Title: My Demon Lover (1987)
Summary: A homeless street musician becomes a demon when sexually aroused. (THIS IS THE LITERAL SYNOPSIS! I guess it’s… succinct.) [Wing: Casts a whole new light on that “tail” from the cover.]
Tagline: Falling in love can be very scary…
Notes: It’s hard to find this film unless you want to pay for a digital rental. It was released on VHS and DVD but again, I don’t want to own this. You’ll understand why shortly.
Also, I did this entire recap on my own before realizing that it needed a lot of commentary from others, to spread the
suffering joy around. Thus was born “Social Distance Snarking”.
I wanted to recap a film that is technically horror but also comedy. A HorCom? That sounds bad. I’m honestly not a big fan of slasher flicks, full out gore porn horror, most modern day CGI-filled horror movies, rebooted horror movies, “found footage” or demons possessing dolls films, or anything that has Saw or Centipede in the title. [Dove: You want Tucker & Dale vs Evil or Zombieland, both are a bit gory, but the element of comedy actually works, so it’s funny, not cringey.] [bat: I enjoyed Zombieland, but I also love Shaun of the Dead. That’s actually the only zombie movie I like, let alone love.]
[Jude: I’m the same way with the Final Destination movies, bat. I feel like by the third movie it reached a point where the filmmakers were getting off on being cruel for the sake of cruelty.] [bat: I’ve never seen a single one of those films. But I understand exactly the point you’re making.]
[Wing: I would not have expected bat’s list of horror movies she doesn’t like to be quite so extensive! Also, speaking of the Final Destination movies, Dove has been trying to get me to watch them for years and as yet I’ve held out.]
Practical horror effects and makeup are more my speed. Jump scares in old horror movies still occasionally catch me off-guard and succeed in making me jump. I’m so digressing but this all ties into why I picked this film to recap.
It’s been some time since I innocently stumbled upon My Demon Lover on TV. I would hazard that it was probably airing as a “Saturday afternoon” film on a local channel, back when local stations aired movies on Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights and Saturday/Sunday afternoons. I would guess it was in the 90s. It has been so long my memories are hazy. I did not catch the entire film; I entered viewing at a point where I immediately thought, what the fuck am I watching?! but proceeded to finish the film because it was so outrageously bad that I couldn’t seem to turn it off.
Scott Valentine, the eponymous demon lover of the film, was known for being on a little TV sitcom called Family Ties. He played Nick Moore, the boyfriend of Mallory Keaton, who was sort of a hot 80s punk who was really into making found object sculptures. Or at least that’s all I remember about that character, I didn’t regularly watch Family Ties. He was cute in that 80s leather jacket-wearing, big hair, earring-sporting rebel way that was very much a product of the 1980s but I don’t remember him being particularly talented.
[Jude: Oh my God I never watched Family Ties but they mentioned him specifically in a Family Guy episode.] [bat: Is it sad that A) I knew exactly what you’re talking about and B) spent the time to track down the exact clip where that reference is made?]
Even though he did a lot of scripted television and quite a few movies over the span of his career, Valentine never really hit it big. I think My Demon Lover was supposed to be the film that made him known but it was a pretty much a box office bomb. It’s also a pretty terrible film, if I’m being honest.
Here, just watch the trailer:
See? You don’t know how to take this film. Is it supposed to be full on horror? Is it supposed to be comedy? Is it dramatic? Is it slapstick? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?? (Also: way to entirely spoil 99% of the film.)
So, without further adieu, let’s watch My Demon Lover! [JC: I’ve never commented on one of bat’s recaps before. So glad my first could be possibly the worst movie in creation? It doesn’t make the movie better, but I think it helps to know none of us who watched this had to suffer alone.] [Wing: Note from the future, Flatliners has been published before this recap, and it contains comments from JC.] [JC: Wow, Wing beat me to my own “Note From The Future”!]
[Jude: I’ve never commented on bat’s recaps, either. It’s been a while since I’ve commented on someone else’s recaps, but all I can say right now is this is disturbingly similar to a 30-minute OVA titled Call Me Tonight. It’s also about a guy who transforms into different monsters every time he gets aroused. A teenage girl who’s also the president of a call service, Telephone Communication Madonna, takes an interest in his plight and tries to help him control the transformations via exposure therapy. Which means making him transform in public by showing him pictures of boobs and shit. Surprisingly, despite the plot it is NOT tentacle porn. Since it came out in 1986 I have to wonder if this flick’s a rip-off. It has a great City Pop opening theme though.]
[Dove: I’m a dab hand at commenting on bat’s recaps. We’ve nearly finished the entire Gen 1 My Little Pony ‘n Friends cartoon. Much as I love bat, I have come to recognise that if we work together, it’s going to hurt.] [bat: HEY WAIT A MINUTE, The Three Musketeers didn’t hurt! We got both Oliver Platt AND Michael Wincott in one film!] [Wing: Another note from the future, The Lost Boys didn’t hurt either. You can tell it took me awhile to have time to watch the movie and add my comments.]
We start with a red background, with Scott Valentine being the first credit. A peppy rock score plays in the background as a cartoon-ish demon appears and zaps Scott Valentine’s name into the title: My Demon Lover. Already this is starting off bad.
Fade to black and smash cut to a busy New York City street. Credits roll over the footage. [JC: They are, weirdly, in 1980s sitcom font. I feel like I’m about to watch an episode of Perfect Strangers. What I wouldn’t give for Cousin Balki to show up right about now.] [bat: Don’t be ree-dic-u-lous. Cousin Balki would be smart enough to stay far far away from this film.] We aren’t focused on any one person; it’s just a typical day in late 1980s NYC. The music evolves into a song entitled “Let Go” by the band Intimate Strangers. It’s very typical 80s pop-rock. [Wing: I can’t not read that as “Let It Go” every time I see it. And now that that’s stuck in most readers’ heads, you’re welcome.]
Enter our heroine: Denny. Blonde, dressed a bit funky as was typical in the late 1980s, she’s carrying a bagful of groceries and a big white box closed with a string. There’s a fade cut and now she has another bag and a smaller white bag in her hand as she leaves what is probably a bakery. Stepping outside, she kneels and a small dog runs up to her, takes the small bag in its mouth and runs away. Ha ha, poor Denny. This incident is a metaphor for her life.
[Jude: As a New Yorker I can verify stuff like this doesn’t happen in real life. See, if this was based in reality, the dog would’ve pulled a knife on her.]
Crossing the street, she continues on her journey. Another cut and she’s on a different street, as the music fades and we hear her whistling the tune aloud as she comes to the steps of her building. Men carrying various items – books, lamps, furniture – come pouring out of the building. One half collides with Denny, sending her sprawling into the railing. She calls out an apology. Even though it wasn’t her fault. [Dove: Based on that single interaction, Denny might be British. That’s what we do.] [Wing: Women here are often taught to do that. It can take work to stop doing it.]
Denny is a doormat. [Jude: SAME, DENNY. SAME.]
She falls down the stairs and some other dude carrying what I think is a microwave appears, braying with laughter at Denny having fallen and lost all her parcels and groceries. “Hey! That’s my lamp!” she yells, trying to pick up her stuff. Nope, it’s a TV, my bad. Denny realizes it’s her goddamn boyfriend and she announces she thinks the other guys are stealing her stuff. Chip is an asshole. He squashes the box of baked goods, tosses the TV in the back of the van, ignores Denny, and yells for his “friends” to drive away, with all of Denny’s worldly possessions.
Denny chases the van, screaming that she doesn’t think she and Chip should see each other anymore because their relationship isn’t working out. Seriously, you are a fucking doormat, Denny.
Now up in what’s left of her apartment, Denny sits on the floor recounting all the things Chip stole. Records, her clock radio, all the food she bought to make fancy h’orsderves with for the party tonight. Wait, what party??
Sonia, Denny’s best friend, paces the living room. After Denny makes a comment about Chip leaving her a can of something that had the label ripped off but no can opener, Sonia’s had enough. She wants to call the cops on Chip. Denny tells her no, she’s been seeing Chip for almost 2 months, “that’s practically a relationship!” and it’ll ruin everything if Chip is arrested. Wow, I don’t feel sorry for Denny, she’s a goddamn pushover. [JC: Two months?! Why the fuck did he have a key to . . . no, never mind, Denny probably hands out her house key on the first date. Silly me for even questioning this.] [bat: There’s multiple hundreds of copies of Denny’s house key floating around NYC to this day.]
Sonia reels in the phone cord only to find Chip’s taken the phone. What an asshole.
Denny again takes all the blame on herself, saying it’s her fault Chip was “miffed” and he was the one who said the party was stupid, it was just a birthday, who cares. Wow. I mean I know people like this exist but this is taking the character to an extreme here. I’m with Sonia on this. Call the cops.
Sonia gives Denny what for, saying she’s letting him steal her underwear for throwing a party on his birthday? Denny reveals that it was a birthday party for herself. [JC: Denny’s best friend doesn’t know it was her birthday? Wow. Even the “good” characters suck.]
SMASH CUT TO THE GOOD OLD NYC SUBWAY SYSTEM. The car is nearly empty, a few people riding. The access doors between cars open and enter a big-haired 80s dude in a wine-colored sports jacket with a gray t-shirt and jeans, completing the ensemble with a saxophone. [JC: He’s no Sexy Saxophone Man from The Lost Boys, though.] [bat: NOOOO!! CAN’T UNSEE!!] He skips around the car before leaning on the doors as the train pulls into a station. The doors open and he nearly spills out, before smacking at the doors and stepping back into the car.
It’s a dumb entrance but it will make sense in a minute.
Screaming at the top of his lungs, as the train pulls out of the station, Kaz introduces himself. Yes, Kaz. I dunno. It was the 1980s. He adds that he hails from the planet Venus (?) and shakes the saxophone while saying, “this is our language!” I can damn well tell you that what follows is Kaz not actually playing the sax and saxophone music edited into the scene.
