Night of the Demons
Title: Night of the Demons
Year Of Release: 1988
Running Time: 90 minutes
DVD Released By: Anchor Bay
Directed By: Kevin Tenney
Writing Credits: Joe Augustyn
Starring: Linnea Quigley, Cathy Podewell, Alvin Alexis, Billy Gallo, Jill Terashita
1. Angela is having a party, Jason and Freddy are too scared to come. But You'll have a hell of a time.
Review Date: 11.26.07 (updated 1.1.10)
Shadow's Title: "Night of the Annoying Morons"
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Note: This group runs the spectrum of bad movie stereotypes for teenaged characters. Each description begins with the individual’s basic designation for the film.
Angela – The Freaky Goth Girl. Costume: Black Wedding Dress. She comes up with the bright idea of throwing a party at an abandoned funeral home where an entire family came to a horrific and bloody end. She exhibits a general sense of disdain for almost everyone around her. Bad kisser.
Suzanne – The Slut. Costume: Pink Girl’s Dress. Best friends with Angela. She doesn’t display the greatest working mind, her two biggest worldly concerns being the lack of available cute boys and the constant need to adjust her make-up in a compact mirror. Don't ask about her lipstick trick.
Jay – The Preppy AKA The Good Boy. Costume: None. On the surface, he's quite the clean cut, nice young man. In reality, he's interested in nothing more than getting laid, not giving a rat's ass about the girls he sweets talks into bed. Proves that thinking with your dick can be very bad.
Sal – The Hot Headed Italian AKA The Bad Boy. Costume: None. Sal comes across as the bad boy – the one that comes from a dysfunctional home, treats women badly and is constantly in trouble with the law. In the end, he shows more guts and concern for Judy than anyone.
Judy – The Goody Two Shoes. Costume: Alice in Wonderland. Our heroine. She is definitely the good girl type, not engaging in sexual activity before she is ready, despite the insistence of her dates. Spends last third of the film running, screaming a lot and quivering in fear.
Max – The Exposition Guy. Costume: Surgeon. Max almost comes off as slightly nerdy and or geeky, with the way he expounds upon the history of Hull House and the gruesome events that occurred there. Alas, I have never known a nerd that had such a smokin’ hot girlfriend like Max does.
Frannie – The Smokin’ Hot Asian Chick. Costume: Tinkerbell? Wears some sort of odd green costume that I could never make out too well. She could have been Tinkerbell, Peter Pan or the biggest freakin’ Keebler elf ever. I dunno. I suppose it really doesn’t matter as she looks better without it on.
Rodger – The Token Black Guy. Costume: Pirate. Rodger here fulfills two requirements for genre movies like this. First off, he is the single black character amongst a hoard of stupid white folks. Secondly, Rodger is the movie’s resident chickenshit, launching into a full run at the drop of a hat.
Stooge – The Fat Obnoxious Party Hound. Costume: Pig. “Party Animal” springs to mind when considering Stooge here. I prefer the term “Fat Ass” because it describes both his size and his personality. Stooge is big, Stooge is loud and Stooge is a major asshole. Yells just about everything.
Helen – The Quiet Girl. Costume: Toga. For some reason that defies all logic, Helen hangs out with Stooge. I don’t think she was his girlfriend. The way he repeatedly called her “bitch” makes me think that they weren't a couple, because what sane women would put up with such behavior?
Billy – Judy's Annoying Kid Brother. Costume: Annoying Kid. I think it's one of the immutable laws of the universe that younger siblings are always annoying. Their mere presence in the room is enough to make the skin begin to itch, with all of their odd and unpleasant odors wafting through the air.
Mr. Grumpy – The Crotchety Old Person. Costume: Annoying Old Fart. Speaking of universal constants, in addition to the annoying younger sibling, we have the annoying old person. Old folks are either very helpful or are major pains in the ass. This is one of the latter.
Mrs. Grumpy – The Crotchety Old Man's Wife. Costume: Old Lady. Years of being married to the grumpiest son of bitch in ten counties has taken its toll on this kind old gal. She doesn't flip out on anyone. She just discreetly removes the colossal pain that has been in her life for decades.
The Demons – The Bad Guys. Costume: The Bodies of the Living (or Dead). From the pits of hell itself comes this horde of evil spirits that never existed in the flesh. They take delight in possessing the bodies of any poor sap unfortunate enough to cross their path. Kind of like politicians!
Plot Hold your cursor over an image for
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Before any title even appears, the 80’s synthesizer-driven music kicks in and the cast credits begin, accompanied by some animation sequences of a graveyard, skeletal demons flying about and a haunted house (my kind of neighborhood!). That music alone is enough to make me cringe. You know, waaay back in the 80’s, I remember that I did not really spend large amounts of time pondering the music of the era and how it would sound to future generations, let alone if it possessed any intrinsic or inherent qualities that would come to typify the decade in which I was living. It just seemed “normal.” However, given the passage of two decades, I can certainly see now just how truly cheezy much of it really was. Anyway, we see the film’s title before the remainder of the credits eventually unfold…still accompanied by the horror animations and dated music. Finally, the animated image of a jack-o-lantern is the last thing we see as it…
…transforms into a real and identical jack-o-lantern that is sitting atop a car. A car that happens to be in motion and which is driven by no less than Porky Pig himself!! No, wait! That ain’t Porky! It’s just some big fat dude dressed like a pig. And when I say dressed, I mean he is wearing a fake pig snout, which is held in place by the old stand by: a string wrapped around his head. This is Stooge, and he is having a grand time. He has his music blasting and is enjoying the last sips of a nice cold brew on this particular night. He throws his empty bottle out the window and enthusiastically shouts something about a party. His mood is almost infectious. Almost. I think you have a better chance of catching the bubonic plague from your neighbor. Or at the very least, some kind of unpleasant and unsightly rash.
In the car with him, sitting in the passenger seat is Helen, with Rodger in the back seat of the vehicle. Helen seems somewhat annoyed. She yells at Stooge to turn the music down and when she tries to do it herself, she earns a tongue lashing for messing with his radio. Rodger then leans forward and points to something up ahead. He tells Stooge to check out “the old fart.” Stooge reacts quite gleefully, as if he was just awarded a lifetime’s worth of free beer, then has Helen slide over and take the wheel while he moves over to the passenger side.
Walking down the sidewalk is an old man, carrying some grocery bags. As Helen slows the car and passes by, Stooge himself shouts out to the old guy. The old timer looks up and sees Stooge with is butt hanging out of the passenger side window. Mercifully for both you and I, Stooge is not flaunting his uncovered butt. I don’t think I could really take the sight of that much bare man ass right now. No, Stooge is wearing some orange undies (huge orange undies, I might add) and has crudely fashioned a jack-o-lantern face on them with a marker. He draws the old guy’s attention to his giant orange ass and shakes his tremendous cheeks, taunting the old fart. For his part, the old guy channels the spirit if Charleton Heston with his reply: “You filthy bastards! Damn you all to hell!” The car then turns around the corner and is soon out of sight.
By himself now, the old guy mutters again, this time something about those “damn kids.” He peers over his shoulder and looks across the street. We suddenly get a POV (point of view) shot, showing us that someone is watching him from the other side of the roadway and is ducking down behind a parked car when he gazes in their direction. The old guy continues on his way and the POV suddenly leaves its hiding place and crosses the street in his direction. Closer and closer and closer it comes. Whatever is about to happen, it is going to have lots of witnesses, as almost every shot on this street has shown us groups of kids out trick or treating. Eventually, the person behind the POV winds up on the sidewalk right before of the old guy. Suddenly a very fake rat is being dangled in front of the old fart’s face and this scares the old dude so bad that he drops all his groceries (and no doubt soiled his Depends to the point of risking leakage).
Just who is this depraved fiend that is accosting senior citizens with rubber rodents? Why it’s none other than Sal. “There is no fool like an old fool,” he laughingly says. Naturally, this makes the old guy – let’s just call him Mr. Grumpy – even more pissed off than he already is, and it seems pretty clear that he was already cranky enough to make Ebenezer Scrooge seem like a ray of sunshine. “You son of a bitch,” Mr. Grumpy yells, and then raises his fist as if to punch Sal. The youth just walks away, but before doing so, he tells the older man to cool it or he’ll end up blowing out his pacemaker. Alone again, the old guy now bends down to collect his spilled groceries.
As he picks up his items and places them back in his bags, a hand reaches out of nowhere and touches him on the shoulder. He lets out a cry of fright (and if he didn’t need a change of undergarments before, I’m sure he does now), but it is only Judy, who apologizes for startling him. She tries to explain that she just wanted to help him, but the old coot is in no mood to listen to her. He tells her to get her hands off of him and to get away from him. Then he tops it all off by calling her a “damn little whore.” Naturally, she finds this upsetting and replies that she would not want to help an “old creep” like him anyway. She stomps off and Mr. Grumpy mutters “damn rotten kids” again. He then bends down and from the grocery items spread on the ground, retrieves an apple and a box of razor blades. “They’ll get what they deserve,” he says gleefully. Clutching his means for revenge, he then laughs maniacally, but softly.
We turn now to Judy, who is stomping through her front door. Her mother talks with her briefly and Judy asks if someone named Jay Jansen has called, but her mother informs her that he has not. However, good old Sal stopped by earlier to see her. Judy doesn’t seem overly thrilled at that news, but any further conversation is prevented by the ringing of the phone. Judy announces that she’ll get it and rushes to her room to answer it. “Hello, Jay?” she says when she picks it up. Wow, she sure is confident that Jay is the one on the other end of the line. It turns out, it is Jay on the phone, who asks is she is ready. She says that she is not, as she got stuck after school helping some teacher with some charitable drive for homeless people.
Jay now lays the bombshell on her: he is not taking her to the dance that evening, but to a “real” party. She seems somewhat dubious about the idea, but when he explains that dances are for “nerds,” she instantly changes her mind. God forbid you go anywhere near a nerd! Seriously, she does a complete 180 on the situation in a freakin’ heartbeat. It’s almost as if in her mind, nerds are equated with being horribly tortured to death. Then again, when they start babbling on about Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek, their comic book and action figure collections, as well as the Babylon 5 fanfic they are writing, things can get pretty painful…or so my wife tells me when I start discussing such fun topics.
So Judy now asks who is giving the party and Jay tells her that it is a girl she probably doesn’t know named Angela. She responds by saying that the only one by that name that she is aware of, is a weird girl in her history class. Jay reveals that that Angela is the very one hosting the party. Judy doesn’t seem thrilled and describes this Angela as a real weirdo that, according to rumor, is into witchcraft and all sorts of creepy stuff. Does that include Dianetics? Cuz that is creepy. Jay tries to downplay it, saying that Angela is just a lonely misfit trying to get some attention. Judy then wants to know why he wants to go to this party and he answers, “because it is Halloween,” before rhetorically asking who would give a better party on such a date. Judy now wonders if they have to go to this shindig and he says that Max and Frannie are going, thus confirming to we the viewing audience that he would hurl himself from cliff if his peers chose to do the same.
Before going any further, it should be noted what these two are doing while talking on the phone with one another. Jay is upholding the grand tradition of product placement and is snacking on some Nabisco Vanilla Wafers, straight from the box. Boring, I know. Much more interesting is what Judy is doing. She is changing clothes and donning her Alice in Wonderland costume, which includes removing her pants and undies, affording us a brief, but nice view of her naked butt. Now this is bare ass that I can deal with!
Judy finally gives in and decides to go. She remarks that she can’t wait to meet Angela’s family, adding that they must live in a belfry. Jay now drops his second bombshell: the party is not at Angela’s house, but is in fact at Hull House. Judy isn’t happy about this turn of events, either. However, before she can bitch too much, Jay just says that he will pick her up in twenty minutes and then hangs up. What is Hull House, you ask? Is it some boating place? Is it the place down the street from Hell House, right after Hill House and Holl House? Just hang tight and all will be revealed in the fullness of time.
