Debbie Does Demons (2023) Review

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Debbie Does Demons Poster

Jim Morazzini

Debbie Does Demons is the latest film from microbudget veteran Donald Farmer. Back in the 1980s, he helped kick-start the microbudget/ SOV movement with films like enjoyably cheesy films like Cannibal Hookers and Savage Vengeance, among other fondly remembered titles. He’s kept going through the years since then, though some of his more recent films such as Hooker With a Hacksaw have seemed like shadows of his past films.

On tonight’s episode of Debbie Does Demons, Debbie (Angel Nichole Bradford, Wolf Hollow, Backwoods Bubba)tells us the story of Carmilla Karnstein (Jessa Flux, Murdercise, Satan Lives: The Rise of the Illuminati Hotties). Somehow, she’s gone from being a vampire to being a powerful witch, but she’s still extremely dangerous and very scantily clad, as the witch hunter Mocata (Jocephus Brody, Hurt Doll, Bigfoot Exorcist) finds out.

After watching this, Lauren (Morrigan Thompson, American Poltergeist: The Curse of Lilith Ratchet, Karate Ghost) who’s a descendant of Carmilla, and her friends Ashley (Roni Jonah, Powerbomb, Wicked Ones), her boyfriend Adam (Adam Freeman, Reunion from Hell, Curse of the Weredeer) and Jan (Dixie Gers, They See You, Crazy Fat Ethel) decide to pull out the Ouija Board and contact her. What could possibly go wrong?

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Farmer, who directed and co-wrote Debbie Does Demons with Newt Wallen (River Beauty, Swamp Zombies 2) don’t seem too interested in developing a plot, just in finding reasons to show Ms. Flux in various stages of undress. When she materializes after the seance, it’s in a long, hot shower no less. She spends most of the rest of the film in a cape, black stockings and panties, occasionally donning a bra for outdoor scenes to avoid potential public indecency charges.

She actually looks like a trailer park version of the female vampires from the films of Jean Rollin and Jesse Franco. There’s also footage of vampire nuns presented as part of Debbie’s show that has the feel of their work as well. Unfortunately, the episodic nature of Debbie Does Demons means it never has a chance to build the kind of atmosphere that fits these images.

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That may not be entirely the filmmaker’s fault, though. Farmer has said Debbie Does Demons started out as his attempt to makes a film like Witchfinder General. Jocephus Brody, who plays the film’s Matthew Hopkins stand in, died in 2021.

Which means Debbie Does Demons may be whatever footage had been shot for that reworked with Debbie as the witch huntress and filled out with other footage presented as segments of her show. The nun footage looks like something shot for Farmer’s nunsploitation anthology Nundead and the segment we see after the events of the film, while funny, has nothing to do with the plot either. If that is the case, you can’t really blame him, when you’re filming on that kind of budget you really can’t afford to waste footage.

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Whether or not you like how it turned out will depend on your tolerance for cheesy send ups of genre clichés and willingness to overlook some obvious gaffes, such as anachronistic inscriptions on the tombstones, obviously blown lines of dialogue and characters who need to have things they already know explained to them. Also, despite the title, it’s Carmilla not Debbie that does a demon. It’s a hopefully intentionally funny scene, with a rubber puppet placed on her crotch and her panties visible.

In the end, Debbie Does Demons is less of a horror film, erotic or otherwise, and more a collection of bad jokes and reasons for Jessa to say “Boo!” and show off her boobies. It’s like an updated version of an old nudie film, except she’s the only one who shows any skin. And if that’s what you’re in the mood for, and can get past the rather rough first fifteen minutes, you should find it entertaining. I was a little disappointed, the title and poster had me hoping for something along the lines of the (in)famous short Debbie Does Damnation, but this kept me amused nonetheless.

Debbie Does Demons was released as a limited edition, and now out of print, Blu-ray by Culture Shock Releasing, who I notice are taking pre-orders for Eric Boccio’s criminally overlooked Night of the Bastard.