Saturday, July 21, 2007

Wishmaster (1997)

Fear 0/5
Gore 3/5
Creepinesssss-uh 0/5
Entertainment 2/5
Nightmares 0/5

Be careful what you wish for indeed. With all of the "big name" horror people associated with this dopey movie, one might think that Wishmaster might be ok (Angus Scrimm, Robert Englund, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, and, of course, Wes Craven). One would be wrong.

Wishmaster is a prime example of what went wrong with horror in the 90's. While gorier than most 90's films, the film still comes across as both cheap, boring and totally unbelievable. The cheap part, I can deal with, but the unbelievability of the entire premise is a bummer.

The so-called premise is that there are these warlocky, demon-esque spirits that inhabit the world between the "earthly" world and the "spirit world" who scheme to take over both. The problem is that they can only do so by granting three wishes to people who inhabit the "earthly" world. That's right, we're talking about Genies, or to be more precise, the Djinn. And no amount of religious mythology or historical folklore can hide the fact that a movie about Genies is bound to be silly. Just ask Shaq.

So anyway, one of these Djinn winds up confined in a big red gemstone and for centuries the gem is hidden away inside the statue of Ahura Mazda, the god worshiped by the followers of Zoroaster - which is weird because he is imprisoned in the gem by an Islamic wizard guy in the middle ages and one would assume that the Persian Muslims of 1100 or so would have gotten rid of all false idols that happened to be lying around (Zoroaster pre-dating Christ by anywhere from 600 to 6000 years depending on which historian you ask). But whatever.

Then, in "America - present day" - Robert Englund purchases the statue and has it shipped to "America - present day" only to have it dropped onto Ted Raimi by a drunken dockworker. A mulletheaded meathead dude sees the hidden gem protruding out of one of the statue's fragments and tucks it away into his pocket. The gem is later sold to a pawnshop whose owner takes it to be appraised at Regal Auctioneers, a fake company whose logo looks suspiciously like the one for Regal Cinemas. Hmmm. Here, Linda Hamilton's stunt double takes the gem to her friend for some scientific tests, the course of which releases the Djinn and - well from there the movie kicks into turbo.

And when I say "turbo", I mean "Turbo" like the Judas Priest album. All watered down and cheesy.

The Wishmaster himself, the Genie, is sinister in a comic book, teenage metal band kind of way, looking a bit like a combination of Emperor Palpatine and Eddie from Iron Maiden's albums. His melodramatic dialogue (interspersed with phrases like "Fuck it" and "How ya like me now?") are hissed out in a deep rumbly voice with each final syllable punctuated like this: "How-uh, ya like-uh meee-uh nooowwwww-uh?"

There are some fun latex gore effects - a guy's skeleton ripping out of his body to come to life, some dismemberments and severed heads rolling around and some icky and gooey effects on a guy who, apparently, dies of cancer within 30 seconds. But it's not enough to save it from the weak script, dumb dialogue, much too sincere acting (I counted at least three "Noooooooooooo"s) and cheap-as-fuck CGI effects.

And let's be honest here friends, it's boring. Even the Motorhead song at the end blows and I love Motorhead.

There are three sequels, all direct to video, but they do exist which means that somewhere, lots of people continue to purchase or rent Wishmaster films. Not unlike the Leprechaun series. People are fucking idiots.

- Complaint Dept.

1 comment:

Jewcifer said...

Whats with the mullet?? This isnt an 80's film...