Lucio Fulci is known as the “Godfather of Gore” beloved by horror fans around the world. He’s also a direct I am not a fan of. Yes, I am that one horror fan who does not care for his films. The gore is great, the plots are ok, but he uses that slow burn Giallo style that I just don’t care much for. Why am I telling you this? Because Severin is releasing a series of Lucio Fulci films remastered on Blu-ray. Now I will review these, but for the first time ever I am going to give you two opinions at the end of these reviews. The first is my opinion, the second will be for a Fulci fan. Don’t worry you wont have to read two reviews for one film, my star rating will just be separate. The first film out of the gate will be Demonia.
Demonia takes place in 1990, but when the film opens we are treated to a flashback that takes place in 1486. A group of nuns are accused of devil worship and the local townsfolk not only beat the living hell out of them they actually crucify them in their own convent, locking them up in an old dungeon like chamber in the basement of the place. In the present a young girl named Liza begin having visions of these ladies being murdered. She works with an archaeologist and they are headed off Sicily to lead an expedition. They almost immediately notice the old abandoned convent, but are warned by the townsfolk to never venture there as it is pure evil. Liza ignore these warning of course, as she has been having visions of what happened there. She sneaks into the place and why searching it senses there is something hidden. She finds what she is looking for by taking a pick axe and smashing an old wall. Its there she finds the decayed bodies of the five sisters. Evans, the archeologist she is working with is superstitions and tells her to not say a word, and forget it ever happened. Kind of hard to do when you find five bodies.
Of course by Liza opening up the tomb she has now unleashed the evil spirits of these satanic nuns. Luckily for the narrative Liza is approached by an old woman who tells her the stories of why these nuns were murdered by the town. Turns of that even though they were nuns they were devil worshippers who would invite young men from the town to the convent to have orgies with. They would have lots of sex, murder the guys, then drink their blood in an evil ceremony. And to make it worse when / if they got pregnant they would just have the baby and when it was born burn it in a fire for Satan.
Gore fans, you do get a lot from this. A guy being ripped in half, which I must say is one of the best kills in any film. Sliced to death by possessed cats, stabbings, burnings, you name it. And I will praise the practical effects in this as well. This is top notch gore. Fulci was always known as using an ample amount of blood in his films, and this one is sure state of the art practical effects at their finest. All the killings are graphic, and look very real. The problem is the killings, although graphic are very few and far between. This is a very slow paced film to say the least. It combines the old school satanic premise and a bit of old school Nunsploitation, yes that was a thing, in a very slow, but never confusing story. It moves straightforward just at a slow pace.
Severin Films has released this one and I must say it looks amazing. I saw this on laserdisc many years ago and this print is stunning to say the least. The vast majority takes place outside and the colors are never whitewashed. Everything looks fresh and vibrant. The score, which is amazing in all of Fulci’s works sounds fantastic. Fully crisp, and haunting when played through surround sound. This is a fantastic print to say the least. Severin also included special features on this one as well.
· Holy Demons: Interview with uncredited Co-Writer/Assistant Director
· Fulci Lives: Interview with on set of DEMONIA
· Of Skulls and Bones: Interview with camera operator
· Audio Commentary with , Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
· Original Trailer
As I stated the effects are good but the film is very slow. Almost to slow for my taste. However Fulci films are know for that slow burn, and his legion of fans really love that aspect. If you a horror fans it’s definitely something you will want to add to your collection, I mean the cover art alone is worth buying it for. Fulci fans will order it right away. Casual fans may be confused, but gore fans will love it. I will say this is a hell of cool story. So This is one of his better films in my opinion.
Overall if you’re a fan of Lucio Fulci 4 Stars!
Overall for me 2.5 of out 5!