Dec 9, 2008

Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight

Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight is an early prelude to what could be called a Tales from the Crypt: Motion picture saga, including Bordello of Blood. Demon Knight carries the same deadpan delights and satire directed towards the industry with a monster mash theme. Constant puns are used such as Scream-play and Hell-O to accentuate a fluid horror theme within the cinema dimension. All this thanks to the ever-so eccentric Crypt Keeper, one of America's most beloved horror icons.

Demon Knight opens as a informal music advertisement. I counted 2 popular "rock" songs playing during the short opening credits. The silliness fades away soon after, allowing you to absorb the scenarios and ultimately, Billy Zane's amazing performance - as always. William "Die Hard 2" Sadler is on the run from a mysterious figure played by Billy Zane. Billy Zane plays a whimsical elder demon on a quest to retrieve a relic containing the blood of the late Christ.

The very portrait of this film is painted by the maniacal Billy Zane. As what any horror fan should say, the presence of Billy Zane is enough to make even the most worthless film enjoyable. He had performances in The Mad, Titanic, Zoolander, and Invincible. Because of his acting, he made Titanic almost bearable, he turned The Mad into a sleeper classic, he performed comedic surgery on Zoolander and created a joke that wasn't entirely a eunuch, and he created a martial arts image that didn't revolve around bad ass Asiatics with Invincible. I'm a true fan of this mans work and his starring role in Demon Knight is no exception.

Billy Zane would have been a sufficient Timothy Olyphant replacement in Live Free or Die Hard.

I've seen some pretty pathetic attempts at horror/comedy. For instance, take New Zealand's Black Sheep. For being hailed as an uproarious horror classic, the film was quite tame. The only smirk was heavily in debt to a tidal wave of CGI sheep. Tales from the Crypt, devoid of the Hammer roots, is horror meets undead stand-up and it works so well. Jada Pinkett-Smith co-stars as a bad bimbo bitch who avidly supports women's rights and the emancipation proclamation. Another recognizable part in this film is Thomas Haden Church as the douche bag that ruins the overall plan and trusts the villain, only to meet a much-wanted fate.

I didn't expect to enjoy Demon Knight as much as I did. In fact, I wasn't sure what to expect. I hadn't seen this film since I had rented it as a child. 1995 was a great year indeed, but I don't remember much of the neo-pulp cinema movement that occurred then. While many comic book and video game adaptations were taking place, each provided ample entertainment and never fully dissatisfied the audience, until the millennium snuck up and left every fan boy in a seated fury. Demon Knight is recommended viewing for any fan of 90s cinema. You will leave the experience having enjoyed a buffet of over-the-top gore and plenty of laughs.



Anonymous said...

I don't mean to nitpick, but I thought you'd like to know, for the sake of accuracy, that you wrote Demon Knight was a follow-up to Bordello Of Blood... but, it's actually the other way around. Demon Knight came out in '95. Bordello came out in '96.

Other than that, I loved this review! Demon Knight is actually one of my favorite films, and I agree that Billy Zane's performance is one of the best elements of the picture. I especially love his little temper tantrum when he goes sailing out the window ("Humans! You're not worth the flesh you're printed on!"). Also, I too am one of the few people I know who didn't care for Black Sheep. I thought it was a huge let-down.

Anyway, catch ya later!

Stay sick!

Unknown said...

I now need to see this film just because of Billy Zane. His character in Titanic is priceless with the "Not the better half" line. He's classic.

Soiled Sinema said...

I need to eventually review The Mad. Billy Zane crafted what might be the definitive "zomb-edy"