Friday, December 25, 2015
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight
After a brief prologue featuring our old pun-spouting friend the Cryptkeeper (voiced by John Kassir), the movie dives right in with a man named Brayker (William Sadler) pursued by The Collector (Zane) to a ramshackle motel in the middle of nowhere. Brakyer holds a mysterious key, and The Collector besieges the motel with an army of demons to get it. Held at bay by blood from the key, the smooth-talking Collector attempts to tempt the occupants of the motel (CCH Pounder, Jada Pinkett, Dick Miller, and Thomas Haden Church, among others) into giving up Brayker and the key.
Demon Knight is directed by Ernest Dickerson, who got his start as a cinematographer for Spike Lee and who has since made a name for himself in television horror, directing episodes of Masters of Horror, The Walking Dead, and Dexter. Dickerson brings style and energy to the proceedings here: splatter gore, cockeyed camera angles, a fast pace, and tongue-in-cheek humor.
At the center of the movie is Zane's performance as The Collector. He's a hoot, clearly having fun being silly and menacing. Some of his dialogue is terrible ("Humans! You're not worth the flesh you're printed on."), but he knows how to sell it. Whether's he's conjuring up monsters (that he kisses like little babies), seducing and corrupting the humans, and even dancing a couple of times, he never gives anything less than 100 percent. He's unapologetically evil, promising Thomas Haden Church's douchebag idiot he won't kill him and then instantly telling him he lied and having the demons rip him apart.