Lost & Found: Demons Just Wanna Have Fun
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The early ’80s were a special period in time for television. New cable channels were springing up like dandelions, and they all needed new content to fill up the airwaves.
One brand new channel, a little network called USA, was looking for something new and exciting to bring in viewers. At the time, a writers’ strike elsewhere meant that one of TV’s most popular shows, ‘Saturday Night Live,’ wasn’t producing new episodes. So USA struck while the iron was hot, or at least lukewarm.
Their answer to fill the weekend programming schedule was Night Flight — four hours of music videos and performances, overlooked movies and strange short films. The geniuses behind the USA network often pulled from old, forgotten movies to fill those four hours. And so ‘The Devil’s Ball’ was rescued from a life of obscurity … sort of.
‘The Devil’s Ball’ is actually a snippet from a stop-motion film made by Russian filmmaker Ladislas Starevich, who pioneered the use of puppets and other strange items like insect bodies in film. While many old films now lack the emotional impact they may have had during their time, Starevich’s work remains creepy as f—.
The short clip here, taken out of the context of the larger work to which it belongs, makes little or no sense. It’s just a devil sending weird spirits and ghastly ghouls out into the night. The thing is, seen as a whole, the film doesn’t make much more sense than the above snippet. It’s just a bunch of monsters and demons getting drunk. But whatever. That’s probably what one of our typical Saturday nights would look like if someone filmed us, so we’ve got no room to criticize.