Black Demons (1991)

This film is supposedly the second sequel to Lamberto Bava’s fun eighties trash flick ‘Demons’, although I’d say it’s more like a lacklustre version of Lucio Fulci’s zombie masterpiece ‘Zombie Flesh-Eaters’. Umberto Lenzi is undoubtedly one of Italy’s most diverse and interesting directors, but like many of the best; his career took a downfall towards the end of the eighties, and it’s hard to believe that the same man who directed such cult classics as Seven Blood-Stained Orchids and Almost Human also directed this film. The fact that this film is touted to be the third entry in the series started by Lamberto Bava is forgotten about when it comes to the plot, as the film really has nothing to do with the earlier series entries; and this is shown again by the fact that Lambero Bava’s own ‘The Ogre’ is also known as Demons 3! The story here follows three kids who travel to Brazil. One of them is into voodoo, and uses his knowledge of the art to raise a load of dead black slaves. It’s not long before the three kids and some other people in the vicinity have a big, flesh eating, problem on their hands!

The problem with this film is that it doesn’t have anything in the way of surprises, and while there’s some nice gore (including some good gory Fulci style eye gouging), the film is seriously lacking. If you’re tuning in for gore only (as you probably should be), you’re also likely to be disappointed as the gore isn’t relentless, and there are only really a couple of memorable scenes. Bad acting is something you have to expect from a film like this, but with Black Demons; Umberto Lenzi has taken that expectation to a whole new level, with some truly diabolical performances from all concerned. The film starts off slowly, which puts itself on the back foot; as I was already starting to get bored of it before the gore even showed up. One thing that the film does do well, however, is hark back to the classic style of filming. The production values are a little better than Fulci’s 1979 classic, but the basics of the film are the same. I can’t say many good things about the zombie make-up, and they’re nothing like the demons in Lamberto Bava’s film. Overall, this movie isn’t very good; but it’s fairly fun at times, and I preferred it to Demons 2 at least.