Saturday, January 03, 2009

Tonight on ITV1: Demons

Although it begins with a blonde bombshell being slaughtered by a weird furry monster with eyes like magical gobstoppers, the thing about Demons that will most shock viewers is probably the fact that Philip ‘Life on Mars’ Glenister speaks in... an American accent. Yikes! 

Seriously though, it actually takes ages to get used to. Glenister plays Rupert Galvin, an über-confident cliché-spouting hardman without, sadly, any awareness of how silly he sometimes sounds. He rocks up at the house of teenager Luke (Christian Cooke) one day claiming to be both his godfather and a “warrior” whose job it is to rid the earth of “inhumans”.

Luke’s not convinced – and he has a test tomorrow – but Galvin insists that these creatures are everywhere. It is a bit surprising no one’s noticed them, though: the one hunting Luke is a seven-foot-tall trenchcoat- wearing Marilyn Manson lookalike with bad teeth who spends his time sitting in bars on the South Bank eating cockroaches and snarling. And his evil boss Gladiolus Thripp, played by The Office’s Mackenzie Crook, has a prosthetic nose nicked off the Texas Chainsaw Massacre family and hair so outrageous he would’ve been thrown out of Kajagoogoo. Inconspicuous they ain’t.

There are a number of awful moments: Luke’s attempts to save girlfriend Ruby are set, hilariously, to the musical strains of the Kaiser Chiefs’ ‘Ruby’, the fight scene with some hoodie ninja bear-men is ludicrously leaden and Zoe Tapper, who’s had herself a busy lesbian Christmas, what with the Survivors finale and Affinity, doesn’t convince as a blind seer.

Despite all that, Demons is so irresistibly bizarre and nightmarishly disturbing, it’s hard not to like. The words “cult viewing” are written all over it in big silver writing, and whoever scheduled this show for primetime Saturday night will prove to be either a madman or a genius.

by Will Parkhouse, Wednesday 31 December 2008 

Originally published on

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