All kinds of movies turn up in the post here at the House of Mortal Cinema, and it’s always a pleasant surprise when a totally unknown quantity turns out to be much better (or at least, much more enjoyable) than otherwise expected.
DEMON LEGACY is just such an example. Out of the vast number of micro-budget shot on video movies that are flooding the market at the moment, the last thing I expected to encounter was an American take on the completely barmy demon possession movies Indonesia specialised in churning out in the early 1980s. The box says this is a cross between EVIL DEAD and LAST EXORCISM, but on the basis of this I’d be very interested to know if directors Rand Vossler and Bob Gill are fans of the work of H Tjut Djalil (MYSTICS IN BALI) or Liliek Sudjio (QUEEN OF BLACK MAGIC) because the climax of DEMON LEGACY plays out like one of those films without the dubbing, but with the doing-their-best-for-the-money special effects.
Five attractive young girls spend the night in a remote mountain lodge, find a ouija board and, in the process of contacting one of their number’s grandmother, unleash some sort of demonic force from the basement. The force quickly possesses some of them (handily in the shower in one case, just to up the exploitation elements from a previous hot tub scene) and pretty soon chaos reigns.
But wait? Who’s that old codger (that’s what he’s called in the credits) lurking in his trailer in the middle of the woods who just happens to have furnished it in the style of an especially demented shop in Glastonbury? Why does Michelle (Anna Maria Demara) keep having weird flashbacks to her weirdy-eyed grandmother (THE EXORCIST’s Eileen Dietz) doing a bizarre ritual? Why does she have such trouble keeping her bra on? Will that washing line with a large pair of socks hanging from it feature prominently in the background during the bonkers finale for absolutely no reason at all?
DEMON LEGACY is better directed, better acted, and a lot more fun than most similarly budgeted modern horror fare, and it earns itself many points for not using one of those awful blue filters and instead relying on its spooky forest location for its atmosphere. I’m not saying this film is a classic by any means, but it could sit respectably alongside any number of fun, low budget horror films from the 1970s and 1980s, especially those Indonesian ones. If that’s your sort of thing then dig in and enjoy.
101 Films released DEMON LEGACY on Region 2 DVD on 19th May 2014