I imagine shooting a movie like Attack of the Demons on film would be next to impossible. The 90s Colorado backdrop, huge locations, enormous monsters, and gallons of neon-colored blood and bile would no doubt need a hefty budget to pull off—but anything is possible in animation, and that’s exactly what makes Eric Powers and Andreas Petersen’s new demonic ditty so cool. They’re able to get weird and wild without worrying too much about logistics. And when you’re talking about a story as strange as this one, that creative freedom is everything.
It follows a group of young adults that happen to cross paths in a small Colorado mountain town. Some are there for a big music festival, another is there visiting his crazy uncle, and one of them just sort of lives there. They all have their own quirks, but above all, they’re nerds. This leads to some pretty fun (and insanely relatable) conversation around music, movies, video games, and the merits of each. Unfortunately, the music festival becomes a breeding ground for demons, and the quaint little mountain town is quickly overrun by hideous mutations and monsters leaving the new found friends fighting for survival.
It’s a fairly standard setup as far as demon movies go, but it’s done surprisingly well, and the animation adds a new wrinkle to the more familiar elements we’ve seen time and time again. That said, things take a turn around the halfway mark and those familiar elements are replaced by grotesque surprises and a sudden sense of humor thanks to the introduction of a new character. Never taking itself too seriously, Attack of the Demons strikes a fine balance between paying homage and treading new ground. But as fun as the story may be, and as cool as the animation may look, the way it all sounds is another story.
Character voiceovers aren’t quite as clean as you’re likely accustomed to hearing in animated programming. Beyond that, the performances from the voiceover actors themselves are a little flat. And while this sometimes adds a sort of deadpan humor to a scenario, lines often come across scripted and lifeless—like one of your favorite PS2 era video games. It’s completely serviceable and does the job, but it’s easily the production’s biggest opportunity. Luckily, Attack of the Demons is just crazy enough for none of that to really matter. If you’re looking for a fun, violent, and completely absurd demonic comedy, look no further. This one has you covered.
Attack of the Demons screened at the 2020 Chattanooga Film Festival.