Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson [Other horror films: Bones (2001)]
When you have a really fun movie with a really fun cast, you know you’re in for a great time, and that’s entirely what Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight is.
The story here is pretty hokey at times, and a lot of that comes from the utterly over-the-top performance of none other than Billy Zane. His antics here are just hilarious (look at his seduction of Dick Miller (!!!) and tell me they’re not), and though without Zane, the movie still would have had one hell of a cast, he really brings things together as the Collector.
Really, the story starts off quick and from the get-go, it has you invested. Not all is as it seems, and hell breaks loose (almost literally), which was a lot of fun, in part due to the solid special effects, but primarily due to the cast.
Zane was great here, but you also have to give William Sadler a lot of credit. I’ve not really seen him in that many movies (and certainly no starring roles) outside of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, so it really surprised me when I first saw this movie that he can bring it. His character’s story was a bit much, but he sold it, and I liked seeing him form a (grudging) relationship with Jada Pinkett’s character.
Jada Pinkett is an interesting case. When I first saw this movie, she was a no-one to me, but now having been a regular viewer of Gotham (a show which definitely has it’s highs and it’s lows), Jada Pinkett Smith is very much a known quantity, and it’s really cool seeing her as a kick-ass teenager, being bossed around by no other than CCH Pounder (who I know primarily from voicing Amanda Waller on Justice League Unlimited, but she was also decent in Psycho IV: The Beginning).
And saving the best for last, who doesn’t get a kick out of seeing Dick Miller? In most movies (The Howling, Gremlins, Chopping Mall, and Night of the Creeps), he’s delegated to a small, yet amusing, cameo. But here, Miller appears throughout the film, and when he finally does go, he leaves with a smile on his face (again, seeing Zane and Miller in that scene just makes me giddy with happiness). God, I do like Miller, and he’s great here.
Like I said, the story here does have a tendency to be a bit hokey, but coming from a Tales from the Crypt movie, I couldn’t imagine that really being the problem. Hell, even the ending of these movie (the Crypt Keeper in Hollywood) was charming, in it’s over-the-top laughable way. Definitely a movie I’ve enjoyed with each watch, and that will continue until I’m dead.