They will make cemeteries their cathedrals and tombs your cities.

Directed by .

Written by Dardano Sacchetti, Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava and Franco Ferrini.



Dario Argento presenta…

Demons begins on the Berlin U-Bahn. At her stop, Cheryl (Natasha Hovey) is given tickets by a mysterious masked man (Michele Soavi) for a free screening of a new movie at the Metropol cinema. She goes with her friend Kathy (Paola Cozzo) and they hook up with two guys there called George (Urbano Barberini) and Ken (Karl Zinny). Other people attending the screening are; Werner (Alex Serra), who is blind, and his daughter Liz (Sally Day); and Tony the pimp (Bobby Rhodes) and his girls Rosemary (Geretta Geretta) and Carmen (Fabiola Toledo). Before they go in, Rosemary cuts her face on a strange mask displayed in the foyer.

The film they’re watching is a horror film in which four people: Jerry (also Michele Soavi), Bob (Marcello Modugno), Nancy (Jasmine Maimone) and Edith (Eliana Miglio): find the coffin of Nostradamus in an old crypt. They open it and inside is an old book and a mask like the one in the foyer of the cinema. Despite the book’s warning that whoever wears the mask becomes a demon, Jerry puts it on and cuts his face just like Rosemary did.

Rosemary’s face starts bleeding again during the film so she goes to the ladies where she begins to transform into a demon, mirroring what is happening in the film as Jerry starts killing the others. Carmen goes to check on Rosemary and is attacked by her. Carmen is chased and ends up tearing through the cinema screen from behind it. Demon Rosemary attacks Liz and her lover (Claudio Spadaro).

“The movie, it’s happening just like in the movie.”


Carmen transforms into a demon herself in front of the startled cinema goers. Everyone panics and heads for the exits but find themselves locked in.

Four coked-up punks: Ripper (Lino Salemme), Nina (Bettina Ciampolini), Baby Pig (Peter Pitsch) and Hot Dog (Giuseppe Mauro Cruciano): get into the cinema while running away from some cops, the door simply opens for them. One demon gets out…

There’s gore aplenty, a great atmosphere and a killer soundtrack with music by Claudio Simonetti. The soundtrack includes the songs Save Our Souls by Mötley Crüe, White Wedding by Billy Idol, Fast As A Shark by Accept and Everybody Up by Saxon. The 80s would not have been the 80s without Demons in my opinion and it also happens to be the film that sparked my interest in Italian horror many years ago. With one great sequel directed by Lamberto Bava himself and several unofficial sequels that include amongst their number the The Church (1989) and Cemetery Man (1994), both directed by horror heavyweight Michele Soavi, I think it’s fair to say Demons was an inspirational work and the latest Blu-ray presentation by Arrow is as near perfect as you could hope for.

Also stars Nicoletta Elmi (Baron Blood [1972], Deep Red [1975]) as Ingrid, the usherette, Fiore Argento (Phenomena [1985]) as Hannah, Guido Baldi as Tommy, Stelio Candelli as Frank, Nicole Tessier as Ruth and Emanuela Zicosky as June.

In my next review I’ll be looking at Demons 2 (1986) so until then…

Other films directed by Lamberto Bava:

Macabre (1980)

A Blade in the Dark (1983)

Demons 2 (1986)

Midnight Killer (1986)

Delirium (1987)

Graveyard Disturbance (1987)

The Ogre (1988)

Demons 1985 Poster