Night of the Demons (1988)

Retro Movie of the Month


Night of the Demons (1988)
by Sam Haine


            Night of the Demons is a 1988 horror film starring Cathy Podewell, Amelia Kinkade, Linnea Quigley, Alvin Alexis, Allison Baron, Lance Fenton, William Gallo, Hal Havins, Philip Tanzini, Jill Terashita and directed by Kevin S. Tenney and written by Joe Agustyn.  If you don’t recognize any of these names other than Linnea Quigley or Amelia Kinkade no problem, I don’t either.  


            I can’t count how many times I’ve seen this film. I still have in my possession the VHS copies of this film and its sequel no more than 4 feet away from where I am sitting. The first time I’d seen this was late night on one of the cable channels after midnight, either before or after ‘It’s Gary Shandling Show’. For years all I could really remember was the Bauhaus track playing during Angela’s strobe dance by the fire place, the T&A and some pretty gnarly creature effects. Whether or not it holds up today is up to you to decide. And for the record… for a 7 year old to watch a stick of lipstick disappear inside a blonde chicks nipple was spellbinding, especially when it’s NOT Sandy Kane.


            The plot of this classic and often overlooked cult favorite is generic Horrorwood – a group of teens have a party inside of the spooky neighborhood haunted house; the same one where supposedly somebody did something to someone else and how terrible that incident was so nobody ever goes there as the story is passed down from mouths to ears like a grimm game of telephone. They bring the beer and the condoms to the sour grounds and unintentionally stir the restless demons of the property. What happens next is an absolute joy. The dialogue isn’t too douche-chilled and the comedy is realistic and sadistic.

            There’s Angela the temperamental and misunderstood suburban ghoul queen and her easy lover bestie, Suzanne. Judy Cassidy the blonde good with the voice of an innocent victim and the smile so bright you almost forget you saw her in a bra. Sal a stereotypical neighborhood Italian and his sidekick Stooge is dressed up as an obese Jack Sparrow. There are other characters but who cares about them. Last but not least is Roger. Roger the good little church boy who ended up at the wrong place and at the wrong damn night. Needless to say he is one of the smarter characters in the story and it’s very amusing to see him realize that the lamb is not coming to help him when he needs divine intervention most and takes his balls into his own hands for the big win. I won’t spoil any details if you have never seen Night of the Demons.

            First released on October 14, 1988.

            This wasn’t the biggest hit at the box office but it did spawn two sequels Night of the Demons II co-starring Ben Stiller’s wife and Night of the Demons III. The 2009 remake will not be mentioned or discussed, except for just now. So tune in, toke up, and zone out to this little piece of fun after dark. And remember to keep all severed limbs away from the baby and keep your fingers on that damn Rewind Button.

- Sam HaiNe

This article is written by SamHaiNe

SamHaiNe is a writer, poet, troubadour and raconteur. The author of two spoken word albums as well producer. He is often seen performing in Philadelphia, PA, the surrounding Tri-state area, and the Southern United States. His writings and creativity often blur the lines between pulp, noir, splatter punk, gallows humor, black comedy and the Grand Guignol. He has released previous material under the pseudonym O-Ren Ishi. Currently at work on a new album and book centering on his new brainchild, Hainesville.