Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review: Demon Knight (1995)

For anyone who says the '90s suck, you can't ignore Demon Knight. Not to mention, Scream (the first one is a masterpiece), Jurassic Park, Starship Troopers, etc. Besides damn good actors with smart writing and awesome effects, you get everything a horror fan needs: boobs, blood, and beasts. You may not know his name, but William Sadler is an incredible actor with a barrage of kickass credits on his resume: Die Hard 2 (underrated in my opinion), Hard to Kill (vintage Seagal! hell yes), Solo (uhm, yeah, probably shouldn't have listed that), The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Mist, etc. He can actually take a buffet full of ridiculous exposition and make you cram it in your mouth like a zombie on a fresh kill.

Then there's Billy Zane. His performance here is perfect. Hilarious, sinister, over the top but completely believable and fun. He nails it, and he has a whole catalog of great lines in this.

They really took the time to get the script right, and it shows. The first draft was actually written back in 1987 (two years before the series debuted on HBO) when it was set to be directed by Tom Holland as his follow-up to Child's Play. In the '90s, all the excellent demon makeup and effects were almost scrapped because of budget problems. Another draft was actually created where the Collector was a Bible salesman that used a legion of guys in black suits with sunglasses (WTF). Luckily, Universal ponied up some more money for the monsters. A demon movie without demons? Only in Hollywood.

CGI was just starting to rear its ugly head, but fortunately, the few times it shows up in the film (mainly for the blood seal FX and some lightning rays out of the demons' eyes when they die), it works and still holds up well. Of course, all the practical FX are outstanding and don't show their age at all.

Forgot to mention Dick Miller from Gremlins. Yes, he's in this, and as you must know, he's awesome. Even the little supporting roles have incredible actors in them.

If you haven't seen it in a while (or haven't seen it at all? aaaggghhhh GET TO DA CHOPPPAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!), it's guaranteed to get you in the Halloween spirit.

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