“Give us your money and go in peace! Oh, and leave the women!” Kaz shouts before he continues to “play”. Ugh. [Jude: If I have to move out of New York I don’t think I’ll miss the subway. At all.]
As he plays, Kaz wanders down the length of the train car, happening upon a woman who is dressed up. She’s reading a book. Kaz looks at her, her lips sensually parted, and hisses. His teeth are all long and sharply pointed, not remotely human. Another glance at the top of her dress that is low cut and revealing. We see his eyes bulge and turn red, no longer human.
We move to a long shot of the train entering a station. A woman waits alone on the platform, her back to a concrete pillar. She holds a Mylar heart-shaped balloon. The train pulls into the station, there’s a scream, the train pulls away. The heart balloon floats over the tracks and the woman collapses to her knees, but we can’t see her face.
OKAY WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED AND WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT
Smash cut to Denny and Sonia walking into some sort of retail shop. It looks like… well it’s not a typical store. There’s a lot of wooden tribalistic-looking masks on the walls and zebra print and wooden snakes? The woman at the counter is apparently Sonia’s sister, who has taken a lot of phone call messages from various men. Denny ignores the conversation, trying on some bracelets on display.
Sonia tells her sister she can go, Sonia can close up the store on her own for the night. After the sister leaves, Denny whines that she could have made things work with Chip. Yeah, if by work you mean shooting him with a 9mm and dumping his body in the alley. [JC: Personally, I would dump his body at a pig farm, but to each their own.] [Jude: Those poor pigs deserve better than Chip’s stank ass stanking up with the place with his death stank.] [Wing: Pigs love to eat anything and it’s a good way to dispose of bodies. Hypothetically. Of course.] [JC: I ONLY KNOW THIS DUE TO THE MOVIE SNATCH, I PROMISE!]
I might be wrong about this store. Sonia acts real weird and tells Denny she has to tell “him” no, and that she (Sonia) is out or busy. Denny looks confused and asks who. “Phil!” Sonia announces, just as the phone rings. I have a feeling that Sonia is a witch or something.
Oh gee, the shop is called “Gris-Gris”. Yep. Voodoo store. Um. I have some questions about this but I will chalk it up the filmmakers not doing any research or having any understanding of Voodoo. Denny answers the phone and yes, it is Phil. Denny takes a message about a missing umbrella Phil wants back. When she hangs up, Denny doesn’t even have to relay the message; Sonia is holding up the umbrella.
“How do you do that?!”
“It just happens sometimes.”
[Wing: But will it happen at actually plot useful times, that is the question.]
Out on the wild streets of late 1980s NYC, a woman is walking on the sidewalk wearing a silver trench coat. Nick runs up to her, calling her name, saying he saved her, taught her to walk again. “What do you want?” “How about a cup of coffee?” The lady shoves change into Nick’s hand and walks off laughing. Nick isn’t amused. Then he notices “hot” women walking everywhere around him and kind of duck walks off screen.
Smash cut back over to Denny and Sonia. They’re now at a bar, where Sonia informs Denny she is attracted to scum. Agreed. Harsh truth. Sonia continues that strays see her coming a mile away: “dogs, alley cats, actors!” Denny counters that Marko, the dog, was nice. But, just like Chip, Marko left her, too.
Sonia tells Denny to stop being a doormat.
Denny wishes aloud she was gorgeous and sexy and that she could handle men like Sonia. That’s when Sonia notices “the dork”, a nerdy man in a suit and tie that is failing to work a lighter for a woman. She tells Denny not to look but it’s too late. Eye contact is made. [JC: I couldn’t figure out why “the dork” looked so familiar, so I finally gave in and looked it up – he was Salmoneus on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. I am currently unsure how to feel about this.]
Charles, er “It’s Chuckie!” [Dove: There’s a name that has been decimated by 80s horror.] wanders up, spilling his drink and mangling French words. Apparently he is a regular. Sonia is pissed and calls for the check. Chuckie tells Denny he was feeling a magnetic pull towards her. Ugh. His yin reaching for her yang. Chuckie stops to ask for a tissue, blowing his nose all over the bar top. Sonia insults him for having a paper umbrella in his drink but Denny continues her role as carpet to be walked on and asks Chuckie about his career. He announces he’s in charge of student discipline, punching his glass and spilling his drink everywhere. [Jude: I am SO uncomfortable right now.]
Sonia ejects him, but not before Chuckie begs to have dinner with or just talk to Denny. He spills his drink on two different women before leaving the bar. Denny tries to defend him to Sonia, but Sonia isn’t having it. [Wing: Denny, go find yourself a good therapist. Please.]
Kaz, meanwhile, is wandering down a street that contains a lot of grifters and people “selling” “items” and whatnot. He comes upon an African-American man shilling health remedies. When he looks at Kaz, he informs him that he has no luck and can’t be helped. Buh? Kaz begs but when he doesn’t have twenty bucks, the old dude packs up his display and leaves. More “hot” women wander by and Kaz is clearly frustrated. Unfortunately, he grabs a woman by the hips and it’s enough for a female beat cop to see. She chases after Kaz.
Denny walks home alone from the bar. All those metal trashcans, Oscar has to be living in one of them! Something runs behind her, mostly out of frame, as she walks up the steps to her building. It’s clearly Kaz’s jacket. She enters and shuts the door behind her just in time. Kaz nearly makes it in. He ends up running off into the night after attacking a woman walking her dog. [Jude: Is this really trying to make a repeated attempted rapist sympathetic. Because so far all I’m feeling is EWW.] [Wing: Turning into a demon as the metaphor for men not being able to control their sexual urges is a pretty terrible premise even before we get to the sympathetic rapist part.]
The next day, a man in a suit is walking into what I presume is a police station. Reporters swarm him, asking what he is doing to catch “the Mangler”. “Don’t give it a name!” he cries, refusing to answer questions and locking his office door.
Sonia waits inside his office. She hands Phil his umbrella. She demands to know what he is doing, if anything, about the Mangler. Phil starts to snap but suddenly asks why he can’t take her to dinner but he can take her to bed. [Wing: Dude, she just wants sex. Either agree to it and enjoy yourself or decide it’s not for you and end it. Don’t try to fucking manipulate her into something more than what she wants.] Things get awkward and Sonia leaves.
We smash cut to what is, apparently, a shitty vegetarian/vegan “health food” restaurant. A woman in punk clothing is on the phone, yelling and screaming, while dark grey goop pumps out onto a plate. She throws a stalk of celery onto it and serves it to an old man. (You would know Calvert DeForest if you saw him; he showed up in tons of movies and TV shows, and was famous for being Larry “Bud” Melman on Late Night with David Letterman in the early 1980s.) The old man starts to eat with gusto. Denny walks in and tries to get the server’s attention, only to get screamed at by the woman. Denny repeats her order but continues to be a doormat. This is getting old.
[Dove: And the woman in punk clothing is Lin Shaye, sister of Bob Shaye, the owner (at the time) of New Line Cinema aka The House that Freddy Built. Lin pops up frequently in tiny roles in New Line movies of this era. She was also in the schlocky as fuck 2001 Maniacs with Robert Englund, which made them my horror OTP and I wish they’d team up again, because they chewed the scenery to perfection. And she was in a great indie horror called Dead End, which I will be recapping at some point. tl;dr: I fucking love Lin Shaye and am always delighted to see her, no matter how briefly. This may explain why I started liking this movie at this precise moment.] [bat: TIL about Bob and Lin Shaye! Thanks for the story time, Dove! Seriously, I had no idea who they were.]
The old man ends up face down in the grey goop. Denny tries to get him help but is screamed at some more by the woman running the restaurant. We move outside, where Denny sits at a table, attempting to eat her “burger”. (I damn well know it was supposed to not have a bun but yet here it clearly has a bun.) An medic crew brings the old man out on a stretcher and loads him into an ambulance. No one seems interested. A large pile of trash on the curb begins to move. Out of it crawls Kaz.
He immediately screams “FOOD!” and dives to his knees, prevented from taking the food off Denny’s plate by a picket fence. And maybe manners. Who knows. She starts to eat but he lays huge puppy dog eyes on her. Denny hands over the “burger” because she is a literal doormat.
Kaz takes a bite and immediately spits it out all over Denny’s dress. “What is this?!” he yells. [JC: THIS IS YOUR MEET-CUTE, GODDAMMIT! AND THE AUDIENCE ISN’T THRILLED ABOUT IT EITHER, BUDDY!] [bat: We can’t even call it a “meat”-cute because…] [Wing: Damn it, bat.] [bat: Sorry, Wing.] It’s a burger made of veggies, fruits, and grains. Kaz is pissed. Denny screams back at him for once, showing him what he ate through the various stains of what he spit out all over her clothes. Ew.
She leaves, Kaz follows, calling her “fruit burger”. She complains he ruined her dress. He offers to replace it by giving her a check. The checkbook he has belongs to a doctor, “don’t worry, he isn’t overdrawn!” She can’t believe he’s forging checks. Next he pulls a credit card from his pocket. Not his either. Denny storms off. [Jude: MIRACLE ROMANCE.]
Making it to her building, Kaz is there, across the street. He accosts her, trying to go in with her. She tells him she’s only there to see her “big boyfriend.” Kaz feigns illness and falls down on the stairs. Denny immediately shows concern, saying maybe he needs a doctor. Kaz gets her to try and help him up, telling her to put her arms around him. It’s gross. As soon as she admits there is no boyfriend, Kaz leans up and kisses her, saying they should get married. [Dove: On the one hand, that was skeevy as fuck and I don’t approve. On the other hand, the moment was well delivered and, despite the consent issues, raised an accidental smile. I’m so conflicted. I didn’t need another Overboard in my life.]
