Tales from the Crypt:Demon Knight
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 1999
It might be hard to believe but this movie is pretty damn scary! Granted, it does have a lot of funny parts to it but overall this movie really freaked me out! I stayed up the entire night after seeing it, laughing at myself but still unable to go to sleep! I kept telling myself, "Come on man, it's only a Tales From the Crypt movie!" but even that element seemed to be missing (The Cryptkeeper does make a hilarious entrance!)by that I mean it wasn't over the top, made for T.V. campy. This was very well made with some great special effects. This movie was produced by such people as Robert Zemeckis, Richard Donner, Joel Silver, etc...-in other words big names in the movie industry (this flick had some heavy backing!) The story line in this movie was amazingly complex for a horror film, yet it wasn't drawn out! Billy Zane was outstanding as the persistent and demonic "Collector", he pretty much steals the show. This is also the first movie I ever saw Jada Pinkett(Smith) in and she does a great job of playing the reluctant heroine. Bottom line, if you are a fan of horror movies and need something to watch on some gloomy night (I had to throw that in, sorry) that will entertain and scare you, so go pick this movie up!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
I was a big fan of the Tales from the Crypt TV show. Thus, I am a fan of this movie. It feels a lot like one of the Creepshow movies but has enough gore, humor and OTT carnage but it just doesn't have enough scope to brake away from the TV show and stand alone as a big screen movie.

Brayker (William Sadler) is a drifter who stumbles upon a lonely desert town after an explosive confrontation with The Collector (Billy Zane), a supremely evil being with Satanical powers who is desperate to get his hands on Brayker's mysterious talisman. Brayker spends the night in a shabby motel but The Collector soon turns up and unleashes hell upon the motel and it's inhabitants.

This is where the fun really kicks in. The Collector has fun enticing the residents (made up of Dick Miller, Charles Fleisher, Thomas Haden Church, Brenda Bakke, Jada Pinkett-Smith and CCH Pounder) to join him on his dark quest and steal the talisman from Brayker.

Director Ernest Dickerson (who also did Surviving the Game) does not hold back on the gore as he spoofs 1950's B-movies, honor's the TV show and pays brilliant homage to the Tales From The Crypt comic book legacy. It may be nothing more than a cheap, horror comedy with no artistic integrity but Dickerson still successfully pulls of a movie that will satisfy and entertain anyone who watches it.

Half of the movie's appeal lies with Billy Zane who acts out the role of The Collector with such wicked charm and delightful evil. You can tell he's having a great time and he makes a counterpoint villain for Sadler's disheveled hero.

They could have made more Tales From The Crypt movies, but producers Robert Zemeckis, Gilbert Adler and Joel Silver (Walter Hill and David Giler ducked out) went on to found Dark Castle, the production company behind House on Haunted Hill, Sherlock Holmes [Blu-ray] and Ghost Ship [Blu-ray].

The new DVD by Universal is better than the old one from Image. This time we get the film in it's proper aspect ratio of 1.85:1 anamorphic with a Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. The old snapper case is gone and in it's place is a sturdy keep case.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2006
Being a big fan of the TV series, this movie is a must. I have really enjoyed this movie for many years and it still isn't boring when I watch it. The special effects on this film are top notch for what they are, this was the days when claymation was still around (cryptkeeper director) and before CGI. So, all of the monsters were things you could touch instead of these fake computer monsters being made now. From the look of the demons, to the special effects used to show when one of the demons die, it all has something that fans will enjoy.

The movie has it's fair share of would be famous names. Billy Zane, Thomas Haden Church (from the TV series Wings and the upcoming Spider-man 3) and Jada Pinkett(before Smith was added)are great in this movie. Jada as the reluctant hero and Billy Zane as the wise cracking demon knight. Zane does carry the film and brings a comedy element to what could be scary. Let's not forget William Sadler, it was nice to see that he was the star of the film since he was the star of the very first Tales From the Crypt episode "The Man Who Was Death". He did great in this movie as well.

