Jan 23, 2020


I have to wonder why films like Night of the Demons and House are so celebrated, but meanwhile, Demon Wind has remained so obscure. Every bit as silly, gory, teen-douched, and well-intended as those other titles, it should have been destined for the same kind of infamy and video store-stoked adoration. It scratched that VHS-era itch with all the usual stalwarts one would come to expect from the genre: ghastly effects, over-the-top gore, hapless teens in peril, a dash of nudity, and skeletons.

For fans with a love for Night of the Demons or Demons/Demons 2, Demon Wind could be the newest love of your life, thanks to its practical effects, rubber and foam monsters, and lots and lots of blood and goo.

Demon Wind is made with the same kind of authenticity as the original Evil Dead while also borrowing a little of its aesthetic. (And plot.) (And tone.) (And look.) To call it a bold-faced ripoff might be taking things a bit far, but I’d feel pretty confident in saying that Demon Wind probably wouldn’t exist without The Evil Dead. It balances the horror and the drama in the same way, striving to concoct legitimately eerie imagery without the foresight to know that while the filmmakers were hoping to create things from your deepest, darkest nightmares, they were instead creating something that’s going to look just a touch silly.

You pretty much know the caliber of acting you’re going to get with a production of this size (read: not big) and the sub-genre in which Demon Wind exists (read: rubber monsters), but again, this only adds to the flavor of the film’s overall experience. Your lead hero, Cory (Eric Larson), looks uncannily like Emilio Estevez and coincidentally brings about the same kind of sincerity, even doing better here than Bruce Campbell did during his own maiden descent into demonic territory. Everyone after that exists on a sliding scale, with some performances ranking very below average.

Amusingly, Demon Wind just keeps introducing teen characters to the conflict, and after having digested enough of these kinds of films from this era, you can’t help but smile because you know every single one of these kids are going to die gloriously. Even as Demon Wind begins to run out of demon fodder halfway through, it introduces two more characters who were “late” following Cory’s initial invitation and who don’t last for too long once they get out of the car. (Also look for an early-career appearance from Lou Diamond Phillips as one of the many demons.)

If you’re the kind of person who used to wander up and down the horror aisle of the video store during the golden VHS era but Demon Wind has somehow evaded you all these years (as it did me), rectify that. It’s the kind of silly but imaginative (and gory) horror flick you would have stayed up late to watch with friends once your parents had gone to bed. One could never reasonably call Demon Wind good but it is fun, and when you’re dealing with a horde of zombies and animated cow skulls and succubi that leave nothing to the imagination, that’s all you could ever ask for.

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