This is a tricky film to review because there is very little chance making any sort of case for this being a good film and better one for it being so spectacularly bad that it is surely deliberate. Despite that I think it’s a lot fun and I want to convince people to watch it. It’s directed by Lamberto Bava, Dario Argento wrote and produced it and Michele Soavi.another Italian director plays the man in the metal mask in the film. this very full review is longer than I expected and may contain spoilers
Cheryl (Natasha Hovey) is going to meet her friend Kathy(Paola Cozzo) travelling on the Berlin underground. When she is walking through the station she sees a strange silent man with part of his face covered in a metal mask following her. She hurries away from him but he catches her anyway only to hand her a free promotional ticket for an unnamed film at an old cinema called the Metropol. She is relieved and asks the man for second ticket for Kathy.
Quite a crowd have shown up for a free film that they don’t know anything about. In the foyer is a big display with a dummy on a motorbike with the metal demon mask in its left hand and a sword in its right hand. Cheryl and Kathy meet very handsome George (Urbano Barberini) and his pal Ken (Karl Zinny) and they sit next to each other in the cinema. Others include Tommy (Guido Baldi) and his girlfriend Hannah (Fiore Argento Dario’s daughter). There is a blind man Werner who has come with his young wife Liz to this film, for some unexplained reason Werner seems have some sense about the mask because he warns Liz away from touching it. Then there’s Tony the Pimp (Bobby Rhodes) who has decided to treat a couple of his whores Rosemary (Geretta Geretta) and Carmen (Fabiola Toledo) to a free night out. Rosemary mucks about with the mask, putting it over her face. Tony tells her to stop it and she takes the mask off. There is a cut on her cheek from the mask.
They all settle down and the film starts and it is a cheesy horror film with four young people going to a cemetery to look for the grave of Nostradamus for no good reason at all. They find his tomb and they open it and inside they find an old book and a metal demon mask just like the one on the display in the Metropol. One of the men Jerry (Michele Soavi) puts the mask on a mucks around with it, just like Rosemary did. When he takes the mask off he has a cut just like Rosemary does. In the film Jerry in transforms into a demon and attacks the others.
Rosemary goes to toilet to check on her cut which has started to throb and pulse.When she looks in the mirror it swells into a huge boil which bursts and sprays pus everywhere. Rosemary goes through a painful and slimy transformation into an evil demon with shark teeth and claws on her hands. Tony and Carmen wonder why she’s been gone so long so Carmen goes to check on her. Rosemary an evil demon ugly face now splitting green goo and everything. She rips Carmen’s throat open with her claws and Carmen runs off screaming but no-one can hear her because the characters in the film are screaming at the same time.
Carmen gets on to the stage behind the screen and Rosemary is still coming after her. She screams and tears at the screen. On the other side in the audience Kathy is sure that she can hear Carmen’s screams but no-one believes her until Carmen manages to tear a hole in the screen and falls down in front of it. Right before everyone she transforms into an ugly demon face. Cue panic and screams and a mad rush out of the place
Werner and Liz had been up in the balcony alone. Originally Liz was a giving Werner an audio description of the film but stopped when her creepy boyfriend showed up. They snuck out leaving poor Werner alone when all the crap started to happen. Rosemary catches them snogging and tears at both of them. Liz is left lying dead and the creep is thrown over the edge of the balcony with a rope around his neck. Werner finds Liz’s body but Rosemary catches him and shoves her claws into his eyes.
Everybody gets to the exits and they are all bricked up – there is no way out and everyone starts to panic Tony takes charge and they look for another way out. After Rosemary scalps one woman they manage to trap her in a office and block the door with a vending machine. They reckon that the film is causing it and so they head up to the projection booth. It is a fully automated system so Tony tells them to smash everything. They stop the film but nothing has changed, they are still trapped in the cinema with a growing army of demons.
All the survivors go up the balcony and clear it of bodies then they rip up the seats to block all the exits. Werner is there and he tells them that it is not the film that trapped them but the building. Once more Werner seems to have some unexplained knowledge about the place and yet he still came. He may seem mysterious to some but he is also suicidally stupid.
Things are going fairly well at this point for horror B-movie so clearly it’s time to ramp up the levels of stupid all the way to eleven by cutting to four bell-ends in a stolen car driving about outside, listening to Billy Idol and Go West. The driver is leader of the gang and he has this brilliant joke where he has this can of Coke only it’s not Coca Cola but cocaine and he’s snorting it through a drinking straw.
In the balcony Tony gets attacked and scratched by a demon woman and as he goes over the side the hung guy grabs him. The all start pounding on the walls of the cinema hoping someone outside will hear them. Luckily the punks have stopped outside to argue about some spilt coke and they hear the pounding. Cops appear and the punks run away from them down the alley next to the Metropol. A side door opens for them and after they are in it slams shut behind them. Demon Werner has managed to get out another door and he attacks the cops outside in the alley.
The gang all wander around underneath the cinema not able to find anyone. Everyone else has discovered part of the wall is false and they uncover a passage down to a basement but there is nothing there, certainly not a way out. They all return to the balcony when they hear gunshots from below but their hopes of rescue are dashed when it turns out just be the useless bell-ends firing as the demons attack and overpower them.
The demons then start jumping right through the balcony floor and everyone is running and screaming again. In the chaos George, Cheryl, Ken and Kathy get out but Kathy has been injured she goes all ugly demon face on them and they kill her with sword from the display but a real full-fledged demon rips out of the hole in her back. George manages to kill it too. So the display had the mask that causes the demon plague in the left hand and a sword to kill demons in the right, symbolism eh?
Ken has been scratched and he begs George to kill him before he changes but George waits until he’s gone all ugly demon-face before cutting him down. This seems throw on the bad-ass switch in George because he then gets on the motorbike with Cheryl on the back and starts charging through the cinema slicing down demons with the sword. Suddenly a helicopter crashes through the roof of the cinema and lands in the auditorium. George rigs up the helicopter winch and uses it winch them onto the roof. The man in the metal mask is there and he tries to force them back into the cinema but they kill him by impaling him on an iron rod right through the eye.
The city outside is in chaos and demons are running around attacking people. They are chased by mob of demons but are saved by a well-armed family in a jeep. As they drive away Cheryl turns demon and a little boy shoots her dead and they keep on driving
This is a mad crazy movie that seems to have been made as a bet or an attempt cash-in on the zombie film craze. I really enjoy because it is so crazy