Overall, this movie is a must for all fans of the TV series. It will appeal more to the fans. If you aren't a fan, go ahead and give it a shot, it is still a really great horror movie that adds a little comedy to the horror the only way Tales From The Crypt can.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2000
Funny, scary, and entertaining, "Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight" is the first of a series of films that are derived from the popular HBO series. Unlike the "Creep show" and "Tales From the Darkside" films of the past, "Tales From the Crypt" focuses on one tale of horror and suspense each time, allowing the story to develop into a more entertaining experience.
Directed by Ernest Dickerson ("Juice") "Demon Knight" features the immense talents of William Sadler, Jada Pinkett Smith, and the ever versatile, amazing Billy Zane in a horror movie laced with plenty of comedic moments. The story revolves around a key that Sadler is carrying in order to pass on to the next guardian. There are a total of 7 keys, representing a galaxy each. According to Sadler's story, the key contains the blood of Jesus Christ. While dying on the cross at Golgotha, a follower of Christ pour his blood into the key to prevent the conquest of earth and the rest of the universe by Satan and his legion of demons. Until all keys are together can this happen, and with 6 of the keys in the hand of demons, the fate of the universe lies on Pinkett Smith's character, who is the chosen one to carry the key after Sadler.
I must praise Billy Zane. He is amazing. He plays the perfect villain, and in this role he is dynamite. His performance is more comedic, and he would make similar villains of the past such as Freddy Krueger very proud. I can understand why Hollywood has typecasted him as a villain in almost all of his films after seeing this film. Zane's intense sex appeal will captivate many viewers, and his range of emotions is incredible.
Pinkett Smith who was coming into films fresh from the cancellation of the long-running NBC series "A Different World," is great. As the heroine of the movie she really can kick butt, and her on-screen chemistry with Zane is perfect.
In conclusion, this a great film to view if you are in the mood for horror mixed in with a bit of dark humor. The film can be strong at times with the sight of gore and violence, but if it weren't for Billy Zane's performance, I wouldn't have cared to watch this film at all. He is one of the film world's most gifted actors and this film was a showcase of his talent before he became a bigger name when he starred in "James Cameron's Titanic." "Demon Knight" is an excellent example of how to create an entertaining horror film. Skip "Blair Witch" and try this film instead.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2007
I think the thing I like the most about this film is its plot, and how original it is. It involves a man who has been entrusted with the responsibility of protecting an ancient artifact and keep it from falling into the hands of dark forces. Ever since he was given this artifact, an arch-demon has been tracking him and he has been on the run for years. When he was given the artifact, a group of stars appeared as a tattoo in the center of the palm of his hand. Immediately, one of the stars moved toward the outside of his palm. Now, as the film opens, the final star is about to move to the outside of his palm and he knows his time is running out and he has to make his final stand. The arch-demon is close behind him as he approaches an old motel in a one-stoplight town in the desert. The people in that motel are in for a hell of a night as the stranger enters, and the arch-demon shows up soon after.

Everything is done right in this film. The action, the acting, the direction, the script, it's all there. This is truly a classic, unlike that other film bearing the Tales From The Crypt brand, Bordello of Blood, which is a total turkey (I'm planning on writing a review for that one, too, and totally blasting it to hell even though I'm sure three hundred other people already have).

Demon Knight is awesome. It's survival horror in the vein of a few zombie movies I can think of, but with a twist -- the monsters lurking in the darkness outside are demons, summoned from Hell by the arch-demon to aid him in killing the occupants of the motel and retrieving the ancient artifact. Billy Zane totally steals the show as the charismatic arch-demon, or "Demon Knight" of the title. This really is one of his best roles.

I highly reccommend this flick to any true horror fan. There are piles and piles of horror flicks out there that are just poorly-conceived, derivative garbage. This one stands out as one of the few truly original horror films made during the 90's. The story and plot are there, the pace is there, the thrills and chills are there, the gore is there, and it even throws in a little dark humor in places. Truly an excellent film, and in my opinion a modern classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 24, 2005
"Get that pussy off the table!" No, I don't mean Dennis Miller...I mean the cat!

First of all, for clarification, the line above parodies a line uttered by CCH Pounder's character in Demon Knight, and if that line offends you then this DVD set is not for you.

Second, it appears that these two flicks are now available at Amazon only as a set. But for under $20 bucks, how can you complain when you get two flicks for pretty much the price of one. Well, you could complain if you hate Dennis Miller.

Demon Knight: Wonderfully acted, scary, some of the coolest demons in movie making history and of course has the signature dark humor abundant in most Tales From The Crypt stories.

Demon Knight is the story of benevolence pursued by malevolence. The showdown ensues in a halfway-house for derelicts (Jada Pinkett Smith & Thomas Hayden Church among others). William Sadler is the benevolent one charged with the task of protecting a powerful relic. Billy Zane is malevolence, and he is armed with Satan's magic to help him capture the powerful relic and its keeper. Scary, funny, good acting by good actors.

Bordello of Blood: What can I say? For me it was Bored by Bordello of Blood. The opposite of Demon Knight: Not scary. Not Funny. Bad acting by bad actors. Might have worked as one of the shorts in the classic HBO series, but getting motion picture treatment was not warranted. It may have even been a poor attempt to remake the original Kolchak - The Night Stalker. Therefore, if your looking for that kind of flick, go with Kolchak.

