Night of the Demons 2 Blu-ray Review: Angela Comes Back, Better

Night of the Demons 2 is a direct-to-video sequel to Night of the Demons, released six years later. It’s cheaper, shot with less style, and at times looks like a TV movie. The only thing it has over its predecessor is characters, gore, nudity, comedy, and an actual story.

Set in the aftermath of the murderous Halloween party from the first film, Night of the Demons 2 takes place in a Catholic reform school for 25-year-olds playing high-schoolers. In the female dorm, several of the students make it a practice to wander nude in front of open windows with the lights fully on. This is what ’90s DTV cinema was made for.

When the girls can finally be convinced to put their clothes on, they tell scary stories about the Hull House, and the terrible Halloween party that ended in disaster there. One of the girls, Melissa (called “Mouse” ’cause she’s mousey) just happens to be the orphaned sister of Angela, the earlier film’s villainess, and she doesn’t want to hear about it.

Neither does Sister Gloria, who stops the ghost story party with a whip of her yard stick. She would rule the school with corporal punishment if not for the new, liberal priest, Father Bob. He believes the kids need responsibility, not discipline, and so wants to enlist their help planning the Halloween dance.

Most of the kids will be going, but not Shirley, the bad girl who enlists Bibi to bring some bodies to a party outside of the school. In fact, they’re going to Hull House, where Shirley and some outside boys plan to perform a ritual with a virgin sacrifice. Namely, Mouse.

The premise of the movie is similar to the first: demons possess people and cause mayhem. There just happens to be miles more story in this film than the first. That one had a premise, and then some activity, but not too much activity. It was a love letter to the Evil Dead. Night of the Demons was content to have a camera rove around a set, and have vague forebodings while people danced. And lots of screaming.

Night of the Demons 2 has much less inventive camera work. In fact, when there is a scene of robust camera movement from a demon P.O.V., it is literally footage taken from the first film. There’s a lot of this film that looks like a TV movie, with bland close-ups and rather staid cinematography, especially in the first half of the movie.

But it has a story, with multiple moving parts and characters I actually cared about. The leads, Bibi and Johnny, were blank slates. But the terrified Mouse aroused sympathy in me. And when some characters died in the film, I was actually upset. It also has multiple locations, moving the story from the school to the haunted house to the dance, and then back to the house for a rousing climax.

And while both are essentially exploitation films, this one does that better as well. There’s wildly gratuitous nudity, so much so that at one point one of the characters seems nonplussed by it. And while the gore and makeup look pretty cheap, it’s more copious and effective in this film. And though they couldn’t spring for another Bauhaus track, there’s a couple of Morbid Angel songs on the soundtrack, played at the Halloween party when Sister Gloria is distracted, kicking arse for the Lord.

Both films are horror comedies, but I actually laughed a time or two here. And there are some surprises from characters, especially the hard-bitten nun Sister Gloria. In my review of the first film, I described it as a movie to play in the background of a Halloween party. Night of the Demons 2 fulfills the same function, but it offers some small chance of actually capturing your attention.

Night of the Demons 2 has been released on Blu-ray by Shout Factory. The disc includes two audio commentaries, one with actors Cristi Harris, Jennifer Rose, Darin Heames, and Johnny Moran and one with Director Brian Trenchard-Smith and Director of Photography David Lewis.

Video extras include ‘”A Tale Of Two Demons” (70 min), an interview with Directors Kevin S. Tenney and Brian Trenchard-Smith; “Trick Or Treat, Sucker” (25 min), an interview with actress Amelia Kinkade; “Red Curls And Screams” (21 min) an interview with actress Cristi Harris; “Monster Mayhem” (49 min), an interview with special effects artist Steve Johnson; “A Sequel With Guts” (13 min), an interview with producer Jeff Geoffray; and the Night Of The Demons 2 workprint, in standard definition, as well as dailies 130 min), photo gallery and a trailer.

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Kent Conrad

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