A group of strangers are all invited to the premiere of a brand-new horror film. The theatre looks prestigious and the strangers range of every type, from middle-class to hookers and students. But soon they find out that what’s happening in the film is also happening in the theatre, as one by one the public is turned into possessed monsters, and those who aren’t are about to be mutilated into mulch.
This is, by all accounts, one of the coolest movies of all time, and an excellent, entertaining party film. However, by all kinds of accounts, this film is a bad movie. The performances are forgettable and dull, with the exception of the badass black pimp who sadly doesn’t last enough. The script makes no sense, and there is no such thing as continuity. Hell, midway into the film we are introduced to a bunch of coked-up punks (the main one even looks like Stallone) who you think are going to add something to the story, but guess what? They don’t, and they make you say “why bother?” However, there are two things that this movie has in large quantities: action and gore. This is a comic book turned into a film, from frame one it takes you into a strange, almost hallucinogenic vibe that is truly individual to this film. The gore in this film is plentiful, and it’s all disgusting. Never has skin looked so fragile, as nails dig into it, heads are scalped, eyeballs are torn out, fingers are shot off and bodies are even opened up like sardine cans so that midget demons can get out. You’d think it would get repetivive and dull, but it doesn’t.
The main score was done by Goblin’s main songwriter, Claudio Simonetti, which is one of the best pieces of music he ever did. Even so, adding to the cheese is an A-typical 80’s rock soundtrack that includes Billy Idol, Motley Crue, and Killer Dwarves. The best piece of music however, comes when our teenage hero and his cutie get on a BMX motorcycle and arm themselves with a samurai sword (?) and run through the aisles cutting up bodies to the tune of “Fast As A Shark” by Accept. That is, of course, moments before a helicopter crashes into the theatre for no apparent reason and we discover the world has turned into a demonic wasteland. The ending is genuinely grim, with our lead staying all alone in the apocalyptic wasteland. It’s too bad the sequel didn’t continue this promising storyline.
When you suck up exactly how crazy this film is, you see that Italian maestro Dario Argento had his hand in this, and it makes sense. Argento is famous for ignoring story and common sense for the sake of a cool shot, and with Lamberto Bava in the director’s chair, it makes a whole lot of sense. Hell we even get director Michele Soavi (Stagefright, Cemetery Man) as a weird dude in a metal mask! So, if you like the English Patient, then you should probably stay away, but if you don’t mind leaving the brain at the door and watching something that’ll make you feel like you’re on cocaine, this is the film for you!