Shock Value

The old adage about strangers with candy holds true for metal-faced freaks with movie passes. Taking treats from either will end in disaster. And who said horror films can't offer life lessons?

While we can't even begin to describe the résumé of Italian horror great Dario Argento, we'll just say that after we saw Susperia, we were fans. Hell, that classic taught us not to explore the bowels of creepy dancers' boarding schools, as there will probably be a vomitous being and/or a witches' coven there somewhere. And that's good info. So when we got word that Shock Cinema (the brainchild of Dan Karkosa and David Hockin) was screening Argento and Lamberto Bava's 1985 gore-fest Demons, we thought about the metal-faced lesson we learned when we first saw it and decided to just pay our own way in. But then, we're paranoid.

Being fairly certain that the exits to the Angelika won't suddenly cover themselves with cinder blocks à la the movie, we still are fully aware that we're dealing with a film group that prides itself on making the horror movie more of an interactive "experience." So, since most of the movie takes place in a theater containing patrons-cum-demons with a taste for non-demonated humans, we expect (and secretly hope for) some creeped-up-on, girly-scream, piss-your-pants moments off the screen as well as on.

Demons is the kind of horror movie that deserves to shock its viewers--a movie that should not have all the end-of-the-world, pus-filled, flesh-tearing, blood-spurting incidents and bad outfits ruined. That said, we'll just offer these nuggets: Yes, that is Mötley Crüe, Rick Springfield, Goblin and Go West you hear on the soundtrack. Yes, skipping school may literally ruin your life. And, one last thing, if you discover an odd mask at the grave of Nostradamus (or, perhaps, as part of an installation in a theater lobby), do us all a favor and don't put it on. Trust us, that's good info.

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Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin

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