WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
As a fun fact about me I’d like to say that I’m an ancient history geek. Specifically I am incredibly interested in Roman history so, when I heard of a movie called Demonicus, I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to bring together my two seemingly disparate loves: Roman history and watching z-grade horror movies. I hunted high and low to find this one because (surprisingly) nobody seemed to have heard of it and certainly nobody seemed to want to stock it. My efforts eventually paid off and I wasn’t disappointed: it certainly is one of the worst movies I have seen in a very long time. Technical and historical inaccuracies aside Demonicus was clearly made on a minute budget with people who don’t seem to have any acting experience (I don’t care what IMDB says) in a place that looks nothing remotely like Italy. Put your boots on and follow me! We’re gonna hike up Mount Demonicus…
Our story begins in Italy as a group of 5 friends and their college professor (all of whom look about the same age) have decided to take a little holiday / do some research on the history of Roman slavery. As part of their itinerary they’re going to spend a few days in the Italian part of the Alps and, for fun, decide that they’ll go up in twos and see who can make it to base camp first. How anyone will get to base camp at all is a mystery since it’s just some random spot under a few trees. Nevertheless the kids seem quite eager and set out on their respective ways and expect to make it to the camp within a day or two. This is where James comes in (why must all the really dumb villains share a name with me?). Leading the pack with his girlfriend whose name I can’t remember he stumbles upon a mysterious cave. While exploring the cave a very quite rockfall happens, exposing a secret chamber containing the body of a dead gladiator. Apparently the rocks created some kind of vacuum that freeze-dried the body so the corpse and all the weapons are remarkably intact.
Now James clearly isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and decides that the best thing to do upon making this discovery is to try on the dead gladiator’s helmet. As any ancient historian knows the armour of gladiators is often possessed by demonic spirits and should be handled with the utmost care, but James doesn’t seem to be aware of this fact. As soon as he puts the helmet on things that look like the Wisps from Warcraft III appear above his head and he becomes possessed by the spirit of Tyranus (the naming of the demon is very complicated in this movie). With most possessions there comes some epic music, and Demonicus proves to be no exception in this regard and we are entertained by a good 10 minutes or so of James / Tyranus playing with his new weapons, making a variety of different stances and then watching it all over again from a different camera angle. Once he grows tired of this he runs outside and kills his former girlfriend so that he can chop her up and use parts of her in the stew he’s making. With that done he heads out on patrol looking for his other friends so that they too can become a part of the special meal he’s preparing.
So you see, way back in the day, there was this man named Spartacus. He was a slave who led a rebellion against the Roman Republic and was a serious thorn in the Romans’ side for a few years. Turns out, and I wouldn’t have known this without watching the movie, that he had a buddy, Demonicus. While Spartacus bravely fought for the good of the slaves Demonicus fought only for evil. When Spartacus and the other slaves were crucified at the end of the revolt Demonicus went and hid in the hills. James, now possessed by Tyranus (which is apparently Demonicus’ real name), must prepare a stew of human body parts and prepare a victim (who just happens to be a virgin) for Demonicus to eat once he’s been resurrected (but not in James’ body). See? Told you it was all very confusing.
Be prepared to see a lot of running around in the woods, some very poor attempts at brutish masculinity, random fights and cheap costumes and effects. Not for the faint of heart or those unaccustomed to watching bad horror movies.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Being punched in the face will heal a sword wound in your stomach perfectly.
- You don’t need any hiking gear to go hiking in the Alps.
- When hiking through the alps for days you should always break off in twos rather than travel in one safe group.
- Randomly stringing Latin phrases together will revive undead gladiators.
- A coffee table book on Rome will give you all the information you need to combat a demonic gladiator.
- A single soul can be resurrected in numerous bodies.
