Horror Movie Review: The Demons of Ludlow (1983)

Directed by Bill Rebane, written by William Arthur and starring Paul Bentzen, Stephanie Cushna and Carol Perry. The Demons of Ludlow is no-budget 80’s horror that tries to rip of The Fog and fails in grandiose style.

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The story, of what parts you can follow, surrounds an antique piano that houses a demonic evil inside. This piano has arrived in the small town of Ludlow which is celebrating its bicentennial. Sent all the way from England by a descendant of one of the town’s original settlers. This musical instrument houses a darkness but… so does the town.

That’s the main storyline, sort of. It’s hard to follow, aside from being boring to watch and listen too, The Demons of Ludlow is a mess of random plot points. The town has a dark past and it begins to manifest itself in the form of pilgrim-dressed ghosts and occasional demonic events.

The local minister and a writer attempt their own investigations as the townspeople begin to disappear and die. Is the piano cursed or is it the whole town?

Calling The Demons of Ludlow cheap is to underplay just how low this film’s budget was and it shows it almost every department. The location is supposed to be a town but you wouldn’t know it as the film mostly takes place in a handful of indoor locations. Everything is murky, grimy and ugly to look at. The cast are nobodies and it shows when they try to act. The music and sound effects are poor even by 80’s recording standards, and the story is stretched and padded to teeth-aching lengths.

Absolutely nothing was done well here. It’s not scary, it’s not fun, it’s not ‘so bad, it’s good’, it’s just a badly made movie. Consigned to the bargain bin decades ago, seeing it in modern times just confirms exactly why that was.




The Demons of Ludlow
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