Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Demon Divas and The Lanes of Damnation (2009)

DVD Release date: April 5  2011

Directed by Mike Watt
Written by Mike Watt

Stars: Amy Lynn Best, Brinke Steven,  Debbie Rochon,Lilith Stabs Robyn Griggs, Nikki McCrea and Sofiya Smirnova

Demon Divas and The Lanes of Damnation is the fifth feature film from the lovely people of Pennsylvania based film company Happy Cloud Pictures. Described as a homage to the sexy and silly horror comedies of the 80s before its release, I for one was chomping at the bit to see what HCP had come up with – particularly considering the quality entertainment of their previous indie horror outings. One of the main differences between Demon Divas and any previous output is the pure emphasis on the fun and camp. Not to knock any of the previous films, as they are all great in their own right, but it just was fantastic to see writer and director Mike Watt and producer and actress Amy Lynn Best (the talented husband and wife team behind HCP) letting loose, having a blast and actually delivering good on their promise to bring back the sexy, blood spattered side of the 80s.

The movie presents a simple plot, paying direct homage to goofball horror movies such as Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowlarama and Nightmare Sisters. Two geeky but sweet college gals; Lisa and Taffy (played to near perfection by Nikki McCrea and Sofiya Smirnova) have incurred the wrath of a spiteful posse of sorority girls led by the vindictive and unbalanced Rochelle (a hilariously over the top Stephanie Bertoni).  The bowling alley where the girls work is run by a group of entrepreneurial women (played by a sassy line up of indies hottest scream queens; Amy Lynn Best, Brinke Stevens, Debbie Rochon, Lilith Stabs and Robyn Griggs) who are, in truth, age old demons looking for their next meal and a refresher of their satanic powers.  Since our demon divas need wishes to accomplish this, their obvious new targets are the lovelorn Lisa, who wants to rip Rochelle’s iron claws from her high school crush Johnny, and the charmingly trusting Taffy who JUST wants to be liked. It’s safe to say that once the wish for the bowling alley owners to help the girls is unleashed, that all kinds of entrails, eyeballs and other grue and gore are going to hit the fan. During a late night mixer at the alley held by the Rochelle’s entourage and their dumb jock boyfriends, the demons, recently empowered, go on the rampage, causing death, destruction, and a lot of laughs throughout the night.

This movie just ticks all the boxes in the horror comedy department. Some viewers may note the lack of nudity in this type film but it in no way detracts from the incredibly witty dialogue (pretty much anything the dim witted sorority girls spew out), the clear, crisp picture and the fun, gory killings.  The acting is also pretty much impressive across the board especially considering several people in this movie are complete and utter first time actors. It requires a decent performance to deliver humorous lines effectively and luckily this is accomplished really well here. Sure there are a few technical flaws along the way such as a bit of dodgy sound here and there but this is only likely to cause bother to a real stickler for perfection and should be forgiven considering the sheer enjoyment to be had.

Demon Divas comes highly recommended as does all other films made by HCP – which can be purchased here like: www.happycloudpictures.com. Also keep an eye out for the next movie, a far more seriously toned ‘Razor Days’ – which you can also view the trailer for over at the HCP website. It looks killer.

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