Demon Wind Reviews
I gave the movie 2 stars because it isn't good. My biggest complaint is they rely heavily on special effects which are cheap so the movie is sometimes comical and cartoonish. But I was determined to like this movie so I forgave all its flaws while watch it, like it was a true story and this is just how everything factually played out. Most people might not even give it 2 stars but I think it deserves at least that. If you can show the movie a little love and force yourself to get immersed in the story you might even give it 4 stars. I just wish there were more Evil Dead rip-offs out there. I guess where the plot is so basic it's difficult to think of new ways to tell the same story.
And I have to mention the box art. Very cool. It's one of those 3-D pictures so when you move the box you see the demon jump through the window.
What is a slasher film anyway?
My definition might vary a little bit from other folks. A slasher doesn't necessarily need to follow any aesthetic of film making (although most seem identical to one another). In short, they are films in which the character density decreases in mass throughout due to a mysterious or unforeseen threat until we are left with a mean of one male and one female, left to fend for their lives against said threat.
Throughout the genre, people will be shot through the neck with arrows, blood will slowly drip onto an unsuspecting character from a dead body hidden in the rafters of a cabin, a couple having sex will be joined together permanently by a sharp object, machetes will claim limbs, and finally, there will be significant crotch violence. They are films with substance the likes of that listed above, stuffed with suspense, just the right amount of satire, shots from the killer's point of view, garden tools used in unexpected new ways, lots of violence, and finally, a plethora of nudity.
What makes a bad slasher film?
Well, for starters, Charles Philip Moore...
To be honest I'm not sure it's even fair to categorize Demon Wind solely as a slasher. Yes it has the large cast reducing considerably throughout, but the question of loyalty to the genre comes in the unforeseen threat. The villain of the film is for the most part the continually shrinking cast. It's a possession film in the mold of Evil Dead 2. The exact mold as Evil Dead 2. It's as if the film makers burst into Sam Raimi's house, demanded his ideas for a spin-off of his film, grabbed sketches of the production design for the infamous cabin and whatever else they could use to throw a script together as fast as possible, took out an ad for actors promising big time exposure, and somehow got picked up by a major studio.
The film is pathetic as the attempted possession-themed thriller, but functions rather well as more of a cheesy slasher film, due to the over-abundance of cliched characters, the gradual expiration of each in grisly ways (thought the f/x aren't too terribly great) etc. It's one of the few Alien Nation/Evil Dead 2/Exorcist/zombie films out there (I guess you have to give it credit for that). Despite the film's poor quality and very confusing ending, it's absolutely hilarious (unintentionally of course) which will no doubt prompt the intoxicated and sober alike to unite and laugh at the mediocrity laced throughout.
The pre-credit sequence of the film concerns an old woman wandering through her house searching for her son, calling out his name. Soon she finds him, his back to the camera. He is unresponsive to her calling. He turns around. It's her son, but he's possessed and speaks with that ever present deep "possessed" voice. He says something cryptic and begins to lurch toward his mom which prompts her to pull out a snow globe, warns him to back away, then drops it which causes the house to explode. Trust me, it's better if you don't ask...
Cut to several years later. The woman's grandson, Cory (Eric Larson, who has two flashbacks in his first 5 minutes of screentime!), and his girlfriend Elaine (Francine Lapensee) are driving to his grandparents' farm. Seems that Cory recently witnessed his father's unsuccessful suicide attempt by slitting his wrists after which he disappeared which prompts Cory to check into his family history, starting with his grandparents. On the way there, the two stop at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. Literally the middle of nowhere. The town consists of, well, the gas station. There they meet up with several friends who've agreed to come along. After ignoring the warnings of the crazy old man at the gas station about the house *Sound familiar?* the 10 or so victims head out.
Upon arriving at the house, they find it burned to the ground, save for the front wall. However they soon discover that when you walk through the front door it "transports" you into the still standing house briefly before it's destruction. After being freaked out by some cabinet doors begin flailing wildly, the characters attempt to leave only to find that their cars won't start. They try walking, but once they reach a certain distance they become engulfed by the "Demon Wind", which has the power to transport you back to the house and also to make an already overly long boring movie longer. From here on you basically have a combination Evil Dead 2/slasher film.
The films contains uncanny similarities to Raimi's film. First, the moaning voice coming from the woods. In his film characters are lured out of the cabin and into the woods by a faint haunting, yet hypnotizing voice. In Demon Wind characters are lured out of the cabin and into the woods by what sounds like someone hissing into a bullhorn.
Then there's the cabin itself. Although from the outside only a mere portion stands, the inside is practically identical to the one from ED2. Everything is covered in dust, every surface ready to lodge splinters into the unfortunate person who touches it. Not to mention the fact that the front door acts as a time portal to before the house burnt down while at the end of ED2, you guessed it, it acts as a time portal to the Middle Ages.
Then finally there's a possession scene in which a character gets infected through their hand. It's not expanded much though, so I suppose that's good. Even so, the mere idea that these folks had the nerve of attempting to recreate one of the greatest schlock cinema fights of all time and put it into a film called Demon Wind well, that's unforgiveable.
As if this plagiarizing of a true classic wasn't bad enough, a shield formed by one of Cory's grandmother's spells surrounds the house and zaps anything that tries to get in. It "zaps", it doesn't electrocute or burn, but "zaps" anything that tries to get in with authentic ZZZAP! sounds. Then finally you have an Omen "inspired" scene in which Cory finds out the only way to kill the villain is buy stabbing it with a special dagger.
Despite the fact that there isn't a single good performance in the film, the acting is ironically the most entertaining part. Practically every character somewhat resembles a more famous counterpart. Cory bears semblance to Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), Elaine resembles Laura Dern (Wild at Heart), one of their friends looks like Kevin Bacon (Friday the 13th), and finally, the crazy old man at the gas station looks like he could be Lloyd Bridges long lost twin brother.
Cory's friends consist of nothing more than a bunch of characters lifted from other genre films such as The Gate and Cheerleader Camp. You have the smart, sensitive kid who gets all the good ideas. The idiot jock (who spouts lines like "Hey, if you two homos would quit hugging for a minute we could get going", which automatically seals his fate considering homophobic characters in slasher films invariably serve one purpose and one purpose only -- extermination by the unforeseen threat, with extreme prejudice). Then you have the scared girl who meets her fate early on. But, then the film maker's attempt to get sly and throw in a hipster magician (who performs hacky sack kung fu style with a Coke can) and his friend out of nowhere. Despite the wide variety of every class, cliche, and cliques here, basically they all look like potential victims considering there are no likable characters.
There are tons of mistakes in the film. Most notable are several misread lines that I can't believe the editors missed. e.g. Spoken by Cory and the jock:
Cory: Are you sure you wanna do this?
Jock: Sure as I anabananathing.
I'm fairly sure he was supposed to say "as I've ever been about anything". Considering the massive slur, this just leads me to believe, that you not only have to be inebriated to watch one of these movies, but make them too.
The gore effects range from shabby to great. Once characters become possessed they simply look as if they're melting. The demons are nothing more than people with latex dripping off their faces with some corn syrup smeared around their mouths (although they don't eat people rendering this pointless and odd). I'm guessing the f/x crew must have gone to the same school as the folks in charge of Umberto Lenzi's City of the Walking Dead make-up crew.
Overall, the film is watchable. It's basically a film you rent on a Friday night to watch with a couple friends and have a few drinks, but if you're just looking for a scary flick, I'd strongly advise against it.