DEMON WIND *** USA 1990 Dir: Charles Philip Moore 96 mins
Back home to defeat the evil force that plagues his family farm (and killed his parents), Eric Larson is joined by an assortment of pals, while the resident Harbinger character offers the usual ominous warnings (“damn fools!”) and talks eerily of the hot dry wind of 1929…and the bloodshed that ensued.
The surreal dream sequences and portentous mood of this oft-forgotten low budget horror film suggest an obvious PHANTASM influence, and it unfolds as a belated entry in the post-ELM STREET rubber-reality sub-set of 80’s horror. The disjointed feel and the inclusion of offbeat, random characters (like the flamboyant, karate-practicing magician duo) echo the supernatural Italian horror of the period, further enforced by talking dolls and weird, out-of-time possessed little girls. It’s overwhelmed with exposition (some of it courtesy of a found diary) about its children-sacrificing Satan worshipper, and too many characters are introduced late in the day, but it is atmospheric and well crafted. The kiss-off lines, yellow-blooded, EVIL DEAD-esque talkative demons and possessed wall ornaments are diverting and it generates enough goodwill to allow forgiveness for its excess of fake endings during the protracted climax.
Review by Steven West