In a decade overrun with sequels, Kevin Tenney’s Night of the Demons stood out above the competition with its perfect mixture of shock and schlock. A staple for Halloween parties and sleepovers, this darkly comedic, satanic-tinged slasher rattled the eyes with its gory corn syrupy kills and startled the ears with its Carpenter-esque score supplied by Dennis Michael Tenney.
With Lunaris Records dusting off the master tapes for the vinyl release of Tenney’s score, the label had the foresight to summon for the cover art HorrorHound artist Devon Whitehead, whose possessed penmanship expelled the razor-sharp imagery that will help bring Night of the Demons into the minds of a new generation.
Describing how he got involved with the project, Whitehead says, “Chris MacGibbon, a diehard Night of the Demons fan was familiar with my work and recommended me to Lunaris, and they emailed me. [I was a] huge fan myself. It’s one of my favorite horror films, so I was thrilled to get this gig. I came up with an idea and sent over a sketch to Lunaris, which they approved and I went on to paint it from there."
“I initially did the design as you see it on the shirt and promo that Lunaris has available with Angela full body, bursting through the mirror,” says Whitehead. “Then, I later had the idea to have Angela holding an apple with razor blades as she’s coming out of the mirror and sent that over. They dug both designs and the apple design is the final one on the cover."
Whitehead’s artwork is full of dramatic and tense colors—from the hazy gun smoke highlights to the blood-red deliciousness of the apple, the tints and tones draw the eye with ease. “I approach everything traditionally, and draw/paint as I would by hand” explains Whitehead. “I sketched it out with pencil, then worked up the sketch in Photoshop and painted it in Photoshop—it took about a week off and on to finish.”
In regards to his inspirations for the piece, he notes, “I looked at lots of horror poster art, Italian horror posters and artists, as well as some of my favorite artists in general like Frazetta and Brom.”
Much like Frazetta’s work, the characters on the Night of the Demons vinyl cover explode with energy, as Whitehead gives a strong sense of life to even the most soulless, undead creature on the digital canvas.
Mirroring the splattered sonics captured within the vinyl grooves, Whitehead’s Daliesque depiction of the film’s narrative is as sharp and on point as a bladed Braeburn. Breathing new life into an underrated cult horror hit, the Night of the Demons vinyl release is 12 inches of demonic fun.
Peace to Devon Whitehead for helping out with this piece. Get your own copy of the Night of the Demons vinyl soundtrack from Lunaris Records. Keep in touch with Whitehead on his Facebook and Instagram pages.
[Editor's Note: This special feature was originally published on BEATDUST in September of 2015.]