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A group of tenants and visitors are trapped in a 10-story high-rise apartment building infested with demons who proceed to hunt the dwindling humans down.
For more about Demons 2 and the Demons 2 Blu-ray release, see Demons 2 Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on December 18, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Director: Lamberto Bava
Writers: Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava, Franco Ferrini, Dardano Sacchetti
Starring: David Edwin Knight, Nancy Brilli, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, Bobby Rhodes, Asia Argento, Virginia Bryant
» See full cast & crew
Demons 2 Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, December 18, 2012
Italian director Lamberto Bava's "Demoni 2" a.k.a. "Demons 2" (1986) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Arrow Video. The supplemental features on the disc include an audio commentary with director Lamberto Bava and special effects guru Sergio Stivaletti; featurette with Italian director, writer and producer Luigi Cozzi; and a video interview with special effects artist Sergio Stivaletti. The release also comes with four-option reversible sleeve with original poster and video artwork with additional fifth artwork panel featuring all-new Jeff Zornow artwork; double-sided fold-out poster; collector's booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by Calum Wadell; and more. Region-B "locked".
The sequel to Demons takes place in a luxury high-rise apartment building in the heart of a busy city. During a birthday party, a demon comes out of a TV set and begins biting and killing everything that moves in front of him. Then the victims turn into demons and go after the rest of the building's residents. Even a supposedly nice dog becomes a demon and attacks its owner.
While the demons run up and down the building, we follow a number of different characters. One of them is Hank (Bobby Rhodes, Demons), a tough bodybuilder who tries to organize everyone in the large underground garage and show them how to kill the demons. Then there is the beautiful prostitute Mary (Virginia Bryant, The Barbarians), who has just had a session with an important client. Mary gets struck in the building's elevator together with George (David Edwin Knight), a handsome young professional who is taking care of his pregnant wife, Hannah (Nancy Brilli, Who Wants to Kill Sara?). Later on, George and Hannah become the primary targets for the demons.
The plot is unbelievably chaotic. The camera basically visits different parts of the building where something is happening, or is about to happen. There are some gruesome sequences, but the campy atmosphere from the first film is definitely missing here.
The film's most serious flaw, however, is its inability to inspire us to care about any of its characters. We see them trying to escape the demons but their struggles are limited in short sequences where the focus of attention is typically on a series of special effects, most of which are not that good. By the time we get to know them, they are either killed or simply pushed away because a new character has entered the picture.
The demons are also far from impressive. A few of the ones seen in the first film looked appropriately repulsive, but these guys look ridiculous. The little kid that turns green, in particular, cannot possibly be taken seriously even by the most forgiving horror fans.
The dialog is predictably disappointing - there are endless clichéd exchanges that add very little, if anything, of substance to the chaotic plot. Once again, there is plenty of screaming and growling.
Similar to Demons, Demons 2 is complimented by a top-notch soundtrack. This time around instead of tracks from classic rock and heavy metal bands, the soundtrack features tracks from top dark wave and alternative rock bands. Some of the highlights are "De Profundis" by Dead Can Dance (classic Lisa Gerrard), "Power" by Fields of the Nephilim, "Heartache" by Gene Loves Jezebel, "Backbeat" by The Art of Noise, and "Kundalini Express" by Love and Rockets. The original music for Demons 2 was composed by the great Simon Boswell (Alejandro Jodorowsky's Santa Sangre, Richard Stanley's Hardware, Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave).
Demons 2 was lensed by Gianlorenzo Battaglia (Lamberto Bava's Midnight Killer, Ruggero Deodato's The Barbarians). It was produced by Dario Argento and executive produced by Ferdinando Caputo (Opera).
Note: Asia Argento has a small cameo in Demons 2. This was her first acting role in a feature-length film.
Demons 2 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Lamberto Bava's Demons 2 arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Arrow Video.
Similar to Demons, Demons 2 has been restored from the original camera negative by Cineteca di Bologna. Unfortunately, the presentation is far from impressive. While there are areas of the film where detail and clarity are pleasing (see screencapture #7), many of the darker sequences from inside the high-rise building suffer from various encoding and compression anomalies. As a result, quite often there are obvious image fluctuations that are easy to spot. During select close-ups, for example, tiny blocky patches often pop up (see the lower left end of the girl's face in screencapture #11). Elsewhere, where light is restricted, entire sequences are overwhelmed by various artifacts that seriously compromise detail, clarity, and depth (see screencapture #13). Color reproduction is decent, but the problematic compression also affects color depth and saturation. Again, this becomes very obvious during darker sequences, where the blacks are often destabilized. The relatively good news here is that there are no traces of problematic sharpening corrections. Large debris, damage marks, cuts, or warps are also nowhere to be seen. There are, however, at least four sequences where there is some sort of inherited image instability due to a known camera defect. In a short description provided by Arrow Video in the beginning of the film it is explained that these defects, which are part of the negative, could not be addressed with current digital tools. (One of these defects, which looks a lot like frame overlapping, could be seen in screencapture #18). (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Demons 2 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English LPCM 2.0 and Italian LPCM 2.0. For the record, Arrow Video have provided optional English SDH subtitles with the English track and English subtitles with the Italian track.
Depth and clarity are good. Somewhat predictably, dynamic intensity is rather limited, but there are select sequences where the lossless English track does a good job of opening the film as best as possible (the clash between the demons and the residents in the underground garage is a good example). The music also benefits from the improved fidelity. The dialog is stable, clean, and easy to follow. As it was the case with Demons, some very small inherited sync issues are noticeable.
Demons 2 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Demons 2 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
In the audio commentary offered on this release, director Lamberto Bava mentions that some of the principal actors apparently did not believe in Demons 2. I think that this is something that definitely shows in the film. I must also say that the script for Demons 2 isn't particularly good. There are entire portions of the flim that simply do not work. However, if you've seen and liked Demons, you should probably at least try to rent the sequel as there are still a few memorable sequences. As far as the technical presentation is concerned, Demons 2 definitely does not look as impressive as Demons. RENT IT.
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• Lamberto Bava's Demons and Demons 2 Heading to Blu-ray - October 29, 2011
Independent UK distributors Arrow Video have revealed that they will release on Bu-ray two cult Lamberto Bava films: Dï¿½moni a.k.a Demons (1985), starring Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Karl Zinny, and Fiore Argento, and Dï¿½moni 2: L'incubo ritorna a.k.a Demons ...
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