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Analog Abattoir: “DEMON WIND” is what happens when “THE EVIL DEAD” takes too many edibles…and I love it!

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | Analog Abattoir, Review


Starring Eric Larson, Stephen Quadros, Rufus Norris, Francine Lapensée
Written and directed by Charlie Philip Moore
Released on Blu-ray by Vinegar Syndrome 

Like many horror media collectors, I have a system for how my VHS are categorized. My chosen method of organization is by genre. However, I also have a special section that I’m sure many fellow horror fiends relate to. I refer to this region as my “Go-To” section. After a night of hard partying, or when only pure comfort food will soothe the ails of living in our modern hell world, this is the section I am picking from. Will it be previously maligned and now appropriately championed Halloween III: Season of The Witch? Will it be possession fever dream and “In name only” sequel Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II? More often than not my eyes rest upon one particular cover. On it is the image of a horrific creature shattering violently through a window. In the case of my lenticular cover, you get to see the glass shattering happen in real time! (Pushes up glasses, is then pushed into a locker). I am of course talking about the trash horror brilliance that is DEMON WIND.

Describing the plot of DEMON WIND undersells the brain-melting qualities of this film. Our protagonist Corey (Looking perpetually dour and maybe wearing some eyeliner) has returned to his familial farm after the suicide of his father. Corey is determined to find out what happened to his grandparents who had disappeared under mysterious (Spoilers: Demons were involved) circumstances. Pared down to basics, what follows is The Evil Dead/Dead By Dawn worship as Corey and his friends come up against a demonic force championed by a corrupted priest and his transformed followers. One by one Corey’s pals are taken by the unholy wind until he is forced into combat with a demonic projection (Pretty much Corbis from The Devil’s Rain if he fell in a vat of Hamburger Helper) of the evil that haunts the countryside. If that was all there is to DEMON WIND, it would be a hearty bowl of boxed mac and cheese after a long night of drinking, just the thing to hit the spot. But this is DEMON WIND baby! That mac and cheese you ate actually had 12 pounds of pure THC mixed in! Buckle up! 

Every potential convention of this movie is warped in the most delightful way: Corey’s premonitions of the evil force involve a dream where he is naked (Cheeks out for DEMON WIND!) for some reason. The group of friends joining him include a handsy extremely problematic jock trapped in a love triangle with his girlfriend and a martial artist/performing magician (Stephen Quadros of the equally insane Auntie Lee’s Meat pies) as well as the  “logical guy” character of Jack who is there mainly because he looks like a Great Value Judd Nelson. Even Corey’s love interest brings the weirdness when she moons Corey to cheer him up (???) only to have him reply with, “A moon for the misbegotten.” Corey needs to listen to less Black Metal. The evil force itself is no exception, cranking the bonkers knob till it snaps off. Granted we get the requisite possessed folk with bubbling skin, indecipherable vocoder voices, and pie filling pouring out of every orifice. However we also get: A trio of evil little girls summoned by animated electricity that can transform people into sad dolls, ceremonial daggers that save people by de-aging them and then turning them into doves and of course the old “Crucified skeleton with a goat skull that shoots out a giant tongue to pull you up to it so it can crush your head” bit. Throw in a great soundtrack clearly inspired by John Carpenter (The brain-frying synths are available on LP from Terror Vision Records & Media) as well as an abundance of overlay animated effects, and it should be apparent why I keep coming back to this schlocky work of madness. This movie also sits firmly in my category of movies that feel like they would be watched by characters within a horror movie (See my review on Fiend for that rant). 

It’s clear that the creators of DEMON WIND understood that they needed to differentiate their film from the standard “Evil Cabin” trope of a demonic siege against trapped youths. I believe this was accomplished in spades. It is both the excess and eccentricity of the execution that gives this movie a special place in my heart as well as on my shelf. DEMON WIND is nachos with triple the cheese and stuffed crust pizza with every topping. DEMON WIND is putting your mouth under the slushie machine nozzle and cranking that lever till your blood sugar redlines. The tagline for the movie reads “There’s something deadly in the air.” Pack that into your skull bong and breath deep, you won’t regret it. 

Death to False Horror,
Dr Benny Graves

Benjamin Grobshteyn
The thrash metal Marc Maron, Dr. Benny Graves serves as arch-fiend of the analog abattoir. With a deep love for shock rock, schlock horror, and dead media, he can often be found searching the wasteland for the right SOV horror to sate his lust for trash-cinema. Dr. Graves resides in the unholy circle of hell known as New Jersey.