Friday, August 27, 2010

Demon Wind (1990)
Dir. Charles Philip Moore
Genre: Horror

Satan has the farts you guys!

This is genius! The entire plot is the tagline!
Before you get excited about this, I have one major spoiler I should put out there...there are NO demons farting in this film.  NONE.  I know, right?  I too was misled.  Disappointment of lack of killer demonic beefs aside, this film is actually fairly good as far as shitty movies go.  Well, it's good for the first thirty minutes anyway.  After that it's a lot of yelling at the screen and hoping everyone dies.  If you're me.  Written and directed by Charles Philip Moore, the visionary behind straight-to-video turds such as 1994's Angel of Destruction and 1992's Dance With Death, Demon Wind seems to have strayed from Moore's later busty and blond film-making formula.  In fact, there are actually no attractive women in this film.  Okay, they're not ugly or anything (except for one man-faced one), but there is no constant cleavage (although we do get some demon boobage) and definitely no girls pole dancing on revolver barrels or pole dancing at all.  Maybe Demon Wind came before his divorce from that bitchy blond he married (allegedly), you know, when he still respected women and all (allegedly). 

The story is as follows, twenty-something Cory (Eric Larson) reconnects with his old drunk of a father only to find him still babbling on about the devil and zombie demons that killed Cory's grandparents years ago...blah, blah, blah.  After their awkward encounter, the old man kills himself perhaps out of shame or boredom.  Cory then drags his girlfriend and a shit ton of his couple friends out to his grandparents old farm in butt fuck nowheresville, Idaho (state undetermined) to find out if everything his dad talked about is true.  Eventually he learns his grandparents dabbled in a little bit of witchcraft here and evil sorcery there and somehow this all came back to burn them, literally.  Check out the trailer below.

"Oh...awkward...I didn't know you guys were stopping by."
The film actually starts out pretty promising with a rather unnerving opening credit sequence.  It's supposed to be in the past I'm assuming in the 1900's sometime. The camera slowly zooms in on a fiery cross in the distance.  Up close and it get's up close, you see what looks like an actual burning body nailed to the cross.  Yeah, holy shit.  After a uncomfortably long shot of this, we enter the old cabin behind the cross and the camera starts spanning around showing old timey family photos juxtaposed with portraits of Jesus.  There are a million candles burning all over the place and an old gospel song softly playing in the background, the chorus of which is "...are you bathed in the blood of the lamb?" sung by an out of tune soft spoken young girl.  Yeah.  It's pretty fucking creepy.  Then suddenly an old woman rushes inside, barring the door and begins praying.  It gets quiet and then creepy demonic Linda Blair voices are heard from outside asking her to open the door and let them in.  Also fucking creepy.  Her husband enters the room and she feels she is finally safe, but of course as soon as he turns around he starts puking tapioca and alka-seltzer out the mouth which can only mean, you guessed it, demonic possession!  A loud demon wind, broken glass, screaming and furniture flying later, we cut to the present day if the present day was 1990 and begin the less interesting, more frustrating story of dumb shit Cory and his band of dumb shits.  If you want to see the first part and judge for yourself, check out the clip below (the entire thing is available in parts on YouTube here, just like most great cinematic achievements).

Unimportantly Unfortunately, there are no real actors of note in this film.  Not even notable character actors.  Most of the cast went on to star in various Skinemax style soft-core cable porn erotica.  Blond-haired Bobby Johnston who plays Cory's douchey frat friend Dell went on to co-star in such cable cock teases as Erotic Confessions, Talk Sex, Passions Peak and my personal favorite, Sex Files: Pleasureville.  Naughty.  Richard Gabai who plays another friend, Willy, went on to co-star in Sexual Roulette and Thirteen Erotic Ghosts.  The only important piece of information I should share is there is a really good excuse as to why the character of Bonnie, played by man fresh faced Sherry Leigh has a man face.  Well, at least a close to good excuse after you know, her actually being a man.  She is actually a stunt double/performer which is possibly why her chin is so chiny, you know to help her face brace for pavement and things.  Most of her Hollywood experience post Demon Wind was stunt work other than the occasional biker woman extra part.

Although as previously stated, the film starts out with some actual B-Movie horror promise, it quickly begins to spiral into frustrating what the fuck plot holes and unexplained obnoxious fails by the cast of characters as well as the film's writers.  After the first thirty minutes or so, myself and fellow B-Movie viewing buddy were just screaming at the screen.  Seriously, at some point you just can't wait for all these assholes to die.  Since the infuriating mistakes and unexplained phenomenon are too much to tally, I'll break it down for you like so.

