Demon Knight Movie Review – 10 reasons I love it!

Demon Knight Movie Review – 10 reasons I love it!

I can’t believe Demon Knight is more than 20 years old. I must have been about 10 when I first saw it on television late one night. It was unsuitable for a kid to watch, yet I wasn’t disturbed by it–I was excited. I had never seen a film like it or had so much fun. Even today it’s probably my favourite ‘people trapped in a house’ horror movie. Billy Zane and William Sadler are great too.

The plot concerns a drifter stumbling into a bar, apparently on the run. The man after him is Billy Zane, which is scarier than it sounds because Zane is a demon knight trying to reclaim a special key. The reason the key is so special is because of the blood inside of it (who’s blood you might ask?). Demon Knight is a 90s movie, which for me was a great era in horror. It was a time where special effects had come along but CGI was not yet prevalent, so we still got great practical effects. This movie reminds me very much of From Dusk till Dawn and Critters (get all 4 movies here), but it does enough to stand as a unique and original movie all on its own. The most modern comparison is the move Feast.

I will spoil no more and merely list the 10 reasons why I love it.

1.Billy Zane is a giant ham

Demon Knight Billy Zane
Billy Zane is great in this film and it’s because he commits to being in love with himself. The scene where he is trying to profess his pretend love for Jada Pinkett Smith is so funny. He is a demon having fun with what he does and for that reason we root for him a little bit.

2.The blood barriers

William Sadler’s ability to form demon proof barriers is something that is really cool and unique. One splash of blood on any threshold will secure it. I used something similar using iron in my book The Gates.

3.The Monsters

I’m not quite sure how people get possessed in the movie but when they do they turn into awesome monsters. The creature effects are part of what makes the film so much fun.

4.This Guy!

Demon Knight
This guy is such an asshole, which makes it great when he gets what he deserves.

5.The Crypt Keeper

Growing up I used to think the Crypt Keeper’s name was Hbo. Only when I was older did I realise HBO presents Tales From The Crypt was the cable network that produced the series. Anyway, I love my little Hbo because he is so cheesy that he is cool. He knows his own groan-worthiness and owns it. I also love the fact that the demons in the film resemble him.

6.The ending

The heroine’s final gambit is clever and plausible while still coming as a surprise. The epilogue also leaves us thinking about her journey beyond the films ending. It’s fulfilling yet open ended which is hard to pull off. Would love to see a sequel.

7.All the characters are worthwhile

None of the characters in the film are templates or fodder. They all have distinct personalities and you get a sense that their lives began long before we met them. We root for them and hate them but we always feel like we know them. Uncle Willy and Irene are a lot older and more jaded that the younger cast and as such you feel everyone is very real.

8.The deaths

Demon KnightLike the creature effects, the gory deaths are great fun and memorable. Can anybody say grenade?

9.The rules

Take out the demon’s eyes to kill them (providing they are lower level minions). Use the key’s blood to protect doorways. Gather seven strangers when the time is right. Pass down the key to the next person. The rules are really cool and they can work for and against you. I love horror movies with rules. Heck, Scream was a horror movies with rules about films with rules.

10.The comedyDemon knight

The jokes work which is rare for a horror movie. Like Shaun of the Dead, the horror remains intact despite the humour. It doesn’t descend into farce. Get that pussy off the table!

Anyway, if you haven’t checked out this horror gem of the nineties, I strongly suggest you grab yourself a secondhand DVD or stream it on Instant Video. You’ll love it!

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