DEMONOID (1981) Reviews and overview


‘Up from the depths of Hell comes the ultimate horror!’

Demonoid – aka Macabra – is a 1981 Mexican-American supernatural horror feature film produced and directed by Alfredo Zacarías (The Bees; Capulina contra las momias) from a screenplay co-written with David Lee Fein (Cheerleader Camp) and F. Amos Powell (Keep My Grave Open; Curse of the Stone Hand; Tower of London). Samantha Eggar and Stuart Whitman star.

Robert Burns (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) is credited with “special effects art direction”.

Three hundred years ago, in a mine located in Guanajuato, Mexico. A satanic cult built a temple where they sacrificed humans to the Devil by cutting off the left hand of their victims.

In the present day, couple Mark (Roy Cameron Jensen) and Jennifer Baines (Eggar) explore the temple where they find a small casket containing a severed hand which they take back to their hotel room.

Later that night, Mark opens the casket and is attacked and possessed by the hand. Fleeing to Las Vegas, he wins a fortune by gambling. Hating being possessed, Mark attempts to sever his left hand but is burned to death by his possessed hand. Mark’s body is shipped to Los Angeles for burial.

Jennifer arrives at Father Cunningham’s church where her husband is to be buried and warns the priest that her husband might still be possessed and requests that an autopsy is performed on the body. As they discuss the matter, Mark’s severely charred corpse reanimates and bursts from his coffin and escapes…

Buy Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray + DVD: |

  • Blu-ray/DVD Combo | Region Free | 1.85:1 OAR
  • Restored in 2k from 35mm camera negative
  • All extras on both Blu-ray and DVD
  • Alternate International version: Macabra (90 min)
  • New video interview with Director Alfredo Zacarias
  • Multiple theatrical trailers and TV spot
  • Original artwork gallery
  • Reversible Macabra artwork
  • Optional French soundtrack for Macabra
  • English SDH subtitles for both Demonoid and Macabra


Oft remembered but best quickly forgotten entry to the surprisingly well-populated sub-genre of ‘mad hands’ movies (see also the likes of The Beast With Five Fingers, The Hands of Orlac, The Handto name but three).

Sadly, this is probably the runt of the litter with unremarkable acting (though it’s admittedly difficult to deliver the line “Cut off my hand and you die!” with Shakespearean authority), so-so effects and an ending that makes you wonder why you bothered, it is at least a fun reminder of the standard of probably one in three of your video rentals made on the basis of the front cover and ‘inventive’ plot info on the back.

Daz Lawrence, MOVIES & MANIA

Other reviews:

“Outrageous in concept yet stolid in execution, Demonoid tries and fails to translate the unique tone of Mexican horror, with its strangely matter-of-fact approach to the surrealistic subject matter, into an American milieu. Zacarias’ static direction scuppers whatever suspense is conjured by the atmospheric production design of Javier Torres Torijia…” The Spinning Image

” …the movie throws logic and buildup out the window in favor of more and more killer hand attacks. That’s a good thing, and each and every one of these scenes is pretty awesome and they are directed and performed with an impressive amount of energy. Eggar is pretty fun to watch here as the female lead.” Rock! Shock! Pop!

“A strongly cast and well-mounted production, Demonoid‘s absurd plot […] is kept engaging through its “everything but the kitchen sink” plotting, satisfying gore (courtesy of Hell Night‘s Ken Horn), and some genuine nastiness.” DVD Drive-In

” …a meandering, confusing storyline […] viewers will be struggling just as hard as Whitman to make sense of it all.” John Stanley, Creature Features

…Demonoid is the junkier trash cinema option (complete with extra flourishes like negative flash cuts of people’s hands and occasional cutaways to an Exorcist-inspired, sword-wielding demon), while Macabra is a more traditional, coherent supernatural yarn and a more accomplished, atmospheric piece of work.” Mondo Digital

“Trust me: Watching a panicked Whitman stumble about the room with a supernatural paw clutching his face is Something to See. (Perhaps those of you with the DTs have seen it before.) The swift, schlock shocker is Eggar’s show and she goes to town with it like an ol’ pro. Never is this more apparent than the real sour apple of a surprise ending.” Flick Attack

‘The gore and gratuitous nudity in the opening flashback are the highlights of this ugly, sleazy Mexican co-production. It probably would have been even uglier and sleazier if it had had a real budget, but as it is, you need to endure 20 minutes of boredom between each of the few gore scenes.”David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

Buy Claws & | |

“And while this is technically an 80s horror, it’s 1981 and foreign, so it retains a lot of that 70s atmosphere. Don’t come in expecting a Hellraiser or Nightmare on Elm St.; but this is a pretty well-crafted, fun horror film that keeps things entertaining, without getting juvenile or cheap.” DVD Exotica

“A really awful “hand” movie […] Whitman outdoes a number of bad performances by demonstrating both his Spanish and Irish accents while playing the same character.” TV Guide



Main cast and characters:

Alternate titles:

  • Demonoid: Messenger of Death
  • Macabra
  • Macabra: La Mano del Diablo

Filming locations:

Bronson Caves, Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California
Churubusco Studios, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Guanajuato, Mexico
Oxnard, California
Sands Hotel – 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada



demnoid macabra la mano del diablo

‘2nd Big Hit “Demonioid”


Disclaimer: This website includes affiliate links to Amazon and as an Amazon Associate the owner of this website earns a very minuscule amount from qualifying purchases.