Countless Anonymous Couple Friends

"Hey Cory, thanks for the invite bro!"
Apparently Cory only makes friends in twos.  That is, either every single one of his douchey friends happen to be dating a ditsy dame or he only befriends people in pacts.  Maybe it's safer that way.  From the beginning we get the impression that Cory and his girlfriend Elaine are taking this backwoods nostalgic journey together, then all of sudden when weird shit starts going down in the abandoned diner (who knew?) at least three different couples start filing in and talking about the trip they're all going on.  Then, at least two different couples show up in cars at Cory's grandparents' demon lair farmhouse later on in the film including one that shows up after all the demon farts demons have been unleashed.  How many fucking couples did he invite to this thing and how could so many people have nothing better to do?  I should also mention that due to Satan's immeasurable power and knowledge of modern mechanics, every car engine dies near the premises once they are turned off.  This is important because when the last couple shows up after the group realizes the shit they're in, they all run out and scream very clearly to the arriving couple "...don't turn the car off!"  Of course, Willy and Missus Willy are too busy butt-rocking out to some Duran Duran to understand them and instead turn off the engine.  Damnit!  This means this movie isn't over! 

Chuck the Karate-Kicking Magician 

"Hey ladies, wanna see my boner disappear?"
For some reason, there is this unexplained unnecessary scene involving one of the couples (okay, so it's supposedly two heterosexual dudes which is only implied because one of them is the ex of some other chick on the trip) that drive up with the aforementioned ex-boyfriend, Chuck, standing upright in their jeep in a cloak and puffy white shirt.  No, he isn't a boringly dressed vampire which would have been something, he's a fledgling magician.  At first he does little tricks where he pulls flowers out of his butthole sleeve and some other things and then Dell, the douchey frat character, gets rather annoyed at all the attention the magician is giving Dell's lady (who dated magician Chuck in perhaps a previous film).  Dell throws a beer can at Chuck who then, in a five minute long slow motion sequence, slowing karate kicks the can into the air and then kicks it again.  It's seriously like five to seven minutes long.  It's one of a few shots that make me question whether or not this film was originally intended to be in 3-D.  The clencher in this scene is Dell's reaction which is to shout, "...I'll shove that karate shit up your ass!"  Chuck the magician responds by blowing a dove into his face.  Touche.       

The Haunted House With No Walls

Why even bother going through the door?
Once Cory's entourage arrives at his grandparent's old farm, they realize the place is totally destroyed by the fire his father told him about. In fact, there is no real house or barn left, just a doorway to each surrounded by charred rubble. Of course, the cross in the yard with the now flesh-free skeleton hangs as if it were just 1931 yesterday. Though Cory and his friends are intrigued by the crucified skeleton, none of them seem too alarmed by it and in no way have their spirits dampened by the creepy fucking experience. Either these people are incredibly stupid or absolutely hollow as far as human beings go. It's undetermined. Anyhow, eventually Cory decides to check out the rubble that was his grandparents house. He walks through the doorway and is suddenly in a fully restored, furniture and walls in tact farmhouse. WTF? First you assume, well this is obviously the devil's work and you wait for the group to freak out. Thing is, they don't. In fact, they NEVER say a goddamn thing about this weird shit until the very end of the film when most of them are dead and someone suggests going in the barn because they've been hiding out in the no walls house the entire time. The no walls house that the demons fight to get into. Yeah. When someone suggests the barn, Elaine says "...maybe it will have the same spell as the house." That's it. The only acknowledgment of this fact at all. And the answer is yes by the way, the no walls barns magically has walls.   

The Burning Bonnie Doll

Somewhere around the time all of their cars won't start and the rubble is magically a house, man-faced Bonnie wises up that something is amiss.  She turns to her boyfriend Jack and says, "...If I die.  Promise you won't bury me here."  Jack reacts pretty nonchalantly to this chilling comment and promises in a mumble.  The group then decides to try and walk back to town.  On their way, they are bum rushed by a thick fog which somehow takes them all back to the farmhouse again.  No one seems that worried.  Seconds later, two young girls in dated pilgrimesque nightgowns show up and speak in demonic voices telling them they can't leave.  Once again, no one really freaks out.  Except for Bonnie who is suddenly grabbed by one of the girls and after a poof of smoke and fire, she is reduced to a burnt baby doll whom Jack picks up, still not really affected.  The doll then creepily states in burnt baby voice, " lied."  Jack then of course throws the doll on the ground and everyone seems unaffected.  The more frustrating character reaction in this scene is when some of the friends begin to WONDER whether they should continue to attempt to leave.  One of the girls even says, "...I think something tried to kill us back there."  Tried!  Hey, assholes, remember that time one of you is totally fucking dead?!?  There is no try when there is completion!  Then our hero Cory replies, "...I think they're just trying to warn us away."  WHAT?  Can anyone smell burning plastic?  That's one of your friends and for one of you, that chick you've been fucking!  Hello! 
Killer Demon Daggers of Magic

