Wednesday, July 14, 2010

'Demonsoul' is a nice effort, but is lacking

Demonsoul (1996)
Starring: Kerry Norton, Daniel Jordan, and Eileen Daly
Director: Elisar C. Kennedy
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

Erica (Norton) starts having recurring nightmares about a mystery woman (Daly) torturing a man while having sex with him. She seeks out Dr. Booker (Jordan) for some hypnotherapy. Booker happens to be an unscrupulous lecher and discredited paranormal researcher, and while he is groping the hypnotized Erica, he manages to fully awaken the dormant spirit of the vampire she was in a former life. Blood-drinking, death, and mysterious happenings clouded in fog-machine disgorgement follows.

"Demonsoul" started with a nice and interesting premise. It also starts fairly strong for a movie of this type--shot-on-video, with a budget of $3--but it quickly degrades into the too-long establishing shots, scenes of people wandering about, and weakly delivered bad dialogue that are the hallmarks of films like this. The film would also have been better served if a little more care and skill had been applied to the audio work. Consistent use of a Foley artist would have been nice--fight scenes just aren't the same without the meaty thwacks--as would better microphone work; echoes and ambient noise come and go between different shots and in same scene.

Oh... and speaking of lechers... I think this is one of the few times I remember thinking, "Boy, she's an attractive actress... I hope she gets nekkid!", only to later wish that the actress in question had kept her shirt on.

All in all, I think there were some fine ideas behind this film, and I got the sense that everyone involved was giving it their all. Much of the acting (with Norton doing a particularly good job) and camera work is actually better than usually found in films at this level. But, as someone who has appeared in a couple of these sorts of productions, I can tell you that heart and love-of-filmmaking doesn't cancel out inexperience in amateur productions. Still, I felt that this was an honest attempt to make a real movie, so I'm giving it an extra star for effort.


  1. Really? You've appeared in some? Which ones???

  2. As far as I know, none of the little productions I played significant roles in even got as far as this film did, in the sense that they were made and then never seen by ANYONE except the editors and the filmmakers.

    But... the first one was called "Space Brats," if memory serves. It was during the late 1980s, I played a bad guy--the sidekick to an evil government agent chasing tiny space alien tricksters. Most of the filming was in a studio, and the two-man crew attempted a lot of green-screen work on this film, with not a whole lot of success. Vision overreached both skill-levels and budget in that case, so it was the sort of effort I rail about so often on my blogs. However, I did get paid for my participation... although I think it was actually for helping on the script rather than acting.

    I don't even recall the name of the second one. It was a short film--so maybe that doesn't even count--but I once again played the bad guy. I killed my neighbor and buried him in the backyard.

    (And I really need to start reading reviews before I repost them. I would have edited that reference out if I'd known it was there. I sounds awfully self-important, given the fate of the film productions I was part of. :) )