DEMONS 1 and 2 BLY RAY ARROW SPECIAL EDITION UHD REVIEW

The Screen is the enemy. The cinema screen and then the Television screen. That was the prevailing idea in the middle of the 1970s and into the 1980s. Thanks to films like A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, THE DEVILS and THE EXORCIST at the start of the decade, upset and disrupted the conservative tastes. Then the release of VHS in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, with films like CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, TENEBRAE and ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS, it created the infamous ‘Video Nasties’ List. A catalogue of scum and villainy in the eyes of the censor and the mumbling classes. Often used to blame for all of societies ills, yet not mentioning the reduction in taxation and the cutting of the social structures that could support better, the general public. Film companies also forgot to reflect on the apparent issues of access to the new medium and  DEMONS and its sequel, DEMONS II, became the go to films for the film industry response to these thoughts. To put it directly, fuck you censor.

DEMONS and DEMONS II is set in a cinema and sees the cast recieve a Willy Wonka like ticket to ride the new cinema sensation. Then all hell breaks loose, literally. They are in effect, demon possession of an audience watching a horror film. Then said audience infecting everyone and anyone via vomit (funnily enough, cut but the censor). This leads to death, blood, more vomit, splatter, a mask and a strange (dream featuring for me) scene with the image next to this. Simple as this sounds, there is more than that going on but I want to get to the discs because that is why we are here!

DEMONS 

DISC : The better of the two films. The disc has two version of the film, I prefer the US version as its tighter. The 4K on the US version is stunning. Taken as it was from the negative, the only remake is that the colour has a shine that is only slightly unnatural.

EXTRAS: Kat Ellinger and Heather Drain commentary adds a lot to the above (as well as sex and the body corruption of self). Nice as it is, they aren’t as interesting as they or Lamberto Bava and special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivalett is for me. Little new is then on offer after this and if you have the old disc, a lot of this, is there. However, Michael Mackenzie exploring Argento is amazing and worth the disc price alone. He is a well regarded writer and film extra producer. This is among his best work by far.

DEMONS II

DISC : I dont like Demons 2. Its slow and its dull. The 4K makes it look beautiful. Clean and contours that are warm and feel. Odd but true. The light and dark on DVD was awful. Draining the image and making it not clear and compromising clarity for haze.

EXTRAS: Critic Travis Crawford piece is the top of the list. Funny, made the film run less jarringly, acknowledges Bava as a better director than given credit. Crawford is a solid film writer and his work here is excellent. Alexandra Heller-Nicholas essay is also amazing. It is pointed and covers both films in use of space and technology. The funniest thing is that for a film like DEMONS 2 getting two superb features, shows maybe bad films get great extras and the reverse is true.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

•        Brand new 4K restoration of both films by Arrow Films from the original camera negatives
•        4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray™ presentations of both films in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
•        Limited edition packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais
•        Limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Roberto Curti, Rachael Nisbet and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
•        Double-sided fold-out poster
•        Exclusive mystery sneak preview movie ticket (admits one to the Metropol Theatre)

DISC 1 (4K ULTRA-HD BLU-RAY) – DEMONS

•        Two versions of the film: the full-length original cut in Italian and English, and the slightly trimmed US cut, featuring alternate dubbing and sound effects
•        Brand new lossless English and Italian 5.1 audio tracks on the original cut
•        Original lossless English and Italian 2.0 stereo audio tracks on the original cut
•        Original lossless English 1.0 mono audio track on the US cut
•        Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
•        Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for both English soundtracks
•        New audio commentary by critics Kat Ellinger and Heather Drain, co-hosts of the Hell’s Bells podcast
•        Archival audio commentary by director Lamberto Bava and special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti, moderated by journalist Loris Curci
•        Archival audio commentary by Lamberto Bava, Sergio Stivaletti, composer Claudio Simonetti and actress Geretta Geretta
•        Produced by Dario Argento, a new visual essay by author and critic Michael Mackenzie exploring the legendary filmmaker’s career as a producer
•        Dario’s Demon Days, an archival interview with writer/producer Dario Argento
•        Defining an Era in Music, an archival interview with Claudio Simonetti
•        Splatter Spaghetti Style, an archival interview with long-time Argento collaborator Luigi Cozzi
•        Italian theatrical trailer
•        International English theatrical trailer
•        US theatrical trailer

DISC 2 (4K ULTRA-HD BLU-RAY) – DEMONS 2

•        Brand new lossless English and Italian 5.1 audio tracks
•        Original lossless English and Italian 2.0 stereo audio tracks
•        Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
•        Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
•        New audio commentary by critic Travis Crawford
•        Archival audio commentary by director Lamberto Bava and special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti, moderated by journalist Loris Curci
•        Together and Apart, a new visual essay on space and technology in Demons and Demons 2 by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
•        Creating Creature Carnage, an archival interview with Sergio Stivaletti
•        Bava to Bava, an archival interview with Luigi Cozzi on the history of Italian horror
•        Italian theatrical trailer
•        English theatrical trailer”

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.