Demon Keeper – USA, 1993 – reviews

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Demon Keeper is a 1993 [released 1994] American supernatural horror feature film edited and directed by ex-actor Joe Tornatore (Grotesque) from a screenplay by Mike [Mikel] Angel (Evil Spirits; Psychic Killer; The Love Butcher) for The Pacific Trust production company. It was distributed on VHS and DVD by Roger Corman’s New Horizons.

‘Special photographic effects’ were by David L. Hewitt, the director of Monsters Crash the Pyjama Party (1965), The Wizard of Mars (1965), Gallery of Horror (1967) and The Mighty Gorga (1969).

Plot:

17th century: Whilst being burnt alive, an evil witch emits a terrifying howl and conjures up demons from her mouth, killing her oppressors…

Present: For psychic charlatan Remy Grilland (Edward Albert) the world of the occult is nothing more than a way to swindle rich old ladies out of their money. A parlour trick. But when Alexander Harris (Dirk Benedict), an expert of the supernatural, attends his seance, Remy feels obliged to summon a real spirit.

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In his ignorance, Grilland brings forth Asmodeus, a vicious and evil demon, one known to spread misery by infiltrating the mind, playing on weakness, and leading its prey to murder.

Now, locked in the house for the night, each person must find a way to evade the demon Asmodeus’s powers. Only the light of day will bring mercy…

Main cast:

Dirk Benedict (Cruise Into Terror; Sssssss), Edward Albert (Sorceress; The House Where Evil Dwells; Galaxy of Terror), Mike Lane (Grotesque, Monster Squad TV series) Andre Jacobs (The Bone Snatcher; Curse III: Blood Sacrifice), Adrienne Pierce (The Bone Snatcher), DavidSherwood, Jennifer Steyn (Pure Blood), Claire Marshall, Diane Nuttall, Elsa Martin, Katrina Maltby, Joe Tornatore (as Mob Boss).

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Reviews:

Poorly written, incoherently directed and populated by characters who, despite their supposed occult knowledge, behave as though they’ve never seen a film like this themselves, Demon Keeper is lousy … Although the screenplay attempts to add some dramatic dimension to the simplistic story by giving each character some inner flaw for the demon to exploit, this only leads to unconvincing histrionics…” TV Guide

Demon-Keeper-1994-worried-looks

“… could have used about 10-15 more minutes because what we have here is a movie that goes all over the place for no reason whatsoever … Also doesn’t help when you give the demon such great dialogue like “He wants to kill you!” “You are a drunken pig!” and his delightful catchphrase “Kill him/her! Kill! Kill him/her”. He sounds less like a minion of hell and more like a frat boy yelling at a pledge to shave a goat’s scrotum.” Wide Weird World of Cult Films

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Demon Keeper is often too cheap and badly written to work as a movie, but if there is any reason to watch it, it is Benedict himself. Bearded and wide-eyed, the former A-Team star is quite fun to watch as he plays the role as if he were trying to do his version of Vincent Price. Too bad about the rest of the film.” Alan Dorich, Letterboxd.com

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“Not much going on here outside of your standard monster and T&A routine. Filmed in Zimbabwe, I guess I could recommend it for Benedict’s eye-popping performance. Seriously, he looks like he got zapped with a cattle prod before each line delivery. Or maybe his surprised look comes from knowing he had hit this low in his career?” Udar 55

“… dredges up every demon cliché imaginable (with plenty of bare breasts to spice the tasteless broth). Not a single spark of originality is to be found in Mikel Angel’s script.” John Stanley, Creature Features

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Choice dialogue:

“Four people are dead in this house. And you want to play psychic games?”

Chris Gregory: “Tell me – what did I ever do to get mixed up in your lousy karma?”

Chris Gregory: “The only monster in this house comes in a bottle!”

Filming locations:

Zimbabwe

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