Monday, November 26, 2012
I just revisited Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight and I'm so glad that I did!
Heather Wixson (@thehorrorchick) was talking about how good it was via Twitter and I had a vague memory of the film, but couldn't really remember it. I looked it up on my best friend NETFLIX and saw that they had it streaming, so I dug into it and had a LOT of fun with it.
Demon Knight is one of those strange films that looks slightly wonky on paper. The battle of Good and Evil as they fight over the last key - filled with the blood of Jesus - that demons can use to focus the power of the Cosmos.
What?! Never mind that - it really doesn't matter. What DOES matter is that Billy Zane, William Sadler, Jada Pinkett (Smith), Thomas Haden Church, CCH Pounder and THE DICK MILLER all star in this film and that it delivers up some great, 1995 comedic horror. Zane is fun and over the top as The Collector. It's some of the more fun Zane stuff. That cool, suave asshole character that he's so good at.
The film is packed with demon possession, "state of the art" effects and some great "trapped in a house" action. The practical effects work was pretty good, too. the Tales from the Crypt wrapper story is fun, too. The Crypt Keeper is allowed a little more screen time and presence and it works to "seal the deal" and make it very Tales feeling.
The history of the film was interesting as well. In a nutshell, the original script was written in 1987 and was going to be directed by Tom (Child's Play) Holland, but he got called off to direct the Fatal Beauty flop. Another draft was written by Mark (Pumpkinhead) Carducci and that was going to be directed by Mary (Pet Semetary) Lambert, however when Pet Semetary II came and failed, people didn't want to back the film and it submerged again. Finally, Joel Silver and Silver Pictures snagged it and opted for a three movie TALES spin - Demon Knight, Bordello of Blood and Ritual (released without the TALES tag with it).
Demon Knight even had two options for plot based on budgets - one with and one without monster demons. Version one would have a bible salesman "Collector" character who would have minions in black suits and sunglasses (See: The 90s) and those minions would later be revealed to be the demons in question. Yes, I thought that sounded horrid as well. I'm glad they went with option two with real monster demons stomping around and demon possessions popping!
This is cult goodness, really. It has a horrid rating and critics tend to bash it, but I found it did everything it set out to do. It had some giggles, some blood and a lot of good, demon fun. Check it!