Starring Mimi Kincade, Linnea Quigley, Alvin Alexis
"Eat a bowl of fuck. I am here to party."
Angela (jazz choreographer-turned actress-turned dog whisperer Mimi Kincade) is a sour-faced, black-laced high school goth girl who decides to throw a Halloween bash at one Hull House, the local haunted-place-no-one-ever-goes-to. There was some sort of massacre there many years ago, and no one knows exactly what happened. You know how that goes. With a little help from her saucy friend Suzanne (Linnea Quigley, way over the teen-vamp age limit), she manages to shoplift a sack full of booze and party favors, and proceeds to Halloween-ize the already spooky old joint.
Eventually, a handful of 80's stereotypes show up for the party, including a fat stooge named Stooge (Hal Havins, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-rama), a skittish, possibly gay black dude in a pirate outfit (Alvin Alexis), a virginal good girl (Cathy Podewell, Dallas), a heartless cad (Lance Fenton, Heathers), etc. Things go pretty good - lots of drinkin', dancin', and neckin' ensue - until they decide to mess with forces from the beyond. Utilizing a full-length mirror and some of Angela's goth-girl mumbo jumbo, they accidentally summon a demon from his sleep chamber in the basement crematorium (did I mention Hull House was once a funeral home?), who summarily takes over their bodies one by one, using them to attack, murder and mutilate the others. Can anyone escape this Night of the Demons?
Well, sure. All they really have to do is jump over the fuckin' fence.
Night of the Demons is virtually plotless, woefully miscast, and often resembles little more than a walk-through tour of a rickety state-fair haunted-house attraction. That being said, the film still succeeds as a wildly entertaining period piece. For one thing, the atmosphere - especially in the opening scenes - is wonderfully thick. In fact, Night of the Demons captures the sights, sounds, and smells of Halloween better than any other 80's film I can think of. The soundtrack is frequently amazing - Dennis Michael Tenney's song about computer dating has to be heard to be believed - and roots the film firmly in the high 80's, as does Angela's uber-goth get-up and Stooge's punk-slob persona. Casting a 30 year old Linnea Quigley as a hot-to-trot teen was also a brilliantly wrong-headed move, and she makes the most of it, flashing her ass and wildly over-emoting at Every turn. And of course, the infamous lipstick-in-the-nipple scene is still as effective as ever. Sure, Night of the Demons is garbage, but it's tasty, brightly-colored garbage, full of dimestore gore, obnoxious characters, a smattering of nudity, and a whole haunted house full of dumb fun.
Two by-the-numbers, straight-to-VHS sequels soon followed, and a still-unreleased remake (starring Shannon Elizabeth and Tiffany Shepis!) was shot in 2009. Don't bother with any of them until you've seen the original.