[Blu-ray/DVD Review] DEMONS & DEMONS 2
Courtesy Synapse Films
Lamberto Bava has built a name for himself in the horror genre and it should be of no surprise as he grew up in that world. His father was Italian filmmaker Mario Bava, known for cult hits like A Bay of Blood and Black Sabbath. Lamberto embraced the family legacy, often collaborating with Dario Argento and that influence is obvious especially when it comes to the DEMONS films. While Synapse Films has released previous collector editions of these two, it’s a guaranteed seller, and a 4K transfer is always welcomed.

DEMONS starts with a strange man giving away tickets to college students for a mysterious film screening. After scratching herself on a prop in the lobby, an attendee transforms into a flesh-eating demon. The events of the film they are watching begin to mimic those of their own reality. Soon, others begin transforming and the survivors find themselves stuck in the theater.

DEMONS 2 follows a similar storyline, only this time it involves a televised film that seems to trigger demons to rise. This one is primarily set in an apartment building where a birthday party is being celebrated. DEMONS 2 feels like a much bigger film as there is a larger ensemble cast with action taking place across several residents. With a diverse cast and more elaborate special effects, the sequel manages to pack in humor and memorable gore gags.

Synapse really hit a home run with their Suspiria 4K set and that trend continues here with both DEMONS films. I’m not too familiar with the previous releases, but the video presentations for both films come off as clean. Both films carry new 4K restorations from the original 35mm camera negative in Dolby Vision presentations. Those who are a bit more particular on their audio options will be pleased to know that DEMONS 1 & 2 includes uncompressed DTS-HD MA English and Italian 5.1/2.0 audio mixes (part 1 is on the original cut) derived from the archival audio masters. DEMONS 2 also includes an uncompressed DTS-HD MA English 2.0 true stereo theatrical mix remastered in 2021 by Synapse, while DEMONS has theatrical mono audio.

The press release that accommodated my screener listed bonus features that took up almost two pages. Between the two films, there are three commentaries, two visual essays, and several interviews with cast and crew. If that wasn’t enough, Synapse has included in their limited edition set a reproduction of the original movie ticket from DEMONS, a birthday invitation to the party from DEMONS 2, and a fold-out poster of DEMONS artwork by Wes Benscoter.

Lamberto has an impressive filmography, but his legacy is remembered fondly due to the DEMONS franchise. There isn’t much explained in regards to the origins of the mythos in both films, but they are so much fun to watch unfold. Both films are low budget fare from the mid-80s, but the practical effects levitate them to A-list horror and this transfer treats it as such.

You can purchase the limited edition DEMONS 1 & 2 Collection here.

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