Surprisingly fun. Woelfel manages to create some atmosphere, and a few Bava-esque shots, and succeeds in coaxing solid performances from his cast. California effectively doubles for the Swiss Alps in this tale of a group of hikers who discover that one of their friends had been possessed by the spirit of a demonic Roman gladiator. It’s not going to make you forget Ridley Scott’s recent epic, but it is several steps above typical Full Moon (Studios) fare.
DIRECTOR’S CUT DVD REVIEW
The majority of the film was shot outside in the mountains of Los Angeles National Park, using a lot of dolly shots and even a few crane shots. Beautiful shots which effectively reinforce the setting… The editing and direction are not only present and equivalent to a “real” higher budget film, but the scenes created in tribute to older styles of genre films push the film way above its “decent low budget flick” status. Although I generally don’t like slasher films I enjoyed this one because of its characters. You really don’t want them to die because they seem more “real” than any of the sex-crazed, screaming, stupid walking carcasses that populate other films of the genre.
***** GREAT LITTLE HORROR MOVIE!
I loved this movie! This is the type of film that Full Moon used to make. Kudos to the director and production team behind this film. I am sure a Demonicus 2 can’t be too far off. I can’t wait.
It’s a lot of fun and very well directed. There are some killer shots and some genuinely creepy moments.
(THE EDGE MAGAZINE)
SCARY AND CAMPY
This movie scared the hell out of me. I felt like I was right there with these kids, running for my life in the mountains. The dialog is campy but the actors make it work.
***** DEMONICUS IS A WINNER!!! OWN IT NOW!!!!!
Demonicus is a movie turned into a video game. I just love the story and the things that go on in this film. It’s made just right. Horror and sword fight freaks buy this movie now!
FULL MOON DOES IT AGAIN!
Demonicus is a very different but entertaining movie. Believe it or not it is like watching an interactive video game without playing it!
Demonicus is a well-paced, decently-acted outing by veteran director Jay Woelfel. Vanesa Talor, Brannon Gould, and Kyle Tracy especially take good turns as the put-upon hikers who are getting picked off one by one. Along the way there are a handful of decent surprises and a jolt or two, some good chases, and nice scenery, with enough talent in front of and behind the camera to keep things percolating. The shooting and editing are polished. All and All Demonicus is a nicely-done, if undemanding, horror outing.
*** DEMONICUS IS SO COOL!!!
Horror fans will be thrilled to see a crazy gladiator movie like this.
The movie was absolutely stunning. A piece of Art. If you like Halloween this is a must see. It makes Scream look like a slow ride to grandmas. Fight scenes were choreographed magnificently. I absolutely loved the music. Makes American Beauty bite the dust. This is a must see. If you’re in jail break out and see it. Mike and Alex give it 2 thumbs up!
DEMONICUS 3 out of 4 stars B movie scale
Demonicus has many things working against it: it’s shot on video, its script is definitely lacking, its characters are mere cutouts of real people, its budget is noticeably small. Despite these things that could easily be deal breakers, Demonicus is ridiculously entertaining, as well as having the distinction of being pretty much the only traditional slasher in the Full Moon catalog.
Demonicus is a supreme piece of low-budget filmmaking. Just for the fact that they found a way to make a slasher movie about a Roman gladiator, I have to applaud them. The fact that it also features some good quality gore, something quite rare in a Full Moon film, especially of this period, is just gravy on top. While the FX definitely aren’t on par with the greats of the genre, I defy you to find a better looking “man getting his arm sawed off in the forest” scene. It’s surprisingly realistic and looks fantastic. I’m sure the effect was achieved rather quick and easily, but the end result is nothing short of perfect.
Director Jay Woelfel has made one prior appearance here at Silver Emulsion, with his entry into the Trancers series, While that film featured a lot of great moments, I don’t particularly remember it having much in the way of great direction. Demonicus, though, is rather impressive for a seemingly quickly shot low-budget film made on videotape. It features some really nice looking mountain vistas, as well as loads of great camera movement on actual camera equipment as opposed to the cheaper and far less effective “human hand.” I also especially enjoyed all the long takes where the action would develop while the camera slowly zoomed out, revealing more of the landscape as the characters moved around. It’s something that’s hard to describe without seeing it, but trust me when I say it’s much more artistry than is generally found in a shot on video film. The film is also impressively edited and paced. It’s just a well-made movie, there’s no need to beat around the bush.
The characters are another huge weakness, as no one’s name really sticks and there isn’t much to identify everyone by. But here’s one observation that I enjoyed, and perhaps you will too: there’s never a main character and only through the course of the film do we uncover who will survive and ultimately become the most important character. Doesn’t that sound like another, more famous film? Hint: it’s Alien. Oh, if only Full Moon could get James Cameron away from those boring blue avatars and onto the set of Demonicuses… or would that be Demonici?
I thoroughly enjoyed Demonicus.
(SILVER EMULSION FILM REVIEWS)