Directed By: Gilbert Adler, Ernest R. Dickerson
Written By: Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris, Mark Bishop
Release Date: 1995
Genre Keywords: Horror, Drama, Spoof, Religion, Schlock, B-Movie
Starring:
 Billy Zane           ....   The Collector
 William Sadler       ....   Brayker
 Jada Pinkett Smith   ....   Jeryline
 Brenda Bakke         ....   Cordelia
 CCH Pounder          ....   Irene
 Dick Miller          ....   Uncle Willy

 Thomas Haden Church  ....   Roach
 John Kassir          ....   Crypt Keeper (voice)
And a host of lesser demons.

In the simplest terms, Demon Knight is a Tale from the Crypt writ large; the cheesiness, the horror, the occasionally good production and actors that get into the Creepy groove - all in there. So really, it's more like a particularly good Tale from the Crypt, writ large.

What makes it work is that it doesn't try to be anything else; it's entirely unpretentious. Even though the plot and most of the resolution are very predictable, it is highly entertaining to watch capable actors - especially Billy Zane who charms and frightens at the same time; his interplay with Sadler's straight man is fantastic - enjoy the heck out of their roles. Everyone slots into their given roles perfectly, and no one disappoints even slightly - yes, this makes all the characters extremely one-dimensional, but the Crypt Keeper isn't really known for the creation of introspective cinema.

The story itself (no spoilers)

It's Holy Redemption Quest, a classic good vs. evil sort of thing, with a colorful cast of supporting characters. While not quite disciples, all the supporting cast has solid (albeit one-dimensional) personalities that you can't help rooting for when things come to a head. A grizzled, suspicious yet strangely noble, stranger arrives in an Abandon All Hope sort of town - and an even more suspicious stranger chases him, desperate to regain something that the first man is trying to protect. Before long, the paper-thin masks disguising true intents are ripped away, and the disciples are under siege at the No Hope hotel in the No Hope town. The plot is likewise a no-brainer - it's just a lot of fun to watch the execution (pun intended) of the details. Especially when the zombie demons come out to play and the gore begins to fly (this is a Crypt Keeper film after all).

If there's such a thing as an A-grade B-movie, then this is it. Watch it, dig the awesome soundtrack (Pantera's Cemetery Gates and Filter's Hey Man, Nice Shot are particularly fitting), and skip the second Crypt flick, Bordello of Blood; it wasn't nearly as good as Demon Knight, and From Dusk Till Dawn did the "vampire whores" schtick far, far better.

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