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on 8 August 2012
Demons / Demons 2

Distributor Arrow Video (UK)

Way back where it all began, a UK distributor by the name of Arrow Video burst onto the HD horror scene with a Blu-ray release of George A Romero's seminal classic zombie shocker, Dawn of the Dead. In what now seems like an eternity ago, this early Arrow release also made for a very early Obscura review showing high hopes for a distributor who appeared to at least take their releases seriously and also deliver a fair amount of effort into their overall product.

Much time has passed since the early days of collecting with various Arrow Blu-ray releases having come and gone, some having seen pretty decent releases, some having seen pretty serious issues with the finished product and with Lamberto Bava's Demons movies having already been held up for well over a year due to difficulties in obtaining a high definition source, fans everywhere were nervously awaiting the latest Blu-ray releases which would again prove to be at least a little controversial once finally made available.

So, to understand the latest horror offering we first need to go back to 1985 where the Italian zombie genre had pretty much run its course. Classic titles had come and gone and apart from a couple of notable US releases, the zombie genre overall appeared to have been running out of steam. This however was all about to change with Lamberto Bava's venture into the genre. Now I know what you're thinking, are these zombies or demons? (a similar argument would eventually surface with Danny Boyle's classic shocker 28 Days Later) well these "demons" certainly appear to share some characteristics with their zombie cousins. Certainly they are able to spread infection through bites or scratches and if you get killed by a demon you ultimately become a demon but whether they are classed officially as zombies? ah who cares, let's just enjoy the movie for what it is.

The first film in the series begins with a private showing of a new horror movie in what must be the creepiest looking cinema in the history of film. Unfortunately for the patrons, the on screen murders soon begin to affect reality and it isn't long before the cinema is full of blood thirsty fast moving "zombie like" demons. Of course there are the usual nonsensical elements present such as how the patrons suddenly find themselves walled into a building they all freely walked into some 20 minutes previously but the film itself is great fun if you overlook the minor criticisms. The second film in the series plays out like an 80's remake of Shivers with the demons this time summoned through a television set and then running riot in an inescapable high rise apartment block. Although considered by many to be a lesser sequel, this one is also great fun if not taken too seriously.

Released with an option of different packaging from Arrow Video which includes a regular edition release of each film and a steel book set of both movies, it is the individual releases which are reviewed here. Unfortunately each film has been released on Region B locked discs so US collectors will need to be multi region capable to make the purchase worthwhile. Each film is presented with 1080p 1.66:1 transfers which actually look excellent. Apparently a new print was struck from the original negatives and the end result was certainly worthwhile. Detail remains sharp with strong colour representation and a decent amount of depth to black levels throughout. The transfers here are most impressive and easily the best that either film has ever looked which will no doubt be appreciated by fans of the films.

So it's fair to say that some previous Arrow releases have certainly had their issues and with this set it may just be the audio which is the potential sticking point for collectors. Firstly the soundtracks used are taken from the original European dub which includes some changes to certain dialogue sequences from the US versions of the films. While purists may be bothered by the changes, the substitutions certainly don't distract from the presentations and are only noticeable if you have seen the films many times before so shouldn't actually be a deal breaker the for regular viewers. Audio is presented on both movies with options of English and Italian Mono 2:0 soundtracks which come across as loud and powerful with reasonably strong and prominent dialogue. The now classic score thunders through your front speakers like never before and although your surround speakers will need to take the day off, for an 80's Italian horror movie this really isn't a bad effort.

One of the things which Arrow specialise in are extra features however this time they appear to be perhaps a little less extravagant than usual. The extras on the first Demons Blu-ray comprise of 2 commentaries, one of which appears to be recycled from the previous DVD release with second being a new track with cast and crew presented mostly in Italian with English subtitles. Thankfully the second track has more information on the film than the first one (which was always considered to be perhaps a little dull.) Following the commentaries there are some interview segments with Dario Argento, Claudio Simonetti who discusses the films score and Luigi Cozzi who discusses his top ten Italian horror movies. In addition to the featurettes there is also a poster and booklet with notes on the movie plus part 1 of a "Demons 3" comic book which is actually written as a prequel to the first 2 movies. Extras for Demons 2 comprise of an interview with Sergio Stivaletti who discusses the special effects in both movies, a second interview with Luigi Cozzi who this time talks about Italian horror movies in general, plus another recycled DVD commentary track with Lamberto Bava. Once again there is also a poster, booklet with linear notes and the second part of the "Demons 3" comic book, so overall not a bad set of features however a lot of the interview footage appears more as a general overview of Italian horror movies rather than anything specific to the films themselves and you can't help feeling that a dedicated making of documentary would have been most welcome.

All things considered both of these movies belong in the collection of any classic zombie/Italian horror collectors and it is fair to say they they have certainly never looked or sounded better than in these presentations. Whether or not they will be bettered by the eventual US release is anyone's guess however for the most part collectors should be very satisfied with Arrows latest offerings which thankfully sees a return to past glory for the distributor.

