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Tales From Crypt: Demon Knight

4.6 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews

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(Oct 17, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Crypt Keeper, one of the hardest-working stiffs in show biz, makes his big-scream debut hosting this diabolically funny frightmare that will leave you shrieking for more. Billy Zane is the seductively evil Collector, forever in pursuit of Brayker (William Sadler), a mysterious drifter with an ancient key that holds the power to block the forces of darkness from destroying himanity. In his quest for the key, the Collector conjures up a gruesome cadre of cadavers--who have definitely been out of the freezer too long--to bedevil the inhabitants of a run-down hotel. Armed with sacred blood, automatic weapons and really strong stomachs, Brayker, beautiful, strong-willed Jeryline (Jada Pinkett) and the other hotel boarders must try to defeat the Collector and his fiendish army. Who among them will make it to the mourning light? Watch your backs, boils, ghouls, while you savor this terrorific tale of good vs. evil that boasts awesome special effects, plus the Crypt Keeper's brand of defrightful deadpan humor. You'll die laughing!

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Ernest Dickerson, one-time cinematographer for Spike Lee and director of Demon Knight, said during the initial release of this film that he chose the project because he was a lifelong fan of the horror genre. Other horror fans should be thankful, because without Dickerson's enthusiasm and visual sense, this derivative gorefest wouldn't come close to the entertainment level that it ultimately achieves. The film was the first big- screen adaptation of HBO's Tales from the Crypt series, a show based on the EC comic books of the '50s. Like Creepshow before it, Demon Knight blends fair amounts of blood, sex, and knowing comedy with a paper-thin plot that doesn't leave a bit of room for subtext. Dickerson understands this, so instead he pumps the flick full of eye-popping visuals and gorgeous camerawork, and populates it with terrific character actors (especially Billy Zane, who really has fun, and William Sadler) who don't seem to care that their characters have little identity. Everyone seems to be giving this tiny project everything they've got, while never taking it seriously for a minute. We've seen the story before: A diverse bunch (a hooker, the town drunk, the ex-con, etc.) is locked in a rundown hotel and is forced to battle the Legions of Evil massed outside and determined to get in. Regardless, Dickerson, shooting with as little light as possible, manages to create some tense moments. There's a lot wrong with Demon Knight's shallow premise, and you could make a checklist of the movies it gleefully steals from (Night of the Living Dead and The Evil Dead are two of many), but thrill-seekers who prefer laughs with their grisly special effects and gratuitous nudity should have a mindless blast watching it. --Dave McCoy

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Billy Zane, William Sadler, John Kassir, Jada Pinkett Smith, Brenda Bakke
  • Directors: Ernest R. Dickerson
  • Writers: Cyrus Voris, Ethan Reiff, Mark Bishop
  • Producers: A L Katz, Alexander B. Collett, Dan Cracchiolo, David Giler
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 17, 2000
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305077649
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,482 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tales From Crypt: Demon Knight" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ryan Costantino on December 10, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
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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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.
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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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.
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