December 23, 2021 Demons I & II (Special Limited Edition Blu-ray Review)
If you are a Horror cinema fan there are a few filmmaker parings that are a fantasy come true. One would be Stephen King and George A. Romero (1982’s Creepshow), another would be Dario Argento and George A. Romero (1978’s Dawn of the Dead), and if you are a Italian Horror buff, there is also 1985’s Demons as well as 1986’s Demons II which saw Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava team up. Two fantastic ’80s Horror flicks, they are probably for more of an underground audience since Italian Horror was not nearly as mainstream as American Horror at the time. Nonetheless, Demons I and Demons II are two killer Horror films which now get the special limited edition treatment on blu-ray thanks to Synapse Films.
Two films which have been released on various media formats through the years, the two that stand above most have always been Anchor Bay’s 2001 Dario Argento Collection Vol. 2: Demons & Demons 2 DVD set, and of course, 2004’s Japan’s import Demons 1 & 2 Collector’s DVD Box, which was limited to 3,000 sets. With plenty of other VHS, DVD, Laserdisc, and Blu-ray releases, one would need to really be a hardcore fan to seek them all out. Fortunately, if you not in the habit of collecting 10 copies of the same films, the latest special limited edition blu-ray from Synapse Films, released on October 19, 2021, may have everything you are looking for.
Interestingly enough Synapse Films’ 2013 Blu-ray release of Demons I & II are two of their most popular releases. That in mind, they are now offering fans both films in a 4K UHD and remastered Blu-ray set. Consisting of 2 blu-ray discs, the packaging is part of the attraction, because it includes a really cool poster, a card explaining the 4K presentation, but also a replica invitation postcard to Metropol, like featured in the film; you personally would be a fool to go to this free screening, we all know how it turns out for all the attendees in Demons I! On top of all of this, the artwork is pretty compelling as well since it unifies imagery from both films into one frame; something that would actually make for a pretty nice piece of wall art.
Above all of these features, you get 2 versions of Demons I – the full-length original cut in English and Italian, and the shorter U.S. version. For Demons I you also get a ton of other bonus material including interviews and commentaries. Which leads us to disc 2, Demons II, which you get uncompressed DTS-HD MA English 5.1 & Italian 5.1/2.0 audio mixes derived from the original archival audio masters and uncompressed DTS-HD MA English 2.0 true stereo theatrical mix that was remastered. You also get some cool features including commentaries and interviews. In truth, these types of commentaries and interviews are the reason the dedicate fans buy these sets in the first place.
Now some might wonder, how good are the 4K presentations? Are they really any better than prior transfers? Well, that is really up your eyes. There is no question is it crisp and clean, but it might take a really trained eye to truthfully see a major difference in the quality. Regardless, is is still very interesting to learn these presentations were actually restored from the original 35mm camera negatives.
Overall, if you are a fan of Demons I and II, this set will certainly excite you. It is well put together, has plenty of extras to warrant adding to your collection, and may even inspire you to part with former DVDs of the films…that is it you are seeking to declutter. A great homage to these fantastic pieces of Horror art from maestros Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento, Cryptic Rock gives the Demons I & II Special Limited Edition Blu-ray 4.5 out of 5 stars.