Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight
Time Out saysDickerson, who shot most of Spike Lee's films before directing the feature Juice, knows his way round a horror picture, but in the end this spin-off from the HBO cable TV series (derived from the 1950s EC comic books of William Gaines) feels pedestrian and moribund. Mysterious fugitive Brayker (Sadler) takes refuge from demonic, stetson-hatted smoothie the Collector (Zane) in a small-town flophouse that's immediately besieged by flesh-eating, green-eyed demons. Matters get bogged down as Brayker seals the building's doors with holy blood in order to protect the stereotyped characters trapped within. Not to be thwarted, the Collector uses telepathy to exploit their vulnerabilities, offering mock affection to love-starved tart Cordelia (Bakke), super-model stardom to delinquent Jeryline (Pinkett) and a topless bar awash with hooch to pickled old-timer Uncle Willy (Miller). The action is set-bound, the gory sfx no more than adequate, and the fright quotient far too low. Nor is any depth lent to the proceedings by repeated flashbacks to an MTV video of the Crucifixion. The first in a series, but standards will need to impove if it's to survive.