Horror of Horrors: Tales From the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight!
Good day to you all my monstrous readers! Your boy Arthur is back today with another installment of Horror of Horrors! Your weekly dose of all that is fucked up and horrifying in the world of movies , books and gaming. Today I am bringing to you something I watched when I was a younger lad, but still watch rather often. I am talking about a story of demons, angels, Jesus and Billy Zane! I bring to you Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight. So strap into your wobbly mine cart because this one is going to be rather campy and wonderful.
Tales From the Crypt is something I really should not have to explain to you if you know anything about horror, but I will try my best to give a brief summary. A dead, ghoulish crypt keeper and serious pop culture icon brings tales of death, terror and everything horrible to your television screens circa HBO in the late 80’s to mid 90’s. It gave us amazing actors churning out bit roles and making sure their star floated around just long enough to be recognized from that one episode of Tales From the Crypt and be known as that guy who ate people or that girl who ate people. It was an amazing time for tv. But enough about the TV show, I am bringing you an entry from the film library of Tales From the Crypt. Starring Billy Zane and someone who vaguely looks like Kyle Reese from the Terminator, Demon Knight follows the trials and tribulations of a sworn protector of the earth against a host of mighty demons led by Billy Zane. If that doesn’t give you a semi, then I don’t know what is wrong with you. Billy Zane is the Phantom for fucks sakes. The Kyle Reese look alike is a defender and near immortal who has been plaguing Billy Zane for a long time. He carries with him a key that is filled with Christ’s blood, and somewhere a death metal band is crying because it didn’t think of it first. The Key is one of many, and when they are all brought together, hell is literally unleashed on earth, and he will do whatever he can to stop it. Asshole.
The movie opens up with a car chase powered by 90’s mainstay Filter, almost mirroring Bill Pullman in Lost Highway. Cut to a fiery crash and we have the set up for the entire movie. Kyle Reese-alike finds refuge in a bordertown motel that looks more like a haunted house (fitting) and essentially dooms all of the people that work there the second he steps into the place. He should know better than to involve anyone else, regardless of whether he is dying or tired or anything. Its just rude. Billy Zane shows up and attempts to do things in a civilized fashion, before killing some guys and getting shot out of a window himself. He stands up, and does a terrific southern yokel impersonation before showing them all that he is a demon, and summons forth some other horrifying demons to help him out. Reese-alike then informs us that the key he holds can create magical barriers that keep demons out, and he seals them all inside with the blood of Christ. Take that Atheists! We also learn that it needs to replenished ever so often with more blood, which mixed with Christ’s blood makes it have the same properties. Its kind of funny to be honest. You think he would’ve given his champion a spear or maybe a flaming sword to conduct his will, but nope, gives him a shitty key that he has to protect in order for the world to not descend into chaos. That doesn’t seem like much world security there, guy. But I digress.
We see Billy Zane is way more cunning and smart than usual, not like his turn in Titanic, where his only good idea comes at the end of the movie, and is slowly picking off the inhabitants one by one. And what a motley crew they are. We have the disgruntled postman, the whore with a shitty boyfriend, the old boozer, the big mama character and her supposed daughter/worker Jada Pinkett before she was smithed. Big mama’s arm get ripped off, a kid comes out of nowhere and is still “alive” even though he should’ve been murdered so hard, and most everyone else dies. The best part is that the demons don’t do the bulk of the killing, its Billy Zane who tricks them into making themselves more available to be killed either by him or by the demons. Its as if they are just walking into their own wood chipper so to speak. He wills them and talks them into becoming possessed, and they kill eachother. It’s such a brutal and efficient way of going about things. Eventually, the shitty boyfriend, played wonderfully by Thomas Hayden Chruch, tells them all and the merlot to go fuck itself, and goes into business on his own. He sells everyone out to try and save himself, but if he had seen any horror movie…ever…he would have known this was not going to end well for him. He is double crossed by a demon (GASP!) and ripped apart. I guess that is what you get when you eat dick for a living.
The crew goes into the mines underneath the building in a bid to escape the demons, only to be cornered. More people get killed, the little boy turns into the demon we all thought he was , we see a booze and boobs soaked dream sequence with the old alcoholic which played my younger self like a fiddle, and shit goes to hell real quick with the Reese-alike getting killed hard, but not before he passes the key and the hope of all mankind into Pinkett’s hands. She proves a capable wielder and winds up learning the basics on demon defense real quick. She is given an attempted seducing by Billy Zane, and the sheer force of will it took her to decline him, is godly in general. I am not sure I have stressed this enough yet….but fucking Phantom!! She tricks him into getting real close, and she spits some of the blood into his face before finding a way out and getting the fuck out of there. She boards a bus heading for anywhere, as we see a new demon akin to Billy Zane’s character take up the reins in the hunt for the last key.
When I first saw this movie, I was totally horrorstruck. The costumes and the acting were not the greatest, but it was fun in general and that is what a horror movie is all about. You have to mix in some fun into the bloodshed lest it becomes just a shock fest that leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. I completely dug it and Billy Zane’s performance, if you couldn’t tell already, and felt it told a rather good story in a different light than how most people would tackle it. It also had the Crypt Keeper, which if you don’t like that, I don’t know what you are doing with your life. Go out, or go to Netflix and check this movie out. I promise you won’t be disappointed!!
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