So Judy now strips off her sweater, revealing her boobs, though sadly, she is wearing a bra. Still, it is kind of see through, so the view isn’t totally ruined. She stands before the mirrored door to her closet, adjusts her boob tube (bra) and then opens the door. BOO! Her little brother Billy jumps out, wearing a monster mask. At least, I sure hope that is a mask. If it ain’t, I’d hate to see what their daddy looks like. So of course, Judy is startled and then annoyed by her brother’s antics. He on the other hand, finds it quite amusing. Personally, I find it quite disgusting! The thought of this little perv spying on his sister as she changes her clothes is just…unsettling. It’s bad enough that he’s at the age where a strong breeze probably induces a stiffy, but to have to satiate one’s burgeoning adolescent thrills from catching a peek of one’s naked sister? That is just wrong. He should do what I did…wait ‘til he’s in his thirties and then sneak a peek. At least then he can pass it off as pure coincidence when he’s out in the back yard, smoking a cigar and just happens to look up into the second floor window and spot his big sister walking around sans clothing. And I’m sure the huge mirror she has on her wall will make it even easier to position himself where he can continue looking and not worry about being caught. I’m just saying, is all…
So youthful Billy makes some comment about the size of Judy’s boobs and then she chases him out of the room…just in time for him to answer the front door. Apparently he was the only one who heard a knock (or the doorbell). Before opening it, he once again dons his monster mask, then throws the door open and jumps outside with a goofy roar. Alas, there is no one around. He removes the mask and looks about, somewhat perplexed. He spies another door that appears to lead to the garage and which is now open and moving as if someone just passed through it. He approaches and gradually begins to open it, trying to peer past it as he does so. Then BOO! Sal jumps out and makes him jump (and there is good chance he crapped himself as well). Sal teases Billy for jumping and alludes to the same thing I just did: poopy pants. Billy is annoyed and acts like he is going to punch Sal (seriously, what is it with this guy’s ability to engender that type of response in people?), but naturally he poses no threat to the (marginally) bigger Sal.
Sal wants Billy to go get “that pretty little piece” that he calls his sister, inform her that “handsome young Sal” has arrived and that he brought a snake for her to play with. Sheesh. Get a new line already pal. Billy then tells him that Judy is getting ready for the imminent arrival of her date and if Sal knew what was best for him, he’d scram before he got turned into a punching bag by Judy’s male friend. There are some more inane exchanges between these two where Billy refuses to call Judy, Sal grabs him by the shirt, Billy threatens to call for his mommy and other stuff. The two really seem to be operating on the same level of maturity, so why bother examining it all too closely?
Eventually Billy lets slip that his sister and her date will be attending some party. I guess he knows this from his time hiding in her closet and eavesdropping on her conversation with Jay. Sal tries to get the location of this party from Billy, but there is more idiotic banter, during which the little shit actually calls for his mother (Billy that is, not Sal). In the end, Sal tries to bribe Billy with a quarter but the kid won’t break for less than one whole dollar. Then he reveals that the party is going to be in Hull House. Of course, Sal doesn’t believe it at first but after a couple more asinine exchanges with Billy, he accepts Hull House as the answer to his question, but promises to come back and kick Billy’s “little ass” if he has been misled. With that he walks off, taking Billy’s monster mask with him.
Speaking of asses, we now get a close up one belonging to a female. This one is owned by Suzanne, who is dressed in a pink Little Bo Peep type of number and is bent over, moving her butt from side to side, affording anyone standing behind her a really good look at her panties. She is in some type of convenience store and the two dorks working behind the register are utterly enthralled by this glimpse of her anatomy. In fact, both of them are so mesmerized by the sight, that they are completely unaware of Angela taking advantage of their lack of vigilance to quickly run around the store and stuff various items into a large sack. When the bag is overloaded with stolen goods, Angela signals to Suzanne, who continues to distract the cashiers while her friend exits with the purloined products. Then Suzanne approaches the two dweebs and asks if they have sour balls. One of the answers in the affirmative, to which Suzanne says, “Too bad. I bet you don’t get many blow jobs,” before walking out the door. Many? I’m betting the only thing ever to suck either of them off is a vacuum cleaner.
Suzanne joins Angela outside and asks her if she has stolen enough stuff. Angela just laughs and says they need to hurry so they will not be late to their own party. As she rushes towards the car, Suzanne opens her compact and begins checking her face. When she sees this, Angela admonishes her for spending so much time in the mirror. Suzanne replies that she just wants to look good for the boys and then asks if Angela invited some cute ones to the party. Angela says that she has and reveals that she and Suzanne are going to “scare the shit out of them.” Since they are girls, this will obviously be accomplished by cozying up to the boys and expressing an interest in a long term relationship, complete with child raising and lots of discussion about feelings. There is not much that will frighten a male more than that!
We return now to Judy, who has put on her Alice in Wonderland costume and is brushing her hair before the mirror. There is a knock at her bedroom door and little brother Billy tells her that “prince charming” has arrived. Billy returns to watching cartoons on TV and we see Jay standing nearby. Jay tries to engage Billy in some small talk, but the little brat is just rude to him, questioning Jay’s real reasons for dating his sister: her personality or her big “cha cha’s.” Judy and Billy’s mother now walks in and greets Jay. She offers him a fudge log and then produces a plate that appears to be loaded with cat shit. Jay just looks at it and politely declines, citing a need to watch his weight. She tries again to get him to take one, but he refuses. Billy chimes in now, asking his mother why Jay would want one, since they look like “sun-dried poodle turds.” This seems to hurt her feelings and she turns away.
Judy has entered by this point and mutters “why me?” when witnessing that last familial exchange. Jay compliments Judy on her costume, but Billy interrupts and calls her the best Bride of Frankenstein he has ever seen. Judy just gives him an annoyed look then turns back to Jay and wonders why he is not wearing a costume. Billy butts in again and says that Jay is indeed in costume and is dressed like the Boogey Man…the pick of the litter, no less. It was at this point that I began hoping that young Billy here would be the film’s first fatality. At the very least, he should suffer the movie’s most gruesome death. Alas, there is no violent death just yet, and Jay just tries to kiss Judy, but she ushers him out the door before her mother can see. Billy gets one last smart-ass comment as they depart. You know…maybe if we’re really lucky, his mother will come over and force feed him that entire plate of cat shi…er…fudge logs. Preferably while he is tied up with barbed wire and she stands on his back in high heels.
Once Jay and Judy are out on the front porch, she apologizes for her mother’s cereal box recipes. Jay passes it off as no problem. It seems he is much more concerned about finally getting a kiss than discussing her mother’s culinary shortcomings. Judy lets him plant one on her, but reins him in before he can get too passionate. At this juncture it seems very much like Jay here might have a case of “sour balls” himself, and is looking for a way to relieve the situation. Then again, his balls might not be sour at all, and he is just looking to get laid like most guys do. Either way, I have a hunch that Judy isn’t going to give it up all that easy.
Now we jump back to Stooge, Rodger and Helen. The latter is still driving, with Rodger in the back seat examining a map and trying to help navigate. He states that whoever it was that drew the map must have been “half blind and half retarded.” In other words…your typical Insane Clown Posse fan. Stooge now calls Angela a bitch, as it was her that no doubt made the map. Helen now asks him if he became an asshole of his own free will or was he born that way. HAHAHAHA! Rodger laughs at this, but Stooge, the witty intellectual that is, just calls them “wipes” and wonders why he is even hanging out with them. He grabs the map from Rodger but just manages to tear it in two. He now calls Helen a bitch and admonishes her to “just drive.” He quickly examines the portion of the map in his hand and decides that they need to turn…now. He grabs the wheel and yanks it hard to the right. The car spins and skids, but Helen is apparently a graduate of the Highway Patrol academy’s driving class, as she easily straightens out the car without hitting anything…not even a produce stand (and you know how those things always jump right in front of cars in the movies)!
Anyway, what we can glean from that short scene is that these three clowns are also heading to Angela’s party at Hull House. Well, that and the fact that Stooge is an giant (literally) asshole and Helen can drive better than Danica Patrick.
We cut now to another house somewhere. Emerging from the inside are Max and Frannie. They quickly make their way to a car where Jay and Judy are waiting for them. Judy is glad to see them in costumes and Max jokingly says that she should not have expected to see Jay in a costume since he is “too cool” for that. The two new arrivals climb into the back seat and the car drives away.
Speaking of cars, we now see that the one carrying Stooge, Rodger and Helen has suffered a flat tire and is now stuck somewhere on the side of the road. They seem to be out in the middle of nowhere, as there are no buildings around and the crickets are chirping up a bloody storm. Helen is berating Stooge for having a spare but no tire iron. She thinks they have taken a wrong turn, expressing her belief that no one would throw a party in such an area. He says that he knows where Hull House is and it isn’t that far away, they just need to start walking. Right about now Rodger spots the headlights of an approaching car.
The vehicle in question is the one carrying Jay, Judy, Max and Frannie. It pulls to a stop and Max leans out the window, asking if they need a hand. “We sure do,” replies Rodger. Max then looks at the others in the car with him, then turns back and begins clapping his hands. “See ya!” he proclaims and then the car drives off into the night. As it vanishes, Helen wonders aloud how she was talked into this situation.
In the car with the others, Judy is voicing her opinion that they should have at least helped the trio with their flat tire. Jay passes it off as unimportant, figuring that even Stooge could change a tire. Right about now Max points to something out the window and tells Jay to stop the car. It seems they have arrived at their destination. As they roll to a stop they look off to their right and see Hull House not far away. The place sits atop a small hill and is surrounded by a tall brick fence. A single gate allows entry and egress. As the group in the car talk about the place, they conveniently drop a few facts for we the audience. It seems the place was once a funeral parlor – the biggest in four counties. Rumor states that the guy who ran the place, old man Hull himself, was guilty of necrophelia. If that was true or not, the fact remains that the Hull family met a bad end, with one family member going bonkers one Halloween night, slaughtering the entire family and then committing suicide. Afterwards, the sheer amount of spilled blood and guts made it impossible to determine which member of the family had performed the killings. Frannie gleefully says, “I can’t believe we’re going to party here,” as if the notion gets her excited. Judy replies with, “Neither can I,” but it’s obvious she is less than thrilled at the prospect.
The next shot shows the car rolling up to the house. The four of them pile out and discuss how easy it was getting in, since the gate wasn’t even locked. Apparently the county used to keep it secured, but after several locks went missing, they just gave up. Frannie notes that the place doesn’t seem very lively, while Judy says that they could still make it to the dance. Then Frannie spots Max over by the fence crouched down. He’s dressed like a doctor, complete with stethoscope and is applying it to the ground. When Frannie spies him and asks what he is doing, he reveals that he is just checking on an old legend about the place.
He calls Judy over and lets her listen to the ground with the stethoscope. She listens for a few seconds, then proclaims, “water.” Max agrees, citing the presence of an underground stream. According to legends, this stream completely surrounds the property, with the large brick fence built right on top of it. Overhearing this, Jay sarcastically remarks that building a wall like that over a subterranean stream was a stroke of engineering genius (in other words, it was not). Max points out that the fence was built in such a location in order to mark where the stream is. It seems the evil spirits that haunt the land are unable to pass over running water. Frannie now suggests going inside, as it is getting chilly. Max calls for silence and wants everyone to listen. Jay says that he cannot hear anything and Max says that is exactly the point: the place is too quiet. He jokingly says that not even the crickets will come to this property. I’m betting the Amway salesmen still show up, though.
So the four of them enter the house. We get that standard interior shot that seems to pop up in any movie like this that shows a darkened foyer and the front door opening from the outside. Light pours in and the gang slowly enters with their flashlights. Frannie comments on all the dust and says that someone should call a maid. Max chimes in and says that the Hull family did have a maid and that she was killed along with the rest of the family. In fact, she was roasted in some fashion. Just lovely. As the four of them look around, Judy asks aloud if they could go home now. After a few seconds with no response from the others, she says, “I guess not.”
Jay now spots something and calls everyone over to take a look. Judy looks in his direction and when she sees what he has drawn their attention to, she intones, “Oh, my god.” Finally, we get to see it and it turns out to be a coffin. What’s the big deal? The place was a funeral home at one time after all. A car comes to a stop outside with a honk of the horn and Jay now tells everyone to hide. No doubt intending to hide within the coffin, he opens it up, but…BOO! A monster jumps out from within and startles them all so bad that Max drops the bag of food he was carrying and a can of beer rolls away. Alas, the monster turns out to be Sal, wearing the mask he took from Judy’s little brother.
Sal begins laughing and Jay is about to hit him, but Judy intervenes and tells him to stop. Jay wants to know what side she is on, but she chastises him for taking offense at Sal for jumping out and scaring them when that is exactly what he was planning to do. Sal sees the lone beer that rolled away, grabs it, opens it, takes a drink and goes to introduce himself to Max and Frannie. However, it seems Max is familiar with who he is and refers to him as “Count Dingleberry the flaming asshole of Transylvania.” Sal figures he is just sore because he lost a beer. Jay notes that Angela never told him that “this asshole was invited.” A new voice breaks in and says, “he wasn’t.”
