Thursday, January 19, 2017

"You Just Destroyed the Life of a Pine Cone" - Demonwarp (1988) - Part 2 of 3

This is Part 2 of our discussion of Demonwarp (1988). You can read Part 1 here. At this point in the story, we have seen bigfoot kidnap Academy Award winner George Kennedy's daughter. The creature has also apparently killed two members of a bigfoot-hunting party, Tom and Fred. Their friends are trapped in a mountain cabin without a door.

Later in the night, the three survivors sleep, all of them in extremely uncomfortable positions.

Jack hears a noise and investigates by climbing the stairs to the second floor of the cabin. He finds nothing.

In the morning, they do the only thing they can do: Head into the forest to find a fire road, where they hope to flag down a car and get help.

Apropos of nothing but the mention of the fire road, the film cuts to two women driving a Jeep along a dirt road. After telling a charming story about a boyfriend picking his nose, the women reveal that the boyfriend--now an ex-boyfriend, revealed the location of his secret garden, presumably a marijuana field, for which they are presumably searching.

At the same time, Jack, Carrie, and Cindy are hiking through the forest. Jack hears something and fires the shotgun.

"Great, Jack," Cindy says. "You just destroyed the life of a pine cone."

While Cindy ostentatiously swats insects in the background, Jack and Carrie have a heart-to-heart talk. Jack rightly feels guilty about lying to Fred and Tom, and now they are dead.

Elsewhere in the forest, a backpacker/photographer appears lost. We watch as the bigfoot stalks him slowly through the underbrush.

Still elsewhere, the two women reach the location of the secret garden, only to find a barren patch of dirt. Now the bigfoot is stalking the women. When the women decide to sunbathe, the bigfoot watches them from the trees.

We return to Carrie, Cindy, and Jack, who would benefit from an extended course on gun safety as he pushes through the light foliage using his shotgun to push branches aside.

They stumble upon a bear trap hidden in the grass, and they barely avoiding its steel jaws. Instead of keeping it to use as a weapon, they toss it back into the grass.

Elsewhere again, the sunbathing women are attacked by the bigfoot. He graphically rips one's head off and stomps through the woods after the other one, proving he indeed has at least one big foot.

A little later, the backpacker/photographer is surprised when he is pelted by human body parts. A severed hand smacks him in the face. He looks at it curiously.

The bigfoot is not far behind the flying hand and soon begins to chase the backpacker/photographer.

(It is at this point that Demonwarp earns its status as a classic. We have seen bigfoot tales combined with cannibal cults before, but the presence of a zombie elevates this film to a new level.)

Jack, Carrie, and Cindy shoot at something in the woods. The something turns out to be Academy Award winner George Kennedy in a bright yellow rain hat.

Mr. Kennedy just happens to be wearing the watch that Tom was wearing before his neck was snapped. The Academy Award winner says he found the watch outside the cabin, but the audience knows enough to be suspicious.

Somewhere nearby, the bigfoot has caught up with the photographer again, and this time the man's luck has run out. His arm is mangled in a bear trap and the creature graphically impales him on a tree branch.

At this point, it is helpful to step back and consider the current plot situation. Three remaining parties are wandering through the forest: the bigfoot, the surviving sunbather, and the group of Jack, Carrie, Cindy, and Academic Award winner George Kennedy in his yellow hat.

The bigfoot reaches around a tree to pull a detonation pin from a bundle of dynamite tied to the tree.

This scene is another mark of the cleverness of the filmmakers, as we now know the bigfoot is intelligent and able to avoid traps. It is not just a mindless killing machine.

Jack and the group return to George Kennedy's campsite and take care of some nagging questions. Mr. Kennedy claims he returned to the forest after his daughter was taken so he could find and kill the creature responsible. "I'm ready for it now," he says. "That's why I wear this yellow hat: to make it easier for it to see me because I've got traps all over the place."

Jack describes the attack at the cabin last night. "That thing was huge," he says. "It was like an ape or something, but it was bigger than anything I've ever seen." Then Jack says he noticed something peculiar. The thing looked at him, and it was almost like it recognized Jack. And he mentions that the beast took the toaster--but he calls it "listening equipment" for unknown reasons.

The sunbather stumbles upon the campsite, nearly tripping off another bundle of dynamite unwisely set up about 10 feet from the campsite.

Then, shockingly, the bigfoot appears from inside George Kennedy's tent, attacking Jack. The others fight back ineffectually.

"Come on, you woolly bastard, come on!" yells George Kennedy. The monster decides to chase Mr. Kennedy through the woods. There are several shots of Mr. Kennedy's feet and the bigfoot's feet as Mr. Kennedy attempts to lead it through some tripwires attached to more dynamite. Mr. Kennedy whispers, "Come on, you six-foot fleabag," though it certainly appears he is underestimating the creature's height.

The monster, more clearly intelligent now than ever, avoids the trap by sneaking up on Mr. Kennedy from behind.

The Academy Award winner is brutally murdered by the bigfoot, who smashes the man's head against some rocks.

Back at the campsite, Jack recovers. He finds that he is the only one remaining. Carrie, Cindy, and the sunbather are nowhere to be found. Sensibly, Jack packs a sack full of dynamite, grabs his pistol, and heads off into the forest. He finds George Kennedy's bloody body, and then he spots Cindy walking away from him. He chases after her, calling her name, but she does not reply. When he catches her, he says, "What are you doing? I've been chasing after you every mountainside that there is."

Cindy turns. Like Tom, she has become a zombie, her eye hanging down the side of her face.

We will end Part 2 of our bigfoot investigation here. Stay tuned for Part 3, when everything we think we know will be turned on its head. Farewell!