Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)


Directed by: Ernest R. Dickerson

Written by: Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris & Mark Bishop


Billy Zane .... The Collector
William Sadler .... Brayker
Jada Pinkett Smith .... Jeryline
Brenda Bakke .... Cordelia
CCH Pounder .... Irene
Dick Miller .... Uncle Willy
Thomas Haden Church .... Roach
John Schuck .... Sheriff Tupper
Gary Farmer .... Deputy Bob Martel
Charles Fleischer .... Wally Enfield
Ryan O'Donohue .... Danny
John Kassir .... Cryptkeeper Voice

Release Date: Theatrical: January 12, 1995

*Images courtesy at: www.razyboard.com









A tough looking man named Brayker (William Sadler) is on the run who holds the last of the seven keys special containers which held the blood of Christ and were scattered across the universe to prevent the forces of evil from taking over. 
Whom he's running away from is the head demon known as the Collector (Billy Zane) who tries to get the last key and will do anything to get it in order to take over the universe which will fall to chaos.
Brayker hides out in a some sort of a penthouse inn on a deserted area of a small town but the Collector is on his trail and he has to have a battle with good against evil in order to try to save the universe from being taken over by the devil himself.


Ahh yes we have the opening credits like from the TV series which is always cool to watch and looking highly entertaining. Then we get into what seems to be a sleazy and gruesome looking situation with some sort of a scarred monster attacking a naked woman but then the comedy comes in when we see the Cryptkeeper yelling cut and complaning about it all in which we all know that then we'll see him making his little introduction which looked perfect here and then we get into the tale which seemed awesome with some sort of a reckless car chase involving two of the main characters The Collector who seems like the clean cut good guy and a rough neck looking fellow named Brayker in which we may think he is the bad guy here but this is what is so clever later on in the plot that it's not what you think here. Plus there's neat special effects with these situations happening as well as perfectly clear night time shots on these people.
There's some humor here which almost falls flat inside some sort of a penthouse when Brayker enters to hide out as well we spot a whore trying to come on to him as well as a black cat on the table. Then we have the owner of the place Irene with a one liner to get the pussy off the table when this hooker is about to get off but of course she means the cat. This can seem funny to certain people who viewed this but obivous to others making it too hard to seem funny.
The plot seems to start a little slow here but then it does pick up in which we see our supposed hero the Collector entering but then hell breaks loose when he drives a fist through a sheriff's face which is the most memorable horror violent moment in this film that shocked people while watching this but yet added some humor to this when he tries to take the head off and bounce it like a ball. This seemed to look nicely done.
There's also neat effects with Brayker saving everyone from some sort of a gell he uses to block the demons that we see rising which also looked cool and slimy too along with great neon light effects when they try to attack and other things like that.
There's some humoress moments when Brayker tries to trap a cat to test this liquid on this feline and we see it hissing and trying to get away since there's the typical silly superstitions on black cats. Also some neat colourised flashback sequences involving him where Jesus is crucified in which adds mystery to his historical background on how he is trying to protect everyone and on a historical chase to this demonic Collector.
Also there's a perfect effective situation involving a troubled woman named Cordelia looking out a window of the house with a soft soothing mind communication on the Collector outside in which there's neat golden sunlight shining on this which makes this picture look very interesting and perfect writing here showing the devil's charm and temptation to trick his next victim.
Terrific monstrous effects on Cordelia with her monstrous looks and attacking others in which this was fast paced and believeably terrorising as well as some good shocking slayings while we spot all of this.
The Collector seems to show some great dark slapstick humor with an older fellow who happens to be Uncle Willy in which there's young topless chicks in a bar as the Collector is of course the batrneder in which this seems to look uplifting and a real change to the story making this moment seem pretty clever changing the moods to the plot on how he will tempt his next victim into one of his demons.
There's a moment when we spot the demonic Uncle Willy grabbing Brayker by the throat against a wall as well as a peer pressuring moment with Jeryline stalling with a rifle making you wonder as if she will save this hero or not before this demon chokes him to death in which this all looked done in great taste here and quite powerful looking too along with the dark humor from the demonic Uncle Willy which blneds in nicely here.
Then some good comedy elements when we spot a little boy named Danny reading a Tales from the Crypt comic book as well as him spotting the comic looking surprised and suddenly the Collector character in the comic book jumps out in which this perfectly psychs you out in a fun type of fashion here.
Also great beastly attacks by Danny turning around to show a monstrous look on his face attacking Brayker as this was all brought in nicely showing perfect horror moments like the rest for the fans to enjoy what is happening as well as the comic book flipping the pages showing this scenario happening as well as some pages as to what will happen next. This is another perfect psych out moment which was done in a cleverly perfect style here.
In the story we have a great serious and touching situation between Brayker and Jeryline on what to do as there's a dying moment here since this seems to be very common quarter way through a horror flick here. It works in very well here.
We have the final moments between Jeryline and the Collector with good dark areas on all of this as well as perfect struggling situations which looked incredibly powerful too while spotting all of this as there's more great horror effects within all of this. Very entertaining too.
Bottom line is that this seemed to pay a tribute to the Night of the Demons flicks as there's alot of similarities to the beastly attacks and humoress one liners here. Also the ending opened a door for a sequel too in which we never had a chance to see here before the Cryptkeeper finishes off this tale in which looked amusing too with what we spot here on his appearnace out of a limo to his premiere and then a shocking moment to what we spot here. Many great special effects and on a good budget which will please the odd fans of the TV seires but not necessarily all of them. A good 90's horror flick regardless even if it seemed cheesy in certain spots.

