The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

DEMON OF PARADISE (1987) ** ½

Demon of Paradise is a movie that serves as a stepping stone between the Jaws rip-offs of the late 70’s and SYFY Channel monster mashes of the modern era. It’s all about a local legendary monster that turns out to be very real. Pretty soon, the beast starts eating guests at an island resort; effectively ruining tourist season.

All the stock characters you’d expect from this kind of scenario are present. There’s The Tight-Lipped Sheriff, The Sexy Scientist, The Bubble-Headed Centerfold, and The Resort Owner who Won’t Listen to Reason. All of them are kind of bland, but at least they made The Resort Owner who Won’t Listen to Reason a female; for the sake of variety I suppose.

This is also the kind of movie where the main chick introduces herself as a herpetologist and then waits a beat before adding “… a snake doctor”. I hate it when movies do this. In real life, she wouldn’t have to explain what a herpetologist was. It’s a sure sign you’re a character in a cheesy movie when you immediately have to explain your profession. I mean let’s get real here. Anyone who has watched their fair share of Jaws rip-offs/SYFY Channel Originals/Giant Snake movies should already know what a herpetologist is. If not, look it up in the dictionary. (Or Google it, if you’re the kind of person that has one of those newfangled phones.)

It must be said that the monster is enjoyably goofy. He kinda looks like a deep fried version of the Medusa from Clash of the Titans or something. The full body shots of him are pretty funny, but there are a few shots of the beast in silhouette that are sporadically effective.

Video Vacuum favorite Cirio H. Santiago directed the film and he is smart enough to blow something up real good whenever things get slow. The bad news is that the movie slows down quite often. The upshot to that is something blows up real good about every other reel change.

The whole movie is kind of like that though. You have to wait a long time for something good to happen, but more often than not, Santiago delivers. Exhibit A: The scene where the monster leaps out of the water and slam dunks a helicopter into the sea. It’s moments like this that make Demon of Paradise sorta awesome.

Best line: “This thing’s like The Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and The Abominable Snowman all rolled up into one!”

AKA: Demon Paradise.

Tags: d, horror, roger corman
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