Saturday, January 14, 2012

Movie Review: Demoniacs

 In 1970s, some people in France got together to make a film.  The film, Demoniacs, was supposed to be a classical horror film, a film about evil people, ghosts, shipwrecks, and the Devil.  Instead, Demoniacs is a soft, soft-core porn with a plot that is barely comprehensible.

 The film is set in the times of ocean-going merchant vessels.  Our 4 baddies are introduced right at the beginning of the film like a football team coming onto the field.  There is the Captain, the leader of the crew who is rumored to haunted by his past victims.  His lieutenant is Le Bosco.  This means "the boatswain", or the supervisor of the deckhands on a boat... in other words he is the highest ranking of the peons.  Le Bosco is the Captain's rival as well as his right-hand man.  Tina is the only female member of this band; a perverse and bloodthirsty prostitute.  Finally, there is Paul.  Paul is a lumbering idiot who sucks up to the rest of the band. and leverages the other three against one another.  The men seem to be former sailors.

 The enterprise the four engage in is called "wrecking".  The go out on shore at night and lure ships into the rocks with lights, then plunder the wreckage for valuables and kill the survivors.  The film opens after one such incident.  Paul and Le Bosco bring a trunk onto the beach, and they discover an odd necklace among the items of clothing within it.  The Captain puts it around Tina's neck.  Then, two women (refferred to as "girls" in the film) appear on the beach in their bedclothes, survivors of the wreck.  Paul and Le Bosco proceed to beat and rape the two survivors while the Captain and Tina watch and have sex themselves.  They then kill the two surviving women, one being bludgeoned with a stone to the skull. 
 All this goes down in the first five minutes.  We are treated to all the female actors' breasts and prolific pubic foliage, and the Captains saggy old ass.  It was the 1970s, when women had so much pubic-hair that they may has well been wearing fur skin bikini bottoms.

 The only upside to this film is that there is almost no dialogue.  The above transpires with nothing but grunts, gestures, and screams between the actors.

 The film switches to a brothel/bar.  The bar is the 2nd of four total locations in the film; the beach, the brothel, Tina's room, and the ruins.  The bar is decked out in cheesy spook-house decor; skeletons and skulls, vampire bats, and a weird life-size paper-mache woman spread-eagle with a gaping vagina hanging on the wall.  The Captain is drunk, and begins seeing the dead girls and on his table and around the bar.  He begins to freak out.

 The brothel's madame appears, boldly speaking about the evenings incidents and even signing a song about it in front of the crew.  She is not only a whore, she is also psychic and plays the piano.  This just sets the Captain off further, who is subdued by Le Bosco before he confesses to the crime in front of everyone in the bar.  While all this goes on, we are treated to four more pairs of breasts as the whores cavort with the clientele.  Throughout the film, it appears that only two or three of the female actors were not paid to do a topless scene. 

 Meanwhile, the girls not only survived their assault but somehow fight the ocean currents and the thick seaweed (which becomes a source of peril later in the film) to find themselves at the "cursed" ruins near the seaside village.  The ruins are rumored to imprison the Devil, and the villagers are deathly afraid to go there, yet these ruins have one of the nicest and most manicured lawns you will ever see.  In the ruins, the girls meet a clown.  The clown says nothing, and leads them deeper into the ruins where they meet a hippy.  The hippy gives the clown permission to tend to and care for the girls, explaining that the clown costume is meant to frighten-off the locals.

 Some people are afraid of clowns, but this was a woman dressed as a clown... about as far from IT as one could get.

 There seems to be a prisoner among the ruins as well.  The hippy speaks to a shadowy figure in a cell, explaining that he (the hippy) will allow the girls to set him free, but only if the shadowy man promises not to harm them.  Mr. Shadow never actually says anything at this point, and might barely nod in consent, but the hippy assumes that a bargain has been struck between them.

 The girls want revenge.  Their ordeal has made them mute (for some reason), and when asked what they want by the hippy they indicate they want revenge by drawing a skull-and-crossbones in the dirt (the universal sign for revenge, apparently). 

 Back in town, several people have appeared at the brothel claiming to see the two ghostly women on the beach and roaming the village.  The Captain and crew start to seriously freak out, with only Tina, dressing and undressing as women are want to do (?) keeping her head about her and desiring to hunt the girls down and kill them again.  The whorehouse-madame/prophet-of-doom continues to discuss what she sees with the crew, twisting the psychic knife just a little bit more.

