This post contains spoilers.
It's Halloween night, and with some help from her friend, Suzanne (Linnea Quigley), Angela Franklin (Amelia Kinkade) plans to throw an unforgettable Halloween party. Angela is not interested in fake cobwebs, bobbing for apples, or a group circle for cheesy ghost stories, while the storyteller holds a flashlight up to his or her face, with a scrunched look to top it off. No, Angela wants authenticity, so she chooses Hull House, an abandoned funeral home with a dark past, for the party's location.
Angela's guest list (with the exception of an uninvited Sal crashing the party) includes Judy (Cathy Podewell), her boyfriend, Jay (Lance Fenton), Roger (Alvin Alexis), Helen (Allison Barron), Stooge (Hal Havins), Sal (William Gallo), Max (Philip Tanzini), and his girlfriend, Frannie (Jill Terashita), and the group enjoys music, booze, and dancing. The vibrant atmosphere for the party dwindles after a few hiccups, but things pick up, when Frannie suggests a past lives seance. But the seance takes an unexpected turn for the worst, when the group unleashes a demon from Hull House's crematorium.
Is Angela the popular kid at school? Nope. Angela Franklin is an outcast, or if you listen to Judy, she's a "weirdo." Angela chooses a black wedding dress as a costume, and her Gothic style look and her make-up complements her persona, as a confident vixen. She's an enthusiast for the dark side and mischievous mayhem, and Angela relishes the opportunity to show-off her newfound powers, when Suzanne passes the demon to her with one kiss.
Demonized Angela terrorizes her party guests during the fiasco at Hull House, and Angela has a grotesque appearance in her demon form, but in her normal human form, Angela uses seduction as a weapon for her male victims. After Angela performed a sultry dance in front of him, Sal was smart enough to notice something strange. Sal walked away to avoid Angela's trap, but a gullible Stooge couldn't resist Angela, and he lost his tongue, as Angela passed the demon to him. Let's take a minute to admire Amelia Kinkade's memorable dance scene:
Kinkade takes center stage with a charismatic performance, and she establishes her presence in the Night Of The Demons series, as the devious primary antagonist with a dark sense of humor in Night Of The Demons 1988. Roger and Judy were lucky enough to walk away from a rough night with bumps, bruises, and scars during sunrise, and after a bloody night of carnage, Angela is stuck at Hull House (Remember the underground stream at the gates of Hull House? Demons can't cross over running water). Still, Angela is not done yet, so it's time to fast forward to Night Of The Demons 2!
In Night Of The Demons 2, the mythos of Angela has evolved past the point of some freak occurrence at Hull House or a gruesome massacre from Angela after the events in the first film. Now, Angela Franklin fully embraces her status, as the malicious bogeywoman, who haunts the halls of Hull House, and in the sequel Angela has a new mission: She wants to sacrifice her estranged sister, Melissa (or "Mouse"). First, Angela has to overcome a few small hurdles, because Melissa is a student at St. Rita's Academy, and Angela misses her first opportunity to grab Melissa inside Hull House
during Shirley Finnerty's prank/party.
Eventually, Angela manipulates Melissa into believing she wants to reconnect with her, so Melissa follows Angela to Hull House, forcing Sister Gloria to lead a rescue mission to save Melissa. Before and during the rescue mission, Angela pulls out a familiar bag of tricks, including seduction to torment, possess, and murder the students (and Rick and Z-boy) of St. Rita's Academy. And for some reason, Angela uses a sword as a weapon here. Yes, you can say it's a cool accessory for her character, but there's no explanation for it, how Angela acquired the sword, or who gave it to her, but for some strange reason Angela has a sword? Okay then.
Kinkade delivers another entertaining performance, and she has her moments as Angela in NOD 2. My only complaint is the sequel trying to recreate Angela's dance scene from the first film. It happens during Angela's invasion at St. Rita's Academy, and during the Halloween party, Angela puts on a show with another sexy dance, but the moment falls flat for me, and it's not Kinkade's fault. The music is terrible, it kills the mood for Angela stealing the show, and everything feels forced.