Everyone looks to the door where Angela and Suzanne have just entered. Coming in behind them are Stooge, Rodger and Helen. Stooge says a few near unintelligible things which include the words “all,” “right,” “dude” and “party.” Then we instantly jump to a short time later when the place has been lit up with lots of candles, the party decorations and food have been set out and the music has been kicked into gear. Rodger and Stooge enter, carrying something large and ask Sal where they should place it. However, Sal completely ignores them as he is suffering from the same affliction that struck those two dorks at the convenience store: his eyes are transfixed by Suzanne’s shaking ass. She is standing before the fireplace, dancing, gyrating and bending over, giving all the boys a good look at her legs, thighs and posterior.
Elsewhere, Judy is trying to light some candles with a lighter and is having no luck at all. Angela then glides up in her creepy black wedding dress costume and lights them for her. Judy thanks her and leaves the lighter on the table, but Angela, in that snide, dismissive and condescending voice that damn near every teenaged girl has mastered, tells her that she should not leave it there or else she might offend the spirits. After Angela walks away, Judy picks up the lighter, thinks about it for a moment and then decides to pocket it after talking briefly with Frannie.
Across the room, Suzanne is still dancing before the fire, only now she has bent her ass towards Max and is moving it back and forth in a display guaranteed to give most guys more wood than a lumber yard. Frannie appears with a beer and says it will help cool him down (only if he uses it to rub his crotch). Helen then starts up the strobe light she claims to have found in her mother’s closet. As the lights begin to rapidly flicker on and off, Suzanne jumps up and down and proclaims, “Far fucking out!” Yeah, a real deep one, that girl. Everyone begins dancing at this point and they all seem to be having a grand time. That is, until Suzanne dances close to Jay and distracts him from Judy. Suzanne moves away, but Jay decides to follow her across the room, leaving Judy alone. BAD move, dude. Bad move. By his behavior earlier with Judy, this guy was obviously expecting to get laid, but going by what he just did, if Suzanne doesn’t let him park his sports car in her garage, then he ain’t getting a damn thing tonight.
The festivities are now interrupted by the sudden loss of tunes. Sal asks if anyone has ever heard of Duracell, but Stooge claims to have put fresh batteries in the tape player just that morning. Angela says that they can dance later, but now it is time for some party games. Of course, her idea of a party game is to conduct a séance. I guess that is better than a live sacrifice! Helen thinks that a séance may be little “chancy” since it is Halloween, the night all the “creepy things” are supposed to stalk the Earth. No, Hon, that would be Earth First day, with the legion of tree-hugging hippies that haven’t bathed since the Nixon administration marching up and down waving their banners and wearing their hemp jackets. Still, she is worried about what they could possibly dredge up, especially in Hull House. Frannie suggests a past life séance where they would all stare into a mirror and see their past selves. Stooge wonders what kind of drugs they will need for that while Suzanne offers the use of her compact’s mirror. However, Angela tells her that they’d need a mirror of adequate size so that they all could look in at once. Unperturbed by the comment, Suzanne takes advantage of her compact being out to look in the mirror and check her face.
At this point an odd sound like someone moaning emanates from deeper in the house, like a lost soul on the crapper after having devoured an entire block of cheese. Rodger wonders aloud what the sound is. Stooge thinks they should check it out, so he grabs Rodger and pushes him through the doorway, following immediately afterwards. After they have vanished from sight there is a prolonged scream in the distance and then silence. Everyone just stands there, staring at the doorway. Suddenly Rodger hauls ass back into the room, looking as white as a sheet. Well, he looks as pale as a black guy can get. It’s obvious that he has seen something that has seriously unsettled him. I’m guessing Stooge dropped his pants again, only this time he managed to include his enormous orange shorts and poor Rodg got an unwanted glimpse of his colossal white ass cheeks. Speaking of Stooge, he now appears in the doorway and says that the others will not believe what he has found.
What did he find you’re now asking? A stash of rotting corpses? A gateway to some hellish dimension? Jimmy Hoffa? Well, it’s none of those things. Nope, what he found was a full length mirror. Yes, you heard me…a mirror. It was just a mirror that filled Rodger with terror. How could a mirror frighten him so? I’m guessing he saw his reflection and decided that a pirate costume was just not working for him. Anyway, everyone is now examining the mirror. Angela thinks that it is perfect for their séance needs. Helen is beginning to think that this is not such a good idea after all. Frannie points out that it is “just a mirror” and asks what harm can it do. That last bit from her has of course, sealed all of their dooms. She might as well have stuck her head in a lion’s mouth and then used her feet to kick him in the balls. At least then she’d have a better shot at surviving until the next day. Now, she and the others are just flat out screwed.
The next thing you know, the entire group is sitting on the floor before the mirror, staring slack-jawed into it like a pack of five-year olds eyeing a box of powdered donuts. Ok, so maybe that isn’t true. It’s more like some of them are looking at it with mild interest and others are gazing about the room, clearly bored out of their minds. Rodger, however is sitting by the fireplace and facing away from the mirror, almost as if he expects Tim Curry to step out of it at any second. Angela explains that things should go really easy. They just look at her reflection until the mirror clouds up all black, and when it clears again, they will see what she looked like in a past life. She exhorts them all to concentrate, but some of the guys are joking around too much to take things too seriously. Eventually they all quiet down and after a few seconds, the mirror does indeed go all black.
This does not last very long, though, as someone shouts out “Holy shit” at this development and breaks everyone’s concentration, thus severing the spell. Angela begins chewing them out and everyone looks away from the mirror, so no one sees the monstrous face that now appears there. After a few seconds, Helen turns to look again and sees the hideous visage, along with the image of a dead woman that eerily resembles herself. Naturally, upon catching a glimpse of these things, she screams. Loudly. The mirror tips over and shatters. Everyone thinks that Helen has done this on purpose and they begin berating her for it. No one is observant enough to see that the girl is huddled in a ball crying, obviously scared out of her wits. Well, no one but Judy. She tries to get some answers from Helen while Stooge and the others hurl insults. Eventually Helen screams that she saw a face. Jay chalks it up to Sal in his stolen monster mask, but Sal denies having had it on. Suzanne points out that whether Helen saw something or not, their little game with the mirror is now over.
There is a very interesting shot as the group discusses things. We see the pieces of the broken mirror scattered on the floor. The gang stands over them and each person can be seen in a different shard of glass. Foreshadowing that this group will soon be split up…permanently? Your guess is as good as mine…unless you’re Kevin Tenney of course. Then you’d just know. Anyhow, I thought it was kinda cool.
Just then a distant banging sound can be heard (maybe that lost soul on the crapper trying to pass a block of cheese is need of more toilet paper or something). Stooge grins and says, “Oh, no. Here we go again.” Jay figures it is just somebody else in the house, making noise. He asks Angela if she invited anyone else to this shindig, but she just shakes her head no. Suzanne says, “Some cute boys I hope.” Is that all she thinks about? Sheesh! Now comes a sound like someone either moving heavy furniture or engaging in Klingon sex. Judy stares at the floor and notes that the sounds seems to be coming from the basement. Doesn’t it always? Creepy sounds either come from the basement or the attic. They never originate in any other part of the house. You never hear anyone say, “That ungodly sound is coming from the bathroom!” Well, unless you grew up in my house and were subjected to my mom’s quiche on a regular basis, you wouldn’t hear those words.
The camera tilts down to show us the floor and then slowly becomes a shot of the ceiling in the basement. The camera continues to pan down and we see a furnace, which is most likely where dead bodies were cremated in times past. We slowly zoom in on the furnace door as the banging sounds from within it continue. Then the door swings open and we catch a brief glimpse of the same demon face that appeared earlier in the mirror. There is a monstrous groan and then a POV shot that shows us that something is within the furnace and is moving to exit. Once it has emerged from its resting place, it suddenly launches into rapid motion and zooms through the house in a sequence that reminds me of the Evil Dead films. This demon eye point-of-view comes complete with heavy breathing and gasping as it rapidly makes its way through the house. Either that or it was the sound of the poor cameraman as he ran his ass off trying to get those shots.
The invisible presence now enters the room where the group of morons is still standing around and talking. It moves around, looking at them while they comment on the sudden draft as well as the fart-like odor that has wafted into the room. The only one not joining in on the discussion is Suzanne, who is too busy looking into her mirror and applying lipstick. The invisible presence launches itself at her open mouth and when we drop the POV shot for one of little Suzy, her eyes have opened wide in surprise and we see the last whiffs of some spectral gas as it zooms into her mouth (achieved by having Linnea Quigley blow smoke and then running said footage in reverse). The fire in the fireplace flares for an instant, but no one has noticed anything different. Observant, these people are decidedly not.
Angela is now complaining that she does not like what has just transpired. The now-possessed Suzanne asks her what she means and Miss Goth talks about the three sounds they heard, the awful stink and then the chill. She claims that these are all signs of demonic infestation. And here I was, thinking it was a sign that a flatulent Frosty the Snowman had covertly entered the abode. Naturally, this pronouncement (about demonic infestation, not farting Frosty) evokes laughs and derision from some of the others. Stooge thinks Angela is just trying to frighten them and suggests the strange activity is a result of Rodger having too many beers and letting loose with some odd farts. Rodger, for his part, still does not look like he is happy to be in the house. He takes this moment to reveal that his daddy was a preacher and he knows better than to fool around with this sort of thing. Calling the place a “house of the dead,” he says he is getting out now before it is too late.
Rodger walks towards the door, but before he gets more than a few steps, Frannie calls out for everyone to take a whiff of some new smell permeating the room. No, she hasn’t decided to cut the cheese and subject the others to her aromas. Rather, the new fragrance floating through the air smells like roses and Max takes this as a sign that multiple ghosts haunt the place…because everyone knows how each and every ghost has a unique signature scent that precedes them into a room. The fart scent? Obviously a male ghost. The rosy smell? That has to be some female ghost. Or a gay male ghost. Now there is a thought! Imagine your house being haunted by a gay ghost. Not only would you see a shadowy form sashaying around the house with its hands on its hips, but before vanishing into thin air the apparition could dispense vital decorating and fashion advice!
Angela now chimes in and says that it is not ghosts they are dealing with, nor is the place haunted. According to her, Hull House is possessed. What is the difference you ask? Well, lucky for us Judy now asks the same thing. Angela explains that a haunted house is filled with ghosts – the spirits of people who have died. However, the spirits inhabiting a possessed house have never existed in Human form. They are demons and according to Miss Encyclopedia Satannica, they are pure evil…so I guess that means they’re responsible for things like Barney and the Teletubbies.
Stooge and Sal make more jokes, the latter calling the place “re-possessed.” We then see Suzanne and she suddenly blurts out, “For tonight, anyway.” Ooooh! Scary! They don’t realize it, but the demon within her has just revealed that for this one night, the property is under new management! Judy now suggests that they do like Rodger and leave, but the others seem interested in staying and whooping it up some more. Suzanne says that they should not put a stop to the fun just because one loser wants to leave. Helen now pipes in and announces that she wants to leave as well. Since neither of them drove, Rodger points out that they will need a ride. Stooge reminds him that his car is in ditch and is of no use. Suzanne then throws them Angela’s car keys and tells them to take Angela’s vehicle. When Angela flies off the handle at this notion, Suzanne tells her to chill out, since it is her party and she isn’t going anywhere. Rodger thanks Suzanne, but the possessed girl says that she doesn’t care if he is a chickenshit and wants to bail. She sarcastically reminds them to open the gate before driving through it. As Rodger and Helen head for the door, Judy tells them to drive safely.
With the two resident chickenshits having departed, the remainder of the group now does the next best thing, aside from entering the house in the first place, which is guaranteed to lead to an early, and more importantly, ghastly, demise: they split up. Of course, both you and I saw that one coming. People outfitted with blindfolds and pushed out into freeway traffic while wearing roller skates have a lower mortality rate than these folks. Hell, people on death row have a better shot than these dolts.