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on 7 May 2012
Demons 2 looks just as good as the original on bluray with a great picture and loads of bonus material, the story follows on from the original but takes a different direction, this time its set in an apartment block and the demons are once again summoned to wreck havoc, great horror movie sequel with a similar budget, lots of cool bloody gore effects and classic demons, not quite as violent as the original but still a worthy addition to any cult classic horror collection, great transfer, the demons live on.
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on 11 February 2014
A documentary is shown on TV of group of teens who investigate the legendary forbidden zone, in which a Demon infestation once took place.

When finding a lifeless corpse of a demon, one of the teens causes the resurrection of it, by spilling some of their blood and the demon makes it's way into the nearby world by TV-broadcast.

An unlucky girl, having her birthday-party at that time, gets possessed by the demon while watching the documentary and soon the entire building in which she lives turns into a living nightmare....

It's exactly the same as the first one, only this time its set in an apartment block, ad a dog and a child get demonised.

It's still slickly made, and of course the dubbing is truly awful, especially when you know half of the cast are talking English, but we watch these films for the sheer audacity of the whole proceedings.

We have oiled body builders in a car park, one of the most boring birthday parties going,and some really weird little gremlin chasing after a pregnant woman.

The main problem with the film is that it's just not scary, and the make up isn't as good as the first movie, but it's still watchable, just not memorable.

But it does feature the most inappropriate music to accompany a birth scene I have ever heard, and that alone is worth watching the film for...
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 November 2015
Demons 2 is a great film, and a brilliant release from Arrow.

You get two discs, and a nice little booklet plus a revisable cover.

The Blu-ray transfer gets a 4/5.
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on 22 November 2015
While a good movie on its own it doesn't live up to the first Demons film. Its a bit hard to describe but something just feels off about it. The first movie was a really fun splatter film, this one not so much. Basic plot is people in an apartment building watch a movie, demons come through the film, turns some of the residents into said demons & chaos follows. There is still plenty of gore here but I didn't find it had as much as the Demons, Acting was ok & some actors from the first film return in different roles. One particular scene I felt went on too long is a scene with the pregnant lady in her apartment trying to get away from a small demon. Asia Argento also has a small part in this, Lamberto Bava also has an uncredited role. Not too many special features, a commentary, an effects feature & my favorite feature from Bava to Bava where Luigi Cozzi looks at Italian horror films from the past until now. The usual Arrow booklet is also included which I once again liked. If you really like the first Demons you will also get some enjoyment out of this one.
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on 27 May 2012
After years of waiting I've finally got it. Had a bit of problem with the delivery but Amazon were great and prompt in helping, but on to the review.

Firstly I'd like to say the artwork and presentation of the box and inserts is fantastic and the amount of love that has gone into this release is very much appreciated. The video quality on this release is great and there is no softness and not much grain, the Demons films have really stood the test of time in picture quality so I'd give it a solid 9/10. Also it has been restored from the original negative and is in the correct aspect ratio :)

The audio is fab aswell. I don't own a surround sound system but audio is very clear and noise levels remain consistent(unlike my Jurassic Park blu ray) and I can imagine it would sound great on a decent set up. All in all I'd give the audio quality 9/10

The special features on the disc are pretty good, the commentary is interesting and the interview with the sfx guy is also pretty good. My only gripe with with the features is that they seem a bit sparse, just like on the first Demons blu ray. I would have loved to have seen some deleted scenes or cast interviews or maybe a retrospective documentary but theres always the chance on future releases. For special features I'd give Demons 2 a 7/10, but I think that's just me being a bit picky lol

On a further note I'd just like to point out that this has been reclassified a 15 which for some strange reason bothers me a bit as it emphasises the step down in violence from the first film although the violence in this is still pretty gratuitous, yet again it's no real biggy just me being a bit picky.

To summarise I'd give this release a 9/10 as it's well worth the money at £12 and to be honest I think it'd still be great value for money at £15.

Highly recommended, be sure to purchase the first film aswell :)
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on 6 May 2015
yet another arrow films/video triumph!! best picture quality, sound quality and bold step packaging 'n' gifts release for any italian horror film lover from the 1980's with a multi-region dvd player whom refuses to give it up, could ever want! like always, great alternative corver-art(extremely important), i feel spoiled and priveledged to own such a beautiful print!
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on 30 May 2016
Awful, wooden acting (and that's being polite), terrible script, so bad it's funny. Utter garbage.
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on 8 June 2012
Demons 2 arrives on blu ray from arrow video and the result at best is mediocre. The picture quality is below average,by that i mean that the picture is very,very grainy and it falters in quite a few places.The sound quality is quite good,as any one who remembers when this film was first released on dvd by platinum media the sound on that release was very low and muffled and if you wanted a decent version on dvd,you had to import the anchor bay dvd version from the u.s.
Here,the sound is quite clear and you can at least hear what the characters are saying without having to turn up your t.v to full blast.The picture is also improved over the dvd version,but as i said it is drowned in heavy grain.
It was just a dissapointment to me because arrow did a really good job with the transfer on demons and because demons 2 was released a year later than the original,i expected the same in terms of picture quality.I guess this is the best that arrow could do with the source material and there is a warning on screen before the movie starts about some flaws in the transfer and that this was the best they could do with the transfer.
All in all,it is an improvement over previous dvd releases,but i had high hopes for this blu ray and on this occasion,i was left dissapointed.
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on 7 April 2016
Great product and great service
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