Denny storms off, followed closely by Kaz, who calls her “fruit burger” again. He says he’s had hundreds of successful relationships but he’s not perfect and has learned to live with his problems. She hits him with her purse and Kaz grabs her. His voice has changed and he’s mumbling something about “sexual attraction” being a powerful thing. Denny fights him, trying to get free, but Kaz drops her and runs away, reminding her he has problems. He has very obviously transformed, too. Denny just watches him run off.
On what’s clearly a different night, Denny is walking home alone in the dark once again. She is more cautious though, this time, stopping to make sure no one follows her up the steps and into the building. But she doesn’t see what’s waiting for her. Chip slams her into the wall. “You little bitch!” “Oh, Chip, honey, is something wrong?” WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, DENNY?
Chip informs Denny that he believes she called the cops on him, as he was busted trying to pass a “hot” blender. [Wing: I am dying over the blender being what caught him.] Chip adds that his girl doesn’t rat to the cops and get away with it. Denny grows a tiny backbone and informs Chip she isn’t his girlfriend any longer. She ducks out of his grip as Chip hits the wall. Chasing her down the stairs and back into the street, they play cat and mouse around a car, Denny reminding Chip that he robbed her apartment. She screams for help and tries to run back into her building but Chip grabs her on the steps.
Just as he’s about to strike her, Kaz pops up and roars, sending Chip running for his life down the sidewalk. Like, nothing is shown? It’s also a real weird edit. Kaz complains the city is full of goddamn animals. [Jude: You would know, Kaz.] He turns and finds Denny laying on the steps, unconscious. She awakens a little at his touch, as he carries her into the building.
Next thing she is on the couch in her apartment, covered by a blanket. It’s dark. She sees movement, someone in the apartment with her. She warns the person to stay away. Kaz turns on the lamp. He’s brought her coffee. “Kaz? Denny asks.
She takes the coffee and apologizes, saying she thought she saw something else. “I’ve been conked on the head one too many times this week.” That’s not funny, Kaz. Denny figures out that it was Kaz who scared Chip away while she drinks her coffee. She starts crying and Kaz asks if she wants decaf instead, then asks why she’s crying.
Denny announces she’s a schlub, and rants about how she’s a “woman of the 80s”: she can risk her life in armed combat or can have empty sex with strangers. Those… those are two very different things? “But all I want is someone to take care of.” She denounces herself as pathetic and that she should be stuffed and displayed in a museum.
This movie is awful and the writing is shitty and the characters, they too, are shitty. [Jude: bat why would you put yourself through this?] [bat: BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW ANY BETTER AFTER HOW MANY HORRIBLE MOVIE RECAPS!]
[Dove: I think this plays into a trope I very much enjoy in pro-wrestling (where you just have to live with the unfortunate implications of literally everything): the confused monster who loves you. I like a storyline where there is a big brainless brute who worships someone (usually female) and decimates the roster because he’s such a monster he doesn’t really know right from wrong. It works in wrestling because everything is just fucking weird, but I had no idea I’d like it in a movie… especially when Twilight and all that nonsense leaves me cold. And bored.]
[Wing: I think that’s a trope that is difficult to do well. I love it (and the related “pet sociopath” trope), but it walks a fine line sometimes. Here, I think the line for me is the man’s sexual desire = uncontrollable monster because that, on a lesser level, is one of the real world excuses people actually make when defending rapists, etc. When it’s done well, oh man, it’s so good, the monster aimed like a weapon.
I don’t think that’s actually the trope used in Twilight, or at least not used effectively. Like, in wrestling and other places where it works, the monster is often encouraged by the object of worship to do the things they’re doing. In Twilight, Bella is not on board for things like Edward disabling her truck or forbidding her to see Jacob, etc. If the object of affection isn’t into the monstrous acts, at least the intent behind them if not the acts themselves, it falls out of what I consider the trope.]
Kaz dismisses Denny’s ranting and that she’ll be okay. “I fall in love with bozos!” “That sucks.” Then Kaz asks if he scares her. Denny admits she should be scared of him but she’s not, that she knows he doesn’t want to hurt her. She reaches up and cups his cheek. Uh oh. Kaz moves away far enough to be out of reach, telling Denny he’s so tired and asking if he can sleep on her couch. Just then it begins to thunder outside, with lightning, and rain pouring down. Denny agrees to let him say.
Bundled up on the couch, Kaz tries to fall asleep but then realizes he can see from a cutout window into the kitchen through to a cutout window into Denny’s bedroom. (Who the fuck designed this apartment??) He can see Denny in her nightgown putting on her robe. He quickly lays back down as she comes out to say goodnight. Switching off the lights, Denny heads back into her room. Kaz sits up and watches, groaning and holding his head [Wing: Dirty.] as he begins to transform. With a snarl, he flees the apartment, climbing out the window into the night. Denny hears nothing.
SMASH CUT TO THE NEXT MORNING. Denny is in the kitchen and over the radio we hear the “Mangler” has attacked another woman, one Miguela, outside her shop “Gris-Gris”. Oh no, Kaz attacked Sonia’s sister!
Denny doesn’t hear the news report. She’s too busy bringing breakfast to Kaz on the couch. He wakes with a shout, startling Denny, who drops the toast. Denny picks it up as best she can while Kaz mumbles something about a taste in his mouth. Um, Denny, start paying better attention.
Because she’s a goddamn doormat, Denny apologizes to Kaz for dumping her problems on him. He brushes it away, asking if they “did something” last night. Denny just shakes her head. Kaz is relieved and immediately puts on his shoes to leave.
On his way out he says he can’t look at, think about, or have sex. “Don’t tell me you can’t make love,” Denny answers shyly. WOMAN LISTEN TO THE MAN-THING. She asks about his hundreds of successful relationships. “It’s a lie!” Kaz admits, saying lying is one of his better qualities. [Jude: NO IT ISN’T.] [bat: KAZ HAS ZERO GOOD QUALITIES.] He thanks her for the couch and tries to leave. Denny stops him, saying many men have problems having sex. But she wants him to stay and sleep on her couch, for the company.
Kaz seems confused. He clarifies there will be no physical contact between them, just him sleeping on her couch. Denny agrees. Then Kaz asks if this is what a relationship is, as he’s never had one. “I’m perfect for you, as I can have a relationship with anybody!” Denny announces.
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, MOVIE.
[Jude: To quote Werner Herzog, “My anus clenches in despair.”]
Oh great, it’s 80s montage time, complete with rock music song. Kaz and Denny doing things together as a couple but no sexy stuff or holding hands. Nope, it’s playing on a giant jungle gym, blowing up latex balloons, eating ice cream cones, Kaz playing sax while Denny… air guitars in the background? [JC: Air . . . stand-up basses? *shrug*] Denny savage and suggestively eating Kaz’s hotdog out of his hand. HA HA HA LOOK AT HOW AGGRESSIVELY FRIENDLY WE CAN BE WITH EACH OTHER AND HOW WE CAN HAVE A RELATIONSHIP AND NOTHING HAPPENS PHYSICALLY! This is super weird. [Jude: See if this took place in the 90s they would’ve just ripped off the opening of Friends. WAIT OH GOD IS KAZ ROSS?] [Wing: Fuck Ross.]
We move to the hospital, where a bouquet of flowers is on a nightstand. In the hospital bed is Miguela, looking pretty bad but also that’s a terribly shitty makeup job. Sonia sits at her bedside, looking angry and pensive. Phil arrives and asks the doctor how Miguela is doing. Doctor says Miguela has suffered a severe traumatic shock. Okay. Phil tells Sonia she can go home and rest, that he’ll have someone call if there’s a change.
Sonia basically spits on his offer, saying she’s staying so Miguela knows someone cares, as the cops totally don’t. Phil asks the doctor her Miguela has said anything. This triggers Miguela into shaking her head and flashing back to the attack. Phil leans in to hear and Sonia begs her sister to remember what happened. Miguela says the attacker didn’t have hands (?) he had hands like a wild animal. We hear a cougar-like noise in the flashback and something swipes at the screen. Weird and… really fake. Miguela starts waving her hands to fend off her attacker, screaming, A nurse runs in and she and the doctor attempt to restrain Miguela.
Out in the hall, Sonia admits to Phil she “saw him”. Phil presses for more info but she has none or can’t figure out what exactly she saw. He offers her a ride home but Sonia declines. Phil… I think he cares but I also think he’s yet another shitty character written as two-dimensional.
SMASH CUT to Chuckie calling Denny from a payphone. Remember those? He leaves a rambling message asking to take her out to dinner, giving his phone number just as a bunch of fire trucks rumble by and the air fills with sirens. But, of course, Denny doesn’t receive the message. She’s out with Kaz, wandering down a bustling sidewalk. The scene of the crime where Kaz wandered into the African-American guy.
Who he promptly realizes is back, giving a fortune to a paying customer. Of course it’s a generic as fuck fortune – “you will die in the next century!” – and the shrill white woman complains. As soon as Kaz shows up, the old dude freaks out and tries to pack up. He says something about Kaz being so blatantly cursed any half-dead psychic could pick that up from a mile away. Huh? Okay. [JC: He said “half-assed” psychic, not “half-dead”. Yeah, the audio quality in this movie is . . . not great.] [bat: SEE! This is why I hate watching without captions!]
Kaz reminds him that the psychic said he could do something for him. Psychic says he could but Kaz had no money at that time, so what’s changed? Kaz smiles all goofy and looks down the sidewalk to where Denny is talking to a vendor. Psychic is all CRAP WHAT DID YOU DO?! “You didn’t go do something stupid, I hope! You didn’t go and fall in love?!” This seems like info you could have given Kaz FOR FREE but we wouldn’t have a movie then, would we.
