Fans of '80s teencoms have reason to rejoice regarding the Warner Archive DVD release of the 1987 cult-classic "My Demon Lover." This "Mannequin" like tale of the titular "monster" is a prime example of '80s films that are vehicles for the top-billed popular TV stars. "Demon" features the offbeat comedy of Scott Valentine, whose breakout role is lovable figurative space-cadet Nick Moore on the '80scom "Family Ties," which features "Back to the Future" star Michael J. Fox. The lasting legacy of Nick is using two syllables to pronounce the name "Alex."
The following original trailer for "Demon" provides a good sense of this film that can be considered a PG-13 version of the Robin Williams sitcom "Mork and Mindy."
The fantasy begins with setting "Demon" in New York, which represents Utopia for many Gen Xers. Many of these children of the '70s and '80s are drawn there with dreams of a combination of fame or fortune. Other simply want the freedom to love a counter-culture lifestyle that reflects their inner spoiled child. Films, such as "Demon," that idealize life in The Big Apple to various degrees sadistically fuel that fire.
Valentine plays street saxophonist Kaz, who is in remarkably good shape for someone who lives well below the poverty level, Character actress Michelle Little plays wholesome girl Deny, whose trusting nature consistently gets her in trouble. This includes her most recent boyfriend stealing most of her meager worldly goods right in front of her at the beginning of the film.
The rest of the story is that a supernatural beast dubbed "The Mangler" is preying on the babes of New York. It is equally obvious that the audience is supposed to believe that Kaz is that malfeasor and that he is proven innocent in the final reel.
All of these elements converge when Kaz, who already made a hilariously bad first impression on Denny, comes to her rescue when The Mangler attacks her. This leads to Kaz couch surfing at the apartment of sweet and naive Denny.
Another obvious element is this review referring to Kaz as a horny devil regarding his transforming to his horrific primal state whenever he gets aroused. The flashback that serves as the origin story of Kaz is a "Demon" highlight that will help protect the "virtue" of teen girls.
Additional predictable fun comes courtesy of the obligatory montage of Kaz and Denny frolicking around New York to the accompaniment of an '80s rock ballad. This one strongly suggests that the good folks at Warner Prime had a "My Demon Lover" sitcom in mind when making the film.
This honeymoon period is interrupted wihen The Mangler takes another bite at The Big Apple as to having Denny for dinner. This abduction with shades of "King Kong" leads to requiring Kaz to "wolf out" in order to save his girl. Getting that savior to that state requires that the best friend of Denny take one for the team.
The inevitable good vs. evil showdown mines humor from The Mangler and Kaz being more alike than they could have guessed. Of course, the boy gets the girl in the end.
The delight this time involves watching Valentine take his impish charm to a slightly more adult level; we also have the fun in the form of this reminder about how they made 'em 30 years ago.