The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, March 2-8

demoni5big

Demons (1985)
Directed by Lamberto Bava
The third of four generations of Bavas in the film industry, Lamberto knows how to make movie movies. Or, he knows how to make horror movies about horror movies. His second film, A Blade in the Dark (1983), features a musician working on the score for a giallo. Demons, on the other hand, takes place in and around a movie theater that seems to have an unfathomable amount of empty neon-lit rooms. Enticed by free tickets, a spectrum of spectators gathers to watch a film about people transforming into demons. Inevitably, the action on screen mirrors the horror in the theatre. With green pus spurting out of scratches, faces bulging, and eyes turning yellow and red, the viewers turn demonic.

Where A Blade in the Dark is a minimalist giallo, Demons is a ballsy maximalist gore film. Recalling Phenomena (1985) (Dario Argento also produced Demons), wall-to-wall 80s rock accompanies and enhances the film’s abrupt tonal and rhythmic shifts from one scene to the next. A night at the cinema turns into a night of the demons. Tanner Tafelski (March 7, 10:15pm at the Metrograph’s “Surrender to the Screen“)

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