This week it’s Charles Philip Moore’s 1990 effort Demon Wind.
After the death of his father, Cory (Eric Larson) is beckoned to his ancestral home only to find that it is cursed by demonic forces.
I have to admit that I cheated this week and watched my recently acquired Vinegar Syndrome Blu of this movie. With its snazzy lenticular cover, you can imagine it is not particularly easy to find a VHS copy in the wild. Oh well, at least they recreated the cover for this release. Anyhoo, let's dig in.
It didn't take me long to clock into this movie's Evil Dead vibe. You’ve got the rundown cabin – or farmhouse – the demons, the book of incantations and even the ceremonial dagger. When you think about it, I guess Sam Raimi’s Ram-O-Cam effect was technically a demon wind. There’s not much wind in this one though, save a few fog banks, as it's mainly demons shambling and cracking wise.
Demon Wind was a lot less fun than its influences that also likely included Prince of Darkness and Fulci’s Zombi, but Moore did manage to throw in a WTF moment every few scenes to keep me entertained. Like when those two guys – one of whom is a magician for some reason – show up blaring classical music out of their Buick. To be fair, those two dudes’ bro-mance was one of the more interesting things about Demon Wind.
|Stacy (Jack Vogel) & Chuck (Stephen Quadros) together 4ever!|
Not to say logic was particularly important here, but there was a severe lack of it present. Once inside the farmhouse, which I might add looks like ruins from the outside and fine on the inside, Cory is like, “I think it's gonna be okay”. Oh really guy? Need I remind you that five minutes ago your friend got turned into a doll and burst into flames. That sounds pretty fucking far from okay to me. But what do I know, I haven't inherited a cursed family plot. Not yet anyway.
Perhaps the most noticeable flaw was the foley. Holy balls, did this guy only have access to like three or four sounds? I swear, if you took a drink every time you hear that canned “falling to the ground” noise, you’d be hospitalized by the climax. In all fairness though, this movie was shot on short ends by a second-unit crew from a picture that it was being shot back-to-back with. I suppose we should be glad it was watchable at all.
Having said that, there were things to appreciate here. Though the gooey make-up effects were a mixed bag, F/X artist Lance Anderson really went for it. A dozen demon make-up extras (of which Lou Diamond Phillips was apparently one)? No problem. Huge son-of-Satan full body prosthetic? Sure, we can do that. Full body burn? Easy peasy! Plus, I feel I need to re-iterate those WTF moments.
If that gif were to play on, you'd see this guy regress back into a baby and then... a dove. Because why not, right?
Moore went onto have a decent career doing action movies, including Angel of Destruction and Dance with Death, which has perhaps the most nineties coverbox you have ever seen in your life. Demon Wind was a so-so affair, but at least it delivered on the promise of its coverbox.