Euro Cult Movie Forum => Horror => Topic started by: ecc on 25 Dec 2008 - 01:58

Title: Demonia (Lucio Fulci, 1990)
Post by: ecc on 25 Dec 2008 - 01:58
In 1486, five nuns are crucified in the catacombs of a Sicilian convent.  504 years later (I wonder if this was meant to be shot in 1986), archaeologist Liza (Meg Register) has a vision of the deaths during a seance.  She is warned away from such activities by mentor Paul (Brett Halsey in one of a series of late Italian horror entries for Lucio Fulci) as they take off to Sicily for some archaeological excavation but Liza's visions lead her to the convent where she discovers the bricked up chamber where the mummified nuns corpses are still crucified.  Soon gory, seemingly supernaturally-induced deaths start to whittle away the archaeological team and the suspicious Sicilian locals are ready to turn into a torch-wielding mob again.

DEMONIA is pretty bad.  The would-be atmospheric story is less than half-baked; as if they just tacked on the Satanic nuns onto a group of characters getting picked off in gory fashions template.  Although Ettore Spagnuolo had produced the Fulci-scripted, reasonably stylish LA GABBIA before this, DEMONIA looks cheap all the way through.  Luigi Ciccarese's cinematography is plagued by soft focus filters and bears none of the atmosphere of Sergio Salvati's earlier work for Fulci (Ciccarese also shot Fulci's AENIGMA in a similarly gauzy manner not helped by the PAL-NTSC transfers of both films that I saw).  Giovanni Cristiani's score is interesting but let down by the synthesized instrumentation which would have sounded richer with actual instruments (the entire score was included on the CD Lucio Fulci's Horror and Thriller from Beat Records).  Make-up effects are gory but not comparable to Giannetto de Rossi's work (some of the less than convincing effects can be seen being prepared in Fulci's CAT IN THE BRAIN also starring Halsey).  Most of the sets must be real given the budget and the underground chamber is atmospheric even if the Satanic symbols look more like griffiti.  The rest of the interiors are cramped (though the convent interior in which a covered orgy flashback takes place is a white-walled room with some mattresses spread out on the floor).  Fulci veterans are underused: Al Cliver gets killed very early on, Carla Cassola's (from HOUSE OF CLOCKS) psychic compares poorly to such figures in earlier Fulci films, Paola Cozza (DEMONS and CAT IN THE BRAIN) is underused as a flashback nun.  Lino Salemme (SWEET HOUSE OF HORRORS, DEMONS) gets a bit more to do as the town butcher.

Shriek Show's DVD was a very early release for them and the first DVD release of the film.  Its a non-anamorphic PAL-NTSC transfer with ghosting and artefacting.  The "Scream Access" extras take you to the gory highlights but do not return to the menu afterwards, instead the film continues after the chosen sequence which was probably an issue with early authoring equipment since the sequences are picked out of the main titleset themselves rather than individual video files.  A text interview with Halsey is included as is camcorder footage of Fulci and crew at work on one of the make-up effects.
Title: Re: Demonia (Lucio Fulci, 1990)
Post by: crystal eye on 15 Jan 2009 - 22:23
I have the Italian dvd of DEMONIA. The picture quality is very good and their is the option of Italian or English lang. Not esential viewing but for Fulci fanatics like myself I'm glad that I have it. Their is enough weird imagery to keep interest. A woman getting atacked by her own cats and having her eyeball clawed out was fun, and the flash back to nuns and their killing of the baby was sprety horrific. The dreamy blue lit atmosphere of some of the outdoor Sicilian locations adds that unique Euro feel. Not a classic but better than expected.
Title: Re: Demonia (Lucio Fulci, 1990)
Post by: bdc on 27 Mar 2009 - 16:11
I don't think too highly of this one...but:
The scenes around the campfire and the little kid who's always getting dirty ("You got a secet stash of dirt?") are hilarious. ::)
If I remember correctly my Italian dvd has forced Italian subs on the English track.