FBI Special Agent Nicole Diaz is sent to the town of Oro Negro to solve several bizarre murders. At first, it’s thought the killings are random acts committed by smugglers or drug dealers until the Tribal Ranger realizes the bodies have been drained of blood and suspects it is something more.
I would muchÂ rather deal withÂ the incompetence of a motion picture than that of say, a health care professional.Â The same could also beÂ stated for police officers, airline pilots, and food service employees.Â Frankly, poor film making is the least of our day-to-day tribulations.Â This isn’t to say that enduring a terrible flick is a delightful experience, friends, but it is one of the few precious positives I can take away fromÂ the monster mush that isÂ “Demon.”
Even theÂ name of our latest offering shows a criminal lack of care and imagination from theÂ cinematic offendersÂ behind it.Â TheÂ “titular” beastie isn’tÂ remotely a demon, but a genetically altered . . . alien?Â Chupacabra?Â Â “Watchers” wannabe? Â Many possibilities are thrown out there,Â but theÂ term “demon”Â is never uttered as an option.Â More specifically, the creature isÂ aÂ vague bodysuit with hilariously ill-fitting claw gloves and foot boots, the latter of whichÂ constantly threatenÂ to fall offÂ at any given point in the action.Â However, the performer within the stuffy confines of the costume did portray a creepyÂ body language in the less demanding moments.Â IÂ may beÂ grasping for proverbial straws in my compliments here, but damn it, I’m trying.
After a confusing cacophony of Spanish newscasts informs us of various animal mutilations and chupacabra (the only word I recognized) sightings, we’re suddenly thrust into an offensive conversation between two border guards on a reservation in southern Florida.Â I could have sworn this endless exampleÂ ofÂ pointless dialogue wasÂ improvised by gentlemen who hadÂ neither acting experience nor a clue what the word “improvise” even means.Â Â The younger of the two spends the entire sceneÂ glancing down at his lap, where IÂ could only surmise the film’s screenplay sat open to that page.Â Proof that a script may have actually existed?Â Â Either that, orÂ he was obsessed with his ownÂ crotch.
AfterÂ the dynamic duo isÂ dispatchedÂ by what IÂ gather from the shoddy camerawork must have been the opaque blue filter that chases them, we are introduced to our protagonist, F.B.I. Special Agent Nicole Diaz.Â Her boss informs her that she’s to report to the reservation to investigate the double homicide.Â Diaz happens to be a native of the region, a fact that serves no purpose other to incorporate a dull gravesite visit to a deadÂ sibling and pass it off as character development.Â In her defense, Jasmine Waltz displaysÂ confidence in tough chick mode, and seems to be the only individual associated with the picture who gives a rat’s ass about the finished product.
Upon arrival, Diaz is met with hostility from the Sheriff (Joel D. Wynkoop), whoÂ randomly barks his linesÂ at such anÂ angry pitch, one wonders if dementia hasn’t long since set in.Â Little doubt is left when heÂ uses the exact words “fancy-dressed, highfalutin” to describe the agent, though she’s wearing a tank top and clearlyÂ clad more casually than he is.Â Things move at a snail’s pace on to the coroner’s office, whereÂ the proceedings areÂ interrupted by Dr. Carmen Madrid, portrayed by Toni ColletteÂ look-alike Michele L’Amourt.Â Madrid and her assistant Brian (Michael Placencia) inform Diaz that theÂ specimen was enhancedÂ in a government lab for combat purposes, and alsoÂ carries aÂ deadly airborne virus that will be released if it dies.Â ThisÂ places our heroine in quite the pickle, as she regularly expresses herÂ desire to put a bullet in the thing’s face.
During these scenes of unproductive bickering, moreÂ blurryÂ attacks occur in the wilderness.Â Â Two teensÂ meet their ends during a tame romp, and a middle-aged couple becomes a midday snack later on.Â In another example of lazy (more along the lines of comatose) writing, the husband claims to “know a shortcut” once they run out gas, though it’s been plainly established that they’re tourists who have never laid eyes on the area.Â It’s as ifÂ bard Bernie Felix Jr.Â refused to revisitÂ one word he’d typed before moving on to the next insipid exchange.Â In fact, I’d be willing to bet money on it.
A search party is organized to capture the monster, led by Diaz and Madrid and containing virtually every cast member who had yet toÂ meet an end.Â Thankfully, this glaring oversight is corrected once the group is on the beast’s turf.Â Of all the deaths that fill out the final act, only Brian’s resonates as somewhat memorable, if only for the fact that the producers spent a few extra bucks on fake intestines.Â Of course, they could have simply been beef links serving a dual purpose before winding up on the catering table.Â Regardless, it was just nice to be able to decipher what the hell was going on for a change.Â Rob Walker, who directed theÂ unremarkable (yet brilliant compared to this) crime caper “Circus” in 2000, displays the experience and technique of a drunk high schooler shooting a cell phone video at aÂ keg party.Â Â Again, the sheer lack of effort put forth is probably more to blame than anything else.
The most unforgivable malfeasance perpetrated by drivel like “Demon” is not, as is often the case with inept horror films, the fact that it takes its viewers for idiots.Â Films this truly awful are unconcerned with whether or not there is even an audience to begin with, begging the question of who “Demon” was actuallyÂ made toÂ entertain.Â Nobody on either side of the fence could possibly be having any fun here.Â Sheesh.