BUY DEMONICUS AT AMAZON.COM
Year of Release: 1987
Genre: Horror / Comedy
IMDB Rating: 4.3 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
It’s very easy to tell a movie that was made in the days before the Internet and Wikipedia became readily available in the majority of people’s households. You could throw phrases like ‘Lumeria’ and ‘5 million-year-old civilisation’ around and nobody would have thought twice about it because very few people would have taken the time afterwards to go to the library and check the information out. An historian at heart, however, I’m not like that and I do like to check out the technical and historical accuracy of any civilisation I’m not familiar with when it’s just thrown into a movie. I’ll come back to that a bit later but nonetheless Blood Diner is a delightful slab of cheese that takes good acting, good film making and historical accuracy and throws it out the window and replaces it with many breasts, a brain in a jar and cannibalism. All in all, not a bad way to spend 88 minutes of your life 🙂
Before our tale of 80s terror can begin we first have to travel back to 1963 where little Michael and George Tutman are playing innocently in their lounge while the babysitter runs around the house in a panic about having run out of tampons. Having eventually decided that the only solution to the problem is to run down to the local pharmacy and pick up some more she leaves just as the radio announcer issues a warning that there’s a madman running around in the neighbourhood chopping up innocent young women. Just after she leaves the madman comes to the house, smashes down the door and charges in covered in blood, screaming like a maniac and wielding his meat cleaver above his head. The boys are delighted to see him because the maniac is their uncle Anwar Namtut who has been teaching them all about the occult. Sadly their reunion is cut short when the police rock up at the house and gun Anwar down while the boys watch from a window. This psychological trauma will lead the boys down a dark path of the occult, cannibalism and the devilish ability to make clock’s run backwards. Anyone who comes into contact with them will forever run the risk of either being eaten or never knowing if they’re running late for work or not.
Flash forward to 1987 and the brothers are all grown up and doing quite well for themselves: they’ve opened up their own little diner and their food is the talk of the town. They’re also busy digging up their dead uncle so that, through the power of black magic and a little vinegar, they can revive his brain and keep it in a jar in a similar way to the demon in Possessed by the Night. Now of course there’s a perfectly logical reason behind all of this, which the brain kindly fills us in on. Back in 1963 when he was killed the first time Anwar was busy trying to collect all the ingredients he needed so that he could awaken the goddess Sheetar, a diabolical divinity of the Lumerian people whose civilisation flourished 5 million years ago. 5 million years ago? People hadn’t evolved out of the trees yet and Lumeria was believed to be a continent that sank beneath the waves, not a part of the American outback! Feels good to get that out. Anyways Anwar the Brain now needs the boys to finish his work and help prepare a Lumerian feast that will summon Sheetar to earth on the night when Jupiter and the Moon are aligned with one another. Makes perfect sense to me.
Up until I watched this movie I’d never even heard of a Lumerian Feast, let alone knew how to go about preparing one, and I feel it’s an important thing to learn. After all you never know when the day will come when you want to give a bloodthirsty, angry goddess a mortal form. It’s quite an involved process so pay careful attention and take notes if necessary. Firstly the Moon and Jupiter need to be coming into alignment. You then need to kill around 2 dozen slutty girls and use bits of their bodies to stitch together a new body for Sheetar to dwell in when she comes to earth. You then need to kill around half a dozen more sluts and use select internal organs as the basis for the Lumerian stew that you will feed to your guests later. To make the stew you add the body parts to a mixture of chicken stock and root vegetables and simmer over a low heat until the feast begins. You then need to acquire a virgin and have her ready for Sheetar to eat as soon as she takes her mortal form. Virgins are hard to come by so start shopping early. Finally you need to find a venue full of people who you can drug and turn into zombies so that they will eat the stew and begin having an orgy. Sheetar likes to be resurrected during fun gatherings. Bring the mortal Sheetar body to the venue, drug the guests, lay the stew out and tie the virgin up, let the Moon and Jupiter align and recite some incantations. Next thing Bob’s your uncle and you having a living goddess ready to commit all manner of atrocities. Enjoy!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Killers often walk around with a cleaver in one hand and their severed genitals in the other.
- Brains will last inside a corpse for at least 20 years.
- Ancient goddesses want to be given mortal form in a body made up of chopped up sluts.
- Women see nothing strange or dangerous about a strange man covering them in batter near a deep fryer.
- Women, even after having a cupboard-load of body parts fall on them, will always run back for their handbag.
- A woman’s martial arts abilities are directly proportional to the amount of clothing she takes off.
BLOOD DINER TRAILER