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|“||Humans! You're not worth the flesh you're printed on! F**k this cowboy s**t! You f**king ho-dunk, po-dunk, well then there MOTHERF**KERS! All you had to do was gimme the goddamn Key! And then we could just get on with our lives!||„|
|~ The Collector, right before summoning a demon army to kill his victims and recove the one of the seven Keys.|
The Collector (actual name unrevealed) is the main antagonist of the 1995 horror/comedy film Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight.
He is portrayed by Billy Zane, who also played Cal Hockley in Titanic.
The Collector is first seen while pursuing Frank Brayker, the film's protagonist, on a New Mexico highway. Brayker's car runs out of gas, forcing him to stop and attempt to shoot the Collector's car, causing it to catch fire. The Collector, undeterred, steers his flaming automobile towards Brayker, who manages to get out of his car before the inevitable collision. Brayker hurries away from the accident scene.
Later, Sheriff Tupper and Deputy Bob are investigating the car crash when the Collector, remarkably unharmed, appears and tells the two policemen that one of the wrecked cars was his and that he's searching for Brayker, whom he claims stole a valuable artifact from him. Tupper and Bob warily accept the Collector's assistance, and they eventually make their way to a decommissioned 1950s church-turned-boarding house, where they find Brayker. Brayker takes Jeryline, niece of the landlady Irene, hostage, but relents and is handcuffed. Tupper demands the whereabouts of the artifact, but Brayker feigns ignorance, forcing Tupper to order Bob to search the premise. Bob only finds a prostitute named Cordelia and her boyfriend Roach in the midst of a kinky sexual interlude and forces them downstairs.
Willy, the resident drunk, suddenly remembers that he saw Brayker hide the artifact and retrieves it. The Collector asks Willy to place the key-shaped artifact inside his suitcase, but then notices that it's filled with a strange, red fluid and asks the old man to dump it out. Unfortunately, Tupper takes the artifact and decides to arrest the Collector, as he learned that the Collector's car was stolen. The Collector tries to convince Tupper to let him go, but when Tupper remains adamant, the Collector turns and punches his fist right through the sheriff's head, much to the shock of everyone present.
The Collector tears the sheriff's head off and tosses it at Bob, while Brayker retrieves the key. The Collector advances on Brayker and grabs him by the throat, but Brayker presses the key against the Collector's face, burning him and forcing him to let him go. The Collector growls angrily and crashes out the window. Outside, he launches into a brief but angry tirade at the residents, pulling off and tossing aside his coat and cowboy hat. The Collector then cuts his palm and bleeds green goo that he then splashes all over the ground. Within a matter of minutes, an army of skeletal demons emerges from the ground and proceeds to begin attacking those inside the rooming house.
The Collector next appears after Cordelia and Brayker bring an unconscious Wally back into the boarding house following a confrontation with one of the demons; he suddenly appears behind Cordelia and asks "Need a hand?" before attempting to enter, only to be barred by a blood barrier erected by Brayker moments earlier. Thwarted, the Collector complains "Gimme the key, Brayker, for cryin' out loud!" as Brayker closes the door.
Later on, the Collector seduces Cordelia following an altercation between her and Roach, playing on her desire to be loved. When Cordelia yields to his charms, he turns her into a demon that then entices and kills Wally, and also tears off Irene's arm before being killed by Brayker.
Sometime after that, the Collector appears to Jeryline and tries to seduce her into retrieving the key from Brayker, stating that helping Brayker will only end up getting her torn to shreds. When Jeryline spits in his face, the Collector puts her under a thrall, but Jeryline later manages to resist his hold over her.
The Collector next puts Willy in a fantasy world where he is in a topless bar, and the Collector himself appears as a bartender who persuades Willy to indulge in his alcohol habit, turning him into a demon. While Willy attacks Brayker, the Collector appears to Irene and tries to make a deal with her: Her severed arm in exchange for her soul. Irene refuses, so the Collector disappears.
After that, the Collector meets with Roach on the staircase, and the two make a deal: Safe passage for Roach in exchange for the Key. The Collector finally obtains the key and allows Roach to head down the stairs, only to stop him and admit that he lied about allowing Roach safe passage, after which Roach is attacked and killed by demons. The Collector makes his way upstairs, only to be hit in the eye with an arrow shot by Brayker; he falls over the railing and lands on the lower level. Moments later, the demons are killed by a grenade explosion set off by Irene and Bob in an act of sacrifice.
Brayker, Jeryline, and a young boy named Danny (whose parents the Collector turned into demons who were later killed) hide in the attic. Danny is possessed by a demon and mortally wounds Brayker before Jeryline kills him. In his dying moments, Brayker appoints Jeryline the new guardian of the key. All of the blood barriers in the hotel disappear, and the Collector enters the attic. He tries to convince Jeryline to hand over the key, telling her it always ends the same way (the guardian dies). Jeryline steps out of hiding, covered in blood, and the Collector offers comfort. Once Jeryline is close enough, she grabs the Collector's arm, which starts to burn; it turns out she smeared some of the blood inside the key all over her body. The Collector gets free, calls Jeryline "bitch," and leaves the attic.
Jeryline jumps down from the attic and cautiously makes her way through the hotel, heading into the bathroom where the Collector ambushes her, covering her in a shower curtain, dropping her into the bathtub, turning on the water, and cleaning the blood off her body. Jeryline tries to stab the key into the Collector's eye to little effect; while the Collector is distracted, she drinks what's left of the key's blood.
The Collector removes his damaged sunglasses and remarks "that eyeball shit" only works on low-level demons, then hauls Jeryline out of the bathroom and into the living room, where he takes the empty key. He then assures Jeryline he is not going to hurt her, then pulls her to her feet and starts dancing with her, trying to persuade her to come home with him. The Collector then admits he's smitten with Jeryline (despite being unable to say the word "love"), and when Jeryline reacts in disgust, he prepares to cut out her heart, only for Jeryline to spit the key's blood into the Collector's face, causing him to scream in pain. The Collector's human form melts and bleeds before revealing his true, demonic form, which then explodes.
At dawn, Jeryline who is ready to leave town, refills the Key with Brayker's blood and boards a bus with her cat, sealing the vehicle's door for one quick second by dropping a very small drop of blood from the relic and onto the step panel of a bus, thereby creating a mystical barrier (same as the one Brayker cast on the besieged hotel) which soon protects herself, the bus driver, and the passengers, before sitting in the bus. Down the road, the bus stops to pick up a stranger, an elderly Afro-American gentlemen in a dark clothing wearing a black Borsalino hat, who declines to get on by saying "nah, it's okay. I'll wait for the next one". Dressed identically to his predecessor, carrying the same brown suitcase and even detecting the mystic barrier on the bus, Jeryline realizes that he is the next Collector. After exchanging a glance in passing, the new Collector begins following on foot, whistling the Tales from the Crypt TV series' theme music.