All in all, if this set is now the only way to get Demon Knight, by all means hit the Buy button now. Well worth the price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Tales From The Crypt still ranks as one of the best produced and successful cable TV series ever. Often shocking viewers with explicit sex, violence and cruel ironic twists, but usually always with tongue firmly in cheek, it took its name, wickedly funny host and basic plots from the EC Horror comic books published in the 1950's. At the height of its popularity, the HBO series attracted guest stars and directors as diverse as MeatLoaf, Demi Moore, and William Friedkin. Produced by film heavyweights, Joel Silver, Richard Donner and Robert Zemeckis, the show even spawned a Saturday morning animated show and also a short lived sci-fi series. Tales From The Crypt Presents "Demon Knight" was the first of two films spawned from the TV series which premiered 1989. The film debuted in 1995.

Tales From The Crypt Presents "Demon Knight" delivers on its promise and lives up to the HBO series. It's a wildly funny, horror/action film that would fit in neatly as an ambitious overlong episode. The Horror genre often gets a bad rap - suffering from far too many low budget flicks, so it's always nice to see a polished production full of style and wit. The movie very nearly plays like an homage to Night Of The Living Dead - with people trapped inside a large house plagued here not by zombies, but by demons called forth from the Devil himself played by a fiendishly funny Billy Zane.

Unfortunately, no supplement material of any kind is included, not even the theatrical trailer DVD fans have become accustomed to seeing as the most basic of extra material. However, horror fans and loyal viewers of the cable series will enjoy the film and appreciate the solid video and audio presentation. Oh and be prepared for a nice treat early on. Our favorite ghoul master, The Cryptkeeper, couldn't help but be involved in his show's theatrical debut and he definitely gets things off to a shrieking start!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2004
Demon Knight is a blast which is a lot to say for a film that seems to be made on a sixty dollar budget. The special effects are nothing spectacular ( but I appreciated that more than outrageous tricks relied on by films like The Matrix ). This film is the best Tales From the Crypt episode you'll ever see. It may not be filled with the greatest acting or dialogue but it is one of the most entertaining films you'll see in a long time. I saw this in 95' and enjoyed it since then. I've just purchased the DVD and cannot wait to sample the film on high quality stock. Billy Zane shines although a lackluster Jada Pinkett should have been replaced by a more vibrant black actress such as Nia Long. Zane and Pinkett have no chemistry and it surprises that the filmmakers decided to have Pinkett be the " chosen mistress " to Billy's underlord persona. Anyway, this film has a few minor faults but nothing to make this film less than a five-star gem. A hidden jewel if I say so myself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 1999
Billy Zane is wonderful as the fiendish yet sexy Collector, out to destroy humankind as we know it, by using an ancient relic. The only one that can stop him is Brayker, played to the "T" by William Sadler. Battle ensues at a dilapidated motel, involving the residents, which include Jada Pinkett as Jeryline, Thomas Haden Church as Roach, and other assorted characters. I seriously suggest this movie for Billy Zane fans and even the few out there who are not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A special tribute to the film; DEMON KNIGHT, starring, Billy Zane.
This review is in 'poem mode' by Darryl Ashton, of Blackpool, England.

Darryl Ashton, also known as...(Alf Garnett jnr)
PRESENTS:

DEMON KNIGHT...IN POEM!

On a lonely lane, lies a spooky old house,
Which is long in the shadows of truse.
But when a roudy bunch - of delinquants intrude,
All hell - is summoned to reproduce.

The horrors of the inhabitants, is truly demonic,
For the residents are now bound for plagueonic.
The gruesome delights that await them
Are truly from hell, to slay' em!

As all the intruders are savagely taken,
And screams surround the sorry forsaken.
Dark scants of flesh are absorbed by lust,
The twisted and horrendous Banshee, is now host.

One man can hopefully save them,
A tall, dark figure of stern.
He's the only hope, of salvation,
And to save the world from damnation.

He bursts in to the demonic dwelling
And casts aside the impelling.
With sword to hand - and eyes burning red,
Our hero descends into his quest.

The walls are screaming with rotting corpses,
And the stench bears no rekindles.
As he covers his mind from the horrors,
All hell is starting to prosper.

When all seems lost and death will prosper
The hideous demons are slained, to yonder.
But our hero with the burning eyes,
Is it over? Or is it just goodbyes?

Demon Knight will soon be back,
To battle evil forces - and put the world,
back on track.
Tales of Horror, will still be known,
Sold by Amazon, and reviewed by Darryl Ashton.

BY DARRYL ASHTON.
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