TALES FROM THE CRYPT:
DEMON KNIGHTMOVIE REVIEW
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Head Production Designer
JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
Special Effects Make-Up
A SIERRA NEVADA
(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).
The movie opens just like the old cable TV show did. A zoom through the graveyard, into the mansion/mausoleum, down the stairs, and to the old Cryptkeeper, who will tell you the tale...?
Yes, The Cryptkeeper (John Kassir: TALES FROM THE CRYPT [TV], MONSTER MASH: THE MOVIE, CASPER, TALES FROM THE CRYPT: BORDELLO OF BLOOD, EARTHWORM JIM [TV], EEK! THE CAT [TV], TALES FROM THE CRYPTKEEPER [TV], RITUAL) has gone all Hollywood and he calls this tale, THE DEMON KNIGHT.
A scared man (William Sadler: TALES FROM THE CRYPT: BORDELLO OF BLOOD, DISTURBING BEHAVIOR, THE GREEN MILE) is chased down a deserted rural highway by a confident hat wearing man (Billy Zane: CRITTERS, DEAD CALM).
Their violent confrontation results in an explosion, but the scared man gets away.
The scared man comes across a drunk named Uncle Willie (Dick Miller: GREMLINS, THE TERMINATOR, GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH, AMITYVILLE 1992: IT'S ABOUT TIME), who brings him to an old church reconditioned into a rundown hotel.
The scared man looks at his palm. He has stars tattooed there and as he watches, a red glow creates another star, making a full circle. This tells "Mr. Smith", that the old place is exactly where he is supposed to be. Inside, Mr. Smith meets the hotel proprietor, Irene (CCH Pounder: END OF DAYS, AVATAR), the down on her luck prostitute, Cordelia (Brenda Bakke: SOLAR CRISIS, DEATH SPA, THE MEDIUM, TERMINAL VOYAGE, AMERICAN GOTHIC [TV], GROOM LAKE), and the spoiled lazy bitch maid, Jeryline (Jada Pinkett: SCREAM 2, THE MATRIX RELOADED, THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS). Jeryline is there as part of her work release program.
Another hotel tenant, Wally (Charles Fleischer: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT), is unemployed with a questionable tale of why he was fired.
Meanwhile, the confident man tells the local law enforcement that he is a policeman and the man he was pursuing is a dangerous criminal.
All the characters come together in the old hotel.
Everybody believes they are in charge of their lives and their destiny in this old hotel, but no one is prepared for a confrontation between "Mr. Smith", and the Stranger.
The Stranger is there for a key. The key keeps The Stranger at bay, and since he has been chasing "Mr. Smith" for so long, The Stranger decides to finish this battle once and for all, in the middle of nowhere. The Stranger is a Demon Knight, and he uses necromancy to raise the dead.
Now everyone in the hotel, save for "Mr. Smith", must choose sides. The Demon Knight promises that all who help him obtain the key will survive this night. "Mr. Smith" can promise nothing, save for the fact that he knows the Demon Knight will never keep his word.
TALES FROM THE CRYPT: THE DEMON KNIGHT, couldn't possibly be more studio polished in every way. And yet, amazingly, it still works.
The various characters are flawed as they should be, but not a bunch of stupid idiots with stupid motivations like the 2000s brought us.
Under the capable direction of Ernest Dickerson (Masters of Horror: THE V WORD, DEXTER [TV], THE WALKING DEAD [TV]), running off a script by Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris, and Mark Bishop, THE DEMON KNIGHT was such a hit that Producer Gilbert Asdler sadly thought he could do just as well, and rushed through his own script and production for the sequel released the following year. That embarrassing disaster put the kibosh on any more TALES FROM THE CRYPT movies for the next 15 plus years.
No matter. TALES FROM THE CRYPT: THE DEMON KNIGHT, is Horror movie fun!
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