Monday, October 21, 2013

Night of Terror #20: 'Demon Knight'

Sorry this one is late but A: No one cares, B: I thought I was getting a guest piece yesterday and that fell through (what's going on this year, did everyone get too busy to blog for me for free and practically no other even intangible reward?), and C: No one cares. Anyway, Demon Knight.

In case you're unaware, Demon Knight is one of the feature films put out under the Tales from the Crypt banner, with a pretty cool host segment from The Crypt Keeper and lots of really dark humor that they probably wouldn't have been able to get away with in a standalone mainstream horror movie. Also, I think the title might be a pun - "Demon Knight" = "Demon Night" = a night when a bunch of people have to face a siege by demons in an abandoned church turned whorehouse.

Much to my surprise, Demon Knight isn't content to just layer dumb puns and glib jokes over a bunch of gross-out violence. Instead it does something a little more thoughtful, which is to take a genuinely satisfying horror-action piece and add a whole bunch of crazy weirdness, mostly in the form of the movie's villain Billy Zane attempting to seduce various characters in the story to join his demoniac ways. In general, Zane is completely over the top and completely entertaining - I'd heard Billy Zane was good in this movie but I assumed everyone meant Phantom good, not unhinged demon good. His character gives him the opportunity to play a bunch of different types of characters, and he completely nails every single one. Never gonna make fun of Billy Zane again.

The rest of the cast has got some ringers too - Thomas Haden Church playing essentially a younger version of the doofus he later immortalized in Killer Joe, Charles Fleischer as a possibly psychotic mailman, Jada Pinkett as a sexy ex-con participating in a sexy work-release program, and William Sadler as the titular Demon Knight. One might be tempted to say that the real star of the movie is the squishy demon special effects, but you can't actually say that because the cast is so good!

I was going to sign off with a bunch of Crypt-Keeper-style puns but that would be juvenile and an insult to everyone's intelligence, including mine. Ba-hahahahahahahahahah!

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