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Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight (1995) - Blu-ray Review

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Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight (1995) - Blu-ray Review

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4 beersBilly Zane.  Billy Zane.  Billy “You fucking ho-dunk, po-dunk, well then there motherfuckers!” Zane.  Demon Knight, the first “Tales from the Crypt” movie, finally arrives on a newly minted HD transfer thanks to the Horror Hounds at Scream Factory, an imprint of Shout Factory.  Released in theaters the year after I graduated from high school, Demon Knight has a special place in my heart and – because it is demented as all get out – I find myself – along with my friends and my wife – constantly quoting it as a sort of sniff test among us all.  How cool are YOU going to be? 

The results of Scream Factory’s work are as groovy as can be expected.  The film is knee-deep in late ‘90s production values but that doesn’t halt the intensity of some solid practical effects from shining through as blood-born demons unleash hell itself against a tiny inn.  Explicit in its gore and confident in its direction, it is Zane’s gonzo-throttled performance as The Collector that jettisons this movie into the stratosphere of the horror/comedy genre and makes it worth revisiting each and every year.  Seriously.  Stop reading.  Pick up your copy today … like right now.    

It is a film that gets the balance between horror and comedy exactly right.  It begins with a car chase and ends with a loogie heard around the world.  Directed by genre veteran Ernest Dickerson (Juice, The Walking Dead), Demon Knight plays like a love letter to the die-hard fans of HBO’s “Tales from the Crypt” and it rightly should; the big screen debut of The Crypt Keeper (voiced by John Kassir), who takes his trip to Hollywood seriously with an uproarious prologue and epilogue, offers everything you could possibly want from the show’s in its first journey to the big screen.  Print critics at the time simply didn’t get it and marginalized its successes with straight-to-video comments.

Full of a gnarly group of “hellbent for leather” looking demons, William Sadler, Jada Pinkett Smith. Charles Fleischer, Brenda Bakke, CCH Pounder, Thomas Haden Church, and the one and only Dick Miller must stand their ground and fight like mad in order to prevent The Collector from obtaining the key-shaped artifact and their own souls.  Throughout it all (including the kinky sex scenes), Demon Knight fires on all engines.  It has a slow build toward Zane’s dementia but, little by little, his true persona is revealed while growing more and more frustrated by these meddling kids.

And when he snaps, oh shit, be ready for the gonzo to hit the wall with a magnificent splat.  His brand of crazy is ripe.  Demon Knight is not to be missed.

Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight (1995) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R for gore, horror violence, sexuality and language
Runtime:
92 mins
Director
: Ernest R. Dickerson
Writer:
Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris
Cast:
Billy Zane, William Sadler, John Kassir
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Ready for your deadtime story ?
Memorable Movie Quote: "They're downstairs. And I couldn't get all those stains out, either."
Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 13, 1995
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 20, 2015
Synopsis: A man on the run is hunted by a demon known as the Collector.

Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight (1995) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - October 20, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

The newly minted 1080p transfer from Scream Factory is rippled with fine detail.  As with most Scream Factory releases, this Collector’s Edition release is a fantastic addition to any Horror Hounds bone collection.  The transfer – complete with a solid layer of grain – looks great, if you can excuse a few seconds worth of dust particles and possible print damage here and there.  Colors are engaging and shadows run deep without a blur of lines.  The sound – offered with your choice of either DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 or DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix – is a bonus for audiophiles.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Scream Factory goes above and beyond the call of duty with two new audio commentaries.  The first is with Director Ernest Dickerson and the second with Special Effects Creator Todd Masters, Visual Effects Supervisor John Van Vliet, Special Effects Coordinator Thomas Bellissimo, and Demon Performer Walter Phelan.

Special Features:

The celebration of Demon Knight continues with the supplemental items.  Fresh and engaging, things get started with a great making of featurette, along with a Q&A session at The Egyptian.  Both feature NEW interviews with Director Ernest Dickerson, Co-producer A.L. Katzm Screenwriters Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris, And Mark Bishop, Stars Billy Zane, William Sadler, Brenda Bakke, and Charles Fleischer.  Both demonstrate just how much of a delight the shoot was and much information is given about the actual construction of the script as it was never intended to be a part of “Tale from the Crypt” in the first place. 

  • NEW Under Siege: The Making Of Demon Knight (40 min)
  • Panel Discussion From The American Cinematheque  (20 min)
  • Still Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

 

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