, we’ll be okay!” and Rodger is like, “Yeah, cool.  I’m wit cha.”  When Angela and Stooge busts into the room after magically unhinging the door, Judy uses the gas line to set the demons on fire.  They try to leave the house, but the door won’t open.  All of their friends, now demons, close in on them.  Rodger jumps out the window and they climb up the wall to cross the stream.

So get this…  Judy decides not to climb up the wall immediately because the best way to get up there is to use the barb wire on the wall.  Rodger gets up to the top of the wall and tries to help pull Judy up with him, but when all the demons come to get them, he freaks and falls off the wall, leaving Judy to fend for herself against all their friends.  He just curls up in a ball on the ground.  At least he comes back at the last moment before they pull her off the wall.

The morning sun comes and Judy and Rodger stumble home.  The turd old man who was a jerk to everyone earlier is having apple pie for breakfast.  Wait…  Apple pie?  Where did his wife get the apples?  He dies from swallowing razor blades.

The ending is a bit silly with the bookends of the mean old man getting his comeuppance, but it helps it stay in that Halloween spirit with the urban legend.  It puts that nice little exclamation point on the whole movie.  This is a movie I could watch over and over.  It’s fun and just so well done.  It’s a true shining gem of 1980s horror.

But that also means it not only gets the sequel treatment, but, sadly, it also got the remake/reboot treatment.  In 2009, a new version of this movie practically only using the title and a basic understanding that demons have a night and do stuff.

So!  Let’s watch it for a special Halloween Eve edition of B-Movie Enema!  Nights of Demons comes to a close with the 2009 version of this movie that I love so much.  I’m really not sure if I’m gonna hate it or be impressed by it.  I guess the only way to find out is to see you then.

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