The Palace Theater vs God, 1981



I came across a strange story in The News-Times morgue (old clip room) related to the Palace.

It’s from Nov. 24, 1981 and the headline reads “Born-again Christian group pickets ‘Demonoid’ movie.”

The photo above the headline shows two protesters standing a few feet from a “Demonoid” movie poster.

One of the protesters carries a sign reading “Demonoids. This movie is hazardous to your spiritual life,” except spiritual is spelled “hasardous.”

(First one to post a “Musta been a NT reporter” comment wins a nickel.)

I’m sort of a movie buff, especially when it comes to controversial horror. But “Demonoids?” What in the wide world of sports was that?

Turns out it’s a z-grade Spanish horror flick about a killer hand, according to this article.

The same Web review goes on to say:

For the record, it makes no sense whatsoever, and I always find it kind of fun watching films like that, and trying to figure out what on earth was going on in the film-makers’ minds.

The News-Times article quotes the protesters as being worried the movie would “mess up people’s minds.”

Apparently “Demonoids” also attracted protesters in NYC, who handed out “devil diplomas” to patrons leaving the theater. No such luck in Danbury.

The News-Times article concludes with “the movie coincides with the co-called demon murder trial going on in Danbury Superior Court. The jury is now deliberating to come up with a verdict in the case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, 19, who is charged in the death of his landlord, Alan Bono.

His lawyer had planned to use demonic possession as Johnson’s defense until the presiding judge would not allow any testimony to be given to support the possession contention.”

Johnson was convicted of first-degree manslaughter the day the “Demonoid” article published and served five years in prison.

Family members said Johnson suffered from mental illness, from which he later recovered.

2 thoughts on “The Palace Theater vs God, 1981

  1. “One of the protesters carries a sign reading “Demonoids. This movie is hazardous to your spiritual life,” except spiritual is spelled “hasardous.””

    It musta been a News Times reporter! Where’s my nickel?

    BTW, who is Eugene Driscoll? Is that “chainsaw”‘s real name? This page makes about as much sense as “Demonoids” must have. But, let’s get beyond that to the real issue: anyone who hates “Donnie Darko” isn’t qualified to review films. Good bye and thanks for playing. (I don’t even have to address the part about hating the Beatles; we’re done already.)

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