Review Date: May 8, 2001
Released by: Dragon Entertainment
Release date: 2/18/2001
Region 0, PAL
Widescreen 1.66:1 | 16x9: No
At the end of the first Dance of the Demons
, it looked like the unholy creatures were well on their way to overrunning the world with their evil spawn. However, it seems that things did not work out that way, as a narrator solemnly informs us that the demons were eventually defeated by mankind and life has returned to normal. Or so it seems...
We cut to an apartment building in downtown Berlin. The building's occupants include Bob (David Edwin Knight
) and Hannah (Nancy Brilli
), a young couple who are expecting a baby, Sally (Coralina Cataldi Tassoni
), a teenage girl, and Hank (Bobby Rhodes
), a fitness instructor who runs a gym on the first floor. It seems that tonight is Sally's birthday, and she's all in a lather because she can't get her hair or her dress to look right for her party. As her friends dance and celebrate in her living room, one of the guys answers the phone. The caller is Sally's ex-boyfriend, and not knowing that they're on bad terms, he tells the boy to come on over. Sally gets so upset when she hears this that she barricades herself in her room.
She turns on the TV, and is surprised to see that there's a horror movie on (a sequel to the movie everyone was watching in the first film, perhaps?). The movie shows a group of people, apparently looking to get some photographs of the demons, tramping through the woods towards the walled compound where the last of the surviving creatures are contained. They scale the wall, and soon find a dead demon lying on the ground, and are about to take a photograph when one of the photographers cuts her hand and drips blood on the body, reviving it to a living state. Unfortunately, the movie gets a little too realistic at this point - the revived demon suddenly pops out of Sally's TV and attacks her, turning her into one! She promptly goes out to the party and slaughters all of her guests.
From there, things quickly begin deteriorate. The demons rampage through the building, killing indiscriminately. And it just so happens that this building has an ultra-modern security system that has sealed the place tight. Although this means that the demons are unable to leave the building and contaminate the rest of the city, none of the people can get out either! The creatures wipe out Hank and his gym membership, as Bob and Hannah struggle to save their lives, as well as the life of their unborn child...
First off, let me start by saying that while I don't like the first Dance of the Demons
, I will openly acknowledge that it is a much better movie than it's sequel, which is pretty lame by any standard. The biggest problem with this movie is that it jettisons the only thing noteworthy about the first film - it's adrenaline pacing and it's stunt work, special effects and action set-pieces - and, with the exception of a little more character development, doesn't add anything else worthwhile. This is not to say that the movie is devoid of special effects or gore, no, it has quite a bit of both (including an irresistibly funny miniature demon that was obviously inspired by Gremlins), but they're not nearly as energetic or elaborate as those in the first film, and aren't handled as creatively by director Lamberto Bava, and his pacing is really slack.
Strangely enough, Bava and the screenwriters (among them Dario Argento) repeat one of the mistakes they made in the first film almost exactly, which is to pad the film with pointless scenes of people driving around Berlin. This time, it's Sally's ex-boyfriend, who is shown driving around with his friends several times during the movie, only to crash his car outside her apartment building. That's it. There was no point in including these scenes, which don't go anywhere and just break up the action even more.
Although it may have some unintentional humor value, Dance of the Demons 2
is probably a film that is best avoided, even for people that liked the first film. It's a waste of time, and everyone involved in the film is capable of doing much better.
This is an import DVD from Germany in the PAL video format, which means that most people in North America, which uses the NTSC format, will not be able to view this on their TVs without special equipment.
I'm not going to break this review up into two sections (one for TV playback and one for computer playback) like is normally done with other PAL reviews, because with the exception of a few motion artifacts I detected, there was no appreciable difference between the two forms of playback.
Dance of the Demons 2
is presented letterboxed at about 1.66:1 and is not enhanced for 16x9 TVs. This is a pretty good transfer overall. Colors were nice and natural looking, and overall the picture was quite sharp and detailed. Aside from one or two times during the film in which there was quite a bit of speckling noticeable, the print appeared to be in fine shape. However, there is one major fault with the transfer, and that is that the image appears excessively grainy at times during the film. It's rarely distracting, but it's there all the same.
Two soundtrack options are available, an English a German-language track, both in Dolby 2.0 Stereo. The soundtrack is effective, with good range and a strong bass level, and the dialogue is always easy to understand, despite the fact that this film really isn't dubbed all that well. Unfortunately, there is some minor popping and hissing on the soundtrack. Optional German and Dutch subtitles are included.
Like Dragon's release of the first Dance of the Demons
, this one is fairly light on supplements. We get a theatrical trailer, filmographies for David Edwin Knight, Lamberto Bava, Coralina Cataldi Tassoni and Nancy Brilli, a brief tour of Dario Argento's Profondo Rosso
shop in Rome, and then another segment about the Museum of Horrors that Argento runs in the shop's basement. Finally, there are two brief deleted scenes, one of which partly explains the "Sally's ex-boyfriend" anomaly.
For completists, I should note that there is also an American NTSC release of this film from Anchor Bay under the title Demons 2
that includes a commentary track with Bava, special effects man Sergio Stivaletti, and journalist Loris Curci.
Dance of the Demons 2
is a really terrible film. Dragon's DVD release sports a good video and audio presentation, but still, one has to wonder, why bother?
Movie – D
Image Quality - B
Sound – B
Supplements – B-
- Running Time - 1 hour 26 minutes
- Not Rated
- 1 Disc
- 8 Chapter Stops
- English Dolby Stereo 2.0
- German Dolby Stereo 2.0
- German and Dutch subtitles
- Tour of Dario Argento's Profondo Rosso shop
- Tour of Argento's "Museum of Horrors"
- Deleted scenes