At some point, once the group is holed up in the house waiting for...something, Cory and Elaine began exploring the burnt rubble the place.  Cory eventually finds an old book with journal entries from his grandmother describing she and her husband coming to the area to settle with a missionary whom they later learned was really a satanist.  Many of the parishioners continued to practice his witchcraft and shit, but at some point everything went belly up and she and her husband were fighting off a demon horde.  Cory also finds two BBQ skewers demon daggers which the book describes as being part of a magical set, the only thing that can slay the demon wind demon.  Once demons hit the fan and start picking off people, Cory neglects to tell anyone he has the daggers, even when Elaine insists they should.  In fact, Cory neglects to use the daggers to kill any actual demons until the mid-climax.  He then promptly leaves it on the ground and makes no attempt to go back and get the only weapon that could possibly save their lives and eternal souls or whatever.  Fuck.
Epic Boyfriend FAILS

"I should've been a lesbian."
Constantly throughout this film, every single male character does absolute shit when they could have saved their girlfriend's lives.  They also often ditch them when the demoning gets rough as well as seem completely unaffected when they are either in peril or actually die.  In fact, surprisingly, the only dude that seems to care is douchey Dell.  When his short term girlfriend, Teri is demon possessed and then kills him through eyeball impalement, he actually says to her as he falls to the ground, "...I loved you."  This uncomfortable intimate moment is thankfully broken up by the possessed girlfriend in her witchy-poo squeally voice responding with, "...I loved you too" and then high-pitched demon laughter.

The Lack of Any and All Actual Demon Wind

Not all films actually deliver what is in the title.  Look at Big Trouble in Little China for instance...oh, wait...okay, or Dirty Dancing...wait, nevermind...well, or Evil Dead...oh, yeah...actually, there absolutely should have been a fucking demon wind in Demon Wind.  There are a few possibilities as to what the writers/movie makers may have intended to represent the demon wind.  

"Hey neighbor, can we borrow a cup of person?"
There is one story an old man tells in the beginning about a wind coming across the farmlands and burning all the livestock and crops.  Of course, we never see this re-enacted and if you phased out for more than a second in this scene, which is highly possible, you would have missed this story.  There is a strong wind right in the beginning when Cory's grandmother is fighting off the demon onslaught, you know the one that burned her house down, but mostly the wind just seems like a strong normal wind that knocks over furniture and only lasts for a minute, maybe.  The other explanation could be the title refers to the fog in the film we see at least twice that does have some kind of magical power if it can transport people and all.  The only other thing I can think of, is perhaps it's a metaphor of some kind such as there were SO many demons unleashed by evil or whatever, that it was like a strong wind beating down their doors and faces.  Maybe?  Either way, even if it were all these things, it wouldn't add up to being the actual menace in the film nor would there be any of the farts I felt I was promised.

The White Elf Demon Thing

"Does this face make me look bald?"
For me, this is the most mind-boggling bullshit moment in the movie.  So, in the end, Cory and Elaine are having a pretty pathetic stand-off with the main killer demon and suddenly Cory passes out and then wakes up looking like an albino hat-less Green Goblin (see Spider-man).  He is suddenly able to fend off mega-demon more easily and also states, "'re more afraid of us then we are of you."  Here's the thing, at no point (or maybe I fell asleep) do the characters explain why Cory turns into this elf hybrid thing.  Even when he turns back, Elaine just says, "'re normal again."  That's it.  There is no explanation of the implications of this transformation.  Is he a race of good demons?  Is he secretly a demon human half-breed?  Does he too possess his grandparents witching and wizardry powers?  I don't know and Demon Wind doesn't feel like telling me.  Bullshit.

Though I would say this film is mostly bereft of logic and goodness, there are times where that plays into exactly why this film is totally watchable.  First off, it is full of some amazingly bad and quotable dialogue.  Much of it comes from our beer-slinging, bench-pressing buddy Dell.  At one point when Bonnie's boyfriend, the hapless Jack, appears and begins giving his hellos to Cory, Dell responds to this moment of male intimacy by stating:

Dell: "...If you two homos can keep your hands off each other for a second, we can get a drink."

