Italian cash-in sequel Demons 2 and Austrailan splatter comedy Body Melt make up Zombie Club's 'Melt Night'. Fingers were crossed that Demons 2 would be an enjoyable and gory Italian romp.
Body Melt was distantly-remembered as a wacky Australian gem, along the lines of Bad Taste and Braindead. Melt on....
Demons 2 (1986)
Plot In a documentary on TV, a bunch of teenagers explore 'The Forbidden Zone', whilst in an apartment block in the 'real world', a group of party-goers are getting ready for a girl's birthday.
One of the girls in the apartment block is watching the TV as the documentary crew accidentally revive a corpse and are attacked. The Demon (pre-dating Ring!) then somehow makes its way through the TV into reality, and kills the birthday girl turning her into a demon.
Annoying birthday girl (all big teeth and oozing slime) then goes on a killing spree, infecting everyone in the building, which is now locked... with no way out!
Rawshark I've gotta admit, expectations were reasonably high for this one. Sure, I wasn't expecting Shakespeare, but with Argento's name attached (as producer), crazy plot devices and the promise of some mindless demon-violence, all the basic ingredients were there for a good fast-food takeaway of a movie.
The opening bodes well, some nice camera shots, and hilarious 80s fashion styling add to the enjoyment as the documentary crew stumble around the ‘Forbidden Zone’ searching for Demons. Obviously they find one who then reanimates and then attacks them (as they furiously run past the same set three times in their attempt to get away!!)
The way the Demon then infiltrates the ‘real world’ is a nice original touch, but from here on in there’s not much to write home about. Body-builders, locked doors, lots of running and screaming and dripping acid, a demon dog, some more running and shouting, a screwed-up demon kid, more gore, some more demons, oh, and a ‘meaningful’ ending. Is it over yet?
Zomblee Stanley Kubrick never really had anything to worry about when this turkey came out. About ten minutes into this 'film', the bottle of wine I had opened during the opening titles had to be attacked with a vengeance in order to get me through the rest of it without either reaching for the razor blade or throwing myself out of my balcony.
Bad films can be much more tolerable for me when they're from another era, say 50's, 60's, or 70's, but when we get into the 80's there's a certain feeling of nausea that starts to occur. It could well be the combination of inept film-making with the 1980's aesthetic - music, clothes, hair, the works. I decided that I would take a back seat in the critical process for this particular bad example of craftmanship and drink my way to the next film of the night... Body Melt.
Jim I too was disappointed in this baby. In fact, it's no wonder it was being sold off on ebay for a fiver in it's 'uncut and restored' format.
Rawshark hit the nail on the head with the comments on the 80s dodgyness as I'll never understand how any woman could ever have thought she looked good in shoulder pads, not to mention the shower curtain ear ring thing. And the 80s trick of blasting funky coloured lighting in from the next room is pretty cool at the start but it becomes a little tiresome after a full on 90 minutes. The demons clawing their way through the TV did make us all sit up and take note, but that's about the only good bit we all agreed on.
The body-builders fighting the demons in the car park had us all crying with laughter (especially the bulbous black guy with the pink leotard), as are all the sequences when the glowy-eyed demons get too close to the camera and we see they're just dudes wearing glasses with little lights on them (like that guy in Orbital), but it's just not enough to recommend this turgid piece of film making.
Zomblee summed it up as he hit the end of the bottle of his red wine...
Director Lamberto Bava
Cast David Edwin Knight
Coralina Cataldi Tassoni
Runtime 88 mins
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Body Melt (1993)
Plot Residents in Homesville (Australia) are unwittingly used as test subjects for a new 'Body Drug'. Unfortunately, side-effects of said drug are:
2. Organ Failure and
Zomblee 1. Hallucinations
If you want to see a really curious and strange film, they come much worse than this. After Demons 2, this was a holy blessing and the contrast (while Body Melt is not the best-made film you will ever see) made this film look like The Shining.
Reasons to watch: Harold Bishop (from Neighbours) is in it. Also, there are body builders with squeaky voices that will make you laugh out loud (esp. after adequate alcohol consumption!).
This movie gets REALLY bizarre after a while and you won’t be able to stop watching it. When it gets to the scenes with the hick family, you will notice echoes of the most influential The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s funny. It’s different. Its truly outlandish stuff.
Jim 2. Organ Failure
Zomblee's right, this one was a million miles from the sheer folly that was Demons 2, but I don't know how he remembers since our big rockin' zombie friend was remarkably wasted by this time of the evening. Hearing Harold Bishop say the 'F' word was pretty cool, as was seeing that little shit who played Toby get wasted (did he - or did I just wish it so hard that I'm convinced it actually happened?), but the freako outback leatherface-wannabe family really took the biscuit. I've seen a lot of weird shit in my time, believe you and me, but very little weirder than that.
The special effects are fantastic, and the over pumped body-builders have the campest Ozzie accents I've heard since the legless mechanic in Mad Max 2, and as such this oddity makes wicked beer and pizza viewing.
Exactly the kind of freaky shit that zombie club's all about.
Rawshark 3, Aaarrrgghhh!
Oh yeah, this is better... Take top Australian Soap actors, mix in a gore-packed script and wacky humour (two kids at one point kill a kangaroo from a 1000 yards away by chucking a rock at it, and then eat it's adrenal gland!!), and you've got my kind of 'B' movie.
There are many great death scenes (yes, Jim, Toby did die in a bizarre skateboarding accident!), one woman's tongue swells up in her mouth, and another woman gives birth to a mutant baby that then crawls around the room like a face-hugger from Alien.
The whole isn't quite as good as the sum of is parts (it's certainly no Peter Jackson gore-fest, and probably slightly behind Street Trash in the melt-movie stakes), but when you've got helium-voiced bodybuilders, a hick family (including the 'Big Chin Girl') and a twisted Australian humour, you can't go too far wrong.
And Russ didn't shout out "It's Shit!" at all.
Director Philip Brophy
Cast Gerard Kennedy
Runtime 81 mins
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Luckily then, we got the crap out of the way first with Demons 2, which was universally disliked, although it did give us plenty of opportunity to shout abuse at the screen. Only recommended if you really really really enjoyed the original, and even then you'll be disappointed.
Body Melt was a different kettle of fish altogether. By this time, we were all somewhat inebriated (the perfect viewing state), and found Body Melt to have enough going for it to be thoroughly entertaining in a 'mate's around, beer and pizzas on the table' kind of way. Not the greatest Oz splatfest ever made, but certainly enough bad taste in the film to consign it to cult favourite.
Stay tuned for the next Zombie Club - John Carpenter Night - coming soon.