Recently, a strange game evolved from a combination of Netflix’s Instant Watch and my own comatose state of couch-potato boredom. I call it Netflix Randomness. Not that this game is at all random—the name just rolls off the tongue a little easier than Solitaire Movie-Geek Chicken.
Here are the rules to Netflix Randomness. You browse the Instant Watch listings until you find something that grabs your attention. It can be anything. The swerve is that this movie (or television show) must be one that you have never seen, never heard of, and would never watch under any other circumstance. Beyond that, every title is fair game. Once you have located a suitable target, the game is set and you’re in for the duration. And before you probe for loopholes, you have to pause the movie when you leave the room and you cannot play on your cell phone or laptop during the movie. Choose wisely.
This is all merely how I internally justify wasting hours of potential productivity by vegging in front of Netflix. The next evolution of this game will have to include stakes because there’s just not much incentive to sit through a real turd other than groaning about it on the internet.
Netflix Randomness has uncovered many gems such as Cashback, a brilliant little flick that I watched twice in one day. That means go watch it. It counts. The game also introduced me to the television series, Everest: Beyond the Limit, which gave me a new goal in life: to keep a good ocean or two between myself and Mount Everest. I want to climb that bitch. I do. But I’m a realist. I would probably make the summit—only because I’m too stupid to turn around. I have no illusions of glory. I’ll be that guy who returns with frostbitten charcoal nubs that were once toes as well as a case of that dain bramage that floats around Advanced Base Camp. Plus, cold weather is dumb and that’s really what’s stopping me from training up and doing this thing. 40-below-zero? Fuck. That.
The latest round of Netflix Randomness uncovered Night of the Demons, an altogether shitty movie, but not one without moments of campy charm. Night of the Demons is a remake of the 1980’s classic by the same name. Classic? What, what? Yeah, I never heard of it either, but roll with me here. The Netflix listing held promises of demons, gratuitous boobage, and ample gore. Pick Me! Pick Me! My entry for that night’s Netflix Randomness was an easy choice.
Angela Feld (Shannon “I Believe ‘Shaved’ Is The Expression” Elizabeth) thinks she can make a few bucks by organizing a Halloween party in the old mansion. The party she throws is nothing short of epic. There are hot girls, mostly-great costumes (I spotted a few costume-in-a-bags), blacklights, lesbians, kick ass music, and some chainsmoker named Colin (Edward Furlong) who looks a lot like a Fat John Connor. Best Halloween Party Ever. Angela gives a pep rally encouraging the guests to drink, dance, and fuck. Let the death metal and debauchery commence! Suddenly the cops show up and things take turn for the worst.
The remaining three-quarters of the film is the cast running around the mansion avoiding possession by retarded demons until daybreak. Oh, and the demons’ weakness is rusty metal objects. You know, objects that litter the whole fucking floor of the old mansion. That’s like aliens invading Earth, who explode like big zits when they touch a little water. Right, M. Night?
Look, the acting is terrible and the story makes no sense. That’s expected and even embraced by almost everyone who would select this movie. What you seek out in campy horror are those glorious scenes of excessive violence or creepy sexiness or both. The bloodshed is notably lacking, but Night of the Demons definitely delivers a few golden moments of unease that harkens back to the Age of Schlock.
3. The Trick-Or-Treaters. Near the beginning of the movie, the stage is set for a night of Halloween trick-or-treating awesomeness. The movie immediately cuts in close on the trick-or-treat action and delivers an early and completely unexpected moment of awkwardness. Two trick-or-treaters knock on a door and some lady in a pink tutu answers. After the trick-or-treat, the lady turns around and bends over to grab the kids a handful of candy. As she bends over, her skirt lifts and reveals a some crotch cleavage. The two little girls both gawk and then flash the same disturbing grin. Whuh? None of the three characters ever appear again. It’s random. It has no bearing on the film. It sets high expectations for many more bizarre moments to follow.
Fangoria-thumping, horror geeks will probably find some 80’s-style schlock to love in Night of the Demons. I’m more of a casual observer of the horror genre and tend not to stray very far from the cozy confines of Freddy and Jason. There were brief flashes of brilliance, but overall this movie was weak. I’ll give it one-and-a-half stars for the awesome beginning.