Written and directed by Kevin S. Tenney, the 1986 chiller begins at a party held by couple Jim (Todd Allen, Django Unchained) and Linda (Whitesnake video vixen Tawny Kitaen). Her ex (soap actor Stephen Nichols) brings a Ouija board, proceeds to contact the spirit of a 10-year-old boy, and thus uncorks a shitstorm of trouble. Demonic possession will do that to a woman, feathered hair or not.
Upping the possession quotient two years later, Tenney made his bloody “mess-terpiece” with Night of the Demons, wherein a group of horny high schoolers throws one hell of a Halloween-night party in an abandoned home, and one accidental drop of blood awakens a satanic force. It’s always the uninvited who spoil the soirée.
The 1988 film is so much fun, I’m upset at myself for somehow never having the opportunity to see it until now. Although rife with gratuitous nudity and gore, Night of the Demons is never mean-spirited. It aims to have a good time and wonderfully succeeds (whereas the inferior 2009 remake has to settle for also-ran status).
Shout! Factory’s Scream Factory label brings both of these Tenney gems to Blu-ray (with DVDs included) in its typical fashion, spilling over with extras both old (promotional in nature) and new, including making-of documentaries that clock in at feature length themselves. Both packages are must-haves for fans of VHS-era horror. — Rod Lott
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