Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Daughters of Darkness (1971, Harry Kümel)

Daughters of Darkness is one of those slow burnining, atmospheric erotic films where there is a horror plot, yet its just an excuse to feature nudity and blood. This is a Belgian vampire film with hardly any vampire moments, yet I still liked it, much as I also liked Jean Rollin’s The Shiver of the Vampires. Both movies have plenty of style, yet I prefer Kümel’s film more: it has better acting and even better pacing. I also can see where the possible inspiration for The Hunger (1983) came from, a film that is superior to the ones I have mentioned. Sometimes the student becomes the master, a common theme in many horror films.

A couple seemingly in love journey to a haunting and stunning hotel in the middle of nowhere. There is a gorgeous older woman who does not age, and talk of brutal murders. Things come to a head eventually, but not before we get eerie moments and a scene that is one of the film’s most interesting. Sure this film is the typical style over substance and maybe I liked it more than I should have. Vampire movies can be added to my list of horror subgenres I seem to adore, despite their obvious flaws.

Horrorfest 2014 Presents: Night of the Demons (1988, Kevin Tenney)

Thanks to Scream Factory I was able to view another 80s cult film, this one being titled Night of the Demons. By the late 1980s the horror film genre was tired of slasher movies, and so films like this one were more the norm, although of course a group of teenagers wander into some abandoned building and get horribly murdered. However “Night” has a more slower pace, as it builds up the tension until events really get out of hand. And naturally a film like this has a morality tale of sorts included, offering up why one should not mess with forces beyond our world, or something like that. Not really a complex message, although this movie is pretty straightforward, which is part of its charm. Also the opener is darkly humorous, as it features an old man preparing to lace his candy apples with razor blades. How that side story concludes, is um, with a quite gruesome surprise.

This is the type of horror movie where you have character names such as Angela, Judy, Helen, Max and Roger. Although of course you have a guy like Stooge, who by the end of the film truly lives up to his human pig reputation. Most of the film doesn’t contain humor and is a suspenseful movie, turning into a chase style trying to escape movie by the conclusion. Despite having some cliches “Night” has some surprises, and I was entertained despite the film’s low budget limitations. I also liked that the film saves its gory elements for later on, and doesn’t become too campy, the bizarre plot aside. Oh and the film has a really good soundtrack, with one of the tracks being sang by Bauhaus, who also contributed a track to the 1980s horror classic The Hunger. I’m not sure why or how this film spawned multiple sequels (plus the typical horror remake) although by the 1980s franchises had become the norm for anything halfway successful or notable.

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