Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight Videos

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Movie Info

This first theatrical feature spun off from the television series Tales from the Crypt (which was in turn inspired by the infamous EC horror comics of the 1950s) concerns a mysterious man named Brayker (Bill Sadler), who arrives at a church-turned-rooming house in a small town in New Mexico. Hot on his trail is an equally mysterious and very menacing figure known as the Collector (Billy Zane), who arrives with policemen in tow; he claims that Brayker stole some keys from him, and he wants the cops to help him reclaim them. It turns out, however, that the "keys" are actually several amulets that contain drops of the blood of Christ; they can be used to ward off evil in the right hands, but they can lead the world to doom if used improperly. The Collector and his forces lay siege to the house with the other residents caught in the middle between Brayker and the Collector, including alcoholic Uncle Willy (Dick Miller), prostitute Cordelia (Brenda Bakke), sleazy Southerner Roach (Thomas Haden Church), postal employee Wally (Charles Fleischer), sensible Jeryline (Jada Pinkett), and landlady Irene (CCH Pounder). Bordello of Blood, the second Tales from the Crypt feature, hit theaters the following year.
Comedy , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MCA Universal Home Video

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Billy Zane
as The Collector
William Sadler
as Brayker
Brenda Bakke
as Cordelia
CCH Pounder
as Irene
Dick Miller
as Uncle Willy
John Schuck
as Sheriff Tupper
Gary Farmer
as Deputy Bob Martel
Charles Fleischer
as Wally Enfield
Tim De Zarn
as Homer
Tony Salome
as Sirach
Ken Baldwin
as Dickerson
Tiffany Anne
as Party Babe
Reda Beebe
as Party Babe
Te-See Bender
as Party Babe
Traci Bingham
as Party Babe
John Larroquette
as Slasher (opening sequence) (uncredited)
Ponti Butler
as Party Babe
Veronica Culver
as Party Babe
Tina Hollimon
as Party Babe
Elaine Marks
as Party Babe
Mim Parker
as Party Babe
Dale Swann
as Bus Driver
Mark D. Kennerly
as Other Collector
Kathy Barbour
as Crypt Keeper Starlet
Tina New
as Crypt Keeper Starlet
John Kassir
as Crypt Keeper
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (9)

Pic is neither funny enough nor scary enough to be fully satisfying as either a shocker or a spoof.

Full Review… | May 19, 2008
Top Critic

The first in a series, but standards will need to impove if it's to survive.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Between scenes of splattering gore in which severed heads literally roll across the floor, the movie has a good time spoofing itself and a gallery of mostly sleazy characters who confront a crew of blood-thirsty demons.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Next time out, let's hope it involves a story that can stand on its own, without having to be propped up by the Crypt Keeper's silly patter.

Full Review… | February 21, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The movie isn't particularly well-paced, and I found it dull.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

There's still a lot of filler in this chiller.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight


Through the corridors and catacombs of a vacant manor, Danny Elfman's iconic theme resonates loudly to announce the arrival of another Tales from the Crypt offering. Of the two theatrical contribution, Demon Knight was the first and it's gleaming trash...in the most positive sense. It has no qualms about decorum or taste. For instance, the main narrative is prefaced by a comely murderess who writhes around in her lingerie while her husband is effervescing in a basement acid bath. The star-studded cameo by John Larroquette is punctuated with meta Tinseltown wordplay ("You're no Gory Cooper. You're not even a Robert Deadford."). Furnished like the pages of a garish E.C. Comics book, Ernest Dickerson's direction is visceral and hard-hitting. Normally William Sadler is the antagonist so it's an ingenious role reversal to see him portray the beleaguered Brayker. Meanwhile, he is tormented by Billy Zane's The Collector and Zane couldn't be more enjoyably hammy in the role ("Come out everybody. Time to play!"). Filter's "Hey Man Nice Shot" is forever associated with the film and it is a burst of nitrogen for the beginning cat-and-mouse chase. It wouldn't be a drive-in movie without the participation of Dick Miller. Like Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians novel, the survivor dwindle one-by-one. The demonic effects are both creative and hampering with the actors appearing as if they are savoring LED lights in their mouths. Sprouting from the ground like seedlings, the slender creatures are slimy and scary. The mythology behind the key is fascinating and I wish it had been explored further. With backing from mega-producer Joel Silver and a 12-million-dollar budget from Universal, Demon Knight barrels through the stigma of its genre material to unleash a strongly pell-mell, gut-wrenching detour.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

The Crypt Keeper has always looked pretty dodgy if you ask me, a pretty bad puppet but hey its not all about him. The actual set for his crypt always looks cool in a 'Munster/Addams' type way which is fun and kooky, nothing special though. So ye olde Crypt Keeper intro's the story which is a feature length plot and based around a group of people stuck in a building with a demon outside after their blood and a special key which one of them processes. Its kinda like a horror version of 'Assault on Precinct 13' with an 'Evil Dead' black comedy angle which does work pretty well I must admit. Billy Zane does a good job as the head demon hamming it up something huge and churning out some decent lines and visual gags. Up against him is William Sadler who, for once, plays the hero and the only one who can stop the demons. The action is good fun and chock full of decent makeup and prosthetics with lots of over the top blood n gore by the bucket full. The plot is actually quite deep revolving around demons dating back through the ages with 'chosen ones' being the only defenders etc...a bit more in depth than the usual Crypt tales. Bottom line though if you like 'Evil Dead' or 'From Dusk Till Dawn' or 'Feast' then I'm sure you will like this.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

This horror movie has a good background story, but I didn't like the characters, they didn't seem to fit right or something. This movie is kind of a mess, but it could be worse. Overall, it's just okay.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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