Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Demons 5: The Devil's Veil - 1989

I will eventually finish off this series of films, I swear to you!  I'm not like, surprised I haven't finished it yet or anything.  The series is, to put it bluntly, not really that great, and kind of annoying even at times.  That description actually fits this entry of it perfectly.  It's not super great, but still mildly entertaining.

Released as La Maschera del Demonio (The Mask of the Demon) and directed by Lamberto Bava, it's clear to see how this got linked with the Demons series.  It's the same director and even has the word demon in the title.  It's not as far a stretch as The Ogre, The Black Cat, or The Sect.  Speaking of The Sect, holy shit it's been over a year since I saw any inclusion of this series.  That's crazy man.  I seriously thought I'd watched one of them this year.

This entry starts out pretty well.  You have a group of friends skiing somewhere in the mountains, and there's an earthquake which opens a pit in the snow.  All the friends accidentally fall in there, where they're trapped and hot chick Sabina hurts her knee.  Distracted by trying to escape, they barely even notice the weird block of ice that looks like it has something trapped in it.  They bust it open, find a mask attached to a body, swipe the mask, and that's when shit gets wacky.  They discover an underground church, find a old blind priest, and uncover something about a witch. David is the one that grabbed the mask, and soon it seems he and Sabina are the only normal ones as their friends start to turn evil.

There is an adequate pace, and for the first 45 minutes I was genuinely thinking this one was pretty good.  It's not like it loses it's steam, it's just that it starts to get really repetitive, and it feels like the script took a major nosedive in the second half.  David and Sabina are two of the most annoyingly written characters.  It's so painfully obvious Sabina is evil, and yet he doesn't see it, and he's given nothing worthwhile to do.  Also the evil friends never go full evil, they're dabbling around mildly evil, but not bad enough to warrant them being threats of any real kind.  It gets old, and starts to feel really worn through.

However, production value and even acting were decent.  It's the script, the idea, that gets old.  It feels like they're stalling for time, really.  Once we know/think Sabina is going to be evil too, it takes about 40 minutes for that to happen.  The priest character disappears, people keep turning from evil to good, and people keep having illusions.  After a while, it's hard to keep track of what's actually happening with the plot given all these things, and at some point you will decide you don't care, guaranteed.

As a movie it's okay.  Plenty of nudity including some kinky shit, and plenty of practical effects.  However, it's not that great and you may find yourself wondering what's going on like I did.  Some plot points seem promising and simply never go anywhere.  At one point, the priest has two of the people trapped in these wood stirrups, he's stuffing snow in their mouths while praying...I would've loved to see that scene go somewhere.  It never does.  Like many things, eventually it stops being shown and we're left to assume the guys escaped?

I give it 2.5 stars for being watchable, but not in a "fun" way.

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