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Monday, October 17, 2011


I'm afraid this is going to be a short one but that's not without good reason. Simply put, NIGHT OF THE DEMON, known in the U.S. as CURSE OF THE DEMON, gets my vote as the best black magic-oriented horror film ever made and I would be a colossal asshole worthy of a well-aimed ski boot right to the balls if I revealed more than just the briefest outline of its particulars... Ya know, ROSEMARY'S BABY is also right up there and now that I think about, the great narrative strength of both films stems from their fantastic/supernatural events being set firmly within a then-modern 20th century world in which the characters (and by association, the audience) simply cannot believe in the likes of superstition and Satanic cults because they supposedly know better, only to be proven completely and utterly horribly, horribly wrong. Here it is in brief:

Dr. Julian Carswell (Niall MacGinnis) is the head of a devil-worshiping cult who by means of the darkest of "olde magicks" disposes of those who would ridicule his activities as bunk or try to expose him, which we witness during the opening moments of the film. Basically, Carswell is quite capable of summoning a demon straight from Hell itself to tear his enemies limb from limb, and next on his list is American psychiatrist and debunker of mystical shit, Dr. John Holden (Dana Andrews), who is in England to follow in his now-dead predecessor's footsteps in exposing Carswell as a presumed bullshit artist during an international convention of assorted learned types. When Holden scoffs at Carswell's ominous cease-and-desist warnings, he finds himself immediately plunged headlong down a path of events that any rational person would deny were happening, and though joined by his dead colleague's niece (Peggy Cummins) who has come to believe in a lot of dark shit after reading her uncle's journal and notes, the guy has to be convinced the hard way that his world has now got enough evil in it to fuel twenty King Diamond albums and that his demise at the talons of a thirty-foot demon is imminent...

Fuck with Julian Carswell and this is what you get.

I assure you that I have not given away any of the whys and wherefores of the story and now I urge you to get your hands on it immediately. I had not seen this film since I was a kid and even though I enjoyed it back then, it's that much more potent when experienced from a grownup's perspective. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

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