Tonight’s theme is demons… and the people who love them… and who run from them, too.

We’re back with Joe Bob again this week at The Last Drive-In, exclusively on Shudder. It’s important to note, Mutants, that as of this moment Shudder has not committed to renewing The Last Drive-In for another round, so what I ask is that you take a moment to tweet @shudder with your desire for more episodes. Don’t forget the hashtag #TheLastDriveIn either!

And before we dive in to the Drive-In, I figure I’d toot my own horn again from the livestream.

Demon Wind (1990)

Opening Rant: That old idea of “this will hurt me more than it will hurt you.”

The first film of the night was that kind of drive-in cheese that is a perfect fit for us mutants. Demon Wind (1990) is a knockoff of The Evil Dead that is probably most interesting for the un-credited appearance of Lou Diamond Phillips as a zombie. Well, the Kung Fu magician is a nice touch as well.

The film follows a young man named Cory and his group of friends as they visit a farm that was owned by Cory’s family and has seen several bizarre and tragic deaths. After being attacked by demons, the group is forced to take shelter in the old farm and survive a night of terror, possessions, and surprisingly little demonic wind.

Demon Wind was directed by Charles Philip Moore and was only one of four films in his career. The movie features a group of very bland actors and actresses who look like knock-off versions of far more famous folks. The sole exception here being Stephen Quadros, the show-stealing Kung Fu magician. Other performances include Eric Larson, Francine Lapensée, Rufus Norris, and Jack Forcinito.

Reviews

Joe Bob offered the film a generous 3 stars. The first half of the night’s highlight comes from Joe Bob attempting to summarize the 4 generations-worth of plot that Demon Wind eventually, inscrutably manages to work in. As always though, the insights into the filming were particularly entertaining, such as the revelation of the crew using the short ends of film stock, and using available fog for the foggy sequences of the movie as there was no budget for a fog machine. Wow.

As for the Haunted MTL review of the film, Demon Wind is strictly a 2 and a half star affair. It becomes a lot more fun when you pretend it is a spin-off of The Evil Dead with some doomed idiots and the random badassery of the Kung Fu magician. Also… those were some of the most Deadite-esque demon zombies outside of the Ash Williams adventures.

“Surprise!”

Best Line: “You killed me.” (Spoken like a disappointed mother)

The House of the Devil (2009)

Opening Rant: The theological origins of the concept of Hell.

The second film of the night was Ti West’s 2009 throwback Satanic cult film The House of the Devil. Ti West is a bit of a divisive figure in horror, sure, but no matter where you land on his work, The House of the Devil is certainly a much better film than Demon Wind… though maybe not as a drive-in movie. More on that later.

The House of the Devil follows a young babysitter named Samantha who, in desperate need of money to escape her awful roommate and pay for her own apartment, takes on a babysitting job. When she arrives at the house, however, she discovers that the job was not quite what was advertised. Regardless, she takes the job and spends a terrifying night seemingly alone in a spooky house, unaware of the sinister events she will become embroiled in.

The movie was written, edited, and directed by Ti West. It stars the magnetic Jocelin Donahue as Samantha, with Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov. Greta Gerwig has a brief, but memorable role, and there is a dash of Dee Wallace to add a little more flavor to this throwback film.

The House of the Devil, for someone who is unaware of its throwback nature, would likely see the film as a product of the late 70s early 80s, which the film purposefully evokes. Everything from the cameras used, the quality of the film, to the title card and lighting make this a film that really captures the grimy aesthetic of the late 70s to 80s slasher aesthetic.

Reviews

Joe Bob awarded The House of the Devil 3 and a half stars. Joe Bob’s praise of the quality of the film and the sound design was effusive. In particular, there was a great deal of praise pointed at Jeff Grace’s score of the film, particularly how the score punctuates the noises of the house that terrify poor Samantha. Joe Bob did spend a great deal of time discussing Ti West as a filmmaker and horror audience reactions to the kind of “slow horror” that he tends to focus on in his work. At one point, Joe Bob describes Ti West as an “obsessive-compulsive only child” in a way that can only be described as endearing.

We’ll get this out of the way now: I am a fan of Ti West and The House of the Devil is a 4 star film. It is important to note that the film is slower that most films on The Last Drive-In, and unfortunately it makes the Mutants a little cranky. It is very interesting to watch these films live and watch Mutants discuss it on Twitter. Much like week 3 when The Changeling was on, many fans seemed to complain about The House of the Devil being slow. The Changeling and The House of the Devil are amazing movies and worth watching, but… they are not necessarily drive-in sort of films that live up to the three Bs (Blood, Breasts, and Beasts).

Despite these films not being the kind of films expected for drive-in fare, I appreciate and value their presence in The Last Drive-In, though and hope we get more of these slow-burn creepers as they are personal favorites of mine.

Spontaneous Spook-house Shuffle

Best Line: “I heard you college kids love pizza.”

Drive-In Totals

  • 1 tan suede shirt with white trim, with a silvery triangular bolo tie
  • 1 creepy gas station in the literal middle of nowhere
  • 1 rotten egg
  • 2 ceremonial daggers
  • 2 Joe Bob jokes (the British vs. the French, and handjobs)
  • 2 Joe Bob clipboard sightings
  • 3 warnings to “not go up there”
  • 4 generations worth of plot
  • 5 Twitter bans for Darcy
  • 9 bland, identical teenage archetypes
  • 18 day shoot for The House of the Devil
  • Gratuitous 90s sexism and homophobia
  • Gratuitous gun-totin’ old man
  • Gratuitous hallucinatory she-demon titties
  • Gratuitous home inspection
  • Gratuitous @jocelindonahue dancing
  • Gratuitous blood slip and slide
  • Gratuitous Darcy cosplay (as Samantha)
  • Beer Can Fu
  • Exploding Doll Fu
  • Tongue Lash Fu
  • Joe Bob Plot Summary Fu
  • Surprise Lou Diamond Phillips Fu
  • Vase Smashing Fu

As always, please share your thoughts with us about The Last Drive-In. Also, please check out our other great content here at Haunted MTL.

About the Author

David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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