The acting is pretty good here in which we have Billy Zane (The Collector) in which he certainly comes across marvellously as a deceiving good guy with his clean cut looks as well as his intelligent and fast acting behavior looking like a bounty hunter here which he did sharply too. Plus he does well with his violent and menacing attitude and having a great smooth and tempting voice which sounded soft and peaceful. He also does well by acting off the wall humoress showing perfect timing with his dark comedy here. He was indeed a versatile character actor and the best out of the whole cast here. You couldn't find anyone better to do this role. In fact I'd say that he lived to portray this part.
William Sadler (Brayker) had the perfect rough looks for his role in the film in which he definetely comes across as some sort of a thug during the beginning of his performance leaving you an impression that he's the bad guy in which he does this nicely. He also does a great job with his energy while trying to struggle against the crazy situations that's happening showing a perfect aggression towards all of this. He also does well with his seriousness when his life is about to be taken in which he does this very strongly too which is a great pointer here.
Jada Pinkett Smith (Jeryline) certainly left a perfect impression in her performance as she really knew on how to portray a tough chick in the film. She was very strong in her speaking as well as knowing on how to try and resist a temptation but almost feeling weak in which she comes across perfectly with those emotions too. She also does well with her emotional attitude too in a certain spot of the film too. Plus she really goes to the extreme with her struggling attitude as well and was right on with her blocking and movements.
CCH Pounder (Irene) brought alot of spunk and perfect wittiness in her role as the owner of the place in which she comes across believeable as someone with a no nonsense attitude who speaks her mind clearly. She also does well with her tough as nails behavior too. Plus does a great job by crying in pain when an incident happens to her in which this looked nicely intense. She drives everything out of her role which looked perfectly done and one of the best cast members here.
Dick Miller (Uncle Willy) really came across well with his young at heart type of personality in which he was a natural ham by being this way. He has the right looks for the role as someone who's older aged but yet seems to have high spirits with whatever he does here. He often does well in his performances in other shows and a natural character actor.
Thomas Haden Church (Roach) had the most effective supporting role in the film as he does well with his obnoxious type of personality along with a good sleazy type of behavior too which also shows off not too badly here. He's good with his violent attitude as well as showing perfect sarcastic aggressions in which he is full of energy while being like this. He shows a good fast paced type of personality here. He also had the perfect rugged looks too which was a nice bonus.
Gary Farmer (Deputy Farmer) was another good one who was a natural ham in his role as a dipstick type deputy with a sort of perverted type of behavior in the first little bit of his performance here. He also does well acting like a typical goofball but later on he brings a good seriousness when the terror really starts to happen in which shows off nicely here. I found that he was very effective in his supporting role here and can pull off a character nicely here.
Charles Fleischer (Wally Enfield) truly had a good eccentric type of appeal to his part in the film in which he came across as perfectly nervous and tense into whatever he did here. He sort of had a good geeky type of behavior too. This was a nice role for him and a bigger role compared to the other supporting roles that he portrayed in other shows. I will always remember him as the bad ass Carvelli in Welcome Back Kotter. He has played many versatile parts I must say and was never type casted.
Ryan O'Donohue (Danny) brings on the charm of his role in which he comes off as curious and inncocent like when he spots something and then gets anxious with a great energised type of attitude. He also shows good facial and eye expressions while reading a comic book along with acting surprised as this looked perfect. He also does a great job when he's a demon by acting monstrous and having an evil bratty behavior. He deserves great credit for his part here.
John Kassir (Cryptkeeper Voice) of course always does the trick with his creepyness to his hissing and speaking and has the touch to do this in the movie as well as in the TV show. I was always fond of his voice over talents and he influenced me too to do this type of voice for horror entertainment. He's highly influential period.

