Many movies have held the name Demons 3 including Lamberto Bava’s The Ogre in 1988, the Argento-produced The Church in 1989, and Umberto Lenzi’s Black Demons in 1991 but never has a true prequel ever existed that is until now.
Created exclusively for the amazing rerelease of Demons and Demons 2 on DVD and Blu-Ray we talk to writer and horror comic maestro Stef Hutchinson about crafting a comic out of the classic Demons movies as well as featuring the Demons 3 preview along the way.
LoveHorror: How did the idea of as comic sequel to Demons come about and how did you get on board?
Stef Hutchinson: We’d just done the DAY OF THE DEAD: DESERTION comic for Arrow Video, and were discussing other potential comic tie-ins when DEMONS came up. We’d bounced a few ideas around as to what direction it would take. Would it be a prequel? A sequel? Would it be the film-within-a-film from either DEMONS or DEMONS 2? The main trick was figuring out what the story would not be, as there were so many options.
LoveHorror: Did you know the movies before getting involved and if not what did you think of them when you saw them?
Stef Hutchinson: I had only seen DEMONS 2 on a VHS in the late 80s, and I have to be honest here, I wasn’t a fan at that time. I was more of a fan of American horror when I was younger, only really getting my head around European horror in the late 90s. I wasn’t late to the party – I completely missed it!
So I sat down with both films to see if there was anything I could bring to this project, and I really enjoyed the first film a lot. It’s a lot of fun, very psychedelic and a film that introduces its own universe. I’m also a sucker for anything filmed in Berlin, as it’s a place that means a lot to me.
I’m still not completely sold on the second film. It certainly has some fantastic moments – the television sequence, Sally running on the rooftop etc. It just lacks the punch and verve of the original for me.
LoveHorror: Tell us a bit about the story and setting of Demons 3?
Stef Hutchinson: The story involves Nostradamus, back at the point of transition from being a doctor to an astrologer. Within the DEMONS films, that idea resonated as the film does present its monstrous antagonists as an infection of sorts. We begin in plague times, when corpses line the streets. Underneath this already nasty backdrop, something very, very evil is growing and Nostradamus is the only one who can sense it.
From there, things only get much stranger, leading to an epic, apocalyptic story that should hopefully present the original films in a new light without undermining their mystique.
LoveHorror: Comics are the perfect medium for a film sequel in the fact that they are both graphic and visual and the Demons movies are definitely both in every sense. What elements if any did you take from the movies in crafting your sequel?
Stef Hutchinson: The DEMONS films are very visual, full of rich, saturated colours and iconic imagery. Even the building used for the Metropol exterior is this powerful, imposing image, like a giant tombstone.
We do reference a lot of those elements, but we also wanted to use the comic medium to its fullest. The DEMONS films are both set in self-contained locations, mainly due to budgetary reasons. So we wanted to explode the scope, but still maintain the claustrophobia of the single-location stories.
It’s unlikely they’d ever get the budget to make DEMONS 3 as an epic, but with a comic book, we do have the freedom to try that. We can also bring back actors and not worry about them aging and so on – although we didn’t do that so much with DEMONS 3 because the films don’t really have a fixed lead.
LoveHorror: You’re also known for your work on a series of Halloween comics, what is it like taking on the story of such an iconic character and how has your work been received?
Stef Hutchinson: It’s very exciting – not so much because The Shape is an icon, but because he’s a figure from my own childhood that terrified me. So in a way, even though he’s not my creation at all, there is already a relationship there due to growing up with the original film.
For the most part, the books were received really well. There are always those that don’t like certain directions, but that’s completely understandable as there have been so many takes on the idea now, and many have certain expectations of what they think the comics should be. I was never interested in that. I’m a fan myself, and I write the stories I want to see, always hoping that there are others who want the same things. If you start pandering to everyone, you just write a piece of shit that is an exercise in box-ticking.
LoveHorror: Are there any other movie maniacs or monsters you would like to tackle?Stef Hutchinson:
Jason Voorhees and Nightbreed are the two that always come to mind.
For the longest time, I’ve had a clear idea on how I’d write Jason Voorhees. I adore the first four FRIDAY THE 13TH movies, so the approach would be closer to those than the later ‘Zombie Jason’ outings. There’d also be that strange ethereal feel that Crystal Lake seems to have in those early films. The sense that there’s something not-quite-right out there. I have a story in my head, I just don’t know if I’ll ever get to tell it. Should that day come, I’ll spend the first several hours listening to ‘Sail Away, Tiny Sparrow’ on loop.
The NIGHTBREED movie is something else entirely. That’s not just a character, that’s a whole universe that Clive Barker has created and the possibilities are immense.
LoveHorror: What’s next for you then?
Stef Hutchinson: Right now, I’m not sure! I have a few original things I’ve been working on, so it will be a case of seeing which lands first. I do have a short story in the works that should be ready in time for the Queen’s Jubilee – my own humble tribute to the House of Windsor.
After that, we shall see!
Stef Hutchinson’s brilliant and bloody Demons 3 comic is included exclusivly with the new release of Demons and Demons 2 on Blu-Ray and DVd and out now and you can read our reviews of Demons Here.