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Night of The Demon

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  • #16
    I like less is more, The Innocents and The Haunting are two examples of films that are terrifying without being explicit- both made by fine directors, though, which isn't always the case. The success of the approach really is down to the skill of the filmmakers

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    • #17
      While I am certainly someone who thinks that atmosphere and suggestion are far more effective than just showing the monster, etc, I can see a producers point of view. If you have made a film, especially if it's not especialy high budget or big cast names, you do need a draw. And at some point, you need to actually show the damn thing. Now, CGI makes it a lot cheaper to show something on screen that will hold up, but those drive in crowds wanted to see something, no matter what. - what in some parts of the film business they call the money shot.

      If you are a clever film maker, as Paxton Milk days, you can get away with very little. Just think of the 60s TV version of Oh Whistle and I will come to you My Lad - not much more than a bit of muslin artfully shot. On the other hand, the whole thing is just 42 minutes long. Sometimes it's by accident - Jaws was going to have the shark in it a bit more, but Bruce the special effect didn't look all that good and didn't work at all for a lot of the shoot.. Even locations can end up in things because the producer feels you have to in order to satisfy the audience - Chinatown originally had no scene in Chinatown.

      In 1957, if you were making a not especially high budget film with Dana Andrews (slightly past his best and with a drinking problem, from a producers point of view) and Peggy Cummins (again, done some stuff, but not an Ava Gardner draw), plus a load of English actors in black and white, you need a demon, because that's what it's called. And looking at the other effects around that time, it's a lot better than it could have been. Tourneur was a very good director anyway, but a realist. And sometimes you just have to go with the flow of the money men.

      It would be lovely if someone came up with another MJ James story as a feature film, but being short stories, they are tough to adapt - any suggestions?

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      • #18
        Soon to be on Blu-Ray with 4 versions of the film
        Buy Night of the Demon - Limited Edition Blu Ray [Blu-ray] from Amazon's Movies Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post
          The first Alien film was far scarier than the multitude of follow-ups because you never saw the alien clearly for most of it.
          I suppose we're all different; you've summed up precisely what spoiled "Alien" for me and made the follow up (if not the overblown subsequent ones) so much better.
          Build-up the tension by all means, but don't over-do the prick tease with a very late or fleeting or shadowy (or worst of all, non-existent) "monster reveal".

          Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post
          The first Jaws film was much the scariest film of the franchise because we never saw “Bruce” in any detail until near the end.
          Agreed, although we all already know what a Great White Shark looks like, so no need to paint a mental picture in order to fill a gap that the director can't be bothered to (or hasn't the budget for).

          Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post
          I am however, usually an admirer of those that do show the monster towards or at the end of the film.

          Steve
          Yes, me too (as in better late than never).

          I can see times where the "less is more" approach helps. Paxton quite rightly reminds us of "The Innocents" - but that's a ghost story, NOT a "monster movie" - big difference. Even with the fabulously creepy turning of the screw in "The Innocents", redolent as it is with whisperings, dark corners and rustling curtains, the blink-and-you'll-miss-it "lady in the frock" bit is still the highlight for me. Ghosts, if they exist, are almost by definition transient, intangibly fleeting phenomena though, and this lends itself beautifully to the less is more approach. As for monster flix, well as Bonekicker pointed out, ".. at some point, you need to actually show the damn thing."

          One of those recent Godzilla films frustratingly homed in on the trail of smouldering urban destruction left in the monster's wake, instead of revelling in the visceral terror of showing the beast in full rampage (perfectly do-able in this era of CGI).

          Sometimes less is less.
          Last edited by Tonch; 13th August 2018, 10:50 AM.

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          • #20
            I'm not sure which one it was but one of the "creature features" of the late 50's or early 60's didn't have the money to show the full monster so they only showed it's top half. It Came From Beneath The Sea, Behemoth or The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

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            • #21
              Cassidy - at least they had some cash. A read of Roger Cormans delightful 'How I made a hundred movies in Hollywood and never lost a dime', he admits that the budget for monster effects was often about $5 in his early films. And the monster in the TV version of The Quatermass Experiment was famously a glove puppet. It's all about belief...

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              • #22
                I love Night of the Demon (beware: don't watch the U.S. version Curse of). No-one's mentioned the really spooky scene when Dana Andrews comes back through the woods. I find that scary. As for the monster, it's not really relevant, the real horror is finding you've been slipped the parchment with the runic characters. By the end the film has convinced you that for the possessor violent death is inevitable. How would you the viewer feel if you'd discovered that it had been passed to you? How would you give it back? That's what's scary, because a slip of paper is such a banal everyday thing.

                Also the film is proof (for those who need it) that Hammer weren't the only horror producers of note.
                Last edited by agutterfan; 14th August 2018, 10:54 AM.

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                • #23
                  As I collect movie posters I'm so glad there was a Demon in "Night of the Demon", it makes for a damn fine poster.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by ladykillers; 13th August 2018, 10:57 PM.

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                  • #24
                    [QUOTE=agutterfan;n60644]. As for the monster, it's not really releavnt, the real horror is finding you've been slipped the parchment with the runic characters. By the end the film has convinced you that for the possessor violent death is inevitable. How would you the viewer feel if you'd discovered that it had been passed to you? How would you give it back? That's what's scary, because a slip of paper is such a banal everyday thing.

                    Good point. I actually get worried when Mrs cassidy passes me the shopping list these days !!!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by ladykillers View Post
                      As I collect movie posters I'm so glad there was a Demon in "Night of the Demon", it makes for a damn fine poster.
                      Forgive the sacrilege, ladykillers, but a quick tweak on photoshop showing how I'd have liked to see the demon portrayed makes for a better poster IMO!

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                      • #26
                        Works for me!

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                        • #27
                          Ladykillers- I have long wanted that poster, but where did you find an original, they are like gold dust!

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                          • ladykillers
                            ladykillers commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Got it about 25 years ago from a London poster dealer through a few trades. I guessed I could get the other posters I traded back but may never get a chance at a Night of the Demon quad and I was right.

                        • #28
                          I prefer the original poster personally, but I suppose when back in 1957 the poster came out to advertise the film then the demon had to be shown in the film.

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                          • #29
                            Ladykillers - you made the right call! It's one of those legendary posters, and a quick look on eBay shows that I might get an original for about €800. Of course, that's if it is an original.....

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                            • ladykillers
                              ladykillers commented
                              Editing a comment
                              The last quad to sell on ebay went for £15,000 a few years back. You can get a full size rolled glossy repro for £20. Don't get a folded repro as the modern paper cracks unlike old paper.
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