Monday, April 25, 2011

Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation (2011)

A little disclaimer here: I loathe bowling. Maybe it’s cuz I suck at it, maybe because I hate lugging around heavy balls (*snicker*) and the funky foot-odor smell of most bowling alleys, or maybe it’s because I find bowling so boring, but for these reasons and many more it is just not my thing. However, perhaps if bowling was a little more interesting, say, with a few evil demons involved, bowling would certainly appeal to me a little more.

Lucky for me, Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation features a cast of sexy demons who own bowling alley Coventry Lanes and who are intent on devouring their customers. However, there is a catch…the demons must wait to satiate their appetites until someone asks them for a wish. That someone happens to be waitress Lisa (Nikki McCrea), who is fed up with a group of sorority sisters who have made her life a living hell. To get her crush Johnny (Aaron Bernard) to notice her and to give the sorority sisters what they deserve, she asks Coventry Lanes owners (played by Brinke Stevens, Debbie Rochon, Amy Lynn Best, Lilith Stabs and Robyn Griggs) to help her get payback. However, the hellfire and bloodthirsty demons she brings down on the bowling alley isn’t quite what she expected…

Inspired by ‘80s horror-comedies like Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation is a fun, low-budget film from Happy Cloud Pictures. It takes a lot of cues from Sorority Babes, including plot points (i.e. demons and wishes) and naming its characters after ones from the ‘80s cult classic. It even features Brinke Stevens, who actually starred in Sorority Babes.

The majority of the film takes place in the bowling alley, which limits its story a bit, however filmmaker Mike Watt does an excellent job of keeping the action moving and doesn’t allow the audience to really get bored. The character development is adequate, with several quirky characters nearly stealing the show! I thought Nikki McCrea as the beleaguered Lisa did an excellent job as the lead, and found Sofiya Smirnova, who played her friend Taffy, to be absolutely darling! I just wish a bit more attention had been focused on the demon characters; I would have loved to see Debbie Rochon and Brinke Stevens have a bit more to do.

All in all, Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation is a fun horror-comedy for fans of independent cinema. It certainly doesn’t reinvent the horror genre, but it is a pleasant enough way to spend a breezy hour and some change.

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