Blu-Ray Review: Demons 1 & 2



Dario Argento was hugely influential on Italian horror cinema throughout the 1970s and 1980s. As well as being responsible for some of the most iconic and exciting genre movies of that era, he was also instrumental in helping many of his fellow countryman. One such recipient was Lamberto Bava, son of Mario, who he collaborated with on Demons and Demons 2. Arrow bring both films together with new 4K restorations in a limited-edition boxset.

Demons

Cheryl (Natasha Hovey), a university student in Berlin, is given two free complimentary tickets to a mystery film screening at a recently renovated cinema, the Metropol. She arrives with her friend Kathy (Paola Cozzo), joining a mixed and curious crowd. They settle into the slasher film, but it soon becomes evident, all too bloodily, that the terror isn’t only on-screen. Bava’s chiller is a beautifully gory ode to cinema which is extremely entertaining and exceedingly clever. A tale anyone who has worked in a cinema will particularly enjoy.

Demons 2

Terror comes to the small screen as Bava transfers the action to an apartment block. Sally (Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni) is having a birthday party, but she’d possibly rather be alone. Hiding in her room she watches a film about a group of teenagers who wake a demon. To her horror, she soon realises that it’s her who is being observed. A creature comes through the TV, unleashing a plague on the building. Whilst there’s much to admire in the sequel, it is far too similar to an original film which makes it look pale in comparison.

Limited-edition contents:

  • Brand new 4K restoration of both films by Arrow Films from the original camera negatives
  • 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray™ presentations of both films in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
  • Limited edition packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais
  • Limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Roberto Curti, Rachael Nisbet and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Exclusive mystery sneak preview movie ticket (admits one to the Metropol Theatre)

Demons:

  • Two versions of the film: the full-length original cut in Italian and English, and the slightly trimmed US cut, featuring alternate dubbing and sound effects
  • Brand new lossless English and Italian 5.1 audio tracks on the original cut
  • Original lossless English and Italian 2.0 stereo audio tracks on the original cut
  • Original lossless English 1.0 mono audio track on the US cut
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for both English soundtracks
  • New audio commentary by critics Kat Ellinger and Heather Drain, co-hosts of the Hell’s Bells podcast
  • Archival audio commentary by director Lamberto Bava and special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti, moderated by journalist Loris Curci
  • Archival audio commentary by Lamberto Bava, Sergio Stivaletti, composer Claudio Simonetti and actress Geretta Geretta
  • Produced by Dario Argento, a new visual essay by author and critic Michael Mackenzie exploring the legendary filmmaker’s career as a producer
  • Dario’s Demon Days, an archival interview with writer/producer Dario Argento
  • Defining an Era in Music, an archival interview with Claudio Simonetti
  • Splatter Spaghetti Style, an archival interview with long-time Argento collaborator Luigi Cozzi
  • Italian theatrical trailer
  • International English theatrical trailer
  • US theatrical trailer

Demons 2:

  • Brand new lossless English and Italian 5.1 audio tracks
  • Original lossless English and Italian 2.0 stereo audio tracks
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • New audio commentary by critic Travis Crawford
  • Archival audio commentary by director Lamberto Bava and special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti, moderated by journalist Loris Curci
  • Together and Apart, a new visual essay on space and technology in Demons and Demons 2 by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
  • Creating Creature Carnage, an archival interview with Sergio Stivaletti
  • Bava to Bava, an archival interview with Luigi Cozzi on the history of Italian horror
  • Italian theatrical trailer
  • English theatrical trailer

The limited-edition 4K UHD and Blu-ray boxset of Demons 1 & 2 is released by Arrow Video on 22 February.

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