Heavy Metal Horror Done Italian Style
The 1980s horror craze wasn’t strictly an American phenomenon. Across the pond and to the south a handful of filmmakers were crafting their own vision of gore and mayhem. Their craft, vision and technique set them apart in many ways. Some good, some not so good.
One of the stand-outs is Demons. Released in 1985 it’s possibly the most popular and/or successful (in the U.S.) of Lamberto Bava’s work. Co-wrote and produced by Dario Argento (Suspiria, Deep Red), Demons is a hard rockin horror in which moviegoers at a midnight premire get trapped with an evil force inside the theatre. It’s a zombie survival style movie done with possessed living humans rather than undead corpses.
The American version’s voice over (if in fact it is voiced over) is pretty bad, adding a large dose of campy/silly to an otherwise fun over the top gore fest. Trust me when I say gore fest. It was the 80s and practical effects were cutting edge and horror movies were always trying to push the boundaries. Much like Evil Dead 2, this film has a ton of yellow, green, blue, and red fluids oozing out of every opening, socket, pore and membrane. Some of it’s is silly and some of it is done really well.
Adding to the awesomeness is the soundtrack. Bava those in songs by Motley Crue, Billy Idol, Rick Springfield, and Go West. Then he slathers on even more awesome sauce by having Claudio Simonetti write additional score for the film. Who is he you ask? He’s none other than the keyboard player for Goblin, the band who scored Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, Argento’s Suspiria, and more!
This film is universally reviled as poor, but equally loved as a mainstay of 80s horror. When you consider the hero not only hacks away demons with a katana while cruising a dirt bike up and down the aisles how couldn’t this film be a keeper!
Time Once Again for the Human Centipede!
Why they need a make a third round of this grotesquely out of control monstrosity of a perversion is pretty obvious… People like ass to mouth. Yes, that is my conclusion and I’m standing by it.
I put off reviewing the part two because, to be quite honest, I’ve been trying to forget about it. The first film is rather good and presented an extremely original idea. The second was just more of the same only grosser.
That’s okay, they can’t really go too much further can they?
Wait… a 500-person human centipede? WTF.
Homage to the B-Movies of Old, Wolfcop is a wild ride.
You referance Teen Wolf and Monster Squad, is Wolfcop really deserving of the association?
You mentioned wolf-dork, does that mean there is sex?
Good date movie?
Anything else I need to know?
Sushi? Crime? Mystery? Naked Woman? Sounds Delicious!
Things quickly get ugly and violent and crazy. The violence isn’t pervasive through the whole film but it is ugly when it happens. What do you expect, you’re watching a Tarantino-esque crime thriller.
The story isn’t bad for the most part. The beats are well placed and it never gets uninteresting or flat out boring. The ending is interesting and rather unexpected, however it seems like there was more to the original story that may not have made it out of the editing room. The payoff at the end is lessened because it’s not set-up as well as possible. It’s almost as if the filmmakers wanted to ensure the ending would be a surprise so they remove as many of the clues as possible.
Does it mean the ending sucks?
No, it’s just feels a little hollow because they didn’t truly earn it.
Do you recommend this movie?
Is it truly like a Tarantino film?
Why didn’t you recognize Mark Hamill?
|“I don’t need the force, I’m a badass." – spoken in Joker voice from Batman cartoon.|
Huge cast, do they all have decent roles?
Eh…tread lightly. If you date enjoys this type of movie then so be it, but there’s nudity and torture. The torture isn’t overdone but it’s kinda gross.
Fire Is A Weapon But Fire Is Not Your Friend
So why is fire considered such a powerful weapon?
Lies. Lies told by movies. You have to admit, and I will as well, that fire looks cool. Explosions look cool. Volatile gases mixing with oxygen is cool.
There is also an entire encyclopedia of cultural, mythic and biblical reasons everyone loves fire but I’m not opening that can of worms.
What’s the Reality?
Reality is that fire won’t do the job against a serial killer, xenomorph, zombie horde, shark, or any number of deadly movie monsters. Allow me to explain.
- Guy is burned to death in his boiler room. BURNED TO DEATH. What happens? He comes back more powerful than they could have possibly imagined.
- Nancy pulls him out of the dream and sets him on fire a second time. What happens? He follows her up the stairs then goes and kills her mother, THEN goes off to make six more movies. Seriously who are we kidding.
- After watching Jason kill his friend the drunk party guy throws a pitcher of high proof alcohol on Jason lights him up using a tiki torch. What happens? Not only does it not slow Jason down, it makes him more fearsome. The partygoers see a flaming Jason (eh..a Jason on fire) and lose their shit, scattering into the corn field. What’s more, when the beer keg cools him off his hockey mask isn’t even singed.
- Captain Dallas takes a flame thrower into the access tunnels to flush out the alien. What Happens? Dallas dies pretty damn quick. The Alien clearly doesn’t give a crap about his makeshift flamethrower.
