Monday, May 19, 2014

Demon Rage (1982)

Demon Rage (1982)
Director: James Polakof
Starring: Lana Wood, Britt Ekland, John Carradine

Format: Streaming (American Pop Classics)

Plot: Frustrated housewife Lisa (Wood) begins having nightly trysts with a tall, dark stranger who turns out to be a ghost from the other side. Thus begins her descent into dementia, as she begins to distance herself even further from her husband and kids while painting portraits of her enigmatic new lover.

As I mentioned in my last review, my Netflix is on the fritz, but I discovered another streaming service on my WDTV Live called American Pop Classics. In amongst the usual public domain stuff it offers (Carnival of Souls, Bucket of Blood etc), I spotted this one. I'd never heard of it, but it sounded interesting enough and since it has a 2.8 average rating on IMDB, and I'm a sucker for punishment, I decided to check it out.

Comedy director James Polakof (SWIM TEAM) takes a stab at supernatural horror for this early 80s effort, which is also known as Satan's Mistress, with disappointing results.

I'm not a James Bond fan (I quite like the Daniel Craig ones, but don't care for any of the older ones), but I understand that Lana Wood was a Bond girl. Apparently her character in 1971's Diamonds are Forever was called Plenty O'Toole. Eleven years later, her character here might as well be called Juggs B Free, because she sure does spend a lot of time with them uncovered.

A quick check of IMDB reveals that this is something of a Bond reunion, with fellow Bond girl Britt Ekland (THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN) playing the psychic best friend and bad guy Kabir Bedi (OCTOPUSSY) as the "demon". With his black clothes, dark hair and beard and arched eyebrows Bedi reminds me of Terence Stamp's General Zod  in the Reeves Superman flicks, but he does little more than brood and try to look evil.

While this might have some passing interest to diehard Bond fans (or 11-year-old boys keen to check out Ms Wood's ample assets), it really is a tedious affair. Weird stuff happens to Lisa, she writhes on a bed having sexy dreams about her demon lover, her husband gets angry… this pattern repeats over and over until a half-assed conclusion. By that time I'd sure had enough of hearing Wood's lusty moans mixed with the crashing of waves (her home is at the beach).

The demon also tries to possess Lisa's daughter or some crap like that, but yawn, yawn, yawn. For a horror this is not the least bit scary or suspenseful. There's a decent decapitation scene, but even that can't make up for the rest. I found myself counting down the minutes until this one was over. I can see why this public domain snoozer is an obscurity, and frankly it should stay that way.

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