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Night Of The Demon (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Night Of The Demon (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review



    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: November 26th, 2021.
    Director: James C. Wasson
    Cast: Eugene Dow, Joy Allen, Don Hurst, Bob Collins, Terry Wilson, Jody Lazarus
    Year: 1980
    Purchase From Severin Films

    Night Of The Demon – Movie Review:

    When James. C Wasson's infamous 1980 film Night Of The Demon opens, we meet Professor Nugent (Michael Cutt), who is lying in a hospital bed, his face wrapped in bandages. From here, we flash back a bit and meet Carla Thomas (Shannon Cooper), her father recently killed while out fishing in the woods. She shows Nugent a picture of a massive footprint that the cops found while investigating her father's demise, knowing that he's a bit of a Bigfoot expert.

    One thing leads to another and soon enough, Carla is accompanying Nugent and a few of his students - Roy (Bob Collins), Pete, Gary and Linda (Jody Lazarus) - into the woods where the creature is believed to be hanging out. Along the way, they meet up with a hunter named Lou (Phillip Boyd), who has told Nugent in the past that he's seen the creature out in the woods. As they go about their investigation, they learn of some weird religious fanatics also living in the woods that may or may not actually worship Bigfoot after he impregnated a woman named Wanda (Melanie Graham), and eventually some poor bastard gets his dong ripped off.

    As ridiculously entertaining as it is just plain ridiculous, Night Of The Demon doesn’t always make a whole lot of sense but that never stops it from holding our attention from start to finish. Bigfoot looks fairly insane here, not quite the traditional monster we’d expect to see, and on top of that he isn’t above using weapons to do away with various members of the good professor’s crew. You’d think once they got into the thick of it and once all of this ominous stuff started happening that they’d split, but nope, what’d be the fun in that?

    Either way, as silly as it all is, Night Of The Demon has some pretty solid gore set pieces. Filming some of the material from the point of view of Bigfoot itself is a neat idea, the movie using a red tint around the sides of the frame to make these segments stand out a bit and… maybe to let us feel Bigfoot’s rage? Maybe that’s a stretch. The performances are fine, never amazing but completely appropriate for a killer Bigfoot/wacky cult movie. They all work well enough. The movie never manages to generate much suspense but it throws in enough what-the-fuckery to result in a highly watchable slice of B-movie bliss.

    Night Of The Demon – Blu-ray Review:

    Severin Films brings Night Of The Demon to Blu-ray in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.85.1 widescreen taken from a new 2k scan of the of a 35mm answer print. This leaves past editions in the dust, with much better depth, detail and texture, strong colors and better black levels. Compression is never really an issue here and the transfer always looks nice and filmic, with no noticeable noise reduction or edge enhancement.

    The English language DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track sounds just fine, it’s properly balanced and free of any real hiss or distortion. The score and effects sound pretty good here as well. Optional subtitles are provided in English SDH only.

    Extras are spread across the two discs in this set as follows:

    Disc 1:

    Just A Little Green Kid Outta Waco, Texas is a twenty-two minute interview with producer Jim L. Ball that starts with some thoughts on the feature's most notorious scene before then going over how as kid his love of music got him into the media business and then to a job working at AIP. He also goes over a film he made while in college called Fraternity Of Horror and goes into quite a bit of detail about his role in getting Night Of The Demon made.

    The Demon Made Me Do It is a twenty-six minute interview with director James C. Wasson who speaks about what his original intentions were for the film and how they didn't quite turn up in the final version, how he got his start in the music industry before getting into film and then eventually landing the directing gig on this picture. He shares some stories from the set and talks about the film's cult legacy.

    Cinematographer John Quick is up next in the twenty-one minute Eye Of The Demon. In this interview, he talks about how he first worked with Ball on that film they made in college, getting to work on Night Of The Demon, collaborating with the cast and crew, the challenges on set and the trickiness of getting those Bigfoot POV shots down.

    Fraternity Of Horror itself is also included on this disc. Running sixty-eight minutes and presented from what looks like an old tape master, the presentation is less than ideal but it's very cool to see it at all, so we won't harp on that. The story isn't too complicated, introducing us to a few frat boys and their respective others as they're coerced into going through some initiation rites, quickly turning into a pretty fun creature feature. The production values aren't exactly slick but they're polished enough, it's a pretty entertaining way to kill an hour or so.

    Finishing up disc one is a trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection options.

    Disc 2:

    Extras on disc two start off with Cryptid Currency: Transgression Aggression In Bigfoot Cinema, a video essay by David Coleman, the author of The Bigfoot Filmography. This piece spends eighteen minutes going over the Bigfoot moive phenomena, comparing Night Of The Demon to some other entries and exploring some of the themes and concepts that tend to recur throughout the different entries.

    Tales From The Cryptid interviews Stephen R. Bissette, co-author of Cryptid Cinema (and comic book artist legend!) in a piece that runs thirty-seven minutes. He goes over his own personal fascination with cryptozoology and how it has influenced his work over the years. He also goes over plenty of the better known films in the killer Bigfoot subgenre and offers up his thoughts on them.

    Deconstructing Patty interview William Munns, the author Of When Roger Met Patty, in a twenty-three minute segment that goes over some of the more infamous and recognizable Bigfoot photos that have been taken over the years.

    Up next is Mondo Bigfoot an interview with Lyle Blackburn, the author of Boggy Creek Casebook. This piece runs twenty-seven minutes and he goes over some Bigfoot footage and then discusses a few creature features inspired by it.

    Ban The Sadist Videos, a two-part feature length documentary about the UK’s Video Nasties craze. This piece runs ninety-two minutes features interviews with former British Video Association Director-General Norman Abbott, video wholesaler Barry Gold, Star Video proprietor Bill Best, Replay Video operator S.R. Doshi, The Home Office's David Mellor, BBFC Secretary James Ferman, Atlantis Video's Mo Claridge, Palace Video's Stephen Woolley, Wynd-Up Video's Bob Lewis, MP Austin Mitchell and plenty more people who were there and who were involved in all of this. It's a great piece that goes over the issues that the censors were dealing with, the influence of Mary Whitehouse, the state of the home video market in the UK and lots, lots more. If this were only archival clips of video stores and rad cover art it'd still be worth watching, and there is a lot of that here, but the interviews are genuinely fascinating and do a great job of covering the whole video nasties craze.

    My Nasty Memories is a featurette with Severin Films’ David Gregory about Video Nasties. This piece runs thirty-three minutes and in it, Gregory talks about growing up in the UK with only three television channels, the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana led to a lot of people buying VCRs, his own experiences going to video stores as a kid, how many of the labels that dealt with low budget genre pictures marketed them in the UK and used sensational cover art to do so, Mary Whitehouse's role in getting the home video market 'cleaned up,' how politicians used Video Nasties as a scapegoat to take away from the civil unrest in the county, memories of seeing specific films on the Video Nasties list, how and why some specific films wound up on the banned list even if they didn't really deserve to be, how at the time every film in the UK legally needed a BBFC rating, the bootleg market that arose out of this, how some films remain illegal to own in the UK in their uncut versions and his own experiences trying to get films passed for the home video market in the UK.

    Night Of The Demon – The Final Word:

    Night Of The Demon is a blast, a highly entertaining mish mash of ideas, weird monster action and just general random nonsense. Severin’s two-disc set is a really solid release, offering a pretty massive upgrade in quality over what we’ve had before and with loads of quality extra features as well. Highly recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized The Night Of The Demon Blu-ray screen caps!








































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