Saturday, November 10, 2007

Black Demons

Here it is, the last of the demons box set, and the only halfway decent one of the lot. As mentioned before, it is the third (and hopefully final) Italian horror movie to wield the name Demons 3, although instead of any actual demons, it just uses zombies. It’s also the only one in this box set that’s not actually set in Italy, but in Brazil, so we can have the added fun of them being vengeful murdered slaves.

The film involves a group of vacationers who manage to worm their way into a plantation owned by a hateful, awful Frenchman and his voodoo maid. Before long, six zombies, all with nooses around their necks, start killing everyone as revenge for having been executed 100 years before. There’s a few twists and turns, but that’s really all the setup you need here, so let’s look at where the film succeeds (or at least works better than the other two films in this set). The most immediately obvious change is in how the villain isn’t just some ridiculous crazy nun or some monster in a puffy shirt, but is instead a gang of pretty nasty looking Italian-style zombies. Not only do they get a good deal more action in than the villains in the other two films, but since their leader lost an eye before being hanged, he takes great relish in first using a sickle to gouge out his victim’s eye before the requisite murder. So that’s nice.

Another nice bit is in just how goofy the film is at times. At one point, the pure survivor girl gets menaced by a zombie in the woods, then runs what seems like a whole ten feet before falling to her knees sobbing, now that she has safely gotten away. I at first thought that she was just meekly accepting her fate like a lot of bad horror characters do, but no. Apparently the zombie just couldn’t be bothered.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a bad movie as well. It’s just that, after the atrocious two other movies in this box set, a halfway decent effort like this felt like goddamn Citizen Kane. If you happen to find this on the shelf at Blockbuster, and you’re jonesing for a more obscure Italian zombie movie (and let’s face it, if you’re reading this blog, odds are good that you get that craving at least occasionally), you could do a good deal worse than this one. Believe me, I know.

Rating: **

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