“You want to give up the power of the curse for a woman!? You’re like to break my heart.” Um. Hello? We, the audience, do not understand Kaz’s curse. Or why he’s curse. Or what cursed him. WHERE IS THIS VERY IMPORTANT INFO BEYOND THE BULLSHIT REACTIONS KAZ HAS HAD ANY TIME HE LOOKS AT A HOT WOMAN. [Jude: I can’t believe Robert Shaye helped produce this movie. …eh I can kind of believe it.] [Dove: They were basically functioning at a loss on everything except for the Elm Street movies early on, and at this point Freddy’s Revenge hadn’t done as well as they’d hoped. I haven’t a clue who the lead guy is, but if they thought he could turn it around… sure, makes sense.] [Wing: So … calling it a curse and then being horrified that someone would want to give up a curse kind of defeats your point, dude. Who wants to keep a curse?]
Psychic has Kaz help him turn around his booth, which is basically a suitcase/trunk on a stand. Psychic opens a piece of a door that has been set in the middle of the top part, which still has the door handle attached. The doorknob is a cut crystal. “Have you been crystal ball shopping lately? Expensive!” Honesty, this is really fucking clever and I’m kind of pissed I didn’t think of it. Psychic twists the knob a bit, some red/blue/yellow lights flash and he locks in on Kaz’s… frequency?
Whatever. The camera zooms in on the doorknob and we’re given a flashback. I will sum it up for you: young pre-teen Kaz and some friends are wandering through the dining room of a house, when a pre-teen girl pulls back a beaded curtain and leads Kaz into the living room. Kaz recognizes her as Bibi Szegulesco. Bibi asks if Kaz has ever kissed a girl. He says not exactly. Sure, kid. They commence to necking on the couch while Kaz’s friends watch through the beaded curtain.
Suddenly an older woman, obviously Bibi’s grandmother, wanders in. She sees the boys, looks into the living room, and flips out. Bibi acts as if it’s Kaz’s fault, grandmother Szegulesco starts to hit Kaz with her handbag, and the other kids scatter. As soon as Kaz gets free, he gets entangled in the beaded curtain and falls back into the dining room table. Grandmother Szegulesco yells in Romanian, raises her hand, and electricity shoots out of her finger tip at Kaz as she calls out a curse. “Pazatski!”
[Jude: Gesundheit. Ba-dum-tish! Oh God I’m going to Hell.]
Whatever the curse is, it’s impressing the psychic. Kaz thinks what happened means he’s possessed by the devil. The psychic explains not exactly then yells at Kaz to drop his pants. He is hesitant of course but finally unzips just enough to not show the goods but enough for the psychic to show Kaz exactly where the curse hit him. “That’s where the devil went in ya!” [Wing: Dirty.] Right above his junk, where there’s some weird scar tissue. Charming. [Jude: I got nothing.]
A couple are taken aback by witnessing the psychic leaned over and yelling at Kaz’s junk. He yells at them that he’s busy and if they can’t take it, go back to Jersey. Moving on, the psychic explains that Kaz needs to make sure no one touches him in that spot and especially must be careful of anything made of flint. Because, apparently, if flint hits him, Kaz and the devil die.
This is all utterly confusing.
Kaz wants to know why he only turns (?) when he’s horny. The psychic starts laughing and all I can understand (fuck I wish this had captions) is something about he can’t “get down” with a mouth full of razors and a burning tail. [JC: There was something along the lines of getting literally “horny” whenever he feels horny. I heard it okay, but my memory is failing me and I’m not watching this again to confirm the actual line.] Okay. But now that he’s “in love” with Denny, she’s put a serious case of Romanian blue balls on Kaz, because he can’t fuck when he’s in demonic form. [Jude: “Romanian blue balls.” Well I’m officially scarred for life.] [Wing: You know, there are plenty of monsterfuckers out there who would be down with fucking him in his demonic form. You’re just not looking in the right places, Kaz.]
So basically, if I’m understanding right, grandmother Szegulesco cursed Kaz into becoming a demon to prevent him from fucking, because becoming horny makes him
vamp devil out. Okay. [Dove: That’s a baffling curse, because he seems kind of… um, not that bothered about consent when the eyes start glowing and the teeth get all pointy. Basically, she made things worse.] [Wing: It’s about as much fail as Angelus’ curse in Buffy. You want to curse him to feel guilty forever about the terrible things he did? Cool. You want him to lose that guilt and go back to his murderous, tortury ways the second he has that moment of happiness with true love? The fuck?]
KAZ WANTS ANSWERS. He asks how to reverse the curse. “You gotta do something noble, scare the devil right out of you!” Oh that’s so fucking helpful. Kaz says the answer sounds like a fairy tale.
“You’re mighty picky for someone living in The Twilight Zone!” I have to agree with the psychic on that one. And that’s when the psychic lays the catch on Kaz: when the devil leaps out of him, the devil will latch onto the person closest to him, as in terms of relationship not whomever is standing physically close. Kaz will get cured but that person will get cursed.
Denny walks up just then. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN.
Kaz and Denny are walking home and she admits she’s never felt as close to anyone as she feels to Kaz. DOOM. DOOM DOOM DOOM. Kaz admits he, too, feels the same. They hug. YOU’RE ALL DOOMED.
[Jude: IMMA SING THE DOOM SONG NOW!]
Chuckie calls again, from a payphone, and leaves another message for Denny, saying he has tickets for some fancy shindig. It’s all dumb made-up shit and isn’t half as funny as it should be, especially 30-something years later [Dove: The reference to Princess Diana and Prince Charles pretty much killed it for this Brit!]. Stallone reading Charles Dickens, sure. I guess this guy doesn’t understand the word ‘no’ or take a hint very well.
It’s another day! How? I can tell by Denny’s terrible clothing and the sun setting. Denny walks home and a drunk bum tells her she reminds him of his wife. When she’s out of earshot, he mutters, “that bitch”. How charming.
Denny enters the apartment, calls for Kaz. She’s home early from work. Kaz doesn’t answer. Denny walks into the living room which Kaz is decorating with crepe paper and balloons and signs. He’s even dressed up for the occasion, sporting a stupid obnoxious bow tie. “Happy birthday. Surprise.”
SMASH CUT to a half-eaten pizza on the table, the pieces have melted birthday candles on them. How sweet? Denny announces she wants Kaz to stay all night this time. As opposed? Does she know he runs out screaming, half transformed, at night? She seemed pretty oblivious to that incident.
Oh, she adds he doesn’t have to sleep on the couch. Ugh. [Wing: Yeah, that’s what she means with all night. She’s ready to get her some.]
Kaz deflects by asking her to open her present, a very large oversized box. He actually unwraps it for her; he’s replaced her stolen TV set. When Denny gets up from the couch, she knocks the pizza box and reveals the headline on the newspaper: the Mangler has killed again.
Denny realizes it’s her TV, the one Chip stole. She asks if Kaz stole it back. Nope, he paid for it, on Visa! That doctor’s stolen Visa, but who cares! Denny is thrilled and making a move. Kaz is trying to head her advances off. They’re on the couch, kissing, Kaz telling her she’s feeling feelings for the wrong person. Well, Denny makes shit choices, the movie has repeatedly proved this. What’s one more?
Denny starts to suck on Kaz’s ear. It suddenly sucks into the side of his head and disappears. (This is actually funny, I love practical effects!) Kaz and Denny fall off the couch as Kaz flees into the bedroom, to hide in the bathroom. Denny chases him into the shower, where he’s trying to cool off, though apparently the water isn’t cold enough.
Denny decides they have to talk about their relationship. Out of the shower, with towels, Kaz paces her bedroom and won’t tell her. Denny promises she will still like him and won’t cry or faint or “lose her pizza”. Kaz gives up and mumbles his problem. Denny complains she couldn’t understand him and tries to repeat the word but mangles it.
“No! I’m Pazats!” Kaz cries, explaining that it’s like being possessed by the devil but worse. Not sure how anything could be worse then being possessed by the devil but okay. [JC: I’m pretty sure watching this movie is worse than being possessed.] [Jude: I deeply regret everything I ever did in my life that led to this point.] [bat: Now you know why people are suspicious if I ask them to join in and comment on mystery recaps.] [Dove: I’m fine. I’m enjoying this car wreck. I wonder if Necromentia broke me?] [Wing: I’m actually 100% entertained by this ridiculous bullshit.]
Denny, of course, thinks Kaz is making a joke and being juvenile. She doesn’t believe him. Kaz tails her round and round the apartment, explaining he’s sick. Denny wants to take a walk, Kaz insists on going with her. She makes a crack about a leash. The couple argue about what Kaz has revealed. Denny calls him out, saying he told her he was a liar. So why wouldn’t he be lying now?
Kaz calls her bluff by saying if she wants to see him change, to kiss him. He starts flapping his arms and making chicken noises when Denny hesitates. “Put your mouth where your mouth is!” Denny rises to the challenge and begins passionately kissing Kaz. He joins in. “Anything?” “You’re getting there.”
They move into Denny’s bedroom and fall onto the bed, getting hot and heavy. Denny pulls up the back of Kaz’s shirt and touches his skin. He begins to moan and groan, in pain, which Denny mistakes for pleasure. “Just go with it!” she whispers, as Kaz feels the change coming upon him.
“I hate when this happens!” Kaz yells, as his ass cheeks swell and spikes/ridges pop up along his spine under the skin. (This is all practical visual effects and I’m loving it.) Denny starts to realize something is very wrong as she sees Kaz’s head swell. Suddenly she pulls off his hair. “BINGO!” Kaz shouts, transformed into an ugly son of a bitch.
I dunno how to exactly explain it. Kaz has become bald, paunchy, has a big hooked nose, and doesn’t particularly look all that demonic. [JC: He looks a bit like Clem from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, only less melty.] [Jude: I was gonna say vaguely the Grand High Witch.] [Dove: I’m with JC. I literally said, “Clem!” in tones of astonishment when his transformation was revealed.] Denny tries to leave the room but Kaz magically makes the dresser block the door. She runs to the bathroom and pours a cup of cold water, throwing it on Kaz. “Change back!” she demands. “It doesn’t work that way.” Kaz sighs. [Wing: BUT NO ONE KNOWS HOW IT WORKS LEAST OF ALL YOU.]