Jay, Judy, Max and Frannie set off to explore in one direction while Suzanne announces that she intends to find the bathroom. Sal offers to go with her, but she says that she would rather take Stooge along. When Sal points out that Stooge is a “fat pig,” she counters by saying she might be in the mood for pork. HAHA! Before leaving, Suzanne walks up to Angela and snogs her hard and fast, leaving Stooge and Sal to look on in amazement. While the two are liplocked, the fire flares again and we get one of those weird shots achieved by zooming the camera in on the pair of ladies while simultaneously moving it backwards from them (or vice versa). I think they are sometimes called a dolly zoom shot. This, along with the fire, tells us that there has been a transfer of demonic energy from Suzanne to Angela via the kiss. And you thought getting Mono was bad!
Once the chick-on-chick kiss has been delivered, Suzanne saunters off down a darkened hall, proclaiming that she is into all sorts of things on this night. Stooge eagerly follows (no doubt hoping to get into her in more ways that one), promising to “hold hers’ if she holds his. Alone with Angela, Sal is left in amazement, which he displays by muttering, “I don’t f*ckin’ believe it!” Neither do I pal! Neither do I. Angela looks at him and smiles the smile of a cat that is about to commence playing with a mouse before slaughtering it.
Elsewhere in Hull House, Jay, Judy, Max and Frannie are exploring a room that might be where dead folks were embalmed or otherwise prepared for burial and/or cremation. Max says that this reminds him of a story. Jay isn’t sure he wants to hear it and says they’ve heard enough stories for one night, but Judy wants to hear the tale and we all know women always get their way. Max agrees to relate the story, but Jay looks about as happy at the prospect as a man awaiting a colonoscopy from an epileptic with sandpaper gloves.
In some other place in the house, Stooge and Suzanne are searching for the bathroom. Stooge is voicing his concern for locating it quickly, or else as he puts it, he will be watering the hall. He tries one door but it is locked. She tells him to try the door on the opposing wall and sure enough, the crapper lies beyond this one. He wonders how she knew where it was, but she responds by quickly entering the bathroom and shutting the door behind her, leaving him alone in the hall…presumably to piss in his drawers. He knocks on the door, but gets no response. After a few seconds he hears an odd sound and slowly begins making his way further down the hallway. He approaches an open doorway that has some tattered remnants of cloth hanging from the top of the door frame. As he peers through and into the room, there is a sudden gush of wind. This takes him by surprise and he nearly craps in his pants (it would have been a shame, too with the bathroom so close). He calms himself by muttering “shit” several times.
Returning to Jay, Judy, Max and Frannie, we see them sitting on a pair of what looks like medical tables – the type made of metal and possessing wheels. Max is going on about the history of the land on which they are now occupying. It seems that in days long past, long before white settlers came westward, the Indians (Native Americans to you moronic politically correct types) refused to set foot past the underground creek, calling this parcel of land unclean. Local lore has it that one young Indian brave got lost and, along with his family, settled on the land by mistake. Three weeks later they (they being other Indians presumably) found him sitting under a TeePee he had fabricated from his squaw’s intestines and chewing on the leg of his papoose. This last details seems to gross out both Frannie and Judy. For those of you not in the know, a squaw is an Indian women or wife and a papoose is the term for a baby or young child. Thus, we can see why the two girls are grossed out by Max’s tale.
While the four of them sit there after having heard the story, Jay now gestures very subtly to Max, the message being clear: time for you two to get lost. Indeed, the time has come for Jay to put the moves on Judy and try to get laid (which we all know ain’t gonna happen), so he needs to be alone with her. Understanding perfectly, Max now announces that the time has arrived for he and Frannie to do some exploring on their own…no doubt to find their own private place to engage in some Boom Boom. With that they are up, and after a couple of last quips, they are out of the room, the door closed behind them.
Jay comes up behind Judy, wraps his arms around her and squeezes her boobs. “Well, Alice…it looks like we’re all alone in wonderland.” Who said romance was dead? Judy is quite obviously not reciprocating his feelings, so he asks her what is wrong. She says “not here” and explains that “this place” is too creepy. He replies by saying that that is the whole point and she should be jumping into his arms. She turns and hugs him, saying, “Just hold me.” Ugh. Guys, you know what that one means. Apparently Jay does, too, as his face (among other things) falls flat with disappointment. Not only did the chances of Boom Boom just fall dramatically, but she is obviously the type of chick that wants to cuddle after sex rather than falling instantly asleep. After all that work, we guys just wanna snooze!
Now we turn our attention to outside, where party deserters Rodger and Helen are walking around the huge brick wall that surrounds the property and are desperately trying to find the gate that leads out. Rodger is positive that they came through a gate on their way in, so if they just keep following the wall, they will eventually locate it. Helen tells him to not bother. They’ve already been around the entire wall twice and have not found anything. To her the answer is clear: all of them have died and are now in hell. Rodger does not buy into that theory and tells her to shut her mouth if she is going to start talking crazy. He turns back to the big brick wall and hits it a few more times with his fists, trying to locate an exit (either that or Diagon Alley).
A few quiet seconds elapse before he realizes that he is now alone. He turns around and looks, but Helen is nowhere in sight. He calls to her but there is no reply. He wonders aloud where she might have gone and produces a small flashlight that he then uses to scan the immediate area. Naturally, there is no one nearby. Then he damn near jumps out of his skin when a creepy female voice begins calling his name in a low whisper. It is accompanied by a sound very much like that of a creaky door opening and closing. Realizing that his situation has gone from crappy to utterly shitty, he cries out “heaven help me.” The voice now becomes louder and decidedly less female and much more angry. This prompts Rodger to turn, run to the nearest car (Angela’s) and dive into it. He slides onto the passenger seat and just sits there, huddled down as if trying to hide.
Returning to Jay and Judy, we see that they are laying on one of those medical tables and engaged in a lot of kissing, complete with heavy breathing and slurping sounds. Still, for as much as Judy seems to be into the moment, she eventually pushes him away, not wanting things to go any further. At least not here. Jay tries to reassure her by stating that he knows that she “has done this before.” She asks for more details and he says that he noticed how she jumped to Sal’s aid earlier and that he knows all about the two of them. Now she asks what he claims to know and he ultimately tells her that he is aware that she went out with Sal. She seems perturbed, since she only went out with Sal once, but Jay thinks this means she banged him. Judy realizes that this assumed sexual activity on her part is the only reason Jay wanted to go out with her. He tries to pass it off, saying she wanted it as much as he did and then attempts to kiss her again. She responds by pushing him into the floor.
He picks himself up, tells her to have it her way and then firmly declares that he is outta there. He grabs the flashlight and exits the room, ignoring her calls. He closes the door, but when she grabs the knob just a split second later, the door refuses to open. She yanks and pulls on it something fierce, but it will not yield. She calls his name one last time and then props herself against the door, the moonlight illuminating the room. I have to say, either the moon is about a hundred yards right outside the window or there is a spotlight directed at the house because that is the brightest moonlight I have ever seen in my life.
Speaking of trying to get doors open, we return to Stooge, who remains in the hallway outside the bathroom and apparently still has to pee really bad. He is banging on the door and exhorting Suzanne to open up. “Damn it bitch, come on!” He hollers. Yep, that guy has a real persuasive way with words. His charm must have the ladies lining right up. Inside the bathroom, possessed Suzanne is swaying before the mirror. When she gazes up into it, we see her face swelling and stretching like she is having a bad reaction to a bee sting or something she ate. A close-up further reveals that her face has taken on an all new fugly look to it.
Not desiring to wait any longer and run the risk of wetting himself, Stooge busts the door open after hearing the sound of breaking glass. He rushes inside and finds the mirror on the far wall cracked, as if someone just planted their fist in the middle of it. However, the bathroom is curiously empty. Suddenly the door slams shut behind him. He calls to Suzanne, gets no answer and then pulls the door open again. Outside is nothing but an empty hallway. He calls her a bitch and then returns to the bathroom, presumably to finally relieve his bloated bladder.
Now we see Sal, who is alone with Angela. Looking somewhat bored, he asks her what the f*ck she is doing. She responds with, “Blessed be the sinners, for the Day of Atonement is at hand.” Uh huh. When freaky Goth chicks start spouting stuff like that, you know the evening has gone down the bowl and it is time to get the hell out of dodge. Angela now stands before the fireplace, removes her black wedding veil and begins moving around, as if dancing. She holds the veil over her head a few times and moves around some more, taking a few steps towards one side of the room. Then she drops to all fours and crawls back towards the center of the room. Suddenly the boom box flares to life, filling the room with music and startling Sal. As the music plays, Angela continues to move around on the floor, touching herself, exposing lots of skin and otherwise doing her best Madonna impression. Sal just sits and watches the show.
After a while of this, Angela now stands and continues the performance on her feet, twirling in circles and lifting her dress high enough to show off her lingerie. The strobe light that Helen brought now starts up by itself. Angela dances some more. And some more. And then some more. Seriously, it seemed like she was jumping around forever and the movie was transitioning into some strange performance art film, but I guess it was only a minute or so. Eventually, Sal decides that things have gotten a little too weird for his tastes and he begins to back out of the room.
Stooge literally appears out of nowhere behind him and announces that he is back. Seeing Angela dancing around, he takes a step in her direction, but Sal cautions him to be wary, as Angela is acting “really fuckin’ weird.” Stooge passes it off and heads over to where Angela has now slowed to a stop, the music having ended for the moment. Sal sticks around long enough to see Stooge take Angela by the hands, then departs for places unknown.
Holding Angela’s hands, Stooge playfully asks if she comes here often. Then he pulls her close for a slow dance, the requisite music having started up again. She looks him in the eye and informs him that she never realized how sexy he was(!). “Kiss me,” she says. Thinking things are going his way, Stooge grins, moves closer and locks lips with her. The camera spins around them as they snog, like something one would see in a cheap romance movie, but it’s just mere seconds before it is apparent that something is very, very wrong. Stooge flinches and tries to pull away, but Angela holds on to him and continues to snog him. There is a disgusting slurping sound in addition to Stooge’s muffled cries of pain.
Finally, she pushes him to the floor. He stumbles to his feet, both his hands held over his face. Blood is pouring out of his mouth like a freakin’ fountain and when he looks at her in pain and horror, she smiles and then spits out his severed tongue, which she had bitten off during their protracted kiss. Her teeth are now quite ragged and her eyes are yellow in color. I think it is safe to say that Stooge is not gonna get laid tonight! In fact I think it is safe to say that his chances of surviving the next few moments are pretty damn slim. That of course, would be the only slim thing about him.
We turn our attention back to Sal, who has wandered through the house and found the bathroom recently used by Stooge. I’m guessing that this house is probably the size of the Pentagon, cuz there is no way Sal could fail to hear Stooge’s cries of pain unless he was a considerable distance away. Inside the bathroom, Sal sees Suzanne, sitting down and facing away from him. He notices that the light is on and asks her about it. She just answers, “I’m fixing my face.” When she turns to look at him, we see that her features are back to their normal, un-swollen look…but she has taken her lipstick and extended its application from her lips to make a complete circle around her face. Seeing this, Sal mutters, “Not you, too,” and questions whether or not everyone in the house is on drugs or something. He tells Suzanne that she and her friend Angela are both good-looking babes, but they are just too weird for him.
He moves like he is turning to go, but she extends her hand with the lipstick and implores, “I can’t seem to get it right.” He tells her “No thanks” and says that he is going to head home. When she informs him that he is home, he replies by saying that this dirty dive of a house is no home to him. He lives in a nice house – the type with plastic slips over the furniture! HA! He bids her goodnight and walks away. Alone, Suzanne looks at her reflection in a piece of broken mirror for a few seconds and then regards her lipstick. An idea seems to come her way and she reaches up and rips open her dress, tearing the buttons away and pulling back either side to expose her boobs (and what great looking boobs they are!). Then she looks at her lipstick again and smiles.
Now we cut away to Max and Frannie, who have found a room with coffins and stained glass windows. Maybe this was a viewing area for the dead folks or a place where memorials were held. Either way, I half expected The Tall Man to walk out from behind a curtain and sneer, “Boy!” Max is surprised that all the stuff is still there. She thinks it’s quite creepy, but he says he will protect her. She smiles, then wraps her arms around him and pulls him in for a kiss, asking who is going to protect him. He points out that he has never “made it” in a coffin before.
Made it? I had not realized that such an archaic euphemism for sex was still in use when I was a teen (I was nineteen the year this film came out). None of my friends used it. Then again, few if any of them, were getting laid. I certainly wasn’t. Still, it seems the sort of term better suited for an earlier era, like the 60’s or even 50’s. In my day we were more likely to say, “I’ve never done it in a coffin.” However, like I said, I wasn’t doing it at all, so don’t take my word for it. Anyway, Frannie reveals that she has not had sex in such a spot either. “What are we waiting for?” He asks. Laughing, the two begin to disrobe.
