Demons 2: The Nightmare Returns (1987)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Supernatural Horror  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Patrick Legare

Lamberto Bava returns to gore territory in this bloody, but dimwitted sequel to his surprise 1986 video hit. Despite the input of four writers, including Bava and producer Dario Argento, the film follows a nearly identical path as its predecessor and never bothers to add any detail about why the demons exist or what causes them to awaken when they do. While the first film was set in a movie theater, this one is contained to an apartment complex and appears to have been greatly inspired by two David Cronenberg films: Shivers and Videodrome. Once again, a movie about teens awakening demons carries over into real life and results in nearly everyone in the building being graphically slaughtered by the sharp-fanged, long-nailed creatures. Another similarity to the first film is the inclusion of a minor subplot involving a car full of punks, but the group in this film never actually make it to the building, making it questionable as to why it was even included. Putting aside the simplistic plot, lousy dialogue, and atrocious acting, Demons 2 is watchable for one reason: the bloody mechanical and makeup effects by Sergio Stivaletti. Most of his dripping, drooling transformation sequences are first-rate with highlights including a nasty little boy who actually "births" a monster that resembles one of the title creatures from Gremlins. This Gremlin-demon is a lousy effect, but makes for a few intended laughs. This film marked the acting debut of the young Asia Argento (Dario's daughter) in the role of a little girl who escapes the demon hordes. Originally released in an edited, gore-free R-rated version in the U.S. that was three minutes shorter, Demons 2 is available fully intact on DVD.