Written and Directed by: Charles Philip Moore
Starring: Eric Larson, Francine Lapensée and Rufus Norris
Reviewed by: Josh G.
“Just who owns the farm, Mister?”
I have a wonderful history with the demonic possession film known as Demon Wind. It all started in the month of May at the age of sixteen, when searching through a flee market, I stumbled upon a glorious desk filled from left to right with video tapes – loads of them! The elderly lady did not know of the treasure she had brought with her that day. Many crime thrillers, a few sex comedies, and of course, horror films! There wasn’t much of a specific genre, but there was enough to satisfy my needs. At the time, I was solely interested in slashers; nothing else. This would be a mistake that I’d regret for a long time coming. I picked up both Silent Madness and Too Scared to Scream. “You like the scary ones, do ya?” the lady asks. Though I felt like saying that horror films don’t scare me, I just nodded. I was getting three tapes for five bucks after all. Then I came upon three more films. I should have bought all three, but at the time, I didn’t know any better. Witchcraft 2, a Charter video tape of Hatchet for the Honeymoon (replacing ‘the’ with ‘a’) and a stylish cover of a Prism/Paramount tape for Demon Wind. Mistaking Hatchet for the Honeymoon for Honeymoon Horror, I took that, not realizing Demon Wind was a lost goldmine of cheese. Thankfully, I now own another tape of the mentioned mozza madness, and life can go on as usual.
After a trailer for the fun-looking vampire movie, Red Blooded American Girl, the film introduces us to 1931. A body is being burned on a cross, and an older woman, Regina (Stella Kastner) at a farm is attempting to block a door, from where beyond, demons try to enter. Her husband George (Axel Toowey) turns into a demon instead, and he kills her. Approximately sixty years later, Cory (Eric Larson), the old woman’s grandchild, and Elaine (Francine Lapensée), his girlfriend, drive up to the abandoned farm. They are accompanied by friends; Dell (Bobby Johnston), Terri (Lynn Clark), Bonnie (Sherry Bendorf of 1987's Slaughterhouse), Jack (Mark David Fritsche), Chuck (Stephen Quadros) and Stacy (Jack Vogel) have all joined Cory in his quest to figure out what happened to his grandparents. Supernatural forces soon make themselves known, and as the group tries to escape the evil farm, they find that leaving is of no use with the fog surrounding them. It’s an air that brings them back to the farm every time they try to leave; something only known as a demon wind.
I was warned. I was told that this was really cheesy, but I did not expect it. The writing makes the characters appear ditsy or cardboard, but on the bright side, they are generally all likable. Dell is the exception. He’s cocky, a tough guy, and rough when it comes to verbal communication. “You didn’t tell me that.” says Elaine after Cory explains to his friends that his father slit his wrists shortly after Cory finally met him. “I know,” replies Cory. Followed by a quick realization in Elaine’s eyes, she calmly looks beneath her. Jack, although present during the demonic events, will ask, “Cory, now what happened?” It’s not hard to believe that this film was also written by the director. Time also changes from what we at first learned in the opening. The owner of a gas station, whose acting is nothing to be proud of, tells the group of friends that, in the drought of 1929, the family who lived in the farm all died, and he was there to witness the bloodshed. Funny how 1931 suddenly switches two years, isn’t it?
Stacy and Chuck are two guys planning to travel all around the world, performing their magic tricks for all interested. What a random hobby for two guys to have, as well as bring with them. These magicians bring along their tricks, including rabbits and doves, just to show off to the gang. In an even weirder scene, it’s Cabin Fever déja vu when Chuck pulls off karate moves with a tin can. These two do add life to the picture, but there’s no denying that these characters are simply present to increase the body count. Halfway through the film, we’re introduced to Willy (Richard Gabai) and Reena (Mia M. Ruiz), more friends of Cory’s who serve no purpose more than to show off a little more gore. Although the tape appears to be slightly trimmed of grue, this is no light dessert. Heads will roll, bodies will ooze, and jaws will gnaw. It’s over ninety minutes, but this showing goes by very quickly. Fashions from the nineties are already showing up, even though this is early on in the decade.
The best way to describe Demon Wind to a horror fan that has not seen it in one sentence would be to call it ‘A bad version of Night of the Demons’. Entertaining, but bad. Where will you find a minute long clip of a girl on a cliff, pointing a stick at a car driving by? Demon Wind! Where will you find a sixty-year-old skeleton still intact on a cross outdoors, fall down, and still stay together? Demon Wind! Are there any powerful daggers with the energy to stop this craziness, that actually look like dirty icepicks? Yes! In Demon Wind! If anything, you’ll be laughing out loud at the hilarious situations our clueless young adults find themselves in. Bonnie is turned into a doll by an evil little girl in front of everybody, but none of them scream. Not even Jack, her boyfriend. He frowns. No words; no tears; a frown. Then again, this film was never meant to be realistic, now, was it?
A night of spells, impalements, and ‘blue lightning’ special effects, Demon Wind shouldn’t be marked down for plot. Or imagery. Or acting. Or anything for the matter. Accept it for who it tries to be. A fun piece of fromage that won’t be any more or less affected by the number of people in the room watching it. Cory’s dream sequence is another completely off the wall and terribly executed area. He finds himself naked at a gas station, confronting his blood-drenched grandmother, where he screams in such an unconvincing manner that you’ve figured out exactly what you’ve gotten yourself into. The location where Demon Wind is shot is beautiful and isolated. It’s the perfect Prism tape to get a kick out of when you’re feeling down, or perhaps, when you want four-o-clock to come sooner and it’s only two-thirty. It’ll never be known as one of the best of the best, but it’s certainly one of the silliest of the silliest. It has “beer, water, coke and goat’s milk.” Take your pick. Rent it!
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