Night Of The Demon (1980)


Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: James C Wasson
Written by: Jim L Ball/Mike Williams

At one point, Bigfoot was everywhere. Like, you couldn’t go ten feet without hearing about Bigfoot.

Or…maybe it was just the big truck.

Nevermind. Bigfoot has ALWAYS been kind of a big deal. So much so that there’s an entire sub-genre of Bigfoot-spoiltation, or Sasquachploitation. This here it just one such movie. And, let me tell you…it’s a movie. At least, I think it is.

The movie opens with Dr Nugent (or, Nugget, as he’s called in the Amazon Prime synopsis) in a hospital bed with the bottom of his face covered. Why? We don’t know…yet. He’s being interviewed about his experience by what I can only figure is a police inspector.

Cut to a man fishing in the woods. Then his arm gets ripped off. Then a naked couple gets attacked in their van. (Apparently, Bigfoot is just as against promiscuous sex as your typical slasher.) He drags the man across the roof…at least, we think he does. We don’t actually see it. We just watch the woman’s reaction as she hears him being dragged across the roof. Then he shows up in the front windshield, broken and bloodied, and the woman goes into shock.

I’m about the same, at this point.

Dr Nugent and his students go on a camping trip to find Bigfoot. Because, obviously, that’s a great idea when you consider that they KNOW the creature has torn limbs off of people. But, whatever.

Then it seems like we just hear about other people getting killed. Oh, they show them, too. But I guess no one we actually know gets killed. One camper gets swung around like a bolero and impaled on a limb. A biker gets his dick ripped off while he’s taking a leak. (This was cut out for the British release.)

Then a cult in the woods is…I don’t even know. Some sort of sexual sacrifice with an effigy of Mr Foot that ends up getting burned down accidentally when the campers fire off a warning round.

The next morning, the kids find out that their boat is gone and there’s a Bigfoot track nearby. The thing is, it seems that this dude’s name is a bit of a misnomer. His footprint isn’t so big. I guess Normalfoot wasn’t very intimidating, though.

More people are attacked (or we hear the stories of how they’re attacked) and more ridiculousness happens. My favorite is the two Girl Scouts (who are FAR too old to be Girl Scouts) that Bigfoot grabs by the arms and keeps pulling them together so that they kill each other with their own knives. The knives, by the way, look like steak knives.

Because this is an early 80s horror film, there has to be a rape scene, unfortunately. This time, Bigfoot rapes a human woman! “Crazy Wanda’s” story is told when the kids hypnotize her into telling it. Naturally, her father blamed her for her rape and tried to find a way to kill her or the baby or both. He managed to kill the baby, which drove Wanda crazy and caused her to burn him up.

There’s always the chance, though, that the baby-daddy is actually the boy that she was in love with. Her dad hated him and didn’t want his daughter to be touched…ever.

Nope. It was Bigfoot. They dug up the baby and saw the deformity. He’s the daddy. Ugh.

I’m pretty sure this movie was about four hours long. Boring stuff happens when people are talking.┬áThen, there’s some fairly decent gore (especially the intestines that are ripped out of one kid and thrown around the room like bloody garland). In fact, you could cut out all of the talking and have about ten or fifteen minutes of fun gore scenes.

The story is incomprehensible. (Either that or it’s just as non-essential as it seems.) None of the characters have any character. (I guess there were five students, but it seemed like there could have been anywhere from 2 to 38.) The kills don’t happen off-screen, but none of them seem to happen during the time that the movie takes place until the very end when EVERYBODY dies.

Except, of course, for Dr Nugent. He has his face burned off. Like, his whole face. But then we cut back to the hospital and are reminded that only the BOTTOM of his face is covered. And they never take the cover off! So there’s really no payoff! I mean, we see him get burned, but we don’t see the aftermath in the hospital. Why bother, then?!

If this had been a good movie, that would have mattered. Or it would have mattered to good filmmakers. As it is, though, it’s just another brick in the wall of stupidity.

Unless you can just see a sizzle reel of gore, skip this one. Unless you’ve got some REALLY drunk friends who want to make fun of a movie. Then…maybe? But there are much better movies to tear apart like that.