Denny climbs into the shower, whistling and calling, “Come here, boy!” as though Kaz is a dog. What the fuck. Kaz says it’s too late for a cold shower. His transformation has to go away on its own, “like a heat rash.” Um. Just then the phone rings. Denny announces she’s hysterical as she moves the dresser out of the way to get to the phone. She screams “NOT NOW!” into the receiver before slamming it down. [Jude: Okay that made me laugh.]
Kaz starts acting like a dog, down on all fours, sniffing the sheets and barking. The phone rings again and Denny answers. It’s Chuckie! He wants to go to dinner. “Not tonight, Charles! I am having a heart attack!” She slams down the receiver. Kaz climbs out the window and Denny falls down on the floor.
SMASH CUT to the police station. Sonia shows up in Phil’s office, saying she thinks she knows who the Mangler is, because she “saw” what Miguela saw. Basically, Sonia is trying to sell Phil on using her psychic powers to tune in and find the Mangler, as she knows he looks human most of the time.
Phil isn’t buying it and chalks this up to her being in shock over her sister’s attack. Sonia flips out. “You come in here telling me you saw the devil!” Phil counters. Sonia storms out, saying she’ll find the Mangler without Phil’s help.
SMASH CUT to Denny walking past the jungle gym where she and Kaz played. Another couple runs up and is having a good time, reminding her more of how much she misses Kaz. On her street, she sees someone in a red sport coat with big brown hair rummaging in a garbage can. “Kaz!” she cries, running over and grabbing him from behind, only to realize it’s just some homeless guy.
Back in her apartment, she finds some balloons. We can see Kaz trying to sneak out but Denny catches him. They end up in a bar. Denny is trying to convince him they can work this out. “I turn into a monster.” “Piece of cake!” Denny might be delusional but she has a big heart. She wants Kaz to come home.
Kaz has other ideas. He intends to turn himself into the cops. He believes he’s the Mangler. Denny laughs aloud in disbelief. Kaz tells her every time he left her apartment at night, he doesn’t remember where he went or what he did. Women are getting sliced up, so it potentially could be Kaz’s fault. Denny counters she’s been wrong about men her whole life but not this time, Kaz is not the Mangler. They kiss.
Over at the bar Charles/Chuckie is cruising down the line, stopping at every woman and loudly droning “CAN I BUY YOU A DRINK?” He continually strikes out until he hits on Sonia, recognizes her, and tries to leave. Sonia asks him to come back, she tells him there’s no woman here for him. Everyone in the bar has secrets.
Meanwhile, Denny is planning a night with Kaz. If he transforms he can’t run away. But if he thinks of Denny as a snack, she’s out the door and into therapy. Uh.
Charles is droning on, telling Sonia he was born in Philadelphia, the actual city. Sonia yawns, then recognizes Denny sitting in a booth. She drags Charles over and greets Denny, who invites them to join her and Kaz in the booth. Sonia slides in to sit next to Kaz. This looks like trouble brewing.
Apparently Denny has told Sonia about Kaz. Kaz is immediately physically attracted to Sonia, interrupting her as she tries to tell Denny about Miguela’s attack. “Can I buy you a drink?” Kaz asks. Sonia’s expression turns to one of horror as she sees Kaz’s bulging red eyes. Uh oh. Denny catches on, pinches Kaz hard, and says he wanted to go home and change. She drags him from the both in front of a confused Charles and a wary Sonia. [Dove: This I did not enjoy so much. Sure, he can be attracted, but flirting with another girl in front of the woman he loves? Not cool. Or is this the demon inside taking the brute force approach? I’m confused. I don’t know how this works.] [bat: …no…no one does, Dove.]
Sonia thinks she’s found the devil! Back at her Gris-Gris shop, Charles in tow, she selects a very oversized and super ugly knife off the wall. Oh, my bad, it’s a sword. “Sword of Asmodeus, demon slayer”, Charles reads the sign. [Jude: And yet ironically, Asmodeus represents Lust in Umineko: When They Cry.] He asks what she’s going to do with it but Sonia stops answering and runs out of the shop. “Hey! Are we going back to your place?” Charles cries, running after her.
Back at Denny’s apartment, the couple arrive home. Denny tries to kiss Kaz but he insists he can’t. They end up on the couch, Denny’s tongue down his throat. Kaz pets her hair, revealing talons. Denny realizes the change has happened very quickly and leans back, revealing Kaz’s full transformation: multiple horns, red eyes sunk deep into their sockets, and razors for teeth. “Oh no, you look awful.” But Denny’s decided they’re going to go for it. She starts to kiss Kaz but things in the apartment start to rattle and shake, champagne pops and glasses go flying by. Denny begs him to stop but Kaz says it’s not his fault. A voice comes out of Kaz, the devil inside him, and Kaz realizes it’s trying to take over his body.
A neighbor bangs on the wall and tells them to keep it down. Denny yells back an apology and adds that her boyfriend’s possessed. Kaz starts banging his head on the brick wall, then backs up and runs at it full tilt, his head collapsing into his neck as though he were a turtle.
Denny screams as Kaz pulls his head back up, but it’s not Kaz. It’s “the date who wouldn’t leave!” Denny cries, as a nerdy dude [JC: Pretty sure this was Jim Carrey time-traveling from the set of Dumb & Dumber.] demanding food and beer pops into the kitchen. Suddenly, the head changes again! This time it’s Denny’s mom, bitching her out for being too good for any man and how she’ll never get married. Denny screams for Kaz to make this stop and pushes his body, slamming her fists into her mother’s head. Which crumples and turns into some sort of cheese-sauce good as the body hits the wall and slumps to the floor.
I think this is the horror part of the film. [Dove: This felt like early Peter Jackson, like Bad Taste or Braindead. I loathe this kind of thing.]
Denny, to her credit, doesn’t run away. She cautiously approaches the headless body, which eventually spits a bunch of goo out of the neck hole and makes sounds like an elephant trumpeting. Denny hides outside the door, waiting for the body to calm down. Kaz eventually calls for her, saying he’s inside. It’s enough to lure Denny back into the kitchen but the body just explodes again from the neck hole, sending Denny reeling back into the living room.
Sonia has arrived with Charles! She looks up at the fire escape and sees lights on in Denny’s apartment. Charles can’t keep up as she disappears, probably on her way to stab Kaz or something.
Kaz is back, singed from his adventure, complaining that every time a woman gets in a relationship with a man, she wants to change him. Denny counters, doesn’t Kaz want to change? [Wing: You are already changing, Kaz, that’s the problem.] Kaz explains that she’s too close to him but before he can tell her with the psychic said, Denny interrupts. Kaz blacked out, she says, but the devil/demon/whatever didn’t hurt her. Kaz is elated!
Sonia has run around the block to find a payphone. She can hear the phone ring in Denny’s apartment. Denny answers and Sonia rushes her, saying she needs to come immediately, Sonia needs help. She hangs up before Denny can ask questions. Kaz is all, whoa, hold up, we were having an important discussion! Denny tells him she has to go, Sonia needs her.
Down on the street, Sonia throws her keys at Charles and tells him to drive to the 6h precinct and tell Phil she found what she was looking for. Charles tries to stop her but can’t. Denny has cleaned herself up and gives Kaz a pep talk. He may be ugly and talk ugly but he is not the Mangler! Denny leaves.
Sonia climbs the fire escape to Denny’s apartment, Kaz is in the bathroom, complaining about being called ugly. Climbing in the open window, Sonia has the sword at the ready.
Denny is startled when Charles appears out of nowhere. He chides her for being out alone at night, putting in a pair of plastic vampire fangs. Denny tells him she’s already had dinner. “No, Sonia told me to come and pick you up,” Charles informs her, pointing to Sonia’s car. “Thanks but I’m going to take a taxi.” [Dove: Probably the most sensible decision she makes in the entire movie.]
“I don’t think so!” Charles grabs Denny by the shoulder, his hand deformed and ugly. (Uh huh, saw this coming about 90 miles away.)
SMASH CUT back to Sonia, who kicks open the door to Denny’s bedroom. Kaz steps out of the bathroom. “What are you looking for?” “You!” Kaz smiles and turns out the lights, stepping out of he darkness with overgrown hair and beard, and a pair of leathery wings. Sonia stares in astonishment. Kaz realizes something is wrong when Sonia raises the glorified knife. “Why do you have a sword?” “To kill you!” [JC: A better question: Why does your demon look different every time it comes out, Kaz? How do we go from Paunchy Old Man to Underbite Spiny Guy to Caveman Leather Wings? What the actual fuck is going on here?] [Jude: Oh my GOD JC you don’t just ask someone why they’re a different demon every time they transform, that is SO not fetch. …there, now I’ve fully debased myself.]
Kaz runs and hides behind the couch, Sonia slowed down by the bedroom door. She waves the ridiculous knife around, hunting Kaz.
WE JUMP CUT BACK TO DENNY RUNNING DOWN THE SIDEWALK BUT CHARLES CATCHES UP AND COVERS HER MOUTH AND NOSE WITH A HANDKERCHIEF, CLEARLY SOAKED IN ETHER. THIS WAS A STUPID CUT, SHE SHOULD HAVE JUST BEEN SHOWN RUNNING AWAY AND GETTING CAUGHT, NOT JUMPING FROM THE REVEAL TO KAZ VS SONIA THEN BACK, BOO, SHITTY EDITING!
Kaz asks if the “sword” is made of flint and Sonia cackles that his head would look good in her shop. He escapes out onto the fire escape, just in time to see Charles push Denny into the car. Sonia reaches Kaz but he jumps, landing on top of the car, scaring Charles. He tries to get Kaz off the roof of the car but Sonia leaps on the hood. Charles drives off.
