Black Demons (Demoni III)
Film: Black Demons (Demoni III)
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Writer: Olga Pehar
Starring: Keith Van Hoven, Joe Balogh and Sonia Curtis
This film begins with three college students in Rio. They are there for their studies. There is Keith Van Hoven who is dating the only woman, played by Sonia Curtis. With them is Curtis’ half-brother, played by Joe Balogh. Balogh gets annoyed with what they are doing and goes off to explore by himself. He encounters a group of kids doing a ritual and they run away when he picks up a shell with something painted on it. He then meets a blind man. A woman comes up behind him and tells him to leave him alone. Balogh reveals that he wants to see a black magic ritual and that he has been with someone in New York who allowed him to view. That night he is taken to one where he is given a necklace with a pendant that shows someone who does black magic and considered powerful. He also records on a tape recorder the ritual.
Hoven and Curtis wake up and get ready to leave. They have to wake up Balogh, who still has the recorder in his hand. They take their jeep out of the city and come upon trees in the road, blocking the path. Balogh gets out clearing a section for them, but the jeep won’t start. Hoven looks under the hood to see there is something wrong. A couple emerges from the woods, played by Philip Murray and Juliana Teixeira. They invite the three back the house they are staying to help them try to fix it.
Upon arriving we see that the house is a former plantation. Looking out of a window is a woman, played by Maria Alves. She is a widow and stays with the couple to help to take care of the place. In her spare time performs black magic. The moment everyone enters the house, she is suspicious of Balogh.
That night, Balogh cannot sleep so he goes for a walk. He finds a cemetery and plays the recording. Mist rolls in; blood starts to drip from the largest tombstone and then fire breaks out over the six graves. Emerging from them are six Africans.
Back at the house, Teixeira hears something and cannot sleep. She walks through the house, but doesn’t see anything. She looks out a window and thinks someone is in the workshop. She goes out to check and the door shuts. She is then surrounded by some of the men from the cemetery. They pull one of her eyes out with a hook. She screams and Alves hears her. She is currently performing a ritual herself and she is terrified.
The next morning Curtis tries to wake Hoven up, telling him they are wasting daylight and he is not having it. He does get up though when Curtis looks out the window to see Balogh sleeping in the grass. They go check on him. Murray learns that Teixeira is no where to be found. It is assumed that she went to town, but this upsets Murray she wouldn’t wake him to go with her.
Murray does help Hoven fix the jeep, but Balogh crashes it into some branches. He almost kills Hoven in the process. Something isn’t right about Balogh and he almost seems like a zombie. While they were working on the jeep, Curtis takes a walk in the woods. She comes face to face with one of the Africans and she flees. She calls out for Hoven.
No one believes her unfortunately. She knows what she saw though and is adamant that it wasn’t a hallucination. Murray does share a story that there were six slaves that had their eyes stabbed and then were hung when they tried to escape from the plantation a hundred years ago. It appears these were the men that came from the graves that Balogh raised. Can they be stopped? Can they get away from the plantation before it is too late? Will Balogh allow them to escape? What is wrong with him?
This film is interesting, because its title is Black Demons, but the film company decided to rename it Demoni 3 and make it a sequel to the Dario Argento series. This film has nothing to do with those previous two films. This film uses zombies, but in the sense that they are raised back from the dead with voodoo or similar rituals. The make-up of the zombies is great. They look gruesome and each one unique. This film also has some good gore as well. The concept of the film isn’t bad, but it does seem a little convenient that they would end up at a plantation where this gruesome murder of six slaves would happen. Then again, I’m assuming many plantations might have similar events that happened there. The film also tries to create a legend, that if the slaves have risen they need to kill six white people before returning to their graves. I will say that this seems like something that was thought up after the fact to give more back-story.
This film comes with a lot of issues though. Balogh is allowed to come to the ritual without much convincing. They seem like they don’t like outsiders, but he is allowed to watch and also record it. He doesn’t attempt to hide the fact very hard either. It doesn’t take much to fix the jeep, but Hoven makes it sound like it is a huge issue. They could have left that first night with how easy it seems. It does seem a little odd as well that the zombies would hide the body of their first victim, what do they care if they are discovered? I know the film has this done to build suspense moving forward. I also wasn’t a big fan of the film trying to play off the success of Demoni and Demoni 2. Hard to fault trying to, but this film is not a sequel to them. I also felt the acting was a little flat so I never really felt them building suspense. This makes the film a little bit boring.
Now with that said, I would avoid this film. The acting isn’t very good, the film itself is boring and the death scenes are a little repetitive. The concept behind the film isn’t bad, but there are just a lot of plot-holes that hurt the film for me. The little gore this film has is good. We never really get much to feel for the characters. The only thing we do is trying to make us feel sorry for Balogh, but we don’t get much too really truly worry about him. This film also tried to capitalize on the success of Demoni and its sequel, but do not be fooled, this film has nothing to do with them. I wouldn’t recommend seeing this film.
My Rating: out of 10