For a decade, fans have waited for the Tales From The Crypt movies, Demon Knight and Bordello of Blood to make their Blu-ray debut. Along the way, some very expensive import versions were released, but as tempting as that was, I knew Scream Factory would be the one who would release the definitive editions of these films, and that is exactly what happened.
Easily the highest quality film in this double feature from the crypt, Demon Knight is one of the definitive horror movies of the Nineties. It has a killer soundtrack, a hip, talented cast, and some tremendous special makeup and monster effects.
I’m happy to report that Demon Knight holds up extremely well. It had been a very long time since my last viewing, so I was a little bit concerned. But, honestly, I may have even enjoyed the movie more this time around. I remember it being a wild, fun ride, with tons of spectacular demon effects, but maybe the clarity of this new Blu-ray release enhanced those qualities in a noticeable way.
I had heard grumblings, like we do with any Scream Factory release now that they’ve become popular, that the transfer on this Blu-ray was mediocre, but I can assure you that this is not the case. Any shot involving a special effects gag are damn-near crystal in clarity. Even dimly lit exterior, and even interior shot are perfectly beautiful. I’m not sure what certain collectors were expecting from this release, but make no mistake, this is the definitive edition of the movie, and it has never looked better.
Bonus content is equally impressive. On a bullet point list, it may appear to be less than it actually is, but the documentary included on the disc, Under Siege: The Making of Demon Knight is by itself worth the current asking price. Also included is an audio commentary with director Ernest Dickerson, a separate audio commentary with Special Effects Creator Todd Masters, Visual Effects Supervisor John Van Vliet, Special Effects Coordinator Thomas Bellissimo, and Demon Performer Walter Phelan. There is also a discussion panel from The American Cinematheque featuring Dickerson and Dick Miller, a still gallery, and a theatrical trailer.
If you are apprehensive about purchasing Scream Factory’s excellent Blu-ray release of this film based on a negative comment or review, have no fear, this is one of the best releases of the year, and certainly the best release of this movie to-date.
Bordello of Blood
Bordello of Blood, while it doesn’t match Demon Knight in quality, is still quite enjoyable. It’s far cheesier, there’s no questioning that, but it’s better than a lot of other late Nineties vampire movies. If you watch the retrospective documentary included on the disc, the reason for the divergence between the two films will immediately become apparent. The Bordello of Blood shoot was plagued with issues, ranging from production difficulties, to stars like Dennis Miller thinking and acting as if he was above all of the other actors in the film.
In spite of all of this, I still had fun revisiting Bordello of Bloody. The blood and T&A are plentiful, as are the laughs. Even though he had a shitty attitude(and may even have a shittier attitude now) I probably enjoyed Dennis Miller more in this movie than anything else he’s done. Corey Feldman was his usual over-the-top self, and Stallone’s ex-girlfriend, Angie Everhart, who had very little prior acting experience, was very fun as Lilith the vampire.
Bordello is almost on-par with Demon Knight as far as video and audio presentation. Demon Knight edges it out by a bit in the video category, but Bordello looks the best it ever has as well. Sometimes people forget, or don’t even realize that movies which were released during the mid-to-late Nineties were sort of ugly. Because of that, some of them aren’t as shiny as people seem to unrealistically expect from every classic film they purchase on Blu-ray. Even considering all of that, Bordello of Blood looks pretty damn good.
I’ve already mentioned the retrospective documentary, but to go into it a little more, it was a very eye-opening experience. I’ve always considered Bordello to be the lesser of these two films, but now I at least have a little perspective to solidify that opinion. I’m not saying that, had everything gone silky smooth on-set, that it would have been a better film, but I’m sure the hostile nature of the shoot, and the fact that none of the key actors were able to communicate in order to develop any sort of on-screen chemistry didn’t help. This is a two-part documentary spread across the two separate movies, and it’s honestly one of the best I’ve seen lately. Other extras include a still gallery, the theatrical trailer, and an audio commentary with Co-Writer * Producer A.L. Katz. If you’re a fan of this movie, or have even the slightest morbid interest in revisiting something you’ve already watched and hated before, Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray is well worth your time and money.