It Came from the Camcorder: Demon Queen

Demon Queen VHS boxBefore Vampire Cop, before Chainsaw Cheerleaders, and before Bigfoot Exorcist (incredible titles, all), shitty movie auteur Donald Farmer gave us Demon Queen, an SOV quickie that boiled down a simple horror story into its basest elements.

From 1987, Demon Queen tells the tale of Lucinda (Mary Fanaro), a demon, or vampire, or something, who stalks the streets of Fort Lauderdale picking up unsuspecting males and ripping their hearts out while they are in postcoital afterglow.

Her latest victim, whom she strings along for most of this movie’s short 54-minute running time, is Jesse (Dennis Stewart). Jesse is a street-level drug dealer who, in a fit of plot on the part of Farmer, owes money to local gangster Izzi (Rick Foster).

Right after Izzi and his thug, Bone (Clifton Dance), beat up Jesse for the money he owes, Lucinda swoops in to rescue Jesse, making Bone one of her victims. That’s not the last we see of Bone, as he later resurrects as a putrefying zombie for a gooey finale. That sequence alone probably ate up a huge chunk of this movie’s reported $2,000 budget. Anyway…

Jesse is so grateful for being saved that he invites the gorgeous Lucinda to stay at he and his girlfriend’s place, and the girlfriend agrees. Only in a movie, folks.

What follows is Lucinda stalking and hunting more victims, and Jesse becoming unhinged as he is plagued by dreams of Lucinda pulling out his heart and eating it. Rather than take this as a sign it’s time to kick Lucinda out, Jesse decides to sleep with Lucinda, setting in motion the events that lead to climax, when Lucinda and her undead victims spread terror throughout the neighborhood.

With a budget measured in the four figures, there wasn’t much Farmer could do with his ideas. There was room for substantial expansion in the movie’s scope had there been more money. The fact that Farmer added dozens more films to his oeuvre after this showed he was an adequate and reliable filmmaker, so I have to believe he was capable of more than what viewers get with Demon Queen.

That said, this flick is some bottom-feeding trash — composted just the way we like it here at Missile Test. He didn’t feel the need to take an hour’s worth of ideas and tack on another thirty minutes of wasted scenes or padding. Farmer had a vision and saw it to a natural conclusion, despite how amateurish it all is. The man made a movie, and no one can take that away from him. In fact, he’s still working today, with his 40th directing credit listed as filming as of this writing.

Demon Queen is a tight production compared to many other SOV horror flicks, and all of that is down to how little fat there is left to trim. It has just the right amount of sleaze, and the right amount of gore for how cash-strapped Farmer was. The acting is atrocious, but that’s just in comparison to average Hollywood productions. I have to reiterate, Farmer made this movie for two-thousand bucks! It is what it is.

It was something of a joy watching Dennis Stewart flail as the male lead. About halfway in, I couldn’t help but picture him as Joe Pesci’s less-talented younger brother, riding his famous sibling’s coattails to a career of cheap films alongside Joe Estevez and Don Swayze. But, no, Mr. Stewart got here all on his own, bad accent and all.

One of the least offensive movies of It Came from the Camcorder, Demon Queen still falls way down the index, taking over the #378 spot from Amityville 4.

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