Demon Wind (1990)

Until Vinegar Syndrome released this film on DVD in October of this year, Demon Wind was one of the very few horror films that had been huge on VHS that had never made the jump in format.

The best description I can find in my head for this film is a mix of Fulci and the Evil Dead, but a movie that makes way less sense. Yes, a film with less sense of plot than The Beyond and none of the aspiration toward art. And yet there’s so much to like!

In 1931, we see a body burned on a cross in the front yard. There’s another in the hallway and plenty of paintings of Jesus, as we hear singing about being washed in the blood of the lamp. We discover that a woman and her husband are trying to hide from demons. Instead, the husband transforms into a demon and kills her.

Fast forward to 1991 and Cory is dealing with the suicide of his father. He’s the grandson of the people we saw in the opening and has decided to go back to the farmhouse where they died. Often in these posts, I try and give advice. Here’s a new piece: if your family has a weird supernatural death or disappearance in its history, just leave it alone. Don’t go back to the cabin. Don’t go into the woods. Don’t go to the farmhouse. Just don’t.

He puts together a gang of his friends to hang out at the farmhouse, but of course a fog rolls in. And some demons. And lots of death. The farmhouse has a shield that keeps the demons out, but one by one, the teens are turned into demons. Luckily, they find some daggers that can kill the demons. Unluckily, the demon’s master arrives and they need to do much more to defeat him.

That said, where you’d expect things to make sense, Demon Wind goes in a much stranger direction. Like when Cory mentions he has been in a gas station before in a dream, we get to see that dream — in which he’s holding a big book while talking to his grandmother. Naked. Buck ass naked.

Also, the kids in these films have weird interconnected relationships. Like Cory’s girlfriend, Elaine used to date his best friend Dell. He greets her by kissing her directly on the lips and then high fives Cory. As you do. Dell’s new girlfriend, Terry, has an ex-boyfriend named Chuck, who brings his girlfriend Stacy, his magic tricks and an arsenal of roundhouse kicks.  I can only imagine that if these kids all worked in a mall together, they’d all have sex in the same room like Chopping Mall. Only Jack and Bonnie seem like they aren’t Eskimo brothers or sisters with someone else.

Despite warnings from old creepy men at gas stations — hello, Friday the 13th — and dead bodies and evil statements in blood on the walls, everyone acts like things are as normal as possible. It’s not just wooden acting. It’s literally like nothing phases these kids.

Bonnie reads the words off the wall a– “Now Satan shall walk” in Latin — and an explosive chicken shoots out of the oven and almost kills everyone. You read that one right. An explosive chicken. Somehow, Bonnie instinctively knows how this all works and has one request: when she dies, please don’t bury her here.

Also — The Fog (or the fog) covers the town, making sure that every escape attempt brings them right back to the farmhouse. And then three little girls take Bonnie, who disappears, leaving behind a burning baby doll.

Everyone decides that they will stay in the farmhouse for protection. Whereas in a film like Night of the Living Dead you’d batten down the hatches and board up the windows, these kids clean the house. Yes, in the face of certain death, the first thing they decide to do is some spring cleaning.

Then another couple just randomly shows up! Demon Wind doesn’t just go off the rails. It throws the rails off a cliff and follows them into the abyss.

The final act of this film just gets more and more bizarre. There’s gunplay. Demons feel up women and trying to get them off just by touching their breasts. Cow skulls eat faces. A female demon strips in the front yard, begging for the guys to come out and have sex, at which point they look at one another and say, “Demon,” like this is some demented Bud Lite commercial. And oh yeah — Cory transforms into a demon himself to battle the final boss.

There’s some decent gore. Some horrible acting. And no relation to the normal world in which you live and breathe. I often joke that there are some films that I just won’t recommend to normal people. Demon Wind is one of those films. But to my friends that I trust, to those that can effortlessly deal with trifling concerns like plot, motivation or dealing with multiple dream sequences, I’ll give this a recommendation.

Update: This is now streaming for free with an Amazon Prime subscription.

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