Blu-ray Review: Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, July 29th, 2021  

Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight

Studio: Scream Factory

Oct 23, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Battle-weary Frank Braykey (William Sadler) is the lone guardian of an ancient key. Protected for generations by a long line of Demon Knights, the artifact is the only thing preventing the legions in Hell from bringing about the end of times. As a high-level demon known as The Collector (Billy Zane) closes in on him, Braykey stumbles into a run-down hotel with plans to make a final stand. There, he teams up with an ex-con (Jada Pinkett), a homeless alcoholic (Dick Miller), the inn’s no-nonsense owner (CCH Pounder), a prostitute, a sheriff’s deputy, an unhinged mailman, and a swarthy whoremonger (Thomas Haden Church) as he attempts to make it through the night and survive a siege staged by demons just outside the hotel’s walls.

Demon Knight has many of the elements you’d expect from a big-screen Tales from the Crypt entry: double-entendres and obvious puns, over-the-top gore effects, and a cameo from the Crypt Keeper in his usual emcee role. Still, something about it feels off; Demon Knight feels more like a movie made to set up an action franchise than one of the twisted morality tales you’d see on the TV series. As the bonus documentary included on this Blu-ray special edition chronicles, Demon Knight started as an unrelated spec script before it was eventually optioned to be part of a planned Tales big-screen trilogy. (Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Til Dawn was to be its follow-up, but the duo backed out over disagreements with Universal and their entry was replaced with 1996’s Bordello of Blood.) The movie isn’t particularly scary but the monster effects are really good, especially considering the low budget. If it weren’t for a gleefully game cast—led by Billy Zane’s over-the-top bonkers demon lord—it would be a hard movie to recommend, but their gung-ho attitude manages to turn the so-so screenplay into a modestly entertaining b-movie romp.

What makes this special edition Blu-ray release significantly more attractive are its bonus features. Most notable is the Ballyhoo-produced Making Of documentary, which features much of the cast and crew speaking quite candidly about the film. It’s refreshing that no one involved seems to have had any notion that they were making high art, and most look back fondly at the movie as the fun piece of schlock that it is. (Hearing Billy Zane profess that he based his Demon Knight performance on Robin Williams’ Genie character in Aladdin will totally change the way you see the movie on any repeated viewings.) There’s also a panel discussion, stills gallery, and two full-length commentaries. If you’re a fan of the film and already know what you’re getting into, this set is a nice pick-up. If you’re just a horror fanatic or gorehound, there are better titles in the Scream Factory catalogue which will be more worth your time.

www.shoutfactory.com/film/action-adventure/tales-from-the-crypt-presents-demon-knight-collector-s-edition

Author rating: 5/10

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