Night of the Demon (1980)

One of the “video nasties” banned in the U.K, Night of the Demon‘s originality and surrealism makes up for the comical, deadpan acting and inconsistent behavior of the “demon.” Demon is actually a misleading word here though. By definition it is indeed “destructive,” though in the film it’s more of a “bigfoot.” Once the creature is fully shown, you really won’t know WHAT it is.

Searching for answers is a professor and students from an anthropology class. Apparently they have no fear of sleeping in the backwoods at night, minutes after the professor tells stories of how the creature uniquely and savagely attacked random victims in the vicinity. This includes the detachment of a penis and the slicing up a couple of girl scouts, shown in flashbacks that are themselves within a flashback.

Before the beast really goes to town on the inquisitive group, it for some reason only badly scratches a guy’s back while he’s trying to get with his girl. No, this creature wants to wait till later when it breaks through the door of a house in which the remaining victims hide.

The surrealism, caused by oozing/squirting blood, goofy music and eerie sound, lands somewhere between Don’t Go in the Woods from the same year and 1970s Italian horror from Dario Argento.

While there are all sorts of reasons to be amused by this strange trip, some of it is actually disturbing. After a girl is raped by the bigfoot, she gives birth to a mutant baby. The anthropologists speculate that the creature was trying to keep his population above a count of one, as opposed to just being horny. [rating: $10]

The Tunnel (2011, Australia)

There’s found footage. And then there’s found footage brought to attention by the people in it who then use half the movie to comment about the footage. This flopped in the Fourth Kind and Lake Mungo. Unfortuntely, the Tunnel suffers from the same common mishap: melodramatic commentary up the ying-yang. Let the footage speak for itself. We don’t need an actor to explain everything, ad naseum So many fails with the Tunnel.

If the people in the “found footage” are commenting after it was recorded, then there’s no suspense because we already know they are alive and well. Which is strange, considering that a mysterious humanoid underground dweller easily spilled the blood of their companions. Speaking of that, the “reporter,” who so urgently needed to investigate the underground tunnels of Australia, should be held responsible for those deaths. Not that it’s even believable that they died. The Tunnel lacks authenticity, something most evident when the doomed crew’s camera lens has cracks yet the cracks do not move in unison with the camera movement. [rating: $0]