Thursday, May 20, 2010

'Wishmaster' is lots of gory fun

Wishmaster (1997)
Starring: Tammy Lauren, Robert Englund, Andrew Divoff, Reggie Bannister, Kane Hodder
Director: Robert Kurtzman
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

In "Wishmaster," an evil demonic spirit, a djinn (Divoff), that has been trapped inside an enchanted gem since Babylon was young, is accidentially unleashed onto the unsuspecting modern world. He requires his unknowing liberator (Lauren) to make three wishes so that he may call forth hoards of his kind and create Hell on Earth. While tracking down his liberator so he can grant her three wishes, he wanders the streets of a big city in human form and grants wishes to whoever he comes across--and he always twists them into the nastiest, most violent interpertations.

The story in this movie is, basically, a weak retelling of the classic short-story "The Monkey's Paw", and it spins around the same "be careful what you wish for" moral. Aside from a shakey storyline, the film is hampered by a weak performance by its star, Tammy Lauren. However, the outrageously gory ways the djinn kills his victims and the evil glee with which Andrew Divoff portrays him, by themselves earned the film four of the stars I'm giving it. (Watch particularly for the scene where the djinn has to deal with the rent-a-cop, played by Kane Hodder, at the office where Lauren's character works. It's a doozy, and one of Divoff's best moments in the film.)

The film is also elevated by a stronger ending than what I've grown to expect from second-tier horror flicks like this one. It's not exactly unpredicatble, but it is very well handled.


  1. I really enjoyed this one too. Good fun, a few nice scares. Certainly better than a lot of the more highly rated films of its era.

  2. Yep. It seems to me that it's often timing and marketing muscle that determines what it and isn't a memorable movie.