Demon Kiss (2008) - Sometimes the choices we make turn out to be really poor. We have no reason to think they are bad, with limited information decisions can be made on a whim and then BAM! It turns out that you made a bad choice and things will never be the same. One morning a year ago I was driving to work and instead of going to my regular Dunkin Donut I decided the one on Main St. was closer and headed there. So I pull up to the light a hundred yards from the shop at the corner with Prospect ST. to wait for the red light to change. An aside if you turn down Prospect a couple blocks up is Carl's Steak Subs, which is just the best steak and cheese subs in that town. I prefer the Mexican, Steak, Red Hot Sauce, Jalapeno Peppers & Melted Cheese. So sitting at the light I had no idea that this was a bad decision, then BAM! somebody slams into the back of my car pushing me through the intersection. Even before I can come out of my daze, the car goes racing off and is out of sight on a side street. So my innocent need to have my coffee just a bit earlier ended up being such a bad decision. My car was totaled, but I was okay, I still got that coffee while waiting for the cops to arrive just because of a simple decision, a choice.
This is sort of how I felt after choosing this film, like I had been hit from behind without knowing it was coming. Sure I could have spent a bit of time looking into it before starting it up on Netflix. I just decided I didn't want to do my normal route of watching an episode of the X Files before work. This should teach me something about sticking to my morning routine. So I randomly chose Demon Kiss as the morning feature. A low budget movie about a Demon summoned into the body of a prostitute. Made for about 30k it is not the best filmed movie in the world. Note: I really only say it's not the best movie in the world when a movie sucks. I have this part of me that knows all creative endeavors take energy and planning and hard work and I don't want to shit on that part of the process just because I didn't like the results. Director Dennis Devine has been making low budget horror since 1989 and has more credits as a director (26) than you and I will ever have, so lets give him the respect he is due. He makes films something millions of us could never pull off.
Now that we have given proper credit lets talk about this film. Lets start with some of the writing, Devine wrote the screenplay based of the ideas of Ted Chalmers and Annie T. Conlon and the first thing that was troubling was the real lack of a main character. Somehow the idea became not to base the film around the demon but instead on a Therapist Dr. Lacey (Sally Mullins) who specializes in working with prostitutes. Now they didn't show any long therapy sessions but they might have gone something like this:
"Dr. Lacey, I feel like they all treat me like a sexual object. It's like all they want is my body and they don't value me as a person."
"How does that make you feel?"
"Oh horrible, I feel so devalued and its makes me sad."
"Have you ever considered stopping?"
"Shit No, the money is too good."
"Tell me again about your step father touching you as a child, and then taking you shopping."
It is a weird main character mostly because she really does not have a driving force when it comes to dealing with the demon. She is a periphery character who knows many of the prostitutes but only is brought in on the case by the police. Still she is the closest thing to a main character and when it comes time for an exorcism she is there. So if she is not the main character then it must be the Demon, but the problem with that is the demon keeps switching bodies.
Originally summons by a manic bald guy is the most inexplicable scene the demon never stays too long in one body. Let me paint this picture with a bit more detail. We have this scene where the bald guy has hired a hooker, Tiffany (Shannon Lee) so he can kill her and summons a demon. There is no reason why he is doing this, he just figures he will pay her a lot of cash to be cuffed and then stab her and read a passage from a book and Wham! a demon will enter his body. Again Why? Because he is so manic and crazy bat shit insane in his interaction though the girl turns the tables, but ends up cuffed to him instead of out of there. When the passage is read the demon chooses the girl to enter and the poor bald guy for all his trouble is stabbed in the eye as the sacrifice. So now we have a setup. There is a demon who can travel between bodies when they kiss and a therapist to the prostitutes that this demon is infecting. Then some cops who want to try to figure out why this hooker killed her John. So is the main character the demon? It has a driving force behind its actions. It's trying to get to another prostitute named Amanda but the reason for his desire is not really clear. There is some mumbo jumbo about a guy stalking Amanda who turns out could be the demon in the cop but there is nothing really tying in the how's on this theory. Then there is the Demon, even when it possesses a person it seems to know everything about the modern world.
Now Amanda (Jessica T. Perez) could be the main character I suppose but it is such a hollow character without any spunk that she fails to be the role we need. No one in particular is a main character but Dr Lacey comes closest. Unfortunately she is a peripheral character who is only brought into the story by the actions of others. The indirect connection but with interactions with prostitutes she seems the most likely candidate. What really happens is that there is no real strong characters.
In the end though it really does not matter because so much of the acting is so sub-par. In particular the two cops are tough to listen too, Detective Smith (Jamie Macek) is the better of the two (that's not saying much) and spends a good part of the film possessed by the demon. The second guy Det. Gonzales (Sebastian Gonzales) is just awful, then there is Katie the psychic hooker (Sally Fay Dalton) who sees demons. Included oin this stream of horrible actors are all the real side character Johns and hookers who must have been friends of the film makers. Really dreadful acting to go with the canned acting of Sally Mullins as the doctor. So much is bad about this film. Most of the side character are really amateur and it really pulls the viewer out of the story. On top of the acting problems is that three of the characters look so much alike, Tiffany, Lucinda and the slightly more attractive Amanda.
The film tries to make up for the lack of acting skills by showing quite a bit of female nudity and several inexplicably violent and hurtful murders. The attitudes and murders though are incredibly misogynistic performed by the possessed cop who helps spend the effects budget repeatedly. So as the cop slash demon makes his way through one prostitute after another trying to get closer to Amanda. In the end though there has to be some sort of resolution. The way we get there is so convoluted and silly that if you make it into the last twenty minutes of the film without throwing something at the TV your disappointment will make an Angel in heaven cry. When Lucinda says "This Shit is fucked up." the unintentional double meaning is great. So you would think then the religious craziness starts! Dr Lacey then sets up the exorcist to solve the problems as they are. This movie is really not for me even with the demon possession and the exorcism it is all too bad. So when it comes to that ill fated choice. Where you are thinking, how bad can it be? I have nothing better to do with my Thursday night. Beware that choices have consequences and you too may get rear ended by your choice. It may be that most people will need to skip this movie and when they do they will be must better off.