So now the car is speeding through the streets, Kaz on the roof trying to dodge the knife/sword, Sonia on the hood swinging the weapon, and Charles driving erratically. Denny is thankfully unconscious. Sonia reveals she saw Kaz killing (?) but I can’t make out what Kaz replies. Charles swerves and runs a red light, barely missing crashing into a car. [Dove: This? Fucking awesome. Change my mind.] [Wing: I love the hell out of this part starting with Sonia getting that goddamn sword. What can I say, I’m easy for a woman with a sword.]
We jump cut to a police officer reading a list of charges, only to find it’s the psychic, handcuffed to another woman, being held in the back of the police car. Charles and company go speeding by, drawing everyone’s attention. The cop takes off after them, sirens blaring.
The cop speeds up and pulls alongside Charles, yelling for him to pull over. The psychic leans out the back window, tells Kaz he’s being held prisoner and is chained to a woman. “Well, a half woman, ha ha.” Oh nice. Charles smashes his car into the police car, sending it into some construction, effectively getting away. The cop calls for backup.
Somehow, Kaz and Sonia are still clinging to the car. Sonia keeps occasionally taking a swipe at Kaz but never connects. Charles, apparently forgetting there’s people on his car, is driving easily and telling Denny’s unconscious body they’ll be home soon. That’s when he realizes he has driven off the road and into the pond/lake in Central Park. Kaz and Sonia go flying into the water. Charles manages to get out and drags Denny with him. Sonia is swiping at Kaz but she knows nothing about how to wield a sword. Eventually she connects and cuts Kaz on the shoulder.
“Wait, you’re not a demon!” She cries when Kaz isn’t dead. He explains he’s not the Mangler. Sonia is confused, who is the Mangler? That’s when they stand up and see a huge stone castle right there on the cliffs beside the water they’re standing in. What the fuck?
Cop cars appear out of nowhere, rolling into the field. Phil appears from one of them, demanding the Mangler. Sonia announces the Mangler is up at the castle. “He’s got my woman!” Kaz yells.
Charles has carried Denny up to the front door, singing “Give Me that Old Time Religion”. He sets her down to open the door, which is clearly unlocked. “GET IN!” He demands. Denny, too stupid for her own good, asks why. “Cause I’m the Mangler!” Denny actually enters the castle. What the fuck. [JC: Yes, now would be the time for fighting and running away, Denny, not humoring the serial killer(?) by happily skipping into the second location.] [Dove: As someone who has spent two recaps saying women should not feel ashamed for having to play along with a killer in order to live long enough to save themselves, even I have to say this girl had other options here. Also, why the castle made of styrofoam?]
You ever get the feeling, like, writers have a pretty decent concept for a story but when they get deep into it and focus on some aspects they then have to go for a cheap cop out ending to not only get an ending but just wrap shit up? BECAUSE I’M PRETTY SURE THIS IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF THAT! A FUCKING CASTLE, IN THE MIDDLE OF NEW YORK CITY? (Maybe there is one? I’m not bothering to google it.) [Dove: I assumed it was like the Dracula episode of Buffy, when his castle just arrived in Sunnydale and everyone was like, “Huh, guess it’s Tuesday.”] [Wing: There actually is a castle in Central Park: The Belvedere! I’m doubting that’s what they mean this to be, though.]
Charles “offers” Denny milk and cookies, which she declines. Um. “But you’re my guest,” he says, as he basically pushes her up the staircase. Phil, the police officers, Kaz, and Sonia are shown in a blip cutaway as wandering through the weeds towards the castle. Seriously, who the fuck edited this mess?
Up in the, I guess you’d call it the “office”, Charles hands Denny a glass of milk. Then he shows her some kind of lizard and bumps it against her lips for a kiss. Then “here’s the Bible. It needs rebinding.” Um, what the fuck is going on? He then shows her his “laboratory”, which is a work bench with random “scientific” shit on it. Boiled down – because this is fucking stupid – it turns out Charles has a bundle of TNT in there. Denny races to the OPEN WINDOW – it’s just a cut out in the bricks with a pillar in it – and yells for help. Kaz, Sonia, Phil, and the cops have arrived. “Help! Help!” Denny screams. Charles warns them that if they come any closer he will blow everything up. Um.
Kaz screams for everyone to go get Denny. YOU’RE NOT IN CHARGE, DEMON OR POSSESSED OR WHATEVER YOU ARE, KAZ. But yes, everyone rushes towards the castle. They run around the side until they reach the front door, which Kaz immediately runs into and bounces off of. I think this is supposed to be the “comedy” part. Phil and another officer stare at Kaz on the ground. “It’s locked.” Phil calls for the battering ram.
Sonia interrupts and says Kaz is the one who can help the best. Before Phil and the cops can learn more, Sonia drags Kaz away and reminds him that when she saw him transform, he had wings. Oh god. “Change!” “What do you mean! I’m not a machine! I can’t turn it on and off like a faucet!” [Wing: Except you seem to transform at the slightest hint of sexual attraction and you certainly did that with Sonia earlier.]
Um, who’s going to tell him that a faucet isn’t a machine?
Sonia reminds Kaz that Denny is in danger. (Is she? Really?) Kaz is rambling on about being in the mood, paper lanterns and warm skin and curves, and ugh. It’s as awkward as it sounds. Then it gets SUPER AWKWARD.
“Are you talking about sex? You just hit the mother lode, baby!” Sonia laughs, removing her jean jacket and grabbing Kaz by the shirt, and smooching his lips off. The psychic guy yells “YEAH BOY, DON’T FIGHT IT, LET IT TAKE YOU ALL THE WAY FOR ONCE!” God this is fucking awkward, I should remember this but I don’t. [Dove: I thought she was just going to flash her boobs, which isn’t great writing either. I wish I’d been right about that.]
Phil and the cop look over to see Kaz and Sonia being frisky. Phil seems… not shocked but slightly disappointed, knowing he’s definitely had that. The cop just smiles, amused, until Phil gives him a dour look. That’s when Denny returns to the window and screams, “Look out, he’s got a bomb!” And Charles shows the cops the bundle of TNT. Uh huh.
[Jude: Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.]
The cops RUN AWAY to take cover. Charles tries to pull Denny from the window but she lingers long enough to see Kaz and Sonia drop to the ground, rolling around in the dirt. “And she’s supposed to be my best friend!” Denny snarls. She tries to run higher into the castle, Charles on her heels. She makes it up to… well, not really a tower? But like the highest point where she can look out over the top edge? LOOK I DON’T REMEMBER PARTS OF CASTLES, OKAY.
Denny tries to half-heartedly fake out Charles but he runs back and closes the door. Okay. Meanwhile, we hear much giggling from the reeds. Sonia sits up, her boobs heaving under her tight t-shirt. Kaz’s hands, transformed, come up and it looks like he might grab her boobs but this film is allegedly PG-13 (sometimes sources say PG) so he grabs her shoulders and pulls her back down.
Charles is attempting to light the fuse but Denny keeps blowing it out. It’s an extra long fuse, no less. “You need psychiatric help!” Denny tells him, blowing out the fuse again. “You’re mentally ill!” Charles grabs her and pushes her against a wall. “Oo! I like that in a man!” DENNY IS A FUCKING IDIOT AND THIS FILM IS FUCKING STUPID.
Out in the reeds, Sonia has apparently done her job. Kaz appears, fully transformed, smoking a cigarette and blowing smoke in satisfaction. Both are still fully clothed here, so I’m sure everything is just implied and boy this is stupid. “How do you feel??” Sonia yells. “FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC!” Kaz roars. Okay, yeah, definitely a PG-13 film.
Kaz moans in pleasure as his dinky little wings unfurl and begin to… flap? I don’t know, it looks real weird. He begins to gain altitude and we get a long shot of the stunt double – wearing much larger wings – sailing through the sky towards the top of the castle. Man, this premise had so much potential but they fucking botched the hell out of it. [JC: Yeah, no. There is no way this movie is going to convince me those wings will support a full-grown man. I doubt they would support the bat-gremlin from Gremlins 2, and that gremlin already had wings.]
The cops have brought in a sharpshooter. Why? Seems… dumb, considering Charles is in a castle and there is no where in the vicinity that is higher for a vantage point for a sniper to fire from. Maybe I know nothing about snipers except from episodes of 24 but good god this is weird and makes no sense. Yeah, what did I expect from a movie about a dude who turns into a demon when he’s horny? STOP HAVING ANY STANDARDS, SELF.
Phil inquires if the sniper can “pick off” Charles and not hurt Denny. “No guarantees,” the sniper snarls and storms off. What? [Wing: He’s not wrong, though, it’d be a hell of a shot depending on where he can set up and how much Charles and Denny move.]
NOW CHARLES HAS DENNY BENT OVER THE LEDGE AND HAS THE TNT BUNDLE SHOVED IN HER FACE, NOT LIT OR ANYTHING, BUT WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON THIS IS DEVOLVING INTO A MISHMASH OF STUPID BY THE SECOND.
Thankfully (??) Kaz lands on the ledge and “roars”, aka Scott Valentine opens his mouth and grooves around while a fake roar plays. I think he’s supposed to look like some sort of gargoyle sprung to life? Because damn, I don’t know anymore.
Charles screams and Kaz’s “wings” disappear as they circle around and face off. Kaz orders Denny to flee. She ignores him, polishing the oversized watch pendant on her jacket. “Is he a friend of yours?” “I don’t see anyone,” Denny shrugs.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? SHE MADE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT KAZ AND SONIA AND NOW HAS DECIDED KAZ CHEATED ON HER AND IS GOING TO IGNORE HIM BECAUSE PETTY JEALOUSY SHE’S NEVER DISPLAYED BEFORE IN THIS FILM?? YEAH FIRE THE WRITERS OF THIS FILM, THEY SUCK.
Kaz and Denny have a lovers spat while Charles attempts to light the fuse. Down on the ground, the actor portraying the sniper is really going overboard and chewing the scenery, acting like a Rambo-type while searching for a place to set up his gun and shoot Charles. He attempts to climb a tree and falls out of it. THIS IS NOT HOW THIS WORKS AND THIS ISN’T FUNNY.
