Picture it; Sicily 1486… a group of monks, doubtless filled with the friskiness of youth, crucify five nuns they believe are witches…
Fast forward to the amazing future year 1990 A.D., and Liza (Meg Register) and Professor Evans (Brett Halsey), head to Sicily to investigate a series of ruins on the island even though every mother fucker on there tells them that it’s a rather shit idea… hell even Liza had a terrifying psychic visions of the damned place at a seance held months earlier.
Well, Liza finds the bodies of those nuns, and guess what? They really were witches… blood drinkin’, hard fuckin’, Satanic ones at that… and now they are up and at ’em for some (at times) naked tittied supernatural revenge, and not even Inspector Carter (Lucio Fulci) from Interpol can do fuck-all about it!
While not as bat-shit crazy as some of Fulci’s previous efforts, Demonia is still pretty fuckin’ fantastic. The ancient monastery and it’s demonic denizens give of a real Lovecraft vibe at times (and has a bit of Blind Dead flavor), as does the small coastal village where the tale is set. Think of this as a spiritual successor to the maestro’s Gates of Hell trilogy; City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond (1981), and The House by the Cemetery (1981).
Now that’s not to say the film doesn’t have some showstoppers involved in the effects department as we get plenty of murder and mayhem featuring those sweet, sweet, practical gore money shots; the best of which includes an over-the-top cat attack sequence, and a dude being ripped in half.
Adding to the fun is that famous “Fulci haze” that gives the proceedings a soft-focus aesthetic that makes it feel as if the characters are trapped in a fever dream; a state where it’s easy to believe ancient evil walks free.
On the downside, there’s a sequence of infanticide that while obviously fake as all shit, was hard for your’s cruelly to watch, so consider your asses well and truly warned!
As for special features on this Blu-ray release, we kick things off with an ultra-informative, scholarly examination of the film, it’s themes, and the history of it’s locations by author Stephen Thrower, followed by interviews with uncredited co-writer/assistant director Antonio Tentori, camera operator Sandro Grossi, and Fulci (archival footage recorded on set of Demonia). Also included is the film’s theatrical trailer.
If you dig on the aforementioned Blind Dead flicks, Michele Soavi’s The Church, or Bruno Mattei’s The Other Hell, then this fright flick will be a must own; it’s equal parts disturbing, outrageous, and completely entertaining!