Demon of Paradise (1987)

demon of paradise poster 1987 movie
1 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10


Dull and no scares

Movie Info

Movie Name: Demon of Paradise

Studio: Concorde-New Horizons

Genre(s): Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s): 1987

MPAA Rating: R

demon of paradise akua monster net

Nope…not Akua season…looks like you’ll have to throw him back

On a lake in a small Hawaiian resort, trouble is brewing.  A legendary monster named Akua has awakened, and the guests are in danger.  While resort owner Cahill (Laura Banks) and promoter Ike (Frederick Bailey) realize that the monster could be a boon to business, researcher Annie (Kathryn Witt) and Sheriff Keefer (William Steis) question how to stop the deaths.  Unfortunately, all the attention to the resort has also threatened to expose a dynamite operation being backed by the mob…Akua could be the least of the problems.

Directed by Cirio H. Santiago, Demon of Paradise is a low-budget horror film.  The movie was released in 1987 to VHS and is often considered a partial remake of Up from the Depths (1979).

To call Demon of Paradise a remake of Up from the Depths isn’t very accurate.  Yes, there is a “sea creature” menacing a resort, but that is generally the plot of all the Jaws rip-offs.  Demon of Paradise is one of the lowest of the lows in horror films…the low-budget copycat with no scares.

demon of paradise laura banks

She makes every scene feel like she’s in physical pain while trying to act

The movie is all over the place, but in a way that feels like filler rather than plot.  You have way too much time devoted to the dynamite people (which ends in one of the least compelling hostage situations ever), and the sea creature ends up living in a cave on a mountain?  You have the typical 1980s gratuitous breast shot, and a lot of running around instead of monster fighting.  The movie is literally about a creature under you that you cannot see and the potential to attack anytime…and they managed to make that not scary.

The acting is awful.  Kathryn Witt and William Steis are fine though it doesn’t seem like they know what their characters are really doing.  The “best worst” character has to be Laura Banks’ resort owner.  Decked in typical ’80s style, she reads her line with so little commitment, that it sounds like a read-through rather than a performance.  It is amusingly bad like some community theater performance (I like it when she had her “serious” moment about her fears of losing the resort).

demon of paradise monster akua ending

Can’t we just be friends?

Shot in the Philippines, it doesn’t look much like the Hawaiian setting the plot talks about…also, the movie manages to make somewhere tropical look bland and no place you’d want to visit (definitely not a “Paradise”).  Akua is a rubber monster that looks really unmanageable by the actor portraying him.

Demon of Paradise is as you’d expect going into it.  It is cheap and doesn’t attempt to compensate for the budget with any creatively which would make the movie better.  I can remember seeing the movie at the movie rental place in our town and even passing it up as a kid because it just didn’t look good.  If you’re going with a cheap sea monster movie something like Humanoids from the Deep does a slightly better job hitting the mark…but run (or swim) away from Akua and Demon of Paradise.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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