Night of the Demons (1988)

night of the demons 1988 poster review
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 4/10

Cheesy '80s horror

Sometimes fun but mostly dull

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Night of the Demons

Studio:  Republic Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  October 14, 1988

MPAA Rating:  R


It’s bad, but not gouge-your-eyes-out bad.

It is Halloween and it is when all the ghosts and demons come out.  Angela Franklin (Amelia Kinkade) and her friend Suzanne (Linnea Quigley) love the dark and macabre and have picked Hull House as their Halloween party location.  Hull House’s history alone can cause chills and scares, and Angela is tapping into that to scare the hell out of everyone who comes on…but the demons of Hull House might have another plan.  Angela’s throwing a party and you are invited!

Directed by Kevin S. Tenney, Night of the Demons is a B-Horror movie.  The movie received poor reviews upon its release, but since its initial release, the movie has gained a somewhat cult following.


Do you like this color on me?

I saw Night of the Demons with my sister when it was relatively new to video.  Of two different age groups, we both recognized it as a bad movie.  The problem with bad movies like Night of the Demon are that they either need to be so over-the-top bad and/or cheesy and relish in their badness or they must be a great example of the time in which they were made.  Night of the Demons doesn’t accomplish either effectively enough to qualify as so-bad-it-is-good.

The story for Night of the Demons is a bit of a hodgepodge of different horror tropes.  The haunted mansion, the diverse group of friends, and demons eliminating each of them in an almost slasher style isn’t necessarily a bad set-up.  Unfortunately, the movie is essentially just this set up.  The horror is random and the plot doesn’t proceed past “demons kill everyone”…and then you just sit around while they run around this dark and poorly lit mansion as it happens.


What, they could not get Ernest Borgnine, Claude Akins, or George Kennedy?

The cast also is pretty poor.  The star of the film is actually Cathy Podewell who plays the heroine in distress (and dressed like Alice from Alice in Wonderland) and she’s supposed to be the goody two-shoes who has to get dark to survive…but the irony is kind of lost since her acting is so poor.  Amelia Kincaid is slightly better as the goth girl who does relish in her possessed format.   Kincaid weirdly enough is the niece of Golden Girl Rue McClanahan who allegedly visited the set…Blanche must have been so proud.  The movie also features ’80s scream-queen Linnea Quigley as the slutty lipstick loving possessed friend of Kincaid.  The movie is bookended by the story of a Halloween hating man played by Harold Ayer who has the last laugh played on him by his wife.  It would have been a beneficial hitch for marketing to have gotten a named star for this cameo, but the movie makers failed in this aspect.


Same time next year?

The movie is very ’80s and this can provide laughs or groans depending on your view of ’80s horror.  The ’80s saw the rise of cheap horror like this movie that despite making some money in the theater really benefited from the rental market.  The characters are all ’80s clichés and you do get the nudity typical to the type of film, but if you want to stick with cliché ’80s horror, I’d just stick with the Friday the 13th series.

Night of the Demons is pretty harmless.  It isn’t the best horror movie you’ll see (by far) nor is it the worst…but it is pretty bad.  The movie’s video popularity did end up spawning sequels and Night of the Demons was followed by Night of the Demons 2 in 1994 with a remake of the original in 2009.

Related Links:

Night of the Demons (2009)

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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