Okay, image problems. For some reason, none of the discs in The Horror Collection will play on Windows Media Player, so my reviews for all six films will unfortunately be image free.
With the release of 1981's horror classic The Evil Dead, a slew of countless imitators washed through the horror scene. Almost among them is 1990's Demon Wind.
Demon Wind is about the usual gate-to-hell-nanigans that happen at an isolated farmhouse in the 1920's. The film starts off with a creepy hymn playing (some stuffed-up song about washing in the blood of lambs). We see a dessicated corpse and a burning body on a cross, then shots of a house filled with religious items. After the song ends, a woman, Regina (Stella Kastner) comes into frame and is deathly worried after hearing voices from outside. She hugs her husband (Axel Toowey) for comfort. Her husband however has been DEMONICALLY POSSESSED, which results in him vomiting yoghurt for several seconds until he grows horns and fangs. He kills Regina and a snowglobe that she was holding crashes to the floor and blows up the entire farm...uh huh...
After the prologue, the films is now 60-something years later and Regina and George's grandson Cory (Eric Larson) and his girlfriend Elaine (Francine Lapansee) are driving in the countryside, head for the farmhouse. Cory has been having dreams about his grandparent's farm after having found his missing father. While his girlfriend is grilling him on why he's been so distant lately, he flashes to the dream he's been having (which anyone Freudian would be VERY interested in).
They get to a gas station and wait for their friends to arrive. Their two carloads of friend arrive and Cory explains to them why he's called them over. He explains that when he found his father, he was a drunk, bombed-out guy who went crazy over something and that he slit his wrists after Cory left. While Cory doesn't explain what his father said, he says that whatever drove him crazy is at the farm. They ask the gas station attendant (Rufus Norris) for directions to the farm, which he says doesn't exists. Cory talks with the man alone and the man tells him about one day when he went to the farm to look for Regina and George and he saw horrifying things. The man gives Cory the directions and he and his friends leave for the farm, all the while a strange little girl some distance away points a stick at their cars and moves it along with them...for some reason.
They arrive at the farmhouse and find the carnage-half buried skeletons and a skeleton on a cross. What they also find is a lone wall standing upright. There isn't a house attached to the wall but its doorway still leads into a house. Being wise characters, they decide to go in the not-house and explore. They find a couple of charred corpses and writing on a wall.
Ok, Horror Film Survival Lesson No. 76984: If you ever see strange writing in Latin alluding to something satanic on a wall that is in a house that is not really real but sorta real, DON'T READ THE WRITING OUT LOUD!
At that show of fantastic intelligence on the part of Bonnie (Sherrie Leigh [credited as Bendorf]) the house starts shaking and things are thrown all over the room. Everyone runs out of the house and after one of them translates the words, they try to start their cars, which are all stalled, so they decide to walk back to the gas station before sundown. On their hike, a mysterious fog flows through thm, transporting them to a couple of different places before taking them back to the farm. "Oh no" says Terri (Lynn Clark) in a tone of voice that TOTALLY suggests the horror of what's just happened. She really says it like she's just seen her two favourite characters on a soap opera splitting up-and she says it again later in the film, in the exact same tone of voice (ever more hilarious seeing as there are about four of her friends dead at that point).
Now that they're back at the farmhouse, three little girls appear out of nowhere to taunt them...And they turn Darwin Award Bonnie into a talking, exploding doll. Since the sun's now going down, they decide to stay in the not-house, which Cory says is protected from the demons. The all decide to get some sleep except for two. The two are a magician type and his best-buddy. They see a naked chick trying to lure them out and instead of going out blindly, they just mutter "demons" exasperately like they've seen these things all the time. In fact, all of the characters seem to grasp the film's unbelievable events pretty easily.
The duo go outside armed with an array of weapons and take out a hella lot of demons before being killed. After that, Cory goes looking in the house and finds his grandmother's diary-which contains spells-and two SACRED IMMORTAL EVIL SLAYING KNIVES, which they lose stupidly in the next twenty minutes. At daybreak, tough guy Dell (Bobby Johnston) and girlfriend Terri decide to go outside and try to escape instead of staying. Needless to say, they don't survive the next two minutes (and even worse is that Cory gave Dell one of the knives, which Dell doesn't use at all before being fingernailed to death).
The group find out that back in the 20's, a psycho priest led a satanic cult in the area and sacrificed three little girls. After this, they were all burned alive by the FBI. Then, everyone in the town giving birth miscarried except for Regina's baby, due to her magic. The reason that the demons have not destroyed the world yet is because when they killed Regina and her family, their youngest son-a baby-was in a hospital and survived-because Regina's family line is still active, the evil can't do anything. Then, while it's still daytime, a THIRD carload of Cory's friends-ANOTHER couple-arrive at the farm.
So come nightfall, after reading some more of Regina's diary, Cory and co. realize that the barn is the centre of the evil activity. They go out to investigate and find a satanic shrine made from a human skeleton and a goat's skull. After some evil-goat-skull-chomping, thay are swarmed by the demons (who, by the way, talk in deep, booming voices ala Evil Dead which makes them sound THREATENING, at the cost of them actually being understandable). The two newly arrived friends are both killed in the goat 'n' demons action and Cory wastes the last knife.
The last cannon fodd...er...friend, Jack (Mark David Fritsche) sees a vision of his girlfriend Bonnie outside screaming and is killed immediately. Then the evil satanic priest comes back to life and absorbs all of the demons into himself, turning him into SUPER-DEMON (which kills the now alive again Bonnie for...no reason), which Cory and Elain can only counter by turning Cory into a bald super angel-something-or-other dwarf...uh huh...
Ok, so, Demon Wind is a fun, and at times atmospheric low-budget horror movie. The acting is fine, the demon effects look great and the special-effects look 80's-tastic! The plot is a good one and it's a fine addition to The Horror Collection (unlike The Kiss, which despite my only having seen bits and pieces so far, I still think it's probably going to be terrible).
So in closing, Demon Wind is almost, but not entirely an Evil Dead rip-off.