Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In short: Night of the Demons 2 (1994)

Melissa aka Mouse (Merle Kennedy), the sister of Night of the Demons' Angela (Amelia Kinkade) has been an orphan ever since her supposedly dead, demon-possessed sister send her parents a Halloween card so unpleasant it drove them to suicide. While Angela haunts the Hull House where she died, killing off wandering evangelicals when she's lucky to have them, Melissa is living an unhappy life in a Catholic school for boys and girls (gasp), where she is the emotional punching bag of some of her peers, especially the extra-bitchy Shirley (Zoe Trilling).

On the day of the school's annual Halloween dance (can these people really be Catholic?) Shirley and some of her friends - among them the semi-good girl Bibi (Cristi Harris) - are grounded for a bit of youthful wrestling (cough) she attempted with one of the jockier members of the student body. Shirley, being the bad girl of the piece, has different plans than just staying at home while the rest of the school is having fun, so she and a couple of her punk friends from outside the school decide on a secret Halloween party right at Hull House. Because she is a really nasty piece of work, she involves her friends and Melissa in the party too.

Who'd have thought that's not a very good idea, and that there are soon demons at the nunnery?

I've never enjoyed the classic 80s cheese horror predecessor of this film as much as many of my horror-loving peers do, this belated sequel on the other hand I adore with the fiery passion a dozen cute kittens feel for a ball of yarn. Australian exploitation veteran and sometimes exploitation genius Brian Trenchard-Smith dials up the cheese factor even further, giving a boy all the nudity, the sex gone horribly wrong, the imaginative ickiness, the impractical boss monster and the demon killing nuns he could ask for. If a nun using a ruler for the LORD, holy water super soakers, possessed dancing to Morbid Angel, and lots of other bloody-minded silliness of this type don't sound like fun, I don't know what is. Despite a script that includes a bit too much back and forth for the characters between the school and Hull House, Trenchard-Smith still manages to give his film a pacy feel, probably because he does avoid the dull moments the film's rather long-winded structure could provoke. There is - in the best exploitation manner - always something bizarre, something bloody, or something naked on screen to distract the audience from too much running and driving around.

If I were of a mind to, I probably could build up Night of the Demons 2 as an especially conservative example of the horror film, what with its most competent hero being a frightfully conservative nun (played by Jennifer Rhodes), the liberal priest getting demonized, and healthy sexual behaviour treated as devil's work, but that would mean taking a film featuring scenes of head football, head basketball and a demonic lipstick (yes, it's that lipstick, fans of part one) who must have watched a bit too much Japanese tentacle porn more seriously than any sane person should.

I was way too distracted by giggling and grinning while watching Night of the Demons 2 to get into that particular state of mind.

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