If there is a movie in the attempted “Tales from the Crypt” movie anthology series that feels like an extended episode of the original series, it’s surely “Bordello of Blood.” When you get down to it, there’s just so much more substance in “Demon Knight,” but Gilbert Adler’s “Bordello of Blood” seems to capture the zaniness and inherent silliness of the original television series, while also sticking to casting a lot of C grade character actors for the films’ respective roles. That’s not intended as a slight to the cast, but compared to “Demon Knight,” the cast of “Bordello of Blood” seem like second stringers. “Bordello of Blood” will satiate those that want the dark humor and menace of the series.
Ernest Dickerson’s horror comedy is the start of what should have been a wonderful horror movie series with the “Tales from the Crypt” branding. Despite lacking an ironic twist in the finale, “Demon Knight” is right down the avenue of classic EC Comics. It’s filled with inadvertent heroes, garners a very unlikely villain, and has a very unique sense of humor about itself. Dickerson manages to channel “Demoni” while also pitting very morally gray characters against a force of pure evil. “Demon Knight” is a raucous and brutally entertaining horror movie that pits good against evil, and stacks the deck in the favor of evil.
The one downfall about “From Comic Books to Television” is that realistically a documentary about EC Comics should be longer than an hour. I mean this is EC Comics, one of the biggest influences for many horror icons, and it deserves more than fifty six minutes for audiences. EC Comics is a powerful force in horror and continues to spawn horror fans to this day. That said, “From Comic Books to Television” is a nice and entertaining look at the legendary run of EC Comics. Beginning life as Educational Comics and eventually transforming in to Entertaining Comics, “From Comic Books to Television” explores the creative explosion of EC Comics, and how it managed to change the comic book medium for better or for worse.
I think with enough competent writers and good ideas, “Tales from the Crypt” could have lived on with a series of anthology horror pictures that could have told some bang up horror stories. I mean, the cinematic versions of the show are what John Carpenter originally planned for “Halloween.” Separate movies with various tales revolving around themes, and “Tales from the Crypt” almost pulled it off. They started off very well with “Demon Knight” and while they completely fumble with “Bordello of Blood,” it’s not a total disaster. There’s much to be desired, but there’s still a lot to enjoy here. It’s tough to follow up what the first film in the series accomplished as a low budget demon film with some great performances, but “Bordello of Blood” does try for individuality and humor where it fails in scares and creeps. I would not call this film scary at all, but it does supply some snarky humor and some incredible eye candy.
If ever there was a film treatment that deserved to be pegged as a feature length introduction of the 1990’s “Tales from the Crypt” series it’s “Demon Knight.” One part comedy, one part horror, one part mysticism, and a dash of irony makes “Demon Knight” one of the most entertaining horror romps of the decade with a premise that feels like an epic episode of “Tales from the Crypt” with every bit of comic book novelty you’d expect from something involving the Cryptkeeper. “Demon Knight” much like everything else in the “Tales from the Crypt” brand is a meta-horror comedy that works as a self-aware dose of the genre with a hefty injection of menace to go along with it. While the film does pack a large assortment of laughs and gaffs, it’s also quite scary.