Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knights is a fun horror-comedy with some good performances, though none better than Billy Zane who chews the scenery like no other and has a good old time playing the outlandish villain. The movie itself is quite entertaining and features some impressive make-up effects and even the VFX, for its time, isn’t all that bad.
Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight
Genre(s): Horror, Fantasy, Comedy
Shout Factory | R – 93 min. – $39.93 | October 20, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
A mysterious drifter known as Brayker (WILLIAM SADLER) possesses the last of seven ancient keys that hold the power to stop the forces of darkness and protect all humanity from ultimate evil. But the human race is safe only so long as Brayker can evade the demonic Collector (BILL ZANE), who has gathered the other six keys.
In his obsessive quest for the key, the Collector rallies an army of ghastly cadavers against Brayker and the inhabitants of a run-down hotel. Armed with automatic weapons, sacred blood and sadistic humor, Brakyer and the strong-willed Jeryline (JADA PINKETT-SMITH) must lead the other guests in a gruesome battle against the Collector and his evil horde of ghouls.
Quick Hit Review:
Unlike Bordello of Blood, I actually had never seen Demon Knight which of course came before Bordello and while it’s hardly perfect, I had a hoot watching it. Sure the humor and horror didn’t quite gel, seeing Billy Zane chewing up the scenery makes the whole thing so worth watching to go along with a respectable ensemble cast including William Sadler who serves well as the lead and worked well opposite the more Zane’s, well, zaniness.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover and custom front artwork. As with other Shout Factory Collector’s Editions, the inner art is reversible revealing the film’s original poster art.
Audio Commentary – There are two tracks available, one with Director Ernest Dickerson and the other with Special Effects Creator Todd Masters, Visual Effects Supervisor John Van Vilet, Special Effects Coordinator Thomas Bellissimo, and Demon Performer Walter Phefan. Both offer different takes on the production with Dickerson being quite charismatic in spite of being solo (with help from moderator Michael Felsher).
Egyptian Theater Q&A Session (9:46; HD) is a three day retrospective of actor Dick Miller’s work from Demon Knight to the Gremlins movies. The session also includes make-up artist Rick Baker.
Under Siege: The Making of Demon Knight (39:12; HD) is a yet another well done making-of featurette and includes new interviews with Director Ernest Dickerson, Co-producer A.L. Katz, Screenwriters Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris and Mark Bishop, Actors Billy Zane, William Sadler, Brenda Bakke, Dick Miller, Charles Fleischer and John Schuck, Editor Stephen Lovejoy, Special Effects Creator Todd Masters and others. As with Bordello of Blood, it’s a fairly honest featurette on the story, and Billy Zane’s baldness, while also examining the relative staying power the movie has had over the 20 years.
Also included is a Still Gallery and the Theatrical Trailer (2:01; HD).
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Demon Knight arises onto Blu-ray courtesy of Shout Factory visa vi their Scream Factory line. The film is presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer and for the most part, is fairly impressive. Detail levels were generally sharp and although the noise is heavy given 98% of the film takes place at night, it appears to be well preserved with no major instances of scratches or dirt making for a clean looking transfer.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The movies comes with an impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track where dialogue levels were generally crisp and clean and when we get to the more horror parts, such as the demons attacking and the final confrontation with Zane’s Collector, the depth does show up making use of every channel with the main action coming from the front and center channels and ambient or off-screen noises, as well as the score/soundtrack, allows the rear speakers to show some life.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knights is a fun horror-comedy with some good performances, though none better than Billy Zane who chews the scenery like no other and has a good old time playing the outlandish villain. The movie itself is quite entertaining and features some impressive make-up effects and even the VFX, for its time, isn’t all that bad. This “Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray from Shout offers good video/audio transfers to go along with a nice selection of bonus material.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.