Roger in Night of the Demons (Photo courtesy of International Film Marketing/MGM)
1. Alvin Alexis in Night of the Demons
Do we have any love for the 1988 horror classic Night of the Demons? Although it was remade in 2009, it’s not a movie you hear much about these days. But it does have a cult following and will always be one of the scariest 80s horror films.
If you haven’t seen it, the story centers on a group of teens having a party (like in every other horror movie) in a derelict mortuary. When doing a séance strictly for the giggles, the high schoolers accidentally unleash the spirit of a demon. The entity possesses one of the kids, who begins the process of turning all of her friends into other demons.
As the students become monsters one by one, those remaining fight for their lives to escape and survive. If they can just last until morning, they’ll be okay. It comes down to two survivors— the heroine Judy, and her buddy Roger… who happens to be black.
Roger totally seems doomed by this point. So many horror films, especially from this era, conclude with just the “final girl” making it to the end. Surely, Roger will go down in a blaze of glory, maybe sacrificing himself to save her in another horror trope?
Nope. Roger and Judy both survive the night. When morning hits, the light vanquishes the demons, and the two survivors slowly walk home in shock. I love the character, but the fact that he somehow survived this visceral horror film with such a high body count has always been baffling. It feels like nobody defies the odds quite as much as Roger.
I know there are other horror films out there where the black guy survives. Did I miss any glaring examples? Sound off in the comments below and let me know if I missed anything!