We now return to Suzanne. I know we have only been gone for a few seconds, but that was long enough for the FX guys to come in and place actress Linnea Quigley behind a prosthetic mock-up of her own breasts. I have to say, the thing looks pretty darn real. It sure fooled my eyes when I first saw this movie back in the 80’s. Then again, my experience with real boobies was quite limited in those days (read: non-existent), so it’s easy to see why I was so easily misled into thinking these boobs were real. Plus, there is just a certain way Quigley is sitting in this scene that makes it obvious that the boobs in front of her are not her own.
Anyway, prepare to see something that you just don’t see everyday…and it ain’t Rush Limbaugh endorsing Barack Obama. As she sits there, Suzanne takes her lipstick and slowly runs it down between her breasts, starting at her neck and then looping around her left boob. As she makes a slow circular pattern, drawing ever closer to the areola and the nipple, the camera slowly zooms in, knowing that this is something the audience just has to see up close. Finally, with the tip of her lipstick touching her nipple, she pushes it straight into her breast. Yes, you heard me right! She pushes the whole thing right into her breast and it disappears without a single drop of blood. When she pulls her hand away, we see that her breast still looks normal…or as normal as the prosthetic will allow.
Long about now, Jay comes walking down the hall. He peers into the bathroom, sees Suzanne and inquires into what she is doing. She just smiles and pulls back her dress some more, affording him a good look at those gorgeous gazongas. “Nice paint job,” he says when seeing the lipstick on her skin. He proceeds to enter the room and says something about her boobs needing a touch up. I assume he is volunteering for the job. Once he is inside, he now notices that the lights are on. He asks her when this happened, but gets no answer. With him standing before her, she reaches over and unzips his pants. This prompts him to drop his flashlight and mutter something near unintelligible. Then again, the prospect of being on the receiving end of imminent oral sex from a hot chick transforms most guys into raving idiots. At least, more so than they already are.
I hope you dudes out there didn’t get your hopes up for seeing oral sex being simulated, because now the movie turns back to Sal, who is stomping through the house, heading for the front door. When he passes by the room with the fireplace, he stops and tells Angela that he is leaving. Angela is sitting before the fire with her back to him. When she hears him she turns her head and says, “Oh there you are. I was just warming my hands in the fire.” With that she turns her whole body, withdraws her hands from the fire and holds them up for him to see. Naturally, they look quite burnt. Sal gapes in horrified disgust as she brandishes her burning hands in the air. “Holy shit!” He proclaims then hauls ass to the front door. Alas, it won’t open, no matter how hard he pulls on it. Angela now rises to her feet, walks towards him and asks if he is leaving so soon. Unable to get the door open, Sal now turns and hauls ass down the hall, around a bend and vanishes into the depths of the house, no doubt in an attempt at finding another exit.
Returning once again outside, we see Rodger still huddled in Angela’s car. It looks like the poor guy has fallen asleep. He wakes up when the car shakes, as if some super fat person just rested their foot on one of the bumpers. Apparently Rodger has come to the same conclusion and believes that it is Stooge that has made the vehicle shake. He calls out to his overweight pal saying, “Only a fat slob like you could shake this car so much.” There is of course, no answer. So Rodger leans forward and gazes out the large forward windshield. Then SPLAT. Helen’s face lands on the glass, sending blood squirting in all directions. Rodger screams and rapidly exits the car. As he does so, we see Helen’s body atop the vehicle, as if someone or something had tossed her up there.
Now we jump back to the bathroom with Jay and Suzanne. At first all we see is her feet, with the dainty white socks and pink shoes that she is wearing. Then each leg lifts as her panties drop to the ground and come off. Next we Jay, who is in the process of removing his outer shirt. I guess when she unzipped his pants, she wasn’t about to blow him after all. Still, it is obvious that he is about to get lucky…or so she wants him to think. Another shot of her feet shows that her slip has been removed. Then we get a full body shot of her where we get a peek at the almighty bush when she lifts up the edge of her dress. Holding her dress up so we get a nice long view of her rug, she saunters over to Jay, who has reclined on the floor and is now lying on his back. She straddles him and lowers herself down. CONTACT!
The Boom Boom is now in full swing…er…bounce…er…whatever. We get close-ups of both their faces as they writhe around in pleasure. Then Suzanne looks down at Jay and asks him what he is looking at. She wonders if her make-up is ok (she is still sporting the Helen Keller lipstick look). In a voice that sounds like it is on the verge of tears she tells him to stop staring at her, then tilts her head back so he cannot see her face. He is quite perplexed and doesn’t understand her problem. He thinks her make-up looks fine. Indeed, it is not her face that he is doing business with at the moment. He asks what she is worried about. Ok…raise your hand if you know that something very bad is about to happen. Ok, hands down.
So at this point Suzanne tilts her head back down and we (and poor, poor, Jay) see that her face has now changed…and for the worse. Her eyes have gone all yellow, just like Angela’s did earlier. Her teeth look like a dental hygienist’s worst nightmare and I’m sure she could bite through a brick with those things. Her skin…well, her skin is now dotted with what can only be called demonic zits. Basically, she looks very gross. Naturally, Jay recoils when he catches sight of her new look. “Stop looking at me,” she snarls in a voice that sounds like Darth Vader after ten packs of cigarettes. She reaches out her hands to him, but he grabs her arms and tries to fight her off. Alas, her hellish strength is too much and she manages to get her hands on his face. Then she buries her thumbs in his eyes sockets and pushes until his eyeballs pop, sending streams of bloody goo spurting into the air.
Now this is where my own twisted imagination comes into play. Even though she is popping his eyeballs as if they were gigantic zits, it is still apparent that they were in the middle of sexual intercourse when she decided to go all demon on his ass. This means that there are other parts of their bodies that are still connected, right? Now I know the film doesn’t imply this, but in my mind, as she is digging her thumbs into his eyes, I imagined rows of hideous teeth springing into place around her YooHoo and then with a tightening of the muscles, she’d chomp his tallywacker right off. How is that for nightmare imagery? And yes, I know the Japanese have made films with such elements in them. If that won’t scare a guy into celibacy, I don’t know what will.
Jay’s final scream reverberates through the house, but the only one who seems to hear it is Judy, who is still propped up against the door Jay exited through a short while ago. She just continues to stand there like an idiot.
Then we jump over to Max and Frannie, who are gettin’ it on inside a coffin. The coffin is sitting up high on something, so they are actually at about waist level. They have assumed the same position that Jay and Suzanne did, with Max on his back in the casket and Frannie riding him. She sits up and asks, “What was that?” I guess she heard Jay’s last scream, too. It really does not matter, because by sitting up, she is giving the audience a great look at her boobs. Yowza, what a pair. Max just passes the sound off as some party games unfolding elsewhere in the house, then goes back to positioning himself better. Frannie says that she doesn’t bend that way and he claims that their current location is worse than his brother’s Volkswagon for sex purposes.
As they continue to awkwardly screw in the coffin, a figure approaches in the darkness. It is Stooge, but we cannot see his face. Neither can Max and Frannie for that matter. He just notices someone standing nearby and tells Stooge to get the “F” out. Stooge now walks forward into the light and everyone sees that his face is now sporting the accepted look for those possessed by demons: jagged teeth, yellow eyes, pale complexion and hideous acne. His voice seems to have dropped about five octaves as well. He growls at them, since he can no longer talk (no tongue, remember?). Frannie screams when she sees him draw near. To shut her up, Stooge reaches out, grabs her head and twists it, snapping her neck. Max yells out “No!” as Stooge allows Frannie’s still form to flop over onto him. Max then hollers “No!” a few more times as Stooge grabs the coffin’s lid and begins to close it. Max grabs Stooge by the shirt in an effort to stop him, but the fat bastard begins slamming the lid down on Max’s extended arm. One! Two! Three! Four! Five times he slams the lid with all his strength, as Max screams from within the coffin.
Turning now to good old Rodger, we see him walking somewhere in the house. He appears scared out of his mind and looks like he is about to drop a load in his pants at any moment. Angela’s voice then rings out, welcoming him back. He turns around and there she is right behind him, in all her demon-look splendor. She laughs, and it sounds more like Jabba the Hutt on steroids than anything else. Rodger now does what any rational, sane person would do at this point. Yep, he engages in the time-honored practice of running like hell!
He barely gets a few feet and rounds a corner when he collides with Sal. Not stopping to offer any explanations for his flight, he keeps running. He rounds another bend and reaches a closed door. He tries to open it but naturally, it is locked. Sal now comes up behind him and in a near panic, Rodger tells him that there is something wrong with Angela. Sal says that he knows that there is some “real weird shit going on around here.” Rodger then reveals that something has happened to Helen. Sal inquires into what exactly befell her, but Rodger just repeats over and over that he doesn’t know as he begins to cry like a bitch. Sal tries to tell him that it is ok and they will get out. He gets Rodger to shut the hell up, then they ease back to the hallway corner. Angela can be seen around the bend, at the other end, as they hide.
Finally, it is time to get back to Judy. She is still by the door where we left her, only now she has slumped down on the floor and has fallen asleep. The moonlight continues to shine through the window at about fifteen million candlepower. As she sleeps, the doorknob begins to turn, like there is someone on the other side trying to open it. A quick cutaway shows us that it is Stooge attempting to gain access to the room. She calls out to Jay, thinking that it may be him (she probably is also under the foolish idea that he has returned to apologize. Yeah right!). However, neither she nor Stooge can get the door to open. He then hears Sal and Rodger’s voices nearby and walks off. With it all quiet again, Judy slides back to a seated position on the floor.
For two people that are supposed to be looking for a way out and evading freaky Angela at the same time, Sal and Rodger are making enough noise to rival a kaiju attack on downtown Tokyo. I’m sure every disembodied spirit in the house knows their exact location. Rodger desperately wants to leave and Sal is threatening to visit violence upon his person if he doesn’t settle down and relax. At this point, Judy must hear all the racket they are making, because she bangs on the door and calls out for help. Sal tells her to stand back from the door, but Rodger is a little suspicious, wondering if it really is Judy on the other side. Sal ignorantly asks him who else it could be, then kicks the door in. For a few brief seconds there is no movement at all (though a view from the hall makes the room look positively dark, and not illuminated by the fifteen million candlepower moonlight like it was just seconds ago), then Judy comes hurtling through the door to wrap Sal in a desperate and thankful embrace.
At this point Rodger turns and sees freaky Angela coming down the hall. Well, it’s more like she is floating down the hall, but her long dress makes it hard to see her feet and any possible skateboard utilized to achieve this effect. Rodger wastes no time at all and throws himself into a run in the opposite direction. He does not even bother to shout a warning to Sal or Judy. The only inkling they have that something is amiss is his sudden flight from the area. Noticing him gone, they peek around the corner and see Angela cruising in their direction, uttering soft growls as she approaches. The sight of possessed Angela must induce some sort of temporary paralysis, as Judy has difficulty moving. Sal tries to get her to move, but she claims that she can’t. With Angela almost on top of them – and with her arms held wide as if to embrace them – Sal grabs Judy and pulls her through a door into a nearby room…but not the one in which Judy was just trapped. Sal slams the door shut and he and Judy huddle quietly.
Angela comes floating down the hall, turns the corner and advances down the hallway containing the room where Sal and Judy are hiding. She looks around, but doesn’t make a move toward the door in question. Within the room, Sal notices a window and runs over and tries to open it. The lights flicker on at this point and we realize that this is the bathroom! There in the corner is a now normal-looking Suzanne, cradling the eye-less corpse of Jay. Upon spying this, Judy lets out a gasp. Sal turns around to look and Suzanne proposes an orgy. She goes to say that if they try, they can surely get Jay hard again. I don’t know, the guy looks pretty stiff to me!
Sal yells for Judy to run, but being blonde, she is naturally slow on the uptake. This gives Suzanne time to jump to her feet. Now sporting her Demon face, she lunges at Judy, but Sal grabs her by the shoulder and pulls her back. Suzanne now turns on him and belts him, sending the poor schmuck right through the window. This exchange gives Judy the time she needs to open the door and exit the room as rapidly as she can. As she flies out of the room and down the hall, Suzanne taunts her, having resumed her normal appearance.
