Demons 1 and 2 4K/UHD Review (Synapse Films)
Demons (aKa Dèmoni) is a 1985 horror film directed by Lamberto Bava (Demons 2, Macabre, A Blade in the Dark, and Blastfighter). It was produced by legendary horror filmmaker Dario Argento (Suspiria, Two Evil Eyes, The Sect, The Church, and Opera). They will make cemeteries their cathedrals and the cities will be your tombs! A group of strangers invited to a sneak preview at a mysterious movie theater, only to be trapped inside and transformed one-by-one into carnage-crazed monsters. Demons 2 (aKa Dèmoni 2) is a 1986 horror film directed by Lamberto Bava (Demons, Demons 3: The Ogre, Delirium, Devil Fish, and Body Puzzle). It was produced by Italian horror maestro Dario Argento (Demons, Dawn of the Dead, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Cat o’ Nine Tails, and Deep Red). The residents of a luxury high-rise apartment building are transformed into monsters for a gut-spattered siege complete with acid blood, cannibal kids, zombie dogs, and a birthday party gone horrifically wrong. The Demons franchise includes these films that were later renamed to cash in on the popularity of the first two movies: Black Demons, The Ogre, The Church, The Sect, The Black Cat, The Mask of Satan, and Dellamorte Dellamore!!!!When you see the name Bava, you usually think about the legendary Mario when it comes to Italian cinema but his son Lamberto made his mark in the horror genre with these two. The concept alone for the original grabs your attention right away as a horror and cinema fan. It delivers on what you would want from that type of production. It has excellent production design, cinematography, score, and special fx. It features more than few familiar faces when it comes to genre work especially in Italy that includes Michele Soavi (City of the Living Dead), Urbano Barberini (Opera), Fiore Argento (Phenomena), Karl Zinny (Delirium), Paola Cozzo (A Cat in the Brain), Geretta Geretta (Murder-Rock, Shocking Dark, and Rats: Night of Terror), and Bobby Rhodes (Demons 2, The Last Hunter, and Endgame). I love the visuals here especially the look of the demons in this one. It’s definitely one of the best Italian horror films from the 80’s and the soundtrack is great. It’s loaded with some entertaining gore and kills. Demons 2 is one of the better sequels that was made in Italy back in the day. They went a different location with this follow up but they still kept some similar connections to the first one. They go from the cinema to apartments in this one. The Demons come out of the television now rather than the movie screen at the cinema. You get to experience one of the worst birthday parties with Demons 2,now that’s some bad luck. If you enjoyed the previous feature then you will most likely dig this sequel because it’s damn near the same besides a few changes. Bobby Rhodes returns to the Demons franchise here but he plays a different role in this. It also has Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni (Opera, Mother of Tears, and The Phantom of the Opera), Asia Argento (xXx, Land of the Dead, The Church, and The Stendhal Syndrome), and Virginia Bryant (The Barbarians) in it. After these two, the Demons series takes a completely different approach. This is a great double feature, I watch both of these almost every year at some point. They both have strong replay value and they are always fun to experience. This set needs to to be in your collection ASAP, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!I have owned a variety of different versions of these two films on home video over the years. Everything from the original Anchor Bay DVDs, foreign releases, and even the original steelbooks from Synapse. These 2160p (1.66:1) transfers with Dolby Vision and HDR10 are the sharpest looking presentations from Demons 1 and 2 so far. I’m blown away by how much of an upgrade this 4K/UHD disc is compared to all the past releases. This is the definitive home video set for these two Italian splatterfests. The audio options includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono, English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2, English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, and Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 on these UHD discs. Both films sound amazing here. The dialogue is crystal clear, all the madness is elevated, and the music has a killer boost to it. It has English SDH subtitles. This is a region free home video release. The set includes a slipcover, reversible artwork, a poster, the ticket from the original film, and birthday invitation from the sequel. This is one of my favorite releases when it comes to 80’s horror getting upgraded to 4K!!!!This set is loaded with special features from the past plus some brand new ones. Two different versions of Demons are included on here. New “Audio Commentary” with critics Kat Ellinger and Heather Drain. It has an archive “Audio commentary” with director Lamberto Bava, SPFX artist Sergio Stivaletti, composer Claudio Simonetti and actress Geretta Geretta. It has “Produced by Dario Argento”, a new visual essay by author and critic Michael Mackenzie on the Italian horror legend’s career as a producer. “Dario’s Demon Days” is a interview with co-writer and producer Dario Argento. “Defining an Era in Music” is a interview with composer Claudio Simonetti from Goblin. “Splatter Spaghetti Style” is a interview with Argento collaborator Luigi Cozzi. “Carnage at the Cinema: Lamberto Bava and His Splatter Masterpiece”. “Dario and Demons: Producing Monster Mayhem”. “Monstrous Memories: Luigi Cozzi on Demons”, “Profondo Jones: The Critical Perspective”. “Splatter Stunt Rock” is a interview with Ottaviano Dell’Acqua. “Stivaletti Q & A at the 2019 UK ‘Festival of Fantastic Films’. It has “Trailers” from it’s Italian, U.S., and International promotional runs. As far as the extras for Demons 2 goes, it has a new “Audio Commentary” with film critic Travis Crawford. “Bava to Bava” is a interview with Luigi Cozzi on the history of Italian horror. “Creating Creature Carnage” is a interview with special fx artist Sergio Stivaletti. “Demonic Influences: Federico Zampaglione Speaks”. “The ‘Demons Generation” is a interview with Roy Bava. “The New Blood of Italian Horror” featuring Sergio Stivaletti. “Screaming for a Sequel: The Delirious Legacy of DEMONS 2” is a interview with Lamberto Bava. “A Soundtrack for Splatter” is a interview with composer Simon Boswell. “Together and Apart” is a new visual essay by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. It has the original Italian and U.S. “Trailers” for the sequel during it’s promotional run. This set is a must own for any horror or Italian cinema fan. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!