Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight (Blu-ray / Movie Review)
If there is anyone out there that hasn’t seen the Tales from the Crypt movie Demon Knight, you don’t know what the hell you are missing. Thankfully, Scream Factory is fixing that for you by releasing a kickass Collector’s Edition of said film. If a movie about crazy demons, a hilarious Billy Zane, a kickass William Sadler and an assemble cast of characters ready to be possessed and butchered sounds like the best night of your life, then Demon Knight is going to be the child you’ve always dreamt of having. I could pretty much stop this review right now and tell you to just buy the damn Blu-ray already, but seeing how I know people just crave reading my reviews, I’m going to babble on and on for a few more paragraphs and hopefully by the end, you’ll have the Blu-ray in your cart ready to hit checkout…
SUBTITLES: English REGION: A RATING: R PRODUCTION DATE: 1995 RELEASE DATE: Oct 20, 2015
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).
I don’t really know what more can be said about Demon Knight that hasn’t already been said before. It was the first Tales from the Crypt movie to come out, with a planned trilogy (the second being Bordello of Blood and the third being Ritual, but not really). The movie was a success for the most part and seeing how we are still talking about it to this day, it obviously was somewhat of a hit. To me, it’s a fantastic monster flick, with plenty of gore and laughs, with a generous amount of the laughs coming from Billy Zane, who goes to town in his role as the Collector, a demon who is tasked in obtaining a special key that contains some very special blood. The key is guarded by a Demon Knight, played by William Sadler, who is all kinds of kickass in this role.
After having escaped a close call with the Collector, the Demon Knight holds up in a motel, with a bunch of other people and it isn’t long until Zane shows up to collect. With the help of the people in the motel, especially Jeryline, who is played by Jada Pinkett-Smith, the Demon Knight fights to keep the key safe, but he is running out of time and must wait out the terror until dawn, but the Collector has a better idea and rises up a bunch of low-level demons, with some gnarly piercings. Cue the mayhem!
Demon Knight is pure bliss, wrapped and hand delivered by the Crypt Keeper himself. It never takes itself seriously and instead just has a blast spewing gore and laughs. The story isn’t complicated and even with the big cast the movie has, each person is given a good amount of character development. I honestly can’t think of anything negative to say about the flick, it’s just that good of a movie. Also, there is the entire scene with Dick Miller hanging out with some topless chicks. How can you not love this movie?
I found that the other Tales flick from Scream Factory, Bordello of Blood, had some contrast and sharpening issues, but thankfully, Demon Knight is looking fantastic, with grain intact and no DNR present. I did not notice any sort of sharpening issues and with the movie being placed most at night, the black levels are consistent throughout. Bravo Scream Factory.
Demon Knight is presented as a Collector’s Edition, with a fancy new cover, a slip and a good helping of features. I do have to say that the disc isn’t jammed full, though. There is a wonderful 40-minute Making of with most of the cast, with the exception being Jada Pinkett-Smith, who I guess is just too important now. It was nice hearing Billy Zane saying they should make a sequel; I would love a sequel. Besides that wonderful 40 minute trip down memory lane, you get a 10 minute Q&A session with Dick Miller, Rick Baker and Ernest Dickerson that was filmed at the American Cinematheque in 2014. It’s short and doesn’t talk much about Demon Knight. Rounding everything out is a trailer, still gallery and two new commentaries, one with Director Ernest Dickerson and the other with Special Effects Creator Todd Masters, Visual Effects Supervisor John Van Vliet, Special Effects Coordinator Thomas Bellissimo, and Demon Performer Walter Phelan. It sounds like a lot, which honestly is if you sat down and went through the commentaries, but the biggest feature to watch is the 40-minute segment and that’s it. However, even with that said, it’s still very much welcome having these features.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
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
Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight is a must watch demon romp. It’s full of gore, boobies and a big sprinkling of humor to please any horror fan. The Scream Factory Blu-ray is light on watchable features, but what is there, is informative and welcome. The video and audio are top notch and the disc is coming highly recommended from your’s truly.