Yep, I was right, Denny is snarling at Kaz about what she “saw” happen between him and Sonia. Charles gets the fuse lit and yells at the cops. The sniper takes his shot, from the crotch of the tree he just fell out of. It misses (?) and sends Charles reeling, which sends the lit TNT flying right into Kaz’s open hand. He runs over to the edge of the parapet (? did I remember that right?) and we see a real cheesy rifle target as though we’re watching from the POV of the sniper.
Hesitating, Kaz looks for a place to throw the TNT. The sniper lowers his weapon and cries, “My god! There’s a Pazatski up there!” HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW THAT??? [JC: Somehow everyone in this movie knows what a pazatski is, and just accepts that they exist, and I am not okay with this.] [bat: I honestly tried to google the word! I only found where someone spent the time to TRANSCRIBE THIS FUCKING FILM, which is how I found the spelling – still not 100% on that – and nothing about Romanian curses or demons called pazatskis. So I’m officially stumped.] The other cops and Sonia look up to see Kaz hesitating. “Throw it in the water!” Sonia yells.
Charles, not dead, comes to and grabs Denny, throwing her over his shoulder. She doesn’t even put up a fucking fight, she just yells “Oh no!” This reminds me of The Room for the amount of shitty acting and insensible scenes. Kaz pitches the TNT and it flies like a fireball in the sky, totally missing the water, and lands in the middle of the abandoned cop cars, blowing up all of them. Uh huh. “Way to go, bro!” the psychic yells, laughing.
Kaz, at least, is horrified as what he’s done. Meanwhile, Charles carries Denny higher into a taller tower. More cops arrive with the battering ram. Sonia is distracted by Phil, giving the psychic easy opportunity to snag her knife “sword” from the bushes and hide it under his jacket. With one charge, the cops ram the door open. Sure. “Let’s go get ’em!” Sonia yells. WHO THE FUCK IS IN CHARGE HERE? BECAUSE IT SURE ISN’T PHIL.
Now Kaz realizes Charles and Denny have disappeared. He goes up the narrow tower stairs. Sonia, Phil, and the cops barge into the empty office, Phil grabbing Sonia’s hand and yelling, “This way!” as he leads everybody up the stairs to the parapet. [Wing: No no no no no no no no no, civilians would not be doing that, what the hell.] Charles is running down a hallway with Denny still hanging over his shoulder. I feel dizzy and confused. “You know, I’d like to meet your parents.” Charles tells Denny.
THIS IS NOT COMEDY. THIS IS JUST FUCKING TRAGIC.
Phil, Sonia, and the cops burst onto the parapet and Phil just magically knows where to go. We get an insert scene of Kaz doing a goddamn silly walk down the hallway, hot on Charles’ heels. Now here comes Phil, Sonia, and the cops. I’m tired of typing this.
NOW IT’S A BUNCH OF REALLY BAD MATTE PAINTINGS OF A CASTLE WITH CHARLES WALKING A VERY NARROW LEDGE WHILE CARRYING DENNY. Kaz figures out how to access the ledge and climbs out of the castle. Denny sees him and starts calling his name. Charles sets her down… not exactly on the ledge but near an access point that leads back into the castle. It’s an actual physical set again. THIS IS SO WEIRD.
Kaz snarls and snaps and makes loud noises at Charles. It’s not effective. Charles tells him to “go away” while Denny edges out, looks out over the drop, then backs herself in against the castle wall. Charles suddenly blows and fake blue smoke appears along with a heavy wind that blows Kaz back against the roof tiles. Phil, Sonia, and the cops arrive but aren’t immediately affected, then are totally blown back by the magic wind. WHAT THE FUCKING HELL.
Sliding up the roof tiles, Kaz wails and tries to find something to grab onto. As soon as Charles stops blowing fake magic wind on him, Kaz slides and nearly falls off the ledge, somehow able to catch his balance before falling to his death. Denny nearly faints in relief. Charles laughs then announces, “Young man, you’re disobeying me!”
WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THIS CHARLES CHARACTER? HE MAKES NO SENSE. HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE AWKWARD AND NERDY BUT THAT’S ALSO SUPPOSED TO BE A FRONT FOR HIM BEING A SERIAL KILLER BUT HE’S ALSO FUCKING MAGICAL SO WHAT THE FUCK
Charles sticks his thumb in his mouth and begins to blow. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is shocked and startled as his face begins to inflate. Seriously. it begins to balloon up. Suddenly, in a flash of blue light, Charles’ head explodes. Or, at best, his human suit explodes. Kaz is shocked, again. Seriously, those prosthetics wore Scott Valentine, because his emoting is so over the top just to make it look like anything is happening. When your makeup job eats an actor, it’s not good.
Anyway. Charles… or whatever is posing as Charles, is revealed to be some sort of demon with huge ram-like horns and a gross warty face. (Grogar, is that you?) “I thought I was ugly,” Kaz yells, just as fake blue lightning zaps from Charles’ arms and finger tips and hits Kaz. WHAT IS THIS NOW, STAR WARS?!
Kaz keeps getting struck repeatedly by Charles’ lightning magic. “Kaz, what’s happening?!” Denny screams, because she’s hiding. LIKE HE CAN FUCKING ANSWER YOU? [Dove: As if anyone knows the answer to that question.] She crawls out to see what’s happening. Apparently the lightning is forcing Kaz back into human form. “You have to change back! You can’t fight him like that!” Denny screams. I think she suggests him to think sexy thoughts, god this really needs captions, it’s so hard to hear shit. Sonia yells “Like French kissing!” and wags her chest at Kaz while suggestively licking her lips. [JC: The first “sexy thought” Denny yells at him is “leather G-strings.” I’m imagining the smell and the chafing, and let me tell you, I have never felt less horny in my life.] [bat: I have never been happier that the audio was so bad I couldn’t hear that. Ugh, I feel sick.]
I’m not sure that worked. Kaz still looks like he’s somewhere between demon and human.
“I DON’T HAVE ANY UNDERWEAR ON!” Sonia yells proudly, just as Kaz is turned completely human again. Fuck. Just fuck.
“Bibi Szegulesco, where are you when I need you?!” Kaz cries. Charles stops long enough to say, “Oh hey, you know Bibi?? Hell of a girl! But her grandmother was kind of a drag!” THIS IS WHAT PASSES FOR COMEDY IN THIS FILM, PEOPLE.
With a final burst of Force lighting, Charles finishes off Kaz. He turns and grabs Denny, leaning in to kiss her, saying “It was meant to be.” Kaz, somehow or because script says so, regains his strength and walks easily along the narrow ledge to try and punch Charles, who catches his fist easily and twists his arm so Kaz goes flying into the stone wall. Also because plot says so, Charles lets go of Denny, who finds herself on the ledge and with a totally easy path to escape. “Denny, run!” Kaz screams.
…they’re really dragging this shit out. Seriously.
“Let’s talk!” Charles roars and swings at Kaz, but of course, Kaz ducks and crawls out of the way of Charles’ reach. Denny finally does something right, crawling along the ledge back towards safety. Phil yells for Kaz to get away from Charles. (???) Kaz finds himself on a really narrow ledge with a drop on either side, Charles hot on his tail.
“Pazatski!! FIND THE SCAR!!” The psychic yells, tossing the “sword” into the air. Kaz wails and reaches for it as a silly sound effect plays (?), falling off the ledge but simultaneously catching it and holding onto said ledge. “Great shoes! Are those Italian?” Kaz asks as Charles walks over and steps on his hand. The joke is his feet have turned into bird feet? Like three-toed talons with spurs on the back. Yeah, Italian.
By the way, Denny has made it to safety and can’t bear to watch Charles step on Kaz’s hand.
Charles, sporting that fancy fake blue lightning again, reaches down and picks Kaz up by the shirt, holding him high in the air and making stupid commentary. It’s not worth quoting. Kaz moans and wails and flails. The psychic yells for Kaz to “stick him”. Phil FLIPS THE FUCK OUT. “Stick him!? DID YOU SAY STICK HIM?!” Wow, it seem Phil has finally decided he’s in charge of things. No, wait, he isn’t, he yells something about how big Charles is. Never mind.
Denny is also flipping out, demanding someone save Kaz. That’s when, plot says so, we see the scar where the curse hit Charles, in the center of his chest. His clothing has ripped away enough to reveal it. Kaz pushes the knife “sword” into the fake scar tissue. “YOU STABBED ME!” Charles observes.
God this movie fucking sucks. I am regretting all my decisions now.
[Jude: I’m just breezing through this at this point.]
Charles tosses Kaz away, sending him (fake-ly) flying through the air to where everyone else is watching from. Kaz hits a pillar and it breaks but somehow, even though it clearly hits him, it’s not heavy enough to hurt him. He clings to the stone wall. The psychic pulls him in.
Over on the opposite side of the matte painting, Charles is covered in Force lightning, trying to pull the “sword” knife free while screaming. Once Kaz is on his feet, the psychic announces: “YOU DID A GOOD THING! A REAL GOOD THING!” Denny rushes in and hugs Kaz, clearly all her jealousy forgotten.
Charles, meanwhile, pulls the “sword” knife free and, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP, hot fucking lava spills out of the wound in his chest. I COULDN’T MAKE THIS UP IF I TRIED.
Then Charles explodes and there’s some weird animation of… I’m guessing that was the demon? I don’t know. It’s really weird. Kaz claps his hands and yells in triumph, as everyone else watches.
“Just another day in the big city,” Phil declares.
THIS IS SO FUCKING WEIRD. I CAN’T EVEN.
Then everyone files out of the castle like it’s no big deal, we all didn’t just watch some weird demon fight another weird fucking demon who exploded and wielded Force lightning. Kaz and Denny remain behind, because who cares about police procedure. They stare at the billowing smoke cloud that is coming up from under the set instead of where Charles was previously standing.
