by request: the goldfinch (john crowley, 2019)
geezer cinema/film fatales #61: hustlers (lorene scafaria, 2019)

demonicus (jay woelfel, 2001)

This is the second film I have watched in "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2019-20", "A 33 week long challenge where the goal each week is to watch a previously unseen feature length film from a specified category." Week 2 is called "Sword and Sorcery Week":

A genre that may seem simplistic and finite, yet is actually filled with unlimited potential for entertainment and allegory. I would suggest trying to stray away from the Lord of the Rings series for this challenge, but really, if you live under a rock and haven't seen them, you probably should use this as an opportunity to do so.

This week's challenge is to watch a previously unseen Sword and Sorcery film.

If memory serves, I chose movies for this challenge by looking at suggested possibilities and selecting the shortest movies that were available to me, whether by streaming or my owning the film. Two movies on the Sword and Sorcery list came in at 72 minutes ... Demonicus was on Amazon. Voila!

It was pretty awful. On the one hand, challenges like this offer an opportunity to watch something that might not have otherwise gotten my attention. On the other hand, there's a reason I didn't know Demonicus ... it's a bad movie in a genre I tend to ignore, not because the genre stinks but rather because it's not my cup of tea. (Of the 161 films on the Sword and Sorcery list, I've only seen 8, including Demonicus.)

The plot isn't exactly complicated ... Wikipedia sums it up in two sentences ("A group of young students lost in the Italian Alps become victims of an ancient Gladiator curse. One of the students becomes possessed and hunts down the rest.") It got an R rating for gore. Apparently, there is a director's cut (!). I don't know which version I saw.

The acting is competent, which isn't guaranteed for these kinds of pictures. It cost $40,000, and I guess you could say that every penny is on the screen. Not much is known about the people involved. Director Jay Woelfel co-directed a brief 4-minute proposal for a new Battlestar Galactica put together by Richard Hatch (this was before the Ron Moore breakthrough). Actress Venesa Talor made some soft porn movies and made some records, including the immortal "Who Do I Have to Blow?" (she's a better singer than actor). That's about it. It's "better" than Robot Monster, but I won't ever watch it again, while I catch up with Robot Monster every couple of years.

Comments

Tomás

Wow. There's quite a quality spectrum in the choices they provided for this genre.

Steven Rubio

I think with a lot of these lists, the creator is aiming for quantity as much as quality. I'm hoping next week's challenge will be better ... a French film from the 30s for "Cahiers du Cinéma Week".

Jay Woelfel

Hello, Steven, I am Jay Woelfel, Demonicus was a work for hire that was re-edited before release without my involvement. If you, or anyone else, is interested in me and my films where I really had some control you can find out much about me on www.jaywoelfel.com. My most recent film came out in 2017/2018 and is named ASYLUM OF DARKNESS.

Steven Rubio

Jay, I am so glad to hear from you, and to learn a little something about the making of Demonicus. I've added Asylum of Darkness to my Amazon watchlist. I see you worked with Richard Hatch again in that movie. Richard was the guest editor for an anthology of writing on the reboot of Battlestar Galactica that included a piece by me. Honestly, I doubt he actually edited my essay, but it's nice to have been associated with him. Again, thanks for visiting and commenting.

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