Do not think that Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight is some cheap-ass television movie. Or that it requires you to know anything about Tales from the Crypt. This is a stand-alone horror movie with a healthy dose of humor and gore. We will be following one Frank Brayker as he’s trying to survive Demon attacks locked in a remote hotel along with other guests. Right from the start, you can feel these strong Americana vibes. A lonely guy driving on a lonely New Mexico road in the middle of the night with a demon on his ass. And then the story gets even better as he stumbles upon a remote hotel. So, you know what this means, we will get diverse characters trying to fend off this Demon and his posse.
One of the first things you’re going to notice about Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight is the attention to detail. The sets look excellent and every location we’re going to visit feels lived in and authentic. Secondly, the practical effects are really juicy and delightfully over-the-top. They really enhance this entertaining horror-comedy atmosphere and make it thrilling. Especially for the fans of the genre. And all of this comes with those snappy one-liners like head’s up when throwing a head at your enemy.
His name is Frank Brayker and he’s on the run. He has been for a long time but The Collector is always one step behind him. We find them on a deserted New Mexico road as Brayker narrowly escapes to the safety of a local motel. However, the police along with The Collector soon show up and arrest Brayker. Now, nothing stands in the way of complete Hell on Earth…
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight is the first movie based on HBO’s television show of the same name. It ran for seven seasons from 1989 to 1996 with a total of 93 episodes. After this one, two subsequent sequels were released, Bordello of Blood and Ritual. So, if you’re looking to continue in the same fashion do check them out. Especially, Ritual as it offers a quite unique story based on a 1943 script involving voodoo and zombies.
Demon Knight arguably has the best cast out of all three movies. Billy Zane was perfect for the role of The Collector and gave one hell of a performance. He actually cites this role as his favorite and you can tell he had a lot of fun while playing it. Opposite of him we have William Sadler showing us that he could be that confident lead. And the supporting cast is also strong with CHH Pounder and Jada Pinkett Smith among others.
I remember seeing a part of this movie in the nineties and the only thing I could remember about it is that it was cool and had some door sealed with blood thing in it. And, I was not wrong. Demon Knight revels in its goriness and at times, cheesiness. I think it needed a much tighter story, something along the lines of Prince of Darkness but what can you do.
Finally, I just have to mention Feast, another phenomenal movie featuring a similar story. So, you know you’re going to be following diverse characters trying to fend off bloodthirsty creatures from breaking into their bar. And while we’re dropping names, do check out, if you haven’t already The Return of the Living Dead. It’s a masterpiece that came out ten years earlier and truly set the standards for the genre.
Directors: Ernest R. Dickerson
Writers: Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris, Mark Bishop
Cast: John Kassir, Billy Zane, William Sadler, Jada Pinkett Smith, CCH Pounder, Thomas Haden Church
Fun Stuff: Brayker says he received the key from a soldier named Dickerson, a reference to director Ernest R. Dickerson.