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Several people are invited to a movie screening in a newly opened
theatre by a man in a metal mask (Michele Soavi). The film is a
run-of-the-mill piece of schlock-horror in which a quartet of teenage
cannonfodder (Eliana Miglio, Jasmine Maimone, Marcello Modugno, Michele
Soavi), find a demon's mask in the tomb of Nostradamus, and when one of
them wears the mask, he is quickly turned into a deadly demon ad goes
after the others - who are, once injured by him, turned into demons
What the audience of the film doesn't know though, is that they
themselves have been turned into cannonfodder as well since the demon
curse is all too real. And while black pimp Tony (Bobby Rhodes, doing a
broad blaxploitation imitation) first takes care of saving everyone -
until the demons get him as well - it soon becomes apparent that George
(Urbano Barberini) and Cheryl (Natasha Hovey) will be the surviving
It's like that: At first, under Tony's leadership, our group of
threatened humans barricade themselves in up in the theatre's gallery, but
at one point (for no apparent reason) they think they are saved and tear
down the barricades again ... and are pretty much all killed by the demons
and turned into demons themselves. Only George and Cheryl somehow manage
to get away, and soon George fights back against the demons with the help
of a motorbike and a samurai sword.
Then, for no reason whatsoever, a helicopter breaks through the ceiling
of the theatre. George uses its rotor blades to slice up more demons, and
quicker too, then he and Cheryl escape through the hole in the ceiling to
the building's roof - only to see that the demons have meanwhile taken
over the city.
Fortunately though, they are saved by some people who are still humans
and who promise to take them somewhere far away. In a
not-so-surprising surprise ending, Cheryl turns into a demon in the end.
The extremely thin plot of this film is little more than an
excuse to showcase as many (well done) gore effects as possible with
the occasional (sloppily directed) suspense routine thrown in - and it's
actually hard to even imagine that so little plot needed four
screenwriters, of which at least Dario Argento and Franco Ferrini have
done much better.
Still, a horror film with a plot that is just an excuse to show gore
effects could work. Could, only in this case it doesn't: Problem
is, all the characters are completely one-dimensional and actually
unlikable, which makes it hard to feel with them, identify with them. This
is of course not at all helped by the fact that all the actors are
completely talent-free and totally bland (where does Lamberto Bava always
get his actors from ?), which makes identification even harder. And then
there are of course these improbable plottwists like the helicopter
crashing through the ceiling ... now what was that all about ?
In other words, even though this film is held in high esteem by some
gorehounds (for obvious reasons), for movie lovers it's a big