Demon Slayer (2003) Movie Review

It probably comes as no surprise that the best thing about “Demon Slayer” is the movie poster, which promises plenty of lovely young women for us to gawk at. The movie itself has a couple of scenes featuring gratuitous nudity, most likely added to “spice” things up. God knows the rest of the movie isn’t worth writing a review on.

If there’s one thing positive I can say about “Demon Slayer” is that it’s rarely boring. That isn’t to say it’s a good movie, it’s just that the actors are good enough that they manage to amuse us before the film’s last 20 minutes, when the long-awaited demon action finally rears its demonic head. “Demon Slayer” is short on just about everything that makes a good genre film, including decent gore. There’s the T&A, but the blood and guts moments are just terrible. And since I have very low standards for this type of film, a movie has to be really pitiful for me to find it lacking.

Michelle Acuna leads the no-star cast as loner Goth chick Alicia, who has psychic powers that she can’t control. And just in case we didn’t know by the dark makeup and black clothes that Alicia is Goth, director James Cotten inserts groovy captions to inform us of the character’s names as well as their “personality”. For instance, Tyson (Howard Williams Jr.) is “The Brotha”, Phillip (Adam Huss) is “The Punk”, Claudia (Hanna Lee) is “The Bitch”, and Tamara (Monique Deville) is “The Bitch’s Friend”. Now that “characterization” is out of the way…

The story takes place within an old abandoned hospital that used to be a brothel way back in the West (I think). Years ago, a demonic curse turned the hospital’s patients into monsters, which led to the hospital being closed down. This is where our 5 troubled youths are sentenced; their mission is to clean the place up and get it ready to be turned into a community center. The part of the hospital, I’m reasonably certain, is played by at least 3 separate locations, which may explain why the hospital’s interior aesthetics seem to change from scene to scene.

As mentioned, “Demon Slayer” doesn’t get bloody until the hour mark. Before that, we get a brief “demon slaying” sequence courtesy of a prelude. After that — nada. Instead we have to sit through a whole hour of comedic hi-jinks as the teens try to get along, clean up the hospital, and get all horned up for sex. Actually, only Tyson and Claudia get it on. (Interestingly, the Claudia character is actually not nearly as “bitchy” as the screenplay, and the other characters, try to make her out to be.)

Meanwhile, loner Goth chick Alicia keeps getting psychic visions of murder and naked women, which may explain why she goes all naked in the strangely pristine bathroom for a lengthy period. Robert Easton’s slightly “off” priest also tries to get some Goth lovin’ from comely Alicia. Later in the film, a second priest name Enrique (Joaquin Garrido) shows up to do some demon slaying, armed only with an eye patch and a shadowy presence. Needless to say, his death scene is rather pathetic. Then again, so is everyone else’s.

“Demon Slayer” is a low budget film that surprisingly manages some good actors. Howard Williams is the best of the bunch, while Hanna Lee has moments where she shines, but towards the end she inexplicably goes flatline. Even so, I think Lee might have been a better choice for the lead than Michelle Acuna, who either looks very bored or doesn’t know how to shake the “I’m a loner Goth and I’m pissed off at the world” expression that she uses for every scene.

Even as a guilty pleasure, there’s not enough of “Demon Slayer” to be guilty over. It’s a pretty awful film, and it doesn’t help that the movie saves all of its demons attack scenes until the hour mark. And trust me, it’s not worth waiting for.

James Cotten (director) / James Cotten, Michael B. Druxman, Tristan Thai (screenplay)
CAST: Michelle Acuna …. Alicia
Howard Williams Jr. …. Tyson
Adam Huss …. Phillip
Hanna Lee …. Claudia
Monique Deville …. Tamara

Buy Demon Slayer on DVD