Night of the Demons (1988)

Night of the Demons is a cult classic of the ’80s, but its lone black character, “black guy” Rodger (Alvin Alexis), is a confounding conundrum wrapped in an enigma (Where my enigmas at?!?). On the one hand, he bucks the black death tradition that would seemingly have his name etched on a tombstone before the opening credits finished rolling and even saves white girl (Cathy Podewell) to boot!

In fact, they’re the only two out of the 10 partying teens in the film who survive, but Rodger is a such a sniveling, God-fearing crybaby, you kind of wish he wouldn’t have made it. He’s a throwback scaredy cat, superstitious spook who deals with the possibility of evil entities occupying the creaky old mortuary they’re in by crying and running away (and not for comic effect…at least intentionally). When the demons attack, he freezes and curls up into a fetal position, leaving the “final girl” to fend for herself. Later, he more or less redeems himself by rescuing her, but he remains enough of a putz that there’s no possibility they will hook up, thus alleviating sensitive ’80s viewers’ fears of race-mixing.

“Papa, can you hear me?”
“Yess’m, Miss Daisy, they are quite perky for their age.”
“I said I don’t want my window washed!”

What do you think?