Judy stumbles down the hall and tries another door, but as she opens it, it flies from her grasp and slams shut. Doors all up and down the hall now begin to open and slam shut on their own. Then with a thud, all the activity ceases, leaving Judy alone in a dark hall. She stands there breathing heavily for a few seconds, then notices light at one end and runs in that direction. It is coming from the one open door, so she races through and shuts it.
I’ll give you one guess as to where she is now. Yup, she is now in the room with the coffins where Max and Frannie experienced some really bad sex. As she stands there, collecting herself, Judy shines her flashlight on the floor and sees a severed arm. This no doubt belongs to Max and is the result of the Demonified Stooge slamming the casket lid on his appendage over and over again. Judy lets out a gasp when she sees the arm and backs away from it, so she is now standing against one of the coffins. The arm comes to life and flies across the room to grab hold of her ankle. This of course prompts her to scream…and scream a lot. She jumps around and shakes her leg like a rapid dog was trying to hump it…and truth be told, that might even be better than a severed arm. Finally she kicks her leg and the arm loses its grip and flies across the room.
The arm may be gone, but Judy continues to jump up and down, shake and scream up a bloody storm. In fact, she screams enough to wake the dead, as the coffin behind her now opens and rising up out of it comes Max, now missing his left arm, and Frannie, who’s head is on backwards. They reach out for her (with their collective three arms), which convinces her it is now time to exit this room. Back out into the hall she runs, where she makes a mad dash through the corridors to finally arrive at the front door. She tries her best to open it, but it will not budge. Then for some inexplicable reason, she decides to run up the nearby stairs. Maybe she thinks there is a method for egress available on the upper floor. Maybe she is just stupid. I’m gonna bet on the latter. So up the stairs she goes, only to be confronted by an entirely new set of dark halls and rooms.
Returning to poor Sal, we see him sprawled on the ground under the window he so recently flew through. He picks himself up and looks around. He finds that despite coming through the window, he is not outside. He is in some sort of airshaft. Grasping a water pipe, he begins pulling himself up the side of one wall.
Back with Judy, she begins exploring the house’s second floor. She slowly and cautiously makes her way down a hallway, pausing every now and then to look behind her. She approaches a corner and quickly looks around. At the far end is an open window, though metal bars prevent anyone from passing through it. On the other side she sees Rodger. She calls his name and walks to him. When she is about three steps away from him, the demonified Stooge springs out of darkness and jumps in front of her, growling and drooling like the worst Gwar fans. She screams, drops her flashlight and then turns tail and hauls ass. Rather than chase after her, Stooge now turns and leaps at Rodger, but the bars prevent him from grabbing him. Rodger, for his part, has the good sense to run away again.
Judy makes for the stairs, but partway down she encounters demonified Suzanne, who growls at her. So now Judy is forced to turn around, head back to the second level, then continue on up the stairs to the third floor. She finds herself in what appears to be the attic, with all sorts of crap covered with years and years worth of cobwebs. She makes her way through here and to a balcony that opens up off this chamber. From this vantage point she can look down and see the outside grounds below, including their cars parked near the house (though Helen’s body seems to no longer be adorning Angela’s vehicle). She rushes back into the attic where she hears someone coming up the stairs. She slowly backs away toward the balcony again as Stooge reaches the top stair.
It is a rule in horror movies that whenever a character is backing away from someone or something that they are desperately trying to avoid, they will unwittingly encounter something behind them. This something can take the form of a viable threat or be nothing more than a false scare. In this case it is the latter. As Judy backs onto the balcony and towards the ledge, a voice suddenly calls her name, which causes her to jump…though she does possess enough awareness to stifle a scream. It turns out to be Rodger calling to her. He is down below, standing on the roof of an extension of the first floor. He calls to her a couple more times and she quickly places one finger vertically before her mouth and blows softly – the universal symbol for “shut the f*ck up!” Alas, this doesn’t work on Rodger, as he yells for her to look out.
She turns and just inches away is Angela, who asks in her Darth Vader voice if Judy is enjoying the view before grabbing her by the throat. Next on the scene is Sal, who is on the roof of the attic. We are left to assume that climbing that water pipe up through the air shaft led him to the very top of the house. Anyway, he comes sliding down the roof and pushes Judy away from Angela. Judy falls over the edge and the only thing preventing her from plunging to the ground below is her last minute grip on the edge. Rodger can do nothing but watch as she dangles there while Sal wrestles with Angela above her.
After a few more seconds of struggling, both Sal and Angela fall off the balcony, performing a huge flip through the air as they fall. There is a sickening thud and when we see them again, Angela (now looking normal…well as normal as she ever did in this flick) is laying in a pool of blood while poor Sal has landed on a fence post, the wood impaled through his chest. I think it is safe to say that they are both quite dead.
Judy is still hanging on the balcony’s edge, though she has managed to grip it with both hands. She is beseeching the almighty for help in preventing a fall while Rodger is hollering up to her and advising her to move over to her right. On the wall in that direction is a window which she could use to climb down to him. She struggles, her feet making contact with the wood used to board up the window, but is having trouble. She yells to Rodger that she cannot do it. He yells back that she can. Then he screams at her to hurry up. That is really good advice, because right about now, demonified Stooge appears on the balcony overhead.
The sudden appearance of big, fat and ugly (and I’m not referring to the gang from The View) causes Judy to scream and lose her grip. She falls, but lucky for (and unlucky for him) Rodger is there to break her fall. The two collapse into a heap, but seem to be all right. As they sit there, Stooge jumps down from the balcony to land just feet away. Wasting no time, Judy and Rodger jump up and start hoofing it (Judy letting out a scream in the process). They are on some sort of second floor landing, so they rush to the stairs heading to the ground. When they reach the top of said stairs, they are stopped in their tracks by the figure at the bottom: demonified Angela, risen from the dead.
Angela, in that deep, gravelly voice that sounds like James Earl Jones after ten packs of cigarettes and a brisk gargle with a cup of broken glass, wonders why they are leaving. She says that Sal wanted to leave, but decided to “stick around.” With that, we see Sal on the ground, the bloody fence post sticking out of his chest. He seems to have landed in the cemetery, as there are headstones all around him. One right behind his head even has his own name etched into it. It lists his birthday in 1970 and gives his date of death as “Tonight.”
Judy and Rodger now turn and run in the opposite direction. They find a door and fly through it, closing it behind them. Just a scant few nanoseconds later, Stooge comes running up to the door, missing them by a heartbeat. I want to know where he was this whole time? When he jumped down from the balcony, he landed just feet from them. Then they ran, stopped when encountering Angela, stared at dead Sal, ran back the way they came and ducked into this door…all without Stooge having caught up with them. He should have caught them the instant they stopped at the top of the stairs, yet he was at least a minute behind them. What was taking him so long? Did he trip and fall? Did he get lost? Did he stop to take a pee or something?
Back inside the house, Judy and Rodger race through the place. They descend the stairs back to the first floor, the cameraman desperately trying to keep up with them. Actually, I think these shots are supposed to be a POV for Angela, who is floating behind them. How she got up those outside steps, down the walkway and through that door ahead of Stooge is beyond me. He should be the one mere steps behind them. Did he pause and let her go first? Did he get lost again? Who knows. The point is, Angela is skateboarding down the hall after the surviving pair of fools. Of course, the speed at which she is moving is far slower that the speed the POV shots would suggest.
Now for some truly asinine reason, Judy and Rodger race back down into the cellar/basement area, eventually running into the furnace room and slamming the door shut behind them (which seems to happen a lot in this film). With their backs to the door, they slide to the floor and attempt to catch their breath. The sheer emotional wringer they have been through begins to take its toll on them. First they both start laughing hysterically, but soon the laughs become tears and crying and sobbing and snotting…and that’s just from Rodger! He really begins shaking and sobbing like a child, with Judy trying to console him. “We’re gonna make it!” she proclaims. Now, if her definition of “making it” is the same one Max had earlier, then Rodger here just might be about to get lucky. Somehow, I think she is referring to surviving the night and leaving Hull House under their own power and volition, rather than consensual sexual relations.
Judy now sees the large furnace door on the opposite side of the room. She calls Rodger’s attention to it and suggests it may be a way out. She gets to her feet and approaches it, but Rodger tells her to wait. She responds by saying that they cannot wait and this is the only other way out of the room. “First, let’s pray!” Rodger says, cementing his position as the film’s weenie. He claims that his daddy (the preacher, if you’ve forgotten) taught him how to pray “real good.” What does real good mean? With proper annunciation and grammar? What would “bad” praying be? Lots of slang (Yo, god! Howsa about some 911 for yo peeps down here!)? Anyway, Judy says that she has been praying all night (me too, sister, but for entirely different reasons) and they had better try this door now.
So she opens the furnace and uses her body weight to help swing the door wide open. Then peering inside, she says that it is “weird.” She reaches in and from the thick layer of ash she pulls out half of a human skull. Realizing that this is a giant oven, she drops the skull, closes the door and informs Rodger that this room is a crematorium. Things look pretty damn grim for these two at this point.
Suddenly there is a banging on the door along with some more of that deep demonic growling. Angela and Stooge are right outside and are trying to get in. Rodger jumps up and joins Judy on the far side of the room, in front of the furnace. A voice now calls out, urging Rodger to open the door. It claims the demons don’t want him, just Judy. Rodger tells them to go to hell. The voice replies by saying “Not tonight” and informing him that they have plan for him…something involving lots of pain and sorrow. I’m guessing repeated viewings of the Deuce Bigalow sequel are planned. There is something odd in this scene. In screencap A, we see the door from the inside. Notice the grill set high in the door which allows anyone to see through it (the arrow is pointing to it, as it is somewhat dark and hard to make out). Also notice where the light is shining: a spot just below that grill. Now take a look at the door from the other side (B). The light is now pouring straight through the grill and directly into the faces of Angela and Stooge.
Judy now transcends her follic pigmentation and puts two and two together to actually get four! In other words, she realizes that when the demonic voice said “not tonight” it means that the demons have access to the earthly realm on this one night only. She recalls some of the things Helen babbled about earlier regarding Halloween and how it was the one night each year when unclean things are free to roam the earth. This means that if they can just hang out until dawn, they will be okay. Rodger readily agrees with this assessment of the situation. Now they just need to survive until the sun comes up!
Note - It is at this point that the movie enters its final segment, so if any of you really feel the need to watch this film and not know the ending ahead of time, skip the rest of the Walk-Thru.
A new, female voice now calls out to Judy. I don’t know if it is Angela or it is supposed to be Helen, who was just mentioned in conversation. Whatever the case may be the voice reminds Judy that she warned her that the house was possessed. Along with this new voice, comes the realization that the bolts holding the door hinges to the frame are starting to pop loose and fall to the ground. Judy turns to Rodger and tells him that they cannot let the demons get them and that they need to find a weapon. As she looks around for something to fight with, Rodger looks like he is on the verge of wetting himself…again. He just sinks to the floor and stares at the door while Judy hits upon the idea of using the gas pipe that feeds the furnace as a weapon. She opens the furnace door and pulls on the pipe, trying to loosen it. As she struggles with it, the bolts continue to fall from the door to the room. Eventually, she gets the pipe free and it starts spewing gas into the room. Judy pulls on the pipe so that it protrudes from the furnace, and with it aimed at the opposing door, she readies her lighter. She flicks it numerous times but it fails to produce a spark. Meanwhile, the demons are just seconds from pounding down the door and rushing into the room.
Finally, the door gives way. Stooge and Angela burst into the room and rush at Judy, but she manages to get the lighter to flare up. The flame ignites the gas and directing the pipe’s angle, Judy sprays both of her former friends with fire. They go up in flames faster than Michael Jackson in a Pepsi commercial. The two demon-possessed people now scream, holler and dance around a bit while they burn. Eventually they stumble out of the room. Though they are gone, the pipe Judy is holding continues to spew fire, so she calls for Rodger to help her. He manages to shed his chickenshit skin long enough to locate the valve that controls the flow of gas and then to turn it.
With everything calm and quiet, Judy and Rodger look at each other and smile. Alas, their victory is short lived, as a skeletal hand reaches out of the furnace to grab Rodger by the shoulder. Once again, displaying his valiant concern for others (in other words, NONE), he jumps to his feet and is out the door without a single word or glance back to see how Judy may fare. The hand vanishes back into the furnace and then the door to it closes. In fact, every door in the entire house begins to close. We get several shots of still and empty rooms, accompanied by the creaky sounds of doors slamming shut. Judy doesn’t waste any time and follows Rodger out of the room.
