Demons

On a subway station in Rome, the young lady Cheryl stumbles into a mysterious man who’s got half his face covered with an iron mask. He gives her two tickets to a horrormovie. She asks him if he’s dressed like that for the promotion of the film, but he does not give her an answer. Her curiosity has been peaked, so she hooks up with her girlfriend Kathy and decides to head for the movie theatre to check out this mysterious untitled film. Other random people pops in, such as an elderly couple who’s probably never seen a horror movie before, some pussy-hound teenagers, a pimp with two hookers, and of course a blind dude with sunglasses with his wife who must explain what happens on the screen to him. You know, the regular moviegoers..

This “mysterious” movie they’re going to watch is about some people who are exploring a tomb site where Nostradamus should be buried. They come across an old latin book written by Nostradamus himself, which is about summoning demons. They also find a demonic iron mask, which is not so unfamiliar to the one we saw in the beginning. Fast forwarding, as they read from the book, one of the people in the movie theatre gets possessed and havoc is about begin with throats getting ripped, scalps torn off and people getting killed in horrible ways. And they also happen to be completely locked inside the building.

So basically, Demons is more or less Evil Dead in a movie theatre… just without Bruce Campbell.

But we have Tony the Pimp. He seems to be a favorite amongst many viewers, and that’s probably ’cause he’s the only one amongst the bland characters who has a shred of personality. He’s badass and got some attitude. There’s was even a short film made about him with the same actor, Bobby Rhodes. You’re almost hoping he’s this film’s backbone and hero in the same way Bruce Campbell was for Evil Dead or Reggie Bannister was for Phantasm. Well, what a missed opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to see a whole franchise where a pimp teams up with his hookers to kill a bunch of Demons/zombies-or whatever?

A sequel was made right after, called Demons 2, which is so bad and dreadfully boring that I had to speed up to get through it so I didn’t fall asleep..

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089013/

“A house with a death in it can never again be bought or sold by the living, it can only be borrowed by the ghosts that stay behind.”

A young nurse has been hired to take care of an old woman. This old woman is Iris Blum, a prolific horror author that now lives all alone in her New England mansion and suffering from chronic dementia, and needs to be proper taken care of 24/7. When the young nurse, Lily, starts living there in order to take proper care of Iris, Lily starts experiencing certain things that makes her imagination run wild. With Lily being a bit of a scaredy-cat as well, she tries all she can to re-focus and pretend that nothing is happening…until she can’t pretend any more.

“I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House” is a strange dish. While being a haunted house movie, it’s told from a somewhat different angle (from the actual haunting itself, so to speak). The movie starts with Lily herself being the narrator, stating “The pretty thing you are looking at is me. Of this I am sure. My name is Lily Saylor. I am a hospice nurse. Three days ago I turned 28 years old. I will never be 29 years old“. No spoilers to be had there, in other words…we know exactly what will happen to Lily, just not how. That being said, Lily is only part of the haunting: another spectre is already present. A young woman in a white victorian dress, who have a direct connection to Iris and her books…a mystery Lily eventually feels compelled to solve, and will lead to her unfortunate demise. With regards to this movie, I guess it’s fitting to say that sometimes, curiosity really does kill the cat…

I many ways, it’s a little hard to review this movie as a horror movie, because in many ways it’s more like a gothic poem, and certainly more beautiful than scary. It is very slow-paced, and it’s not one that is there to deliver all the answers…however, it does have a pretty good atmosphere and could be well worth a watch if you find yourself in the mood for a slow poetic ghost story.

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5059406/

Nosferatu in Venize

The movie opens with a group of duck hunters who happens to shoot down a bat. “It’s bad luck to kill a bat” one of them says, before one of their dogs eats it. And no, it wasn’t Nosferatu the dog ate, just a random bat. Then we jump to Venice where Professor Paris Catalano (Christopher Plummer) arrives to meet a young lady after getting a vague letter about Nosferatu. According to the letter, Nosferatu was last seen in Venice during a carnival in 1786, and legend has it that he’s still hiding in the city. Paris Catalano has dedicated his life to study Nosferatu, and is more or less the equivalent of Van Helsing. I assume they had to add a different name due to copyright, who knows. He eats dinner with the same people we saw in the duck hunting-scene in the beginning, where he gives a quick and half-hearted lecture about vampires, before he gets escorted down into a crypt under the tunnels of the city where a casket from Transylvania is located. The legend says that Nosferatu is the one who’s buried in that casket. So why not just open it, put the stake through his chest, and just be done with it? You tell me…

However, Professor Paris is certain that Nosferatu isn’t located in that coffin, and that he is shipwrecked somewhere. He won’t even dare to open it, in order to check if he’s right. So what’s he gonna do next? He gets a medium to summon the vampire. Nosferatu (Klaus Kinski) then stands up from a coffin somewhere on a random, obscure location and starts his journey. He stumbles into a gypsy camp where a fortune teller tells him that he’s been summoned by a young lady. He bites the fortune teller’s neck before he heads for Venice, for some more necks to put his teeth in… I guess…

And as you may have figured out, this movie has no relation to neither Nosferatu from 1922 nor the Werner Herzog’s remake from 1979 in any shape or form. Who knows what this movie really tries to be, but what it definitely is, is a completely incoherent mess. Christopher Plummer looks really confused here, and you can tell he has some difficulty with delivering his lines. That’s probably because there were five directors who came and left, after the first one got fired, so you can try to imagine the chaos and turmoil behind the scenes. It’s a miracle that the movie exists at all. And when even Klaus Kinski ended up directing himself in some of the scenes, then you know that everyone have seriously jumped the ship.

So yeah, this is one of those cases where a two-hour making of-documentary had been far more entertaining and interesting than the movie itself…

Nosferatu in Venize

Klaus Kinski was perfect as Nosferatu in the 1979-remake and is probably one of his finest roles. Here, its the polar opposite. He refused to wear the same makeup and shave his long, blonde hair and approached the role with only some simple eyeshadow and puts on the iconic two front teeth when he feels like it. All the characteristics and known trademarks are gone; the hand gestures, the long fingers/nails, as if the guy refused to play the character altogether, and rather just not give a fuck and play himself instead. “Kinski in Venice”, yeah why not.. There’s zero Nosferatu about him. He acts more like a disturbed lunatic, high on whatever he can snort and who likes to hunt down and rape young women in Venice’s narrow alleys, than a fragile vampire who needs blood to survive. It’s almost comical…

Just to put it in a nutshell how extremely “off” Nosferatu is in this film: he’s asked if the daylight doesn’t frighten him. He answers: “It’s the night who frighten me.” So, there you have it. “Nosferatu in Hawaii” next? Despite all the retardedness, the film has its share of gothic and gloomy atmosphere and Venice looks really chilling and sinister, and seems like an unique place to shoot a vampire flick. At least, some of the five directors who tried to sail this shipwreck of a movie to the projection screen managed to add some really fine and moody imagery. And the fitting soundtrack by Vangelis isn’t bad, either. So, I’ll have to give some props in that regard.

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091651/

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