Friday, February 23, 2007


One of the best fly on the wall film documentaries, Demon Lover Diary (1980) captures all the chaos, tensions and ineptitudes of a 1970s zero-budget horror movie shoot. When young cinematographer Jeff Kreines agreed to shoot Demon Lover in 1975, his girlfriend Joel DeMott decided to record the project on 8mm, not realising she would eventually end up with a cult documentary that is infinitely more interesting, entertaining and revealing than the film itself (which was eventually released in 1977 to universal panning).

Coming off at times like a true Blair Witch Project, it’s both scary and sad to see Demon Lover co-director Don Jackson – who has mortgaged his house to the hilt to finance the movie and is on the verge of being fired from his factory job – trying to convince everyone around him that he is making a masterpiece of horror, yet he seems to be the only one who doesn’t realise he is producing a complete celluloid turd (even co-director Jerry Younkins, who helped raise funs by ‘accidentally’ chopping of a finger and collecting $8,000 insurance, calls the film “junk” in front of a local reporter). It all climaxes with a surreal trip to Ted Nugent’s house (!) to borrow some guns for the film, and ends with Krienes and DeMott literally running in fear of their lives after the whole production collapses. Tying Demon Lover Diary inexorably to its era are the ugly fashions, haircuts and mutton chops, along with a background radio which warbles Rod Stewart, Pink Floyd, Captain & Tennille and others.

Copyright John Harrison 2007

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting