Plot: What’s it about?
Liza (Meg Register) is excited to be out on her first archaeological expedition, but she has noticed some unusual things since she arrived. The dig is being held in Sicily, near some ruins of an old convent with a horrific past, to say the least. The convent was home to a group of heretic nuns, who fell victim to the locals and ended up six feet under, but they weren’t killed in just any fashion, not even close. The methods used to murder these nuns were stoning and crucifixion, two of the most painful, drawn out ways to be killed. This might scare some people away from the ruins, but Liza feels an odd connection to the area, one she simply cannot explain. In addition to her instincts, Liza has been having some terrible nightmares and she thinks they are also related to that cursed convent. As such, she becomes more and more drawn toward the location of the ruins, to seek out answers and discover the truth behind her nightmares. But the locals don’t want her snooping in their business, which makes it hard for Liza to uncover any information. As time passes, she is drawn closer to the ruins and perhaps closer to the brink of insanity, but will she be able to learn the truth about the convent and her connection to the place?
This movie has nuns, buckets of blood, cool gore scenes, and the direction of Lucio Fulci, what more could you want? Fulci (Zombie, The Beyond) is a true master of horror cinema and while Demonia isn’t his best picture, it is a solid, fun horror movie. Well, maybe fun to those of us who like to see lots of the red stuff, severed heads, eye injuries, and all that jazz. This is not a constant assault of gore however, so don’t expect Dead Alive here, but Fulci injects plenty of sick stuff into Demonia, to be sure. The storyline is basic, but good enough and as expected, it sometimes trails off in odd directions, but not too much. I found the performances to be acceptable, but never much beyond that and Fulci’s obligatory cameo is present, as a police inspector. The pace moves a little too slowly, but we Fulci devotees should be used to that by now and Demonia never becomes dull, though it could use a shot in the arm from time to time. I think most horror fans will be stifled by the slow pace, but fans of Fulci’s work should check out Demonia, as it has some great visuals, cool scenes of gore, and even some effective atmosphere at times. So if you’re a diehard Fulci fan or just want to see some bloodshed, this disc is more than recommended.
Video: How does it look?
Demonia is presented in a 1.66:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. Aside from the lack of anamorphic enhancement, this transfer leaves room for complaint and the movie looks very good, all things considered. Of course, this was a low budget production with a checkered past, so it doesn’t look pristine, but to expect that is unrealistic, I think. The image is a tad soft and some grain is evident, but the overall presentation is terrific and fans should be pleased. The print is in solid condition, while contrast remains stark enough to convey the film’s dark visuals, even if not as sharp as I would have liked. This could have looked more refined with a 16:9 enhanced transfer, but as far as this material goes, the included treatment is solid, but flawed in several aspects.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included stereo option is good, but keep in mind this is a low budget horror movie, not some action blockbuster. The dialogue is clean throughout, with minimal synch issues, aside from a couple of hilarious scenes. I found no problems with the music or sound effects either, though these elements remain basic, never much more than that. But that’s all this movie needs and as such, I see no reason to raise much of a ruckus.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a text based interview with star Brett Halsey, a talent file on Fulci, and a collection of behind the scenes footage & interviews, titled Fulci Lives.