Kaz steps back and leans against what looks like a stone carving of a gargoyle fucking a woman (seriously?! What the fuck?!) and Denny smiles and asks if he’s alright. There’s a flash and HOLY FUCK KAZ IS WEARING BEETLEJUICE’S TUXEDO??
I wish I was making this up. I’m not.
Kaz is literally wearing a maroon tuxedo jacket over a frilly fronted peach shirt with a black velvet bow tie. His hair has been slicked back. Kaz stares down at himself, either in horror or shock, I can’t tell. “I think maybe I am?” He laughs.
I weep, because I’ve wasted hours on this, and it’s only a 90 minute movie. [JC: We simple commenters are the ones truly getting off easy here.] [Jude: Are you sure about that JC?]
Kaz takes Denny’s hand, they giggle, and run into the castle. The shot turns towards where Charles exploded and shows up a pair of argyle socks, held up by garters, which “pop” and fall down. I’m done.
Back down at the… wetlands? marsh? at the bottom of the castle, reporters have showed up. Cops mill around. Some have rifles. Kaz and Denny appear. What the hell. Flash bulbs go off as the reporters try to get photos. Kaz and Denny run off, as Sonia watches. There’s a weird smash cut to Phil, who asks a cop if they took the battering ram back to the apartment. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!
Kaz and Denny are running and skipping down the… sidewalk? It’s too dark to tell. “I was real proud of you back there.” she tells Kaz. UM, REMEMBER THAT FIT OF JEALOUSY, DENNY? My god that frilly fronted shirt is blinding me. She compliments Kaz, telling him he’s really great.
Kaz shouts and then is all “YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS?!” He pulls down the waist of his pants, Denny leans in to look. This looks real wrong but I think that’s the point. “The scar is gone!” Kaz announces. Did he ever show it to Denny? I don’t remember. I don’t fucking care. Kaz tells her that the psychic was right, if he did something noble the curse would jump out of him and into… “Oh no! I forgot about that part!”
“What?” Denny asks. Kaz grabs and kisses her, but nothing happens. “I was nowhere close to you.” she reminds him. Kaz shakes his head and tries to explain but Denny interrupts. She’s finally realized that the curse is gone and they can totally have sex now. Kaz grabs her up. “Wanna take a shower, fruit burger?”
Again, I weep and question all my life choices.
Back at the castle, the female cop says something in the radio and walks away, but there’s the sound of metal snapping. It’s the psychic! He yells, “hey baby!” and removes his hat, sprouting horns from his head and glowing red eyes. Uh huh. The female cop screams and runs away, being chased by the psychic, while ALL THE OTHER COPS JUST STAND THERE AND STARE AS THE SCENE FADES INTO A DIFFERENT ONE WHAT THE FUCK [JC: So, what I’m getting from this is either the psychic was wrong re: physical closeness versus emotional closeness, or the psychic is actually Kaz’s soulmate and this was meant to be an entirely different movie.] [bat: Oh my god you just made a better movie plot in a single sentence. And, FWIW, I think Fixer wanted to steal the demon, so he made up his bullshit story to tack onto the actual cure, that being Kaz doing something noble.]
Denny and Kaz stand on the steps to her building, kissing, as the doors magically open themselves. “Let Go” by the Intimate Strangers plays. I guess this means we’ve come full circle? The couple runs into Denny’s apartment, as we watch them through the window. Denny turns off the lights but Kaz turns them back on and they begin to dance towards her bedroom. Denny draws the shade, before walking over to the other still uncovered window and kissing Kaz passionately, as he pulls down the shade as they become silhouettes as the movie fades to black.
Only to show us a weird montage of clips from the film as “Let Go” continues to play. WHEN WILL THIS TORTURE END?! The first clips are all of Kaz in various states of demon, before the credit appears. Yeah, if this movie was supposed to be his ticket to fame and fortune, he severely misjudged and I hope he fired his agent.
The little montages continue for each character. It’s… a strange choice. I learned that the psychic is called “Fixer”. [JC: His first set-up with the potions had a sign that said “Fixer’s Elixirs”. Which actually made me laugh a little.] [bat: For some reason it didn’t occur to me to try and read the sign.] Okay. I am not going back through this recap and fixing that. He’s staying “the psychic”. The rest of the credits roll and I sit waiting, because I’ve become trained by the MCU to make sure there’s not an extra scene post-credits.
There is nothing. Just credits. Credits and the song “What Are You Waiting For?” also performed by Intimate Strangers, so I’m guessing they got paid well for the film using their music. Finally, blessedly, the title card comes up and the screen fades to black.
THIS WAS WORSE THEN I REMEMBERED IT BEING.
And I don’t think it was edited for television, beyond the removal of the swearing, which was what, two instances? So basically I saw the whole back half of the film and blanked out the worst of it and 20 some years later decided watching it for real was a good idea. REGRET. SO MUCH REGRET.
God damn, I have so many thoughts, which confuses me because really, this is just a shit movie that somehow got made but was pretty much swept under the carpet and has been forgotten by nearly 95% of the population. Except me, because bad movies are somehow magnetically drawn to me and you get to read the epic recaps I write about them.
(I don’t want to talk about the lengths I went to find this film, because I did not want to support it in any way shape or form. I scraped the bottom of the internet to find it, only to realize only 30 minutes of it was viewable. It was a fucking miracle I found the full film somewhere else, because otherwise I would have had to pay for a copy off of eBay. I’m just glad my offer on that DVD was ignored. I don’t ever want a copy of this film in my house.)
Can I form any coherent thoughts out of the jumble in my head? Let’s find out.
Starting with the basic story: man becomes demon when he is turned on. Honestly? Not bad. Has potential. Could clearly result in both horrific and comedic situations, pending on where the writer takes it. Obviously the writers tried to do both and failed. I can say I never laughed at anything in this film. It was either cringe-worthy or made me roll my eyes.
Casting was bad. Real bad. I think the only one I might declare decent but was probably pretty stereotyped was Fixer aka the psychic, played by Arnold Johnson. (Who, I learned, had his lines in 1969’s Putney Swope, a satirical film by Robert Downey, Sr, who also directed. Okay that’s a weird fucking connection. I’ve never seen it, I have no comment.) He, at least, decided to run with his character and make the Fixer… um… believable.
I really, really believe Scott Valentine was miscast in this. He wasn’t that funny, the special effects makeup swallowed him and he really couldn’t emote properly through it, and I don’t really think he was much of a romantic lead, either. For comparison, Michael J. Fox made viewers believe he was a teenage werewolf through a fur suit and prosthetics. Of cou
rse, Fox has more charisma and talent in his pinkie finger then Valentine has in his whole body.
Mixing comedy and horror is a fine line. Some time’s is amazing and you capture lightning in a bottle (*cough*The Lost Boys*cough*) and some time’s you end up with a pile of shit on film. For as much as this is “supposedly” a horror film, the demons aren’t all that frightening. Maybe I’m jaded (HA, totally) but I’m guessing the extremely low budget of this film meant the bulk of the money went to the makeup and FX departments and they hired whomever could do it cheaply enough. It shows.
I don’t know how to explain Sonia, her shop “Gris-Gris”, or the fact she’s like some weird sexual nymph that seemingly fucks every dude. And the throwaway of her sister Miguela being attacked and forgotten. And whatever the relationship she had with Phil. And that brings me to the “Sword of Asmodeus”. Okay, according to wiki, Asmodeus was a prince of demons, particularly associated with lust. SO WHY THE FUCK WOULD THERE BE A SWORD NAMED AFTER HIM THAT SLAYS DEMONS? Who didn’t do their job and research this shit?
Y’know, this could be remade and done well. I wouldn’t say rebooted, because really, the title is iffy and could be changed. But the base story could stick and if you found a really good writer or two, who know how to blend horror and comedy, and some really great FX makeup people, and kept the practical effects stuff (I’d be fine with minor CGI usage) and maybe explained the backstory first and foremost (how man was cursed into being a demon before present day events) then moved to grownup dude having to deal with the curse, SEE I FIXED IT FOR YOU.
If I was stupid and wanted to waste my time, I’d write a fiction story on the concept but that would mean thinking about and having to fix the story even more and haven’t I been punished enough by watching the film, let alone recapping it?
So, there you have it. One of the worst films in recent history, My Demon Lover.
[JC: Um, yeah. So. This is a thing that, apparently, exists. Unless we’re all having a communal fever dream, which honestly doesn’t seem so far-fetched at the moment. I don’t think I would have known this was supposed to be horror at all if I hadn’t been told going in. It just seems more like a weird comedy that completely failed the, you know, “being funny” part of comedy. In the right hands it maybe could have been something good, but . . . none of these hands were right. Holy shit, none of these hands were right.]
[Jude: bat I think I’m gonna recap Call Me Tonight at some point just to see how that compares to this. In the meantime, I am now going to treat myself to a specialty pizza slice and maybe some concha bread from a local bodega. Then I’m going to rethink my entire life up until this point because this was an experience I never thought I would go through, and I sat through the Rob Zombie Halloween remake AND the 2006 Black Christmas remake.]
[Dove: Don’t dis the Rob Zombie Halloween remake. It’s the whole reason JC and I got talking. No matter how bad it is, it served its life purpose. Also, I enjoyed this movie, if you skip the first 10 minutes and the last 20. Right up to the point where Sonia and Kaz were riding on top of the car, I was just here for the wtf-lolz. After that it went too far. To be honest, I do not like creature features, and it takes artistry to make a horror/comedy combo, that’s why there are only two that count as mentioned earlier (there may be more, but those two are the best). I liked it when it was a weird romcom, because let’s be honest, 80s romcoms are all about consent issues and gaslighting, so this was really pretty standard, all things considered. When it tried for horror, I was just bored.]
[Wing: As often happens, an entertaining, kind of horrific premise is wasted in so many ways, including trying to make it a comedy (especially without good comedic writing). I did enjoy the middle of this ridiculousness, but overall, not good, and I’ll never watch it again.]