- Colonial Marines carry flamethrowers with them when they enter the hive in Aliens. Furthermore, the flame unit is the only one they are allowed to use. What happens? All but three marines die and that’s only due to three soldiers disobeying orders and using their guns anyway. To make matters worse, when Ripley the badass hero flames the eggs in the queens chamber she clearly feels compelled to use nearly an entire magazine of pulse rifle ammo just to be sure the eggs are dead.
- One of the helpless victims in a last ditch effort to fend off attack sets the shark on fire. Not a great plan given shes in a boat…on the ocean, but she gets points for being bold. What happens? The shark ends up with a nasty burn scar on the right side of it’s head but is otherwise uneffected. It goes on to kill a bunch of teenagers and scare the shit out of the rest.
- At the end of the movie Dr. Loomis detonates a room full of explosive gas in an attempt to kill Michael Myers once and for all. What happens? Well Loomis and Myers certainly go out with a boom. As if to emphasize just how unnatural the Shape is, Lori sees him coming walking out of the room completely engulfed in flames. He stumbles, falls and dies. Or so we think he dies… Halloween 4 happens and it turns out not only did the fire NOT kill Michael Myers, it didn’t even kill Dr. Loomis! Hell, he looks pretty good for a guy engulfed in a fireball.
- Before you start screaming about how fire is the only thing that can kill The Thing let me point something out to you. Fire really doesn’t work consistently at all, throughout the entire movie. The slit-head corpse they bring back from the Norwegian Camp along with the burned dogs are the specimens Blair uses to determine their is still cellular activity. They burn Bennings, Palmer, Norris, and Windows. What happens? All of the burning seems to work until it quickly becomes apparent the situation is so hopeless. We never really know if fire is the end-all-be-all weapon against The Thing because no matter how many Things they burn more Things keep appearing. Furthermore, exploding and burning are two different things. Palmer and Blair both explode, we have no way of knowing if all those little pieces of them actually died. The only fire related death in the entire movie that we know for a fact works is Fuchs – and he most likely burned himself!
- Ben Mears and Mark Petrie set fire to the Marsten house at the end of the movie in an attempt to cleans the town of the vampire horde. What happens? The wind catches the fire and sweeps over the town driving all the vampires from their hiding places. How is that a good thing? Now the vamps are homeless, pissed off and hungry. Mears and Petrie really didn’t think it through and as a result not only are they being hunted but a lot of people in their wake probably got butchered and turned who might not have otherwise.
- The military blast a hole in the beast’s throat releasing a prehistoric virus that kills a whole bunch of additional people. Next they plan to set the beast on fire. What happens? Fortunately they are smart enough to realize setting fire to the beast could release the contagion worldwide (awesome science) and instead use isotopes. Moral of the story – fire would have made shit worse.
First, the term zombie is used very loosely today. I’m not going to be picky here, I’m just throwing them all together. Dead, slightly dead, brain dead, undead, and dead-alive. Rage zombies aren’t really zombies but since they act and hunt like zombies it’s easier to lump them into the group as well.
Second, with such a broad group containing so many sub-classifications the examples begin to pile up quickly and I want to make it clear that use of fire against this group of monsters generally has the same effect on all of them. Or in this particular case the results could be explosive.
- There are a whole bunch of examples but let’s just go with the opening episode to season 5. Carol blows up the fuel tank as part of her master plan to free the group from Terminus, in the process setting numerous walkers on fire. What happens? The walkers don’t die. They walk right into the compound and start eating/attacking the living. Lighting zombies on fire while they are still mobile only makes them more dangerous, not to mention smell worse.
- While trying to start the emergency generator in the parking garage the group is attacked by ‘fast-moving’ dead zombies. After getting boxed into the cage around the fuel station they decide to spray gas on the zombies and light them on fire. What happens? Well, the movie cheats is what happens. It works for narrative purposes but they never actually show the zombies burn long enough to stop being a threat. The fact they are fast moving zombies means they should be 10x more dangerous once set ablaze. This is an example of the divine hand of editing, otherwise the movie would have been a helluva lot shorter. A drop-kick might have been more effective.
- In 28 Days Later Jim is pursued by a group of infected, Selena and Mark use molotovs to light them on fire. What happens? The infected don’t even slow down. They continue to pursue Jim until Selena and Mark blow the entire petrol station to hell. Considering the infected aren’t truly dead the fire probably would have worked, and much more quickly than if they were dead, but not until after they caught Jim. What’s worse than being attacked and infected? Being attacked by infected and set on fire all at once!
- In 28 Weeks Later the U.S military calls in the Air Cav to firebomb the secure zone of downtown London. What happens? They light London up like a Christmas tree and still fail to contain the damn infection. Seriously, it’s their first decision and it fails. We’re not even talking about undead zombies who could mill around for god knows how long while burning. The infected are still alive which means they would succumb to fire damage much more quickly, but once again fire fails and the world goes to hell.