Night Of The Demons 2: The Rare Superior Straight To Video Sequel
Night Of The Demons is the all too rare straight to video sequel that manages to improve on the first movie. The original Night Of The Demons is a cult horror film about a group of teenagers - which includes Return Of The Living Dead scream queen Linnea Quigley - who go to an abandoned funeral parlor called Hull House. For fun, they perform a seance, which in time-honored tradition, accidentally unleashes a demon that possesses shy student Angela. One by one, Angela kills the others and turns them into demons too, until they're banished by daylight, leaving two traumatized survivors.
Despite a limited release, Night Of The Demons became a solid hit in 1988. It's grown over time to become a beloved cult movie too, thanks to its mix of humor, gore, and Angela herself, who is something of a horror icon. While the series was never as big as Halloween it did spawn two sequels and a 2009 remake, which cast Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie) as the new Angela. While the reboot was originally intended for a theatrical release it ended up going straight to DVD.
Despite the success of the original, it took six years for Night Of The Demons 2 to arrive. This 1994 sequel follows Mouse, the younger sister of Angela who attends a Catholic school. She's having nasty dreams of her sister, whose body was never recovered following the end of Night Of The Demons. Mouse and a group of friends, including Terri (Christine Taylor, Zoolander), decide to throw a party at Hull House. It isn't long before Angela is resurrected, due to school bully Shirley stealing some lipstick that belonged to Suzanne from the first film.
She brings this back to the school, which allows Angela to wreak havoc. Night Of The Demons 2 is a classic follow-up in many ways since it essentially copies the structure of the original. In the hands of b-movie veteran Brian Trenchard-Smith, however, it's a playful sequel with a solid cast and rich atmosphere. There's a disappointing lack of gore compared to the original, but the finale where Mouse's friends - led by awesome nun Sister Gloria (Jennifer Rhodes, Charmed) - storm Hull House with squirt guns filled with holy water to stop her being sacrificed is a blast.
While most sequels tend to be a step down from the first entry, Night Of The Demons 2 is considered by some fans to be just as entertaining. Angela - played by the returning Amelia Kinkade - is still a great horror villain, the demon effects are cool and it was clear those involved wanted to make something fun. Sadly, Night Of The Demons III, which was also directed by Trenchard-Smith, was considered a major letdown compared to the first two.