A mysterious man under the name "The Collector" is out to get a lost artifact back from a man he claims stole it from him. What starts as a car chase, ends up in a night of occult madness when it's revealed that the Collector is far from human. He unleashes demons to help him get back the stolen goods from the thief, Brayker. Brayker has to protect the good people at the hotel he is staying at, but it's not easy when they turn into demons one by one after being attacked.
I've always felt that there are about a handful of fantastic demon films, and I'm not counting the more occult/possession/exorcism type films. But these great demon films are "Evil Dead", "Demons", "Night of the Demons" and then this one, "Demon Knight". Through my childhood, these have been the films I've hailed as the best demon flicks and still to this day I agree. It's hard to beat them, they're just gory entertainment through and through. Maybe I just enjoy my demons nasty and my violence gory? Might be. It was a pleasure to get back to "Demon Knight" yet again, and this time with the intention to review it.
Growing up, one of my favorite parts of these "Tales from the Crypt" films (and the series) were the intro/outro with the Crypt Keeper. Seeing the intro for this one instantly brought back the little kid in me (although I doubt that kid has ever been away for long anyway). What follows is a kickass, entertaining demon ride featuring probably the closest villain to Freddy Krueger, Billy Zane as the snappy Collector. Brayker is on the run from the Collector after having stolen an old artifact in shape of a key and container. The key contains the blood of Jesus, which is the only thing that can keep the demons away. What demons? Oh, right, the demons that the Collector soon will unleash to get the key. Brayker was hiding in a shoddy hotel in the middle of nowhere, and the people there are in for a trip to hell once Brayker and the Collector meet for a final fight.
"Demon Knight" is just top-notch entertainment, with lots of gore, some good nudity, a "From Dusk Till Dawn"-ish feeling and location (did Rodriguez steal? I kinda doubt it since it's just a year between them, but it's strangely similar in some parts). Not to mention great characters portrayed by people like Billy Zane, William Sadler, Dick Miller, Thoman Haden Church (maybe his character is the least great, but still!). It also doesn't take long before it gets into action, which is great in a film like this. I don't know how you could not absolutely love "Demon Knight" when it has every little ingredient, and knows exactly how to mix it. This is probably the reason that I can sit down to watch this and still get the same feeling I got when I watched it around the age of 10.
One important part to these demon flicks is the look of the demons. I'm not at all picky, but I want them bizarre and nasty, and well-made. Each of my "top demon films" have that, and "Demon Knight" might have the freakist demons of the bunch. They're brown, boney, grim and with green blowing eyes. One of my favorite parts of the film is probably seeing one of other-wordly demons laugh - that always gives me a kick.
Having seen the film multiple times I have to be honest and say that parts of the film have gotten slightly tedious to get through, and it seems like I get the same feeling right around the same place every time. It's somewhere around when they start going down into the cellar, but I can't quite point out the very second or the why's. I suppose watching the film 10-15 times will do that to you, so I can't say it's really the film that's at fault.
Am I biased having grown up on this film? Maybe. I don't care. It's a fucking blast and anyone should check it out. Billy Zane has never been better, demons are rarely more creepy, the violence and boobies are present frequently, and it's only out to have fun. If you for some reason did miss this film then you can count yourself lucky as you have something truly fun waiting for you. And if you're one of those who don't like the mix of horror and comedy, then I can guarantee that "Demon Knight" is still enough horror to be able to please you.