Later when most of the group refuses a beer from Dell, he responds with:

Dell: "...What?  Is it 'Just Say No' Week?"

Brilliant.  After this response, Dell's girlfriend Teri accepts a beer to which Dell responds:

Dell: "...This is why I keep her around."

He actually says this line a few times in the film referring to Teri and don't worry, I have a tally.  My favorite by far is after Dell has a minor karate can kicking run in with Chuck the magician wherein Chuck blows a dove at Dell that promptly poops on him, Dell responds with this gem:

Dell: "...son-of-a bitchin' idiots."

There are a few quotes made be different characters which I believe are supposed to sound somehow eloquent or sophisticated and quippy.  In the beginning, Elaine and Cory arrive at a stranded gas station and decide to look in the obviously abandoned diner.  Cory starts shouting, "...hello!" while Elaine looks on.  Then, for no apparent reason, she drops her pants and shows Cory her ass.  His response to this is:

Cory: "...Ah, a moon for the misbegotten."

Holy shit that's deep.  Also in this scene when Jack and Bonnie arrive unexpectedly at the diner, Bonnie and Elaine hug and then began discussing their clothes and how cute they are.  Women.  Jack roll his eyes and says:

Jack: "...Bizarre greeting rituals of the sub-culture."

Geez Mom, put some clothes on.
This is either a comment on women or consumerism or both.  Either way, it's uppity and stupid and I wasn't too bummed when he was demonized.  The last great bit of dialogue I want to mention is an awesome exchange between Chuck the magician and his date friend Stacy (who is a guy).  Most of the group has fallen asleep in the house while Chuck and Stacy stay up perhaps keeping a look out.  At some point they hear a woman's voice beckoning them outside.  She even has naked boobs to back up her request.  Chuck and Stacy smartly decide she is a demon, but decide to venture out anyway with shotguns to kill her.  Once they get outside, they realize she invited all her demon friends to the party.  The demons began chanting their names and egging them on to fight.

Chuck: "...They're playing our song."
Stacy: "...Alright, [shotgun pump] let's dance."

That might have been stolen from an Evil Dead movie, but something had to be to make this movie good.

"Hey boys!  Wanna make out?"
The other redeeming quality about this film is the special effects.  They're not half bad.  The burning body on the cross at the beginning of the film does seem pretty realistic and I sort of found it kind of disturbing.  Plus the demons do manage to look pretty fucked up and gross.  They have the necessary fucked up teeth and gooey faces which are slimy and nasty looking so I approve.  Even the mega demon, who gets pretty ridiculous looking as he is shown in motion, has these kind of awesome hoof feet which only make when Cory turns into some elfish alien more disappointing.  The demon alka-seltzer puke is a little cliche, but at least the latex is not really visible on the faces of most of the demons and therefore they look believably rotting and possessed.

"Ew, I said no tongue."

There is also an awesome kill scene involving one girl who gets strangled with a long cow demon tongue emitting from a cow skull and then is pulled and and eaten by the cow skull.  This is slower and more awkward then it should be, but is made up for by the fact she is eaten by a cow skull.

When all was said and winded, I give this a rating of watchable.  It sort of drags in the way that you just start to feel like, yeah we get there's fucking demons all over the place so will they just fight back or die already, but I think the utter ridiculousness and stupid characters make it charming enough for a viewing.  Plus, there's boobs and butt shots and at least one demon grope, so that's okay.

Demon Fog: 5
Demon Wind: 2(?)
Demon Farts: 0(?)
Times Characters SHOULD Have Been Scared, But Weren't: 16
Pictures of Jesus: 8
Creepy Yocals: 3
Crucifixes: 5
Butt Shots: 2
Pentagrams: 3
Bloody Tapioca Demon Puke: 4
Possible 3-D Intended Shots: 3
Creepy Gingers: 1
Times I Felt Genuinely Creeped Out: 6
Dell Says Something Douchey: 6
Times Dell Says, "This Is Why I Keep Her Around" About Teri: 3
Magician Karate Kicks Something: 2
Guys Named Stacy: 1
Skeletons: 6
Demon Boobs: 2
Times People Say, "Let's Get Out Of Here": 8
Demons: 42
Rat Tails: 1
Obvious Dubbing: 4
Demons Groping Boobs: 1
Cartoonishly Bad Computer Light Effects: 7
Boyfriend Fails: 5

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