Demons 2 (Italian: Dèmoni 2) is a 1986 Italian horror film directed by Lamberto Bava. It is a sequel to Bava's 1985 film Demons and stars David Knight, Nancy Brilli, Coralina Cataldi Tassoni as well as Argento's youngest daughter, Asia Argento, in her debut film performance at age 10. The demons from the first film invade the real world through a television broadcast, turning the residents of an apartment building into bloodthirsty monsters.
|Directed by||Lamberto Bava|
|Produced by||Dario Argento|
|Music by||Simon Boswell|
|Edited by||Piero Bozza|
|Box office||1,105,944,000 Italian lire|
The film opens as if the events of the first film took place in reality, but this is a film within a film that the various residents of a high-rise apartment building are watching. Its story follows several teens who trespass into a city that was deserted as a result of the outbreak. Finding the lifeless corpse of a demon, one of the teens revives it accidentally by dripping blood from a scratch into its mouth.
In reality, frustrated party girl Sally Day locks herself in her bedroom when her boyfriend does not attend her sixteenth birthday party. As her friends try to persuade her to return to the party, she watches part of the film on television. Suddenly, the demon notices her, climbs through the television and attacks her. Sally is transformed into a demon and attacks her friends, turning all but two of them into vile, bloodthirsty monsters.
The creatures' bile seeps through the building, burning through the ceiling and into other apartments and shorting out the electrical system. In one apartment, a dog licks up the bile and transforms into a vicious beast that attacks and kills its owner. In another apartment, a young boy left alone by his parents avoids Sally and her rampaging demon friends, but is ultimately poisoned by the bile and becomes a monster. The demon boy attacks Hannah, a pregnant woman waiting for her husband to come home. She kills the demon boy, but a flying demon bursts out of his body to further terrorize her. Her husband, George, has been trapped in the elevator with another woman. As they escape through a service hatch, a demon (formerly a police officer who tried to help them to get out, before being brutally scratched in the face by Sally) bursts through the elevator door and infects the woman. She in turn attacks George, but he kills her as both climb the elevator's hatch, kicking her all the way down the ceiling, before entering his and Hannah's apartment in time to kill the flying demon with an umbrella.
Meanwhile, a group of bodybuilders led by gym instructor Hank, have barricaded themselves in the underground car park, along with a group of tenants. Unable to break down the garage doors, they stand their ground and defend themselves with shotguns and makeshift weapons, such as Molotov cocktails. The demons eventually force their way in. Although they heavily outnumber the demons, the uninfected are relatively easily defeated and are either turned into demons themselves or killed.
The infected start making their way back up the building. George causes a leak in the gas pipes that kills all the infected except Sally in an explosion. Hannah and George search for a way out and go into Sally's apartment, finding the two hidden partygoers. The group make their way to the roof but are stopped by Sally. She infects the two partygoers, but George dispatches them. George and Hannah lower themselves to the roof of an adjacent building, fighting Sally as they go. Inside the neighboring building, Hannah gives birth to the couple's child. George defeats the resilient Sally in mortal combat, and he and Hannah exit with their newborn child.
After the financial success of Demons in Italy, a sequel began development. The script for the film took several months to develop and according to director Lamberto Bava, Sergio Stivaletti took part in some script writing sessions. Demons 2 began shooting on May 19, 1986 just seven months after the release of the first film. The film was filmed on location in Hamburg and at De Paolis In.Ci.R. Studios in Rome.
According to Bava, Argento did not interfere in his shooting, stating that "Dario, like few people, is one of those who persuades you to give your best .... and I must say that at the same time he fully respected my role as the director." Argento did visit the set of the film regularly but never gave direction on the film.
For the sequel, Boswell chose to use British new wave bands such as The Smiths, The Cult, Dead Can Dance, and the Art of Noise on the soundtrack as opposed to the heavy metal of the original film. Songs featured in the film are:
- "Panic" by The Smiths
- "Heartache" by Gene Loves Jezebel
- "(Here Comes The) Rain" and "Rain" by The Cult
- "Power" by Fields of the Nephilim
- "Backbeat" by Art of Noise
- "Blue Heart" by Peter Murphy
- "De Profundis" by Dead Can Dance
- "Kundalini Express" by Love and Rockets
- "How It Shone" by Pierce Turner
- "Blood and Flame" by Caduta Massi
- "Live in TV" by The Producers
Demons 2 was distributed theatrically in Italy by Titanus on 9 October 1986. The film grossed a total of 1,105,944,000 Italian lire in Italy. The film was released in the United States on 13 February 1987 and in the United Kingdom on 18 September 1987 in the United Kingdom. It was released in West Germany on 9 July 1987 as Dance of the Demons 2/Damonen.
In an interview conducted on January 22, 1988, directors Bava and Argento were discussing a follow-up to Demons 2 stating that they were working on a follow-up film, with Argento stating it would not be called Demons 3, but potentially Ritorno alla casa dei demoni (transl. Return to the House of the Demons). The third Demons film had a story developed by Franco Ferrini and Dardano Sacchetti which involved an airplane that had to make an emergency landing where it finds itself on an island with a volcano, stranding the passengers. Sacchetti explained that the situation was for them to arrive in a "weird hell" and compared the film to Alien, but with the isolated place being an airplane opposed to a spaceship and the demons replacing the aliens. After developing several drafts, the writers abandoned the story with Sacchetti stating that they had trouble creating a story set in an isolated area of the airplane. The screenwriters eventually developed a new screenplay set in a church which acted as a passage into hell which was developed into the film The Church without Bava.
Demons 2 has an approval rating of 60% on film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on ten reviews. AllMovie's review was negative, writing, "putting aside the simplistic plot, lousy dialogue and atrocious acting, Demons 2 is watchable for one reason: the bloody mechanical and makeup effects by Sergio Stivaletti." Reviewing the film on Blu-ray, Budd Wilkins of Slant Magazine rated it 3/5 stars and wrote that it "trades in its predecessor's penchant for wall-to-wall gore in favor of surreal shocks and quasi-Cronenbergian craziness". Writing in a retrospective for Dread Central, Matt Serafini called it "much more a mixed bag than its predecessor" but questioned why it never led to a series. Serafini suggested a new generation of Italian filmmakers continue the series, including the practical effects and new wave music of Demons 2.
- Curti 2019, p. 139.
- Curti 2019, p. 140.
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- Legare, Patrick. "Demons 2 (1986)". AllMovie. Archived from the original on 30 August 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
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- Legare, Patrick. "Demons 2 (1986) - Review - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- Wilkins, Budd (9 November 2014). "Demons 2". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- Serafini, Matt (11 August 2012). "Saturday Nightmares: Why Didn't Demons 2 Lead To A Franchise?". Dread Central. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- Curti, Roberto (2019). Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989. McFarland. ISBN 1476672431.