You know what I remember about Tales from the Crypt Demon Knight? The soundtrack. Pantera. Machine Head. Ministry. Sepultura. Gravediggaz. Megadeth. Rollins Band. Biohazard. Melvins. Oh and a little song called “Hey Man Nice Shot” from Filter that became ever so popular and made the opening of the movie just pop. I used to listen to this soundtrack on endless repeat without care for which track was on because they were all incredible. It didn’t make the movie for me because the movie was a favorite from the first watch, but it certainly reinforced my love for this film.
What’s not to love about Demon Knight from any Horror fan’s perspective? Tons of gore. Great cast who all give tremendous performances including Dick Miller pulling out all the stops and becoming a more integrated character into the picture rather than just a side note genius character actor that he is. He got a chance to be in the spot light again. His resume is beyond brilliant, but his work in the 60’s is the stuff of Horror legend. He returns to form and gives his best performance since Gremlins. Then of course there’s William Sadler and Billy Zane. Guys… the ultimate bad ass good guy meets the ultimate bad ass bad guy. Sure you could insert Snake Plisskin into the Saddler position to improve it, but simply by saying that shows the caliber of performance and character we are dealing with. On the other side of the coin we have Billy Zane throwing out one liners full of grit and style with perfect comic delivery and timing. You almost want the demons to win. If not for shear dirty nature of the Zane’s Collector character and lack of fair play you might almost want the world to come to an end. Jada Smith… awesome. Thomas Haden Church… truly funny and evil little shit of a character executed to perfection. This is a cast that can make you love a movie.
The gore… oh the gore was good with this one. Hands going through heads, arms getting ripped off, crotches of fire, blood everywhere and women exploding. It’s fun fun fun until daddy takes the latex away. This is one of the last movies to truly embrace the spirit of the practical effects before the wave of early CGI came into play in the mid 90’s, being taken over in the late 90’s and then eventually being rolled back by the torture porn extravaganza of the mid 2000’s.
Demon Knight is sexy with plenty of T and A to keep all eyes on screen and make your momma blush. This one of the reason why occult and demonic Horror is so appealing to fans. It can venture anywhere. It knows no limitation and balk the rating system to point in order to get all the gratuity on the screen but solely to reinforce evil and plot points. Even when we random boob shots seem random… they’re not. They’re necessary (or at least we can make an argument for their necessity).
The transfer is fine for a movie of from mid 90’s often cited as a time where some the quality of film had changed slightly. I didn’t notice any issues with the transfer. It looked and sounded fine with black sufficiently black, colors rich and the grue lookin’ good. The extras here are one of the places where this particular release shines with two new commentaries and an awesome new making of featurette that is a must watch and could be used solely as a reason to pick up this release. Both newly commissioned cover art and reversible traditional artwork are present. I adore the new artwork for this release.
I strongly recommend picking up Demon Knight and actually the second installment in the Tales from the Crypt Presents series, Bordello of Blood from Scream Factory. We’ll get to the reasons why in that particular release, but as for this one, I’m glad it looks this good with this much care and an making of featurette that is absolutely intriguing and good natured. It’s feels like the cast cared about one another and respected each other so much. You leave the movie feeling happy as a Horror fan and Happy as a person. Great job Scream Factory.
You can order Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight now!
From Scream Factory
A mysterious drifter known as Brayker (William Sadler, Iron Man 3) possesses the last of seven ancient keys that hold the power to stop the forces of darkness and protect all humanity from ultimate evil. But the human race is safe only so long as Brayker can evade the demonic Collector (Billy Zane, Titanic) who has gathered the other six keys.
In his obsessive quest for the key, the Collector rallies an army of ghastly cadavers against Brayker and the inhabitants of a run-down hotel. Armed with automatic weapons, sacred blood and sadistic humor, Brayker and the strong-willed Jeryline (Jada Pinkett-Smith, Gotham) must lead the other guests in a gruesome battle against the Collector and his evil horde of ghouls.
Infested with a talented cast, thrilling special effects and the Crypt Keeper's deadpan delights, Demon Knight is directed by genre vet Ernest Dickerson (The Walking Dead, Dexter, Masters of Horror) and features a strong supporting cast featuring Thomas Haden Church (Spider-Man 3, Sideways), CCH Pounder (Orphan, Avatar), Brenda Bakke (L.A. Confidential), Dick Miller (Gremlins) and Charles Fleischer (Zodiac).
NEW Audio Commentary With Director Ernest Dickerson
NEW Audio Commentary With Special Effects Creator Todd Masters, Visual Effects Supervisor John Van Vliet, Special Effects Coordinator Thomas Bellissimo, And Demon Performer Walter Phelan
NEW Under Siege: The Making Of Demon Knight – Featuring Interviews With Director Ernest Dickerson, Co-producer A.L. Katzm Screenwriters Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris, And Mark Bishop, Stars Billy Zane, William Sadler, Brenda Bakke, Charles Fleischer And More
Panel Discussion From The American Cinematheque Featuring Director Ernest Dickerson, Actor Dick Miller And Special Effects Maestro Rick Baker