Italian horror maestro Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava joined forces to produce two of the goriest, most merciless, most stylish, and arguably the best zombie films ever made: for my money, Demons and Demons2 are nectar of the Gods for gorehounds and horror movie fanatics.
Plot, character development, and pacing all take a backseat to the most important element of any zombie movie: brain-eating, bone-crunching, viscera-devouring goodness. Both of the Demons movies deliver the goods in spades, and have the additional virtue of gorgeous and crisp cinematography, eerie and stylish lighting, and the highest splatter-to-running-time ratio of any horror movie ever made, with the possible exception of Peter Jackson's Dead/Alive.
Best of all, the "Demons" movies are utterly merciless: all of the more benevolent horror movie conventions are gleefully abandoned. See dewey-eyed adorable little children get mutated into flesh-devouring demons! See one of the little demon children explode as it gives 'birth' to a yowling, screaming little imp! See a fluffy, loyal family dog growl and bark at a pool of demon blood, only to be transformed into an insane and hungry monster, its snout rolling back up over its eyeballs as a new set of green 'eyes' grow out of its nose! See a blind man get his eyes gouged out even as he begs for the demon to stop!
In short, both movies are sheer horror genius, a 7-course feast (with some nice 1987 Chateau LaTour thrown in) for the discriminating gorehound. It simply doesn't get any better than this, folks, and best of all, you can watch Demons/Demons2 again and again and never get tired of it. Can you honestly say that about "Night of the Living Dead"?
But let's dispense, quickly, with the plot: there is none.
Alright, I'm being a little glib: there is a plot, but don't expect either film to stick to it. Demons takes place in the Metropol, a haunted (but mysteriously refurbished) Berlin movie theater; patrons gather for a free screening of a new horror movie (about teenagers exploring an ancient cathedral who awaken---you guessed it---demons). One of the moviegoers, Rosemary the prostitute, scratches her cheek on a demonic mask in the lobby; the wound becomes infected (oh boy does it ever!) and begins to bubble and ache.
Rosemary excuses herself, and goes to the bathroom to tend to her now throbbing, pulsating cheek wound, and, after a deliciously gory transformation scene (in which gobbets of flesh, buckets of blood, and waterfalls of pus fly everywhere) becomes a demon.
Rosemary gets out and starts clawing and biting other patrons; people turn into demons; things get out of hand; and after a while Berlin has considerably more to worry about than the Soviets. The second movie offers more of the same, this time in a Berlin apartment building. Both films also inexplicably feature a subplot about a carload of ill-tempered punk rockers who spend roughly 75% of the film driving aimlessly around Berlin listening to new wave ditties, but don't worry---they get theirs.
Both movies feature the aforementioned gobs of gore, stunning demon transformation scenes, and hip eighties soundtracks (featuring Motley Crue, Billy Idol, Dead Can Dance and The Cult). You get to see Berlin in all its old Cold War glory. And best of all, you have the sheer delight of two of the most shockingly gory zombie flicks ever put to film on a sleek, gorgeous DVD transfer!
Some have complained the acting in the film is atrocious, but what do you expect from a film which was originally shot in German and Italian, and then dubbed over into English---and not using good, expressive English voices, but folks who sound like their acting skills are sub-porno, at best. Look, you can't have it all---and anyway, you get the winsome Fiore Argento in Demons and the tasty and plummish Asia Argento in Demons2 (Dario's daughters). Something this enjoyable shouldn't be legal, so take advantage of Demons/Demons2 while you can.