Lamberto Bava, director. Original music by Claudio Simonetti.
Additional music, sound effects, sound design, incidental music, atmospheres, video editing and recoloring by Brian Albers of Humorless Productions aka Dancu in 2016-2017.
Ok, so here is my version of Lamberto Bava’s classic proto-zombie flick Demons from 1985, where I re-scored it- added a bunch of music, atmospheres, sound effects and sound design.
I actually did all the work on this a couple years ago. This was the first movie I re-scored. The second was Elves (1989) which you can see here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcAtRHzCP-E).
All audio done in Presonus Studio One, with way too many synths and signal processors to list.
All video work done in FCPX and Adobe Premiere.
If you have any questions about what I did or how I did it, ask below. Here are some basic notes-
First I edited out the fat- I took out the three or four short scenes of the quartet of punk rockers driving around Berlin. Those characters do enter the movie in the second half, but these scenes in the first half that I axed were totally irrelevant to the movie as a whole, so I dropped them.
I went to a screening of this movie sometime in the 2000s in Los Angeles with a Q&A with some of the actors. Geretta Geretta was there, the black woman with the braids who becomes the first demon in the movie. Somebody asked why they chose to shoot the movie in Berlin instead of somewhere in Italy (where most of the actors and crew lived) or New York, which was all the rage with Italian horror filmmakers at the time. She fielded the question and said that Berlin was simply the super hip place in Europe in those days, and I think that’s why those scenes were included in the movie. But in retrospect, they’re 100% inconsequential to the story, and the film works just fine without them.
Bobby Rhodes was there too, and 35 years after the movie, he looked EXACTLY the same. Didn’t even looked like he’d aged a day.
I ditched only one other scene which happens most of the way through the movie. As they’re trying to escape the theatre, a group of people enter an empty room, with brick walls and a dirt floor, and they sort of grope around as if they’re blind or as if the room was completely dark, as if they’re in some sort of trance. Then they freak out in hysterics for about 10 or 20 seconds, and then they turn around and leave the room. There are no other references to that room. So what the hell was it? I don’t know. Does anybody know? Doubt it. In any case, it’s a better movie without that scene.
I tried to lose the whole helicopter thing (that’s another total head-scratcher), but the last part of the movie would have been one big non-sequitur, with them on the roof for the big fight scene. So I had to keep it, even though it makes no sense.
Also in this process, I color corrected many of the scenes. Especially the whole intro subway/S-bahn scenes. They were really green, so I warmed them up a bit. And I fixed a lot of the stuff in the rest of the movie, too. Mostly dropping the blacks and punching up the overall color a bit.
Then I started on the music. The one aspect of this movie which inspired me to take it on in the first place, was the fact that there is no music in the two most climactic scenes of the movie- the transformation scene about halfway through, and the final rooftop climactic battle. Once I made the music for those scenes, I thought I would leave it at that. But then as I watched the rest of the movie, I kept noticing other scenes that really needed filling out, so at that point I dove in head first and went through every scene and added what I thought they needed.
I also went so far as to remaster the movie’s original audio, including all dialog, all the heavy metal songs and Claudio Simonetti’s originals.
And now that it’s done, I can confidently say that it’s a vastly better movie. It’s still mind-boggling to me why so many of the scenes don’t have music in the first place, especially those two pivotal scenes. Lamberto Bava was a seasoned pro at this point, as was Claudio Simonetti. If they were rookies, you might think it’d be plausible that they made a rookie mistake like running out of time or running out of money. But I don’t think that’s realistic. Maybe they were just going for a stylistic thing where they thought having no music in those scenes and others would be best. Well, it’s not, and I fixed it.
Hope you like it. Go check out Elves, too, where I gave it the same treatment.
I’m working on Eyes of Fire (1983) now. I’ve made some very good progress on it, but it’s still a ways from being done. I’ll let you know when I post it.