In the end, Melissa comes to her senses ("My name is Melissa!"), when she stabs Angela in her lower abdomen, causing a crippling wound. And with some help from Johnny, Bibi, and Sister Gloria, Melissa finally defeats Angela (in a more imposing form, as a large snake), but we're talking about horror films, so Angela has to make another inexplicable comeback in Night Of The Demons 3, right?
Well, it's Halloween night, and Angela is all alone and bored inside Hull House, so she has to have some fun. After a shootout at a convenience store, Vince leads a reluctant group to Hull House, but Angela flips the script, when Vince plans to use Hull House as a hideout.
Kinkade's presence and her performance are on a short, short list of a highlights in Night Of The Demons 3 (or Demon House), a lousy and forgettable sequel. Kinkade delivers another classic Angela moment, when she disarms Orson (figuratively and literally) after she performs fellatio on his gun. Also, Angela has another dance scene in NOD 3, but it's nothing to brag about. Kinkade tries to hold this one together, as the anchor for a sinking ship in NOD 3, but she's not a miracle worker.
Angela toys with another set of dimwits and a few unlikely heroes (Holly and Nick) in NOD 3. And of course, Part 3 leaves us with another "it's not over yet" cliffhanger after Holly and Nick "defeat" Angela, when Angela's voice wishes the audience a "Happy Halloween" with a sinister laugh before the credits roll.
Remember the eccentric outsider in Night Of The Demons 1988? Well, things change in the 2009 remake.
Angela Feld (Shannon Elizabeth) is not an outcast. She's a cocky party girl, who's not afraid to take what she wants. Angela hosts a Halloween bash at The Broussard Family Mansion, and Angela gives herself a grand entrance for officiall kick-off. But when Diana steals the money, and when the cops pull the plug on the party, Angela is stuck in a miserable dilemma.
Maddie, Lily, Jason, Dex, Colin, and Suzanne join Angela as stranded party guests, and all hell breaks loose, when a skeleton in the basement bites Angela's finger. The demon eventually possesses Angela's body, and when Angela passes the demon to Dex during a game of spin the bottle, she unleashes the demon's vicious wrath, sparking a chaotic life-or-death struggle for Maddie, Jason, and Colin.
Shannon Elizabeth's Angela is more arrogant in the remake, and if you're wondering, yes, Angela uses seduction as a weapon here (just ask Suzanne and Dex). Angela is still the ringleader for her demon minions in the remake, and you'll see a more intimidating demonized form for Angela here. Elizabeth delivers an entertaining performance as Angela, and one of the more memorable Angela moments happens, when Angela taunts Maddie, as she reveals her plans to mutilate Colin before she turns him, while Maddie, Jason, and Colin are hiding in the upstairs bedroom protected by the maid's spells.
The 2009 remake is a solid and enjoyable film, but it's hard to ignore a missed opportunity for a one on one final battle between Angela and Maddie. A more ferocious and aggressive version of Angela facing off against Monica Keena, a woman with a reputation for being a tough and resilient final girl in horror films? Sign me up!
If we're talking about popularity and legacies, you can't put Angela in the upper echelon with the likes of Myers, Jason, and Krueger, but she definitely deserves a spot on the all-time list for forgotten or obscure horror characters. Charisma, a dark sense of humor, a never ending appetite for carnage, and sex appeal? Yep. As a character, Angela has everything any horror fan could ask for and more, but if she tries to offer you a kiss or a dance, saying no is the best option, because there's a good chance you'll lose your tongue (Stooge), your face (2009 Suzanne), or your soul.
If you're interested, you can follow the links below to read my reviews for Night Of The Demons (1988), Night Of The Demons 2, Night Of The Demons 3, the 2009 remake, and a Character Spotlight post for Melissa "Mouse" Franklin:
Night Of The Demons (1988)- http://mitchmacready.blogspot.com/2012/11/night-of-demons-1988.html
Night Of The Demons 2- http://mitchmacready.blogspot.com/2012/11/night-of-demons-1994.html
Night Of The Demons 3/Demon House- http://mitchmacready.blogspot.com/2012/11/night-of-demons-3demon-house-1997.html
Character Spotlight for Melissa Franklin- http://mitchmacready.blogspot.com/2014/03/character-spotlight-melissa-mouse.html