We all have demons. Sometimes they’re personal demons like anger and depression, and other times they’re literal demons that a Satanic cult is trying to resurrect and sic on the humans of Earth. If anyone knows a thing or two about battling the forces of evil, it’s Brian Krause. He played a blood-sucking, appearance-stealing creature in 1992’s cult classic Sleepwalkers before landing the coveted role as witch protector and mentor Leo Wyatt in Charmed from 1998 to 2006. When the hit show went off the air, Brian dove into the world of independent cinema and amassed an ever-growing resume filled with horror and supernatural titles; along with sprinkles of mainstream guest spots in popular television shows. His most recent starring role, The Demonologist, is being distributed to digital retailers on January 1, 2019 courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment. In the film, Brian plays a cop who is about to become an unwilling participant in the resistance against the apocalypse when a murderous cult tries to raise the Four Kings of Hell. Dane Rhodes, Lara Grice and Thomas Francis Murphy also star in The Demonologist, from writer/director J.M. Stelly.
I had the opportunity to speak with Brian this week and the main subjects we covered were how The Demonologist is a multi-genre arching film and that his character, Damian, is a fractured soul, which inadvertently makes him the perfect hero to stop the apocalypse. This, of course, took place after I went back in time about twenty years and embarrassingly told Mr. Krause how my friends and I used to play Charmed during recess, and I always took on the role of Leo Wyatt as the only boy in the group. In my review of The Demonologist, I noted that the movie reads like a darker, scarier episode of Charmed, and it seems like this was the goal all along. Brian agrees, saying, “Damian really is the anti-Leo, right? The movie is ‘Leo Goes Dark.’ Almost like the new Sabrina the Teenage Witch series. It’s something I’ve always tried to do. I can’t be nice, lovely Leo all the time. When I was approached about the role, I liked the idea and I knew J.M. well from previous work, and it was a fun idea.” During the course of Charmed, Leo Wyatt was often robed from head to toe. This occurred in the new movie as well, to which the acclaimed actor joked, “As long as they weren’t gold lamé, I was happy.”
Beneath the guise of a thrilling supernatural story, The Demonologist is successful as a crime drama in its own right. This multi-dimension appeal is bound to make the new movie a hit with audiences with it’s delivered to digital retailers on January 1, 2019. Brian explains, “That’s what we were going for. The Demonologist is a cop drama at heart. That’s how I read it. It’s more a cop drama all the way through for me and my character, Damian. I’m trying to solve a crime then there’s the big reveal. You have to play it as two cops doing our thing, trying to figure out the mystery and the murders. If we kicked our cap to it too early, then it just becomes Charmed or Supernatural. If you’re into cop dramas as much as scifi horror, then The Demonologist is right up your alley.” As for his character, Brian sees it from a different standpoint than I originally did. “Damian means well. He’s a cop, a downtrodden cop trying to catch the bad guys. In doing so, he unveils a secret truth and his future. He’s a run of the mill detective, bitter and angry, and he keeps getting angrier. It actually makes him a great candidate to become The Chosen One. Knowing what happens in the world as a detective, he’s seen it all. He’s primed and ready, and he’s spent his life being groomed for this position.”
In The Demonologist, Brian shares a tremendous amount of screen time with fellow actor Dane Rhodes, who plays his boss. Months later, and the Charmed alumni has nothing but nice things to say. “Dane Rhodes is a fantastic human being. We had a lot of fun getting to know each other. He’s one of the nicest guys I’ve worked with in a very long time. He’s so talented that it makes my job very easy as long as I just listen and react. It was an honor to act opposite him. When filming, we’d talk about the characters and what we were doing, and we’d play off one another. We shot a scene outside this big, scary place and I’m yelling for back-up. Dane is yelling at me, ‘You’re tired!’ ‘You’re a mess!’ ‘You need to go home!’ That entire scene was improv and it was one of my favorite moments from shooting. We did it four or five times, we really went at each other and Dane is never out of the moment, which is so professional. Trying to keep up with that man in an improv situation wasn’t easy.” Not so surprisingly, Brian and I hope that Dane comes back for the sequel, if there is one.
And if there is a sequel, I’d also love to see Brian return with flaming arms again. In one of The Demonologist‘s most pivotal and visually pleasing moments, Damian fully embraces his destiny and launches an attack against the forces of evil. The moment, which is shown briefly in the trailer below, is discussed by Brian, who says, “Props to our special effects make-up crew. Filming was so quick and dirty, tough. We had a small budget and shot the whole thing in ten days. They were under the gun and they did phenomenal. They didn’t have time to make [the flaming arms effect] as spectacular as they wanted to. It was a press on color job and locked off camera, so they could add the CGI afterwards. On the day of the shoot, they painted it on.” It’s perhaps these stunning scifi moments and macabre mood makers that have made Brian Krause such a hit with horror audiences around the world. What’s amazing about this notion is that Brian appreciates the genre and its significance in underground fandoms. He says, “I did Sleepwalkers back in the day. I’ve done a couple different [horror and scifi films] and Charmed. I’m sure when producers and writers think, ‘Who fits in the genre?,’ when a film is in development, they say, ‘Oh, let’s get Leo over here.’ In the world of independent movies, the film is bigger than the actors. The genre is the real star.” Ain’t that the truth.
It was a pleasure speaking with Brian this week, and I encourage everyone to stream The Demonologist when it hits the digital marketplace on January 1, 2019. Really, what else will you be doing while resting away your hang overs? Two worlds collide in The Demonologist, and it’s an unholy, gritty, wild mystery you don’t want to miss; and Brian is fantastic in it!