Night of the Demon (1980) (31)
James C. Wasson
Jim L. Ball
Jim L. Ball
and Melanie Graham
January 1st. 1980
Night of the Demon is a low-budget horror movie from James C. Wasson. This bush-league title stars Joy Allen, a minor British television star from the sixties. Along with a collection of resident players with no credits in particular. This looked like it could be an adequate feature but there were far too many technical issues.
The flick just sort of starts. Out of nowhere, we have a badass title sequence in a puddle of blood that looks like a footprint. Looks like Bigfoots or Andre the Giants. Its 1980, and the killer appears to be a giant hairy beast so… either way I guess. Professor Nugent thinks it’s a Bigfoot, and he needs to justify it. This man-ape is awful. He’s been tearing apart his victims in the most barbarous of fashions. Then the picture takes a peculiar side-step. It turns out that our sasquatch is some weird rapist. He’s also worshipped by some bizarre clan of yokels. Some guy gets his dick ripped off. To say that it gets a bit weird would be an understatement.
This was on the United Kingdom’s Video Nasties list. The Video Nasties were a list of films that video rental houses and theaters were banned from showing or displaying. It was an attempt at controlling British people, keeping them formal and proper. This all took place during Dame Margaret Thatcher’s term as Prime Minister. Probably due to the dick being ripped off or the rapist Bigfoot. Either really.
The killings are brutal; I guess. The terrible audio of a shrieking want-to-be scream queen is grating. Of course the movie has a ton of flaws both technically and literally. There are very few scenes that appear to be made well. The writing is bad. The acting is bad. Those are par for the course. But this just screams inadequate filmmaking. Even the sasquatch looks horrible. In some scenes it looks like it’s just a man in hairy pants giving chase. Now that’s an idea for a horror movie.
It’s not the worst movie I've seen. It’s actually pretty awesome. I love that introduction. I know it started off pretty abrupt, but it came around as being one of the best parts of the movie. This is definitely a low-budget and low-effort flick that actually still deserves a place on the video shelf. It has that retro charm. That radical nature and style that made that era such a strange time. Get the friends together to watch this one.