A fully topless woman is revealed during the beginning of the film in a bathtub.
Another one is briefly revealed with her breasts while fornicating in a room.
A bunch of topless women are exposed in a hallucination scene of a club.

A scarred type zombie with flesh falling off is revealed dragging a woman in the beginning of the story.
A fist is smashed through a sheriff's face as well as his head being torn off and bounced around.
A few other decapitations are revealed.
Flesh is burned off.
An arm is chopped off.
Hallucinations of bodies are revealed with their insides torn open.
Some bloody stabbings.

The music was perfectly done having a great strong classical and orchestral vibe to everything with the fast adventureous violin and trombone playing for the real fast and terrifying moments when the evil is unleashed which sounds awesome. Also there's good hissing and scraping sounds which really works in well for the still moments here. We also here some string plucking sounds for some of the humoress moments as well as the suspected mysterious moments too which adds some flavor all put together by Ed Shearmur. Of course the opening credits sounded good and cheesily spooky especially the chiming organ playing which was used for the TV series too.
A nice closing credits with the wild metal guitar playing of the band Machine Head and their song "My Misery ... (Demon Knight)"
which really rocks listening to this powerful tune while the credits are rolling up.
Also while the credits are rolling up we here the cold sounding of Megadeth with "Diadems" having the sneering and insane vocalising and hardcore guitar riffs in which this also suits the score perfectly well for the final credits rolling up.

Crypt Keeper: [Disfigured corpse is about to murder woman in bath] Cuuut! cutcutcutcut cut. What the hell are you doing? You call that acting? 
Slasher: [Disfigured corpse turns out to be an actor, and it becomes apparent that scenery is really just a movie set] Well... Yes, as a matter of fact I do call it acting. 
Crypt Keeper: Well let me tell you something pal, you're no Gory Cooper, you aren't even a Robert Deadford. Another take like that and it'll be back to bit parts for you, and I won't say what 'bits' I'm talking about. 
[stressed sigh] 
Crypt Keeper: okay everyone, reset! 
Slasher: Directors; where'd they dig this guy up? 

Brayker: [eating slop] You want some? 
Uncle Willy: Hell, no! I'm just thinking about how much better that stuff looked when it was roadkill. 

Cordelia: [to Brayker] You hurry up and finish dinner, 
[she climbs onto table in a seductive manner] 
Cordelia: I'll take care of "dessert". 
[a black cat also climb onto the table and meows] 
Uncle Willy: Ah, don't worry. Good Cleo knows better than to eat that slop. 
Irene: Goddammit! Get that pussy off the table! 
[Cordelia quickly gets off the table] 
Irene: I meant the cat. 

[after a demon trys to break through the barrier and is melted] 
Uncle Willy: OH that is disgusting 

The Collector: Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are? I know that sounds like a line - Lord knows I've used it - but I mean it. 

Roach: You know this "Hell on Earth" business? Big fucking deal - I've got hemmorhoids. 

Uncle Willie: Jeryline you wouldn't hurt your old uncle will now would you baby. 

Other collector: [as Bus pulls up the new collector pauses when he realises Jeryline has put up a blood shield] Naw... it's okay... I'll wait for the next one.