 The crew goes hunting for the girls, and finds them among the wrecked hulls of ships on the beach.  A game of hide-and-seek leads to the crew deciding to simply burn them out, and during the conflagration Tina finds the girls.  A tit-flopping wrestling match leads to the girls over-powering Tina and leaving her in one of the burning hulls while they make their escape.  The crew saves Tina in the nick of time (or, within a cunt-hair's breath of dieing). 

 The girls go to the cell were the prisoner is held.  The clown dressed them both in a loose, long-sleeved, bright colored shirt that just barely covers their asses; no shoes or pants.  They take their shirts off, getting naked before walking the city-block from where they undressed to the cell so the audience can get a nice long look at their nipples and pubes.  They let the guy out of the cell, a man who is muscular, swarthy, shorter than the girls, and dressed like Sigfried and Roy.  He tells the girls that he will give them his power, so that they may get revenge.  The transfer of power involves him having sex with one of the rape victims, and then going down on the other. 

 Makes sense to me.

 The girls have until sunrise to get revenge, then their powers transfer back to the midget-ballerina-prisoner-guy.  The girls go to the brothel, and when Le Bosco stabs one of them she doesn't even flinch.  Everyone freaks out and hauls-ass except the madame and a waitress, who serve the girls drinks.  The girls seem to be in no real hurry to get revenge.

 The three men meet Tina in her room to tell her the girls are back.  She stands in her bed, fully nude, infuriated at their cowardice, and says she will kill the girls herself.  She gets dressed, kills the madame with an axe on her way out the door, and chases the girls back at the ruins.  Tina kills the hippy off-screen, and mortally wounds the clown, who manages to warn the girls  The girls confront Tina in an area of the ruins with several plaster statues, using their powers to attempt to drop statues down on Tina.  When they succeed, they manage to trap Tina under a statue of Jesus.  The girls take the clown down to their gay fuck-buddy, who is with the body of the hippy.  Mr. Tights explains that he does not have the power to save the dieing pair, but if they choose to give up their revenge he can keep them alive until his powers return at sunrise and then heal them. 

 The girls agree, and then flee the ruins at sunrise as they are now powerless against the crew.  The Captain and Le Bosco rescue Tina, but it is Paul he meets the girls on the beach.  He is drunk, and is drinking from a ridiculously large bottle.  He swings this bottle overhead to bludgeon the girls, only to stumble, hit himself on the head with the bottle, and slit his throat with the glass on the way down to the ground.

 Yeah.  That could happen.

 The Captain, Le Bosco, and Tina find the girls near the wrecks again.  I have to ask at this point, why do these girls keep returning here?  There are people in the nearby village sympathetic to their plight.  Indeed, the Captain and his crew seemed very concerned that their crimes would be revealed, why didn't the girls simply enlist the mob to get their justice?  No, instead the Captain and Le Bosco, at Tina's urging, strip the girls nude, lash them to a wrecked hull, and rape them again.  The Captain, being an older man, finishes first, and then goes to Tina, watching Le Bosoc rape one of the girls while he fondles the kneeling Tina's breasts.  In his mad-excitement, the Captain ends up strangling Tina to death, only to be stopped too late by Le Bosco.  The Captain then slits Le Bosco's throat.

 As the sun and the tide rise, a procession of monks arrives on the scene.  The tide has already claimed one of the girls, and the Captain, suddenly remorseful, tries to swim out to rescue the other, only to have both the girl and himself drown in the rising tide.

 The End.

 Demoniacs was a nearly 2 hour waste of my life.  The gratuitous nudity, while welcome in any situation, was not enough to make this film worth the watch.  From what I have read, this may also be one of director Jean Rollin's better films.  I am still trying to figure out what any of this had to do with demons as inferred by the title.  Watching the paint behind your television fade would be more entertaining than this film.

1 comment:

  1. Jean Rollin! Why didn't you mention that it the very beginning of the review? Or, better yet, realize that this was going to be a surrealistic, dream-like parade of female nudity and strangeness before popping the disc into your DVD player. That's what all of Jean Rollin's films are like!

    Nevertheless, Demoniacs sounds like a campy hoot of fleshy depravity. Think I'll either rent or buy it.