She runs upstairs to the front door where she finds Rodger kneeling on the floor. “We can’t get out! We can’t get out!” he intones. She bends down to his level, but when she does so, we see the eye-less body of Jay standing behind her. Rodger sees this, too and in his usual way of doing things, runs off without a word or any effort to help Judy. When she sees him haul ass out of the room she turns and sees Jay approaching. Angela now appears again, only now we can add horribly burned to the description of her features. She asks Judy if she likes her “blind date.” HAHAHAHA! Judy then runs off in the same direction Mr. Chicken…er…Rodger fled.
She ends up in an adjacent room with Rodger. With no other way out of the room, they seem trapped. Angela and Jay begin slowly walking in their direction. Already in the room are Sal and Helen, the former still sporting his wooden stake and the later retaining the smashed head look. As this foursome close in on the two survivors, Rodger announces boldly that they will not get him, then runs for the large glass windows on one wall and hurls himself through them. He finds himself intact and outside on the ground. Marveling that he is still alive, he is soon joined by Judy, who reminds him that they won’t be truly safe until they pass over the underground stream that surrounds the property.
Judy now runs for the gate, but Rodger tells her that the gate is no longer where it was. This means finding another way off the property, which in turn means that they are going to have to climb over the large brick wall. Lucky for them, a length of wire is dangling from the top of the wall nearby. Unlucky for them, it is barbed wire. Still, Rodger wastes no time in grabbing it and pulling his ass up the wall, his hands getting bloodier and bloodier as he goes. He reaches the top and then lowers his hand, telling Judy to climb up and grab it. She begins scaling the wall in the same manner that he did, but much more slowly. As she climbs, a very burnt Stooge comes running out of the house towards her. Just as she takes Rodger’s hand, Stooge grabs her feet and begins to pull. Apparently, being touched by a possessed person causes burns to the skin, for Judy now screams as her flesh starts to sizzle at the points where Stooge is touching her.
As Stooge tries to pull her down and Rodger tries to pull her up, the rest of their former friends now exit the house and head in their direction. This includes Smashed-Face Helen, Stake Through The Chest Sal, Backwards Head Frannie, Armless Max, Fugly Suzanne, Eyeless Jay and Half-Burnt Angela. As this collection of freaks approaches, Angela asks Judy and Rodger where they are going, as the party has just begun. This evidently freaks out Rodger, who spazzes and drops Judy, then falls over the other side of the wall. Judy is still hanging by the barbed wire, but the entire group of dead/possessed people have gathered at her feet and begun pulling her down. As she screams, Rodger lies on the ground beyond the wall and covers his ears, not wanting to hear her cries (or face his own cowardice).
The gang of fiends continue to pull at Judy, who is now hanging on to that barbed wire by a single hand. Just as her hand is about to lose her grip and plummet to her doom amongst the hellspawn, a new hand appears and grabs her from above, preventing her fall. It’s Rodger! The guy has a pair after all! It looks like he climbed back to the top of the wall (how, we don’t know, as the film doesn’t show it) in order to help her. “Climb girl, climb!” He encourages her. With his assistance, she is now able to finish the climb to the top of the wall. Out of the demons’ reach, they fall to safety on the other side, leaving their possessed pals to grope at the wall in futility.
Then the sun begins to appear, banishing the demons back to hell. Foul smoke begins to appear as the possessed bodies begin to collapse. From the other side of the wall, Judy and Rodger see the smoke rise into the air. Then a demonic face – the same one Helen spied in the mirror in what seems like ages ago – appears in the smoke. It stares at them, growls and then vanishes back into the netherworld in a cheesy camera effect. The sun rises high in the sky and at long last the night of the demons is over.
Next we see Judy and Rodger walking home along a sidewalk in a residential neighborhood. They both look like hell. They pass by the house belonging to that grumpy old bastard we saw at the very beginning of the film. You know, the one who planned on putting razor blades in the apples? Well, he is out picking up his morning paper from the driveway. When he sees the two beleaguered teens stumbling by, he calls them trash for being out all night and mutters to himself how they will all rot in hell. Judy and Rodger just ignore him and keep walking.
Mr. Grumpy now heads back into his house and sits down at the table. His wife appears and says good morning, but in his usual testy manner, he wants to know what is so good about it. She places a cup of coffee and a slice of pie on the table before him before heading back into the kitchen behind him. He digs into the pie, which he says is “ok” when she asks him if it is good. She then says that he used to love her home made pies. “Home made?” he wonders. “When did you make this?” She says that she made it last night while he slept. Since there were not as many trick-or-treaters as there were in the good old days, she had to do something with all the leftover apples. Uh oh!
At this point, his expression changes and he looks like he just shit out a pound of brillo pads. His neck bulges and suddenly the razor blades that he inadvertently swallowed shred his throat from the inside, spraying blood all over the place. He tries to scream but just gets a moan out before falling face first into the remains of the pie. I think he’s dead. Nope. I know he is dead! His wife now walks over, pats him on the back and kisses him on the back of the head. “Happy Halloween, dear,” She says, then takes a sip of her coffee. She looks quite amused.
You really can’t get any more basic than the premise for this movie: teens spend the night in a spooky house, awaken evil spirits and then one by one, die horribly. It’s very much a cross between a slasher flick and haunted house movie. It contains the violent, bloody deaths of the former and the creepy locations and eerie atmosphere of the latter. The general idea of setting a movie in a spooky location is nothing new, with haunted house movies dating back for decades to the earliest examples of genre cinema. Two of the more notable examples, and which today are considered classics of the field, are The Haunting (1963) and The Legend of Hell House (1973). Indeed, it seems that Night of the Demons’ Hull House is a homage to the Hill and Hell houses found in the two aforementioned films. While those two earlier movies did not feature overly graphic demises, Night of the Demons takes full advantage of the 1980’s preponderance of gore FX in horror cinema to help differentiate it from those previous efforts, incorporating the “dead teenager” motif than had been showing up in the dozens of slashers produced every year since the late 70’s. That and the stock elements of the day: liberal amounts of swearing, nudity and contemporary teenage attitudes, helped to firmly cement it as a product of its age. The music certainly helps to date it, even if the bulk of the clothing does not (since nearly everyone is wearing a Halloween costume, the assault of 80’s fashion is limited). Some may express the opinion that the film never really works as neither slasher or a haunted house film, but in my mind the movie was not aiming for a complete melding of the two ideas and rather, took the components it needed from the differing concepts to build its own look and feel.
The film wastes little time in getting the characters to their destination and the few scenes set before their arrival at Hull House are pretty much there to introduce them and their various personalities. Once they have all crossed over onto the Hull House grounds, the movie sticks with this location until the very end of the movie when we once again get a few brief moments set elsewhere. In setting things up, the movie does seem to take a while to get going, with well over half the film’s running time elapsing before the first drop of blood is seen. Once this has transpired, the pace picks up some and the final forty minutes are more of what the audience is there to see: the annoying teenagers being stalked and killed. There are no liberties taken with the narrative flow, and everything unfolds in a straight linear manner without the need for flashbacks. Since the film does have quite a few characters, it tends to jump around a bit to keep pace with what everyone is doing. While there is no single killer responsible for the slayings, the possessed Angela works as a figurehead or spokesperson for the demonic presence within Hull House and would later return in the two sequels.
For all the talk by the others on how creepy and unlikable Angela is, they still readily accept her invitation to the party. Though she is sarcastic and exhibits nothing but disdain for everyone around her, she never comes across as genuinely “creepy.” Sure, she’s dressed in a black wedding dress, but it is Halloween after all. This could be nothing more than her choice of costume for the evening and not her every day fashion sense. There really is nothing about her other than such an appearance that lends credibility to the notion that she is a social outcast with strange interests. Unfortunately, Angela is one of the first ones possessed by one of the unleashed demons, so we really don’t get to see too much of her before she is co-opted. While the film wants us to believe that she is some freaky Goth girl obsessed with darkness and other such things, she comes across more as your average angry teen than an unsettling weirdo. Her fatal actions are throwing the party in the first place and conducting the séance that rouses the demons.
Whereas Angela seems like she actually has a functioning brain cell or two, her pal Suzanne is nothing more than the ditzy blonde slut the script requires her to be. The extent of her worries revolves around the availability of cute boys and the need to constantly check her make-up in a compact mirror. I’ve seen more depth in a puddle. Then again, Suzanne is the designated “get naked” chick and audiences are really not expecting lengthy discourses on quantum mechanics from such individuals while they are showing off their goods (though, personally, I would find that a super turn on). All they need do is strip for the camera and titillate the fanboys who are watching. The problem with Suzanne is, she is the very first one possessed by the demons, so everything she does after that point is on account of them. One wonders if she really would have been that slutty if she was never taken over by evil spirits. I’m guessing that the answer is probably yes, but that small doubt still remains.
Our main protagonist, Judy is the typical good girl. The movie makes it clear that she represents the naïve, the innocent and the virginal. Her volunteering for some charitable cause at school informs us of her qualities. Her belief that Jay is genuinely interested in her as a person and not as a sexual opportunity shows how innocent and gullible she can be. Her reluctance to kiss Jay in front of her mom and her later refusal to have sex with him reveals her “pureness” and desire to remain so. It’s no wonder that the demons are so intent on getting to her and take such relish at tormenting her throughout the night. The thought of taking possession of and corrupting such a pure soul must give them an incorporeal hard on. Judy shows more backbone than many of the others and if there is anyone in this film that the audience may end up rooting for, then chances are it is Judy. She is the least annoying of the entire group by far, she retains the good girl persona through her actions and thus does not incur a hideous fate because of her behavior. In horror films, engaging in sex isn’t always the thing that will get you killed. Being an asswipe, a coward, being cruel to anyone (including animals) or many other things will guarantee a sticky end. Judy is assured of survival because she does not fit into any of those categories. Plus, she is cute. Being cute never hurts.
Out of the female characters, the ones that suffer from the least development are Helen and Frannie. Considering how thinly the others are fleshed out, one should not expect very much, if anything at all from this pair. Helen doesn’t really contribute much except for a crying fit and the ability to tolerate Stooge (which in itself should earn her some type of award for long suffering). She exits the film quickly and quietly and one could almost forget that she was even there. As for Frannie, her sole purpose seems to be adding another kill to the body count and another set of boobs to show off for the camera. Neither of them have a lot of screen time and could almost be interchangeable with a cardboard cutout. Frannie’s demise seems assured by her willingness to engage in sexual activity within Hull House, where Helen may be the one person who doesn’t really deserve what she gets. She never does anything morally questionable and tries to leave the place early in the film. I guess those demons just hate a party pooper.
On the other end of the spectrum from good, sweet Judy, is Jay. Now Jay initially comes across as her male counterpart: polite, clean cut, wholesome and well mannered. HA! This is all an act, as behind it all, Jay is motivated by the one desire that has driven males to all sorts of lunacy, madness and bad behavior over the millennia: the desire to get laid. While he may be all smiles at first, if Jay doesn’t get his way, he turns into quite the heel. He cares nothing for the feelings of the girls he goes out with, seeing them as disposable partners. The only reason he even asks Judy out is because he believes her to be easy. This attitude, in addition to his harsh treatment of Judy once she shoots down his sexual advances, is what ensures that he comes to an unpleasant end. Certainly his willingness to abandon his date in a strange location, despite her pleas, and then to go and screw another chick almost immediately, didn’t help his karma. It was just unfortunate for him that the other chick was possessed by a homicidal spirit.
Sal on the other hand, is almost the polar opposite of Jay. He is rough, crude and makes no secret of his desire to “get together” with Judy. He carries himself with an exaggerated sense of toughness, which one surmises is put in place as his way of dealing with life. His character, in the way that he is ostracized by the others, puts across the idea that he comes from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks, and that aspiring to date Judy is a lofty goal and proof that he isn’t the loser others no doubt perceive him to be. Then again, it may just simply be a case of him being an asshole. Whatever the case may be, every action he undertakes in the film is meant to get him closer to a second date with Judy. From bribing her brother to showing up to the party uninvited to scaring the crap out of Jay. However, when push comes to shove, Sal steps up and actually shows concern for Judy and even tries to help her. While not a bad deed in and of itself, it leads to his death at the hands of a possessed Angela.
