Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight (1994)

Directed By: Ernest R. Dickerson

Starring: William Sadler, Billy Zane, Jada Pinkett Smith, Thomas Haden Church, CCH Pounder

and
John Kassir
as the voice of The Crypt Keeper








"Perhaps some Milk and SEVERED HEADS with your DEAD TIME STORY?"





Today, we're taking a look at a film based off a popular television series that had an individual short story with different characters every episode, most of which had a plot twist at the end of each episode. This film has...


What a minute, what? I'm reviewing the wrong movie? Whoops! My mistake. OK, let's start over again. This is unacceptable.

















Tales From The Darkside: The Movie (1990)

Directed By: John Harrison







Chernabog attempts to tell a bedtime story.





Today, we're taking a look at a film based off a popular television series that had an individual short story with different characters every episode, most of which had a plot twist at the end of each episode.

Whew! That's better. That would've been pretty confusing if I reviewed the wrong movie.

All joking aside, Tales From The Darkside and Tales From The Crypt are basically the same show, both of which were successful during their initial run. I never watched Darkside, though you don't need to watch the show to catch up during the movie. It's just three segments tied up with a ridiculous epilogue involving Debbie Harry as a witch.






First doing the singing voice for a singing mouse in Rock & Rule, now this?





Really? Debbie Harry as a witch? Uh-huh. That's about as convincing as Rick Moranis as Barney Rubble. Anyway, Harry keeps a little child locked up inside her dungeon inside her kitchen. To keep himself from getting eaten, the kid tells Harry three stories from her childhood book that she gave to the kid to keep him company. Oh, and the book just so HAPPENS to be called Tales From The Darkside.

Wouldn't the witch be kind of suspicious that this is just a distraction while the kid thinks of an escape plan? Also, the book is the witch's major childhood memory as far as we know, so wouldn't she know these stories in and out?



STORY 1: LOT 249

Starring: Christian Slater, Steve Buscemi, Robert Sedgewick, Julianne Moore, Michael Deak, George Guidall, Donald Van Horn






Steve Buscemi as a college student? About as Debbie Harry as a wi--Oh, wait.





WHAT'S IT ABOUT?

Inspired by a short story by Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle (sorry, that won't class this movie a bit), a young college student gets even with the mean rich kids who cheated him out of a fellowship (Sedgwick and Moore) by bringing a 3,000-year-old mummy to life. Slater gets "wrapped" up in all of this.

This segment is practically nothing special, despite the interesting premise and atmosphere. It might've made a good full-length movie, but as a short segment, it just feels like every Friday The 13th in 5 seconds.



STORY 2: CAT FROM HELL

Starring: David Johansen, William Hickley, Alice Drummond, Mark Magnolis, Dolores Sutton, Paul Greeno





"AUUGH! Note to self: NEVER touch the barbacue while it's on!"





WHAT'S IT ABOUT?

Based off of a short Stephen King story, A hitman (Johansen) is hired by an eldery millionaire who owns a medicine company (Hickley), who wants him to kill a cat who's taking revenge for all its feline friends that were sacrificed for medical experiments.

The segment concentrates more on the backstory of the evil cat rather than the hitman trying to get rid of it. This segment is a little better than the first one, but the idea really sounds like a Looney Tunes cartoon, when you think about it. The ending really is quite gruesome, and is possibly one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen on screen, aside from Serendipity: The Pink Dragon.







"Now that's what I call 'eating pussy'."





The segment ends with the evil cat violently stuffing himself into the hitman's mouth and into his stomach. The scene is so gruesome that I actually had to close my eyes during the whole thing. And just when you though the scene couldn't get any grosser, the cat crawls out of the hitman's mouth later on. Yeah, Stephen King truly is the king of horror. He truly knows how to scare the living daylights out of us...more like scaring the vomit out of us.



STORY 3: LOVER'S VOW

Starring: James Remar, Rae Down Chong, Robert Klien, Ashton Wise, Phillip Lenkosky, Nicole Leach, Daniel Harrison, Donna Davidge, Joe Dabeningo, Larry Silvestri







"Give Uncle Scrocher a hug!"




This segment focuses on a struggling New York artist (Remar) who comes face-to-face with a demonic gargoyle late one night and has his life spared by promising that he will never speak of the encounter. That same night, he meets a young woman (Dawn Chong) with whom he eventually falls in love and who completely changes his life for the better. But as their romance grows, the artist feels terrible knowing that he's still traumitized from encountering the gargoyle.


This is the best segment of the whole movie, as it takes a break from gruesome horror and tries to tell a bittersweet romance story. Unfortunately, the twist ending is pretty obvious and kinda doesn't make any sense: The artist tells his wife about the gargoyle incident, and it just so happens that the wife IS the gargoyle and kills the artist for telling her the secret.






"Kids, come eat your father before it gets cold."





So the gargoyle is the wife? The artist basically just told the gargoyle it's own secret! So that would mean the secret is still safe and the couple could still live their apparently healthy relationship for years to come. I guess the writer of this segment was under the threat of having a pseudonym replacing his real name in the credits if he didn't come up with a grisly ending that kept up with the previous segments and their bull-crap endings.


As for the wraparound story involving Debbie Harry as a witch, it basically ends as you would've expected: the witch burns in the oven and the boy escapes. But it's told with such predictable results and stupidity. As the witch approaches the boy who told the stories, the boy then retells the events of how the boy got snatched by the witch, and the witch then interrupts him and sneers, "this sounds like your story and we all know how it's going to end." The boy then tells the witch that he drops marbles onto the floor and she will slip on them. She does so, and falls into the oven.

Didn't she that string of events coming her way? The boy just told her that he was going to drop the marbles. Couldn't she just step over them? Ah, well. The witchs burns and the boy escapes and that's the end of this predictable and unscary film.




"So much for paying my bills!"







Two-Face?







"ME HUNGRY!"







BOTTOM LINE:

While the third story is the best one of all, the other two are run-of-the-mill and are just excuses to show off grisly death scenes and exceptional special effects. The wraparound story is just stupid, but thankfully you don't a whole lot of it. Overall, it's just OK, but only recommended to die-hard fans of the television show.

OVERALL SCORE:

2.5/5




See ya!


Coming up next: Michael Jackson's Thriller....