Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)
October 27, 2022 8:41 AM - Subscribe

Ex-soldier Frank Brayker (William Sadler) is the guardian of an ancient key that can unlock tremendous evil; the sinister but charming Collector (Billy Zane) is a demon who wants the key so he can initiate the apocalypse. On the run from wicked mercenaries for almost 90 years, Brayker finally stops in at a boarding house in New Mexico where -- with the help of its quirky residents -- he plans to face off against the Collector and his band of ghouls, preventing them from ever seizing the key.

Also starring Jada Pinkett Smith, CCH Pounder, Brenda Bakke, Dick Miller, Thomas Haden Church, John Schuck, Gary Farmer, Charles Fleischer, John Kassir, Tim DeZarn, Sherrie Rose, Ryan O'Donohue, Tony Salome, Chasey Lain, Traci Bingham, John Larroquette.

Directed by longtime Spike Lee cinematographer Ernest Dickerson. Written by Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris, Mark Bishop.

37% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Peacock. Also available on multiple outlets for digital rental. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (16 comments total)
I'm going to plant a flag here and say that this is... pretty good? Ernest Dickerson has a blast with moody, colorful lighting, going all Mario Bava on things; the actors are playing things at the same arch camp level as the beloved TV show, and while the plot isn't Shakespeare, it serves well enough to serve up several terrific set pieces, which Dickerson mostly knocks out of the park.

The end result is a sort of 3/5 thing that is tailored very well to a specific breed of 90s horror fan, such that it's easy to like well beyond that level.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:43 AM on October 27, 2022 [3 favorites]

Billy Zane deserved an Oscar for suddenly being entirely done with this cowboy shit.
posted by Drastic at 11:12 AM on October 27, 2022 [6 favorites]

I absolutely love this movie. It's just plain fun and no one is having more fun than Billy Zane.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:41 PM on October 27, 2022 [3 favorites]

This is literally my favorite movie. I...guess, maybe, that it's not the best of all time, but it's my favorite.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:04 PM on October 27, 2022 [4 favorites]

I watched this again tonight. Still love it.

I'm a big fan of a fair bit of the "elevated horror" stuff that's all the vogue now, **BUT** I would cheerfully trade two of next year's carefully crafted, moody explorations of trauma for a couple of movies like this one.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:38 PM on October 27, 2022 [4 favorites]

I love this movie unapologetically. It's a hoot and a half, Billy Zane is having a ball (oh, his voice, his velvety voice), and it hits all the right campy horror beats.

And I still say his line "Humans! You're not worth the flesh you're printed on!" to this day.

It also features the best use of that Filter song in a film, imho.
posted by Kitteh at 5:42 AM on October 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

I forgot to add, I had the great pleasure of doing a photo op with Billy Zane at Galaxy Con in 2019. He is absolutely lovely and stopped to have a brief chat with every single person he posed with. I mentioned that I had just seen him in Curfew (which is also fun) and he gave me that lovely Billy Zane smile. I could have melted right there.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:53 AM on October 28, 2022 [4 favorites]

Billy Zane's features are so beautiful, it's like a special effect, in and of itself.

If he were, say an engineer, and had never appeared on screen, and that face walked into a grocery, the cashier would stammer and ask, "A-a-a-a-a-are you a movie star?"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:13 AM on October 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

miss-lapin: *swoon*
posted by Kitteh at 8:13 AM on October 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Okay, I love how this is turning into the Billy Zane Appreciation Society.
posted by Kitteh at 8:14 AM on October 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

It's deserved!

It reminds me of the interview with Joel Schumacher where they tried to give him credit for launching Julia Roberts' career and he said something to the effect of, be real, anybody could have seen she was a star, I get no credit for that.

This is Billy Zane at age 56, y'all.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:18 AM on October 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

Jesus Christ, that man is A Handsome.
posted by Kitteh at 8:21 AM on October 28, 2022

Zane honestly deserves an appreciation society. I would absolutely put my membership card in my wallet with pride!
posted by miss-lapin at 8:25 AM on October 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

posted by Shepherd at 3:59 AM on October 29, 2022

Watching tonight as part of my regular friday night watch party. Some people haven't seen it before, but everyone is enjoying it.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:40 PM on November 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

quietly bummed I do not have a regular Friday night watch party with friends.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:37 AM on November 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

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