Up next is Stooge. Of all the people in this movie, he may come across as the most life-like. However, that may be because he is loud, crude and obnoxious beyond belief. Everyone at one point or another knows someone like Stooge (or has the unfortunate luck to be related to such an individual), so out of the entire bunch he seems to have the most personality just from the sheer in-your-face presentation of his character. How any of these people can call him friend is a mystery to me. He does nothing and says nothing that makes him likable in the slightest sense of the word, let alone endearing. If there is anyone in the movie that the audience hopes to see meet a sticky, unpleasant end, it would be Stooge. Such abrasive behavior and utter lack of charm are all that is required in horror flicks to warrant a nasty death and he has it in spades. While some may feel sorry for him when Angela takes tonsil hockey to a whole new level, I was glad that it meant he could not talk anymore throughout the remainder of the film.
And then there is Rodger. Rodger is the token black guy, though to my relief, the film doesn’t play up his ethnicity at all by having him spout urban slang constantly or comic one-liners. This is also where the movie decides to take a cliché and turn it upside down. Until more recent years, there was the unofficial rule in horror films that the lone black guy in the cast had to die first. Here, not only does Rodger not die first, he doesn’t die at all! He actually survives! He manages this despite the other character trait that usually spells doom for people in these movies: he is a colossal coward. There has to be one like Rodger in every cinematic bunch. You know the type: the one guy that knows before all the rest that something is seriously wrong and is quite vocal in proclaiming it as well as announcing his desire to leave. Not only does Rodger fulfill that role, but he takes every opportunity presented to him to run like hell, even if it means abandoning whoever he is with at the moment. Usually, these self-serving chickenshit types end up gutted by film’s end, but Rodger here is able to avoid that fate and even manages to redeem himself somewhat. Still, there is no denying that his character basically comes down to one word: coward.
The remainder of the cast (the ones worth noting, at least), is rounded out by Max, Billy and Mr. Grumpy. Max is the one that provides exposition for the audience, by explaining the history of Hull House to his pals – information that they should at least already know in part, but I guess he feels they need a refresher course. Beyond that, he doesn’t have much character, though there is the slight implication that he is a jokester with a smart ass attitude. Billy is hardly in the film, but even with his limited screen time, manages to excel in conveying the part of an ultra-annoying little brother. I have no little brothers (or sisters), so I can only imagine what they must be like. Billy here makes me glad that I was the youngest in my family. Like Billy, Mr. Grumpy AKA The Old Man, really is not in the film all that much, appearing for a few brief moments at the beginning and the end, but he sure does make an impact with his limited time. The epitome of grouchy, mean old men, there is nothing redeeming about him and one wonders if he was always a cranky, ill tempered pain in the ass or if the years just made him that way. Speaking as someone who was once a calm, kind and gentle person, but who is now hiding a burning, festering rage aimed at the world and everyone in it, I think time just made him that way.
As far as acting goes, you get pretty what you expect given the shallow characterizations and youthful cast. In other words, nothing special. Yes, they play their parts well enough to get by, and yes, those parts don’t really require any great stretching of the acting muscles, so one cannot blame the group of actors too much for having rather little with which to work. They certainly invest their roles with all they’ve got, as there seems to be no shortage of enthusiasm. I’m sure that those of the bunch who continued in the acting field honed their craft further and got better as the years went by, even if any great success eluded them. In the end, the problem with this group of characters is not the actors portraying them, but the fact that almost all of them are completely unlikable.
Starting with the make-up, there are numerous ways it is applied in order to alter the everyday look of the film’s collection of idiots. From the demon-possessed visages of folks like Angela or Suzanne, to the crispy look sported by Stooge near the film’s end, to the messed up heads that Frannie and Helen sport before it is all over (though I am not sure if those latter two examples count more as prosthetics than make-up). All of it looks quite good, though the make-up used for the possessed folks is what gets seen the most in the movie. It looks damn convincing – especially when Suzanne changes right in the middle of coitus, but those hideous teeth must have been hell for the actors to wear and worse to try and speak lines through.
The prosthetics work seen here is just superb in my opinion. The severed arm once belonging to Max that later comes to life and menaces Judy looks quite real, though it seems a combination of a real actor’s arm and a fake one were utilized for this scene. The same look of reality is true for the replica of Jay’s head that is used for the close-up of Suzanne burying her thumbs in his eye sockets. The way the jaw opens and the subtle muscle movements below the skin combine to make an extremely realistic mock-up. Hell, I saw the movie a number of times before listening to the commentary by director Tenney and learning that it wasn’t the actor at all in that shot. However, above all others, the one prosthetic that looks more real than anything else are the pair of fake boobs with which Suzanne does her lipstick trick. It’s not just the boobs, but a re-creation of her entire upper torso. Additionally, the way the prosthetic responds to her touch is another factor in its success. Not only does it look like real flesh, but moves like it as well. Many a viewer has watched this movie and done a double take when this scene occurs, myself included. Hats off to special effects artist Steve Johnson for some truly incredible work in this film, the fake boobs a particular stand out. While were at it, let’s give him additional kudos for banging Linnea Quigley in real life!
There are a number of other instances of make-up and prosthetic work in the movie, and to varying degrees they look quite good. The stake through Sal’s chest, the massive amounts of blood seen when Angela forcibly removes Stooge’s tongue, the razor blades emerging from a ripped up throat at the film’s end, even a simple effect with Suzanne accomplished by pulling her skin taught. As for visual effects, there are just a few that spring to mind: the view of Hull House from a distance, the images that appear within the old mirror and at the end when the demon face appears in the air and vanishes. These don’t require any complicated processes and are fairly adequate, the view of Hull House being the most obvious “effect”, being a composite of several different elements. Overall, the FX in the film are really quite good given the film’s low budget and imparts the impression that the project was a much larger affair than it was.
Personally, I like movies with a dark “look” to them, so the lighting in the film didn’t bother me, but some of you out there may grow tired of it. The funny part is, the producers try to convey the idea of natural moonlight illuminating the darkened interior of Hull House. While this may not seem comical in itself, the execution is another story. In several scenes, the light streaming inside through the windows is far, far brighter than any moonlight could possibly be. In much the same way a single candle could light up an entire ballroom in some old black and white flick, in this movie the sunlight reflecting off the moon lights up a room like a searchlight. Many people may not even notice it, but because so much of the film is dark, the intensity of the light in some scenes is hard to not see.
Aside from the lighting issues, one has to give props to the crew who dressed the sets. The abandoned building used for the Hull House locations had to be dirtied up and made to look aged and decrepit. All of these rooms look effectively filthy, which only adds to the sense of unease about the place. Hand in hand with the great sets are a few inventive shots devised by director Tenney. In one, the broken pieces of a mirror scattered on the ground reflect the cast, each person’s face appearing in a different shard of glass. This is a nice effect and eerily forebodes their imminent separation and death. A few other shots, where the camera is placed on the floor, help give rooms a larger, stranger, and more unreal atmosphere. Small touches to be sure, but they add to the overall effect.
When it comes to the titular demons, the character of Angela makes it clear in one of her explanations that such beings have never existed in human form. Thus, one expects a certain alien-like quality to them. Tenney uses various techniques to help portray the otherworldliness of these incorporeal life forms. In one scene the camera hovers around the room, providing a point of view shot as the invisible presence examines the flesh and blood intruders, debating on whom to possess first. While simple, it is effective. This method is further exploited by showing the demons flying throughout the house via the POV shots. Simple editing tricks make the house seem much larger and more intricate than it really is during these segments. However, the approach was more noticeably used by Sam Raimi in his Evil Dead films, so comparisons between the two are only going to be inevitable.
Another low tech approach is a method used for people once they are possessed by a demon and they begin floating down the hallway. This is accomplished by having the actor wear skates. Yes, skates. Angela is the only one seen floating through the house, and I’m guessing it is solely because her long dress was able to hide the skates whereas the costumes on the other actors would not have been as concealing. It’s the low key techniques such as this that help give the movie some of its charm. In the era before the over saturation of CGI, filmmakers were forced to rely on ingenuity to achieve the things they wanted to see. While this movie does call for its share of blood, guts and other visual FX, the viewer gets the impression that the producers actually sweated in their creation, rather than clicking a mouse while seated at a computer work station. There is a tangible reality to everything in the film that helps it come across as more real than something you’d see in a film from subsequent years.
The movie also likes to play with some of the conventions inherent in the genre, especially things one would find in a slasher film. Rather than have a “final girl” this movie gives us a final girl and boy. Though Judy fits the final girl mold to a T and is a protagonist worth cheering on (or at least, not wanting to see die horribly), the other half of that duo, Rodger, is a bit more of a mystery, as he does several things that usually lead to death in these movies. I guess turning the token black guy element upside down and having him live was what overrode any bad karma he earned through his chickenshit actions. Additionally, in a field filled with male horror icons like Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and Chucky the killer doll, this movie gives us the first sustainable female horror star of the modern age in Angela. While the character would only appear in two further film outings, and never quite attained the notoriety of her male brethren, she is still known well enough in fan circles. Both she and this film have built up quite the following over the years.
Annoying Kids – We are subjected to a few minutes of Judy’s home life, which includes her younger brother Billy, who is not only annoying, but something of a pervert, as well.
Dancing – Some bad dancing when the gang partys, a weird solo dance by possessed Angela and the dance between her and Stooge when she demonstrates why French kissing is bad.
Demons – Given the film's title, I think it is safe to say that some of them show up. However, aside from a brief glimpse of a cheesy rubber face, they are incorporeal in nature.
Extreme Violence – While the violence here is brief when it is shown, it goes far beyond slaps and punches. Indeed, people end up missing various body parts by the end of the film.
Gore – Let’s count: popped eyeballs, a severed arm, stake through the heart, smashed head, ripped out tongue, broken neck…yeah, I think the Gore icon is warranted.
Haunted Houses – Despite an explanation on how Hull House is not haunted by ghosts , but possessed by evil spirits instead, the place is creepy enough to qualify for this icon.
Nudity – Of the four main female characters in this film, one of them fully shows off her ass, another fully shows off her boobs and a third shows off everything for the camera.
Sex – Even though there are several horny guys in this film, the only one to actually score with a chick is Jay, when he nails demonified Suzanne.
Times Rodger runs like a scared bitch: 9
Times Stooge calls any girl a bitch: 6
Times Judy screams: 42
Boobs seen: 6
Fake boobs seen: 2
Doors slammed shut (by people or spirits): 29
People tossed through windows: 2
False scares where people nearly shit themselves: 9
Product placement: 9
Mins - Bare Butt Shot! Woo Hoo!
Shadow's Drinking Game: These are teens. Well, they’re supposed to be teens, so they cuss a lot. Every time the words “Bitch” or “Fuck” are heard, take a drink.
for larger image
Jay arrives at Judy’s house.
“Well, you must be Judy’s little brother, huh? You’re
pretty lucky. She’s a real nice girl.”
Shadow’s comment: Cha-Cha’s. Definitely the big cha-cha’s.
The difference between possessed and haunted.
“What’s the difference, between possessed and haunted?”
Shadow’s comment: Oh! So they’re lawyers!
funniest line in the movie.
Sal: “Good night now. I’m
Shadow’s comment: Yeah, nothing says classy like a couch that sticks to your ass when it’s hot.
Film & Me
Since this film had such a limited theatrical release, I did not even hear of it until it hit cable back in the late 80’s. One late night I came home after hanging out with some friends and after listening to some tunes on my walkman (who remembers those things? You actually had to put batteries in them and insert tapes to hear the music!) I decided to watch some television before settling in for some sleep. My first destination were the various pay channels we got, since this would be were the good movies were shown (the ones with naked chicks and gore). I flicked through the choices and came to HBO, which was showing Night of the Demons. The movie was in its final act, with Judy and Rodger running around trying to survive. I caught about the last twenty minutes or so and that was that. Later in the month, when another weekend rolled around, I was perusing the cable guide and saw the movie listed for late that evening. Since I had only seen the last few minutes of the movie previously, I made sure to catch the entire thing this time. I remember how cinematic the film seemed to me at the time and I wondered how I had never heard of it (being ignorant of its release history). Even though that was the only time I saw the complete film from beginning to end for many, many years, the scene with Linnea Quigley and the lipstick really stuck in my memory…like it no doubt did for countless other people. I did manage to see bits and pieces of the film over the following years, but like so many other movies, I was not able to see it fully again until I acquired the DVD. Now I just need to see the sequels, which have always eluded me.
Shadow's rating: Six Tombstones