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September 2011

Demons Rising

cast: El Toxey, Rebecca Moore, and Sylvester Person

director: William Lee

119 minutes (18) 2008
widescreen ratio 16:9
MVM DVD Region 2

RATING: 0/10
review by Matthew S. Dent

Demons Rising

It's a cliché in terms of reviewing that the reviewer couldn't understand what was happening in the film, but honestly I mean it genuinely here. Demons Rising is a low-budget film in the true sense of the phrase - in that I could probably recreate it with a digital camera, Microsoft Powerpoint, a Casio keyboard and my Facebook friends list. If any money was spent on this film, I really cannot see where it went. Neither the production values nor the acting talent is anything to boast about.

As far as I can tell (and this is sketchy, for reasons I'll explain below) the film is about some sort of evil book, pursued by a number of groups with no discernable motivation. I'd offer you more than that, but without resorting to copying and pasting from IMDb, I'm at a loss. Part of the reason I couldn't follow it is that the plot has so many subplots that it resembles more a ball of twine than any traceable thread. Every few minutes a whole load of characters are killed off, but are then immediately replaced with a troupe of new ones, without pausing for anything more than a cheesy speech.

But a much bigger reason is that it's impossible to hear most of the dialogue. For all I could understand, this mysterious book might carry some sort of mumbling disease, since none of the actors were able to speak clearly or loudly. This was compounded by the 'music' playing through the entire thing, drowning out everything else. The overall impression of it is that it's impossible to take seriously. It feels like it was written and directed by ten-year-olds, with ridiculous 'kung fu' fight scenes where ridiculous cartwheels are sped up to look more action-y, actually only made more comical. Somehow it runs to two hours in length, and feels about twice that since it's such a chore to watch.

I don't think I've ever given a film a rating of zero, but I don't really have a choice here. If it was much shorter, I could have interpreted it as a deliberate joke, but two hours is just too much of this rubbish.



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