“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Science Fiction / Theatrical Release: 1997 / Director: Robert Kurtzman / Actors: Tammy Lauren, Ted Raimi ... / DVD released 03 July, 2000 at First Independent Video / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, PAL, Widescreen „
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Wishmaster is one of those horror films that really is dire but somehow has some qualities that make it a bit of a silly enjoyable B-movie. The story goes likes this. An evil genie named a Djinn is resurrected due to some inept dock worker (dont ask). Then basically if his owner grants three wishes he'll be able to unleash some hell on earth or as he likes to call it "Fulfill the prophecy". He comes up against a female adversary whose life is made hell by the Djinn when she tries to uncover the secrets to his powers. Naturally she does him over in the end with some clever thinking. This got a theatrical release purely because it features a 'whose who' of horror movie icons in it's cast. Robert Englund (Freddy Kruger) has a sizeable role as a slimy art dealer and as usual he's over the top in an amusing way. Look out for Tony Todd (Candyman) and Kane Hodder (Jason Vorhees) to crop up as well. The film has some decent gory effects for the low budget and that's mainly because the director is Robert Kurtzman, one third of effects guru's KNB. The dvd isn't that bad an effort considering the low grade thrills of the film. It's in a a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation. Colour levels are solid with very little sign of grain of dirt. As for the sound, well the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix has a decent ambience and works well on some of the scares. It's also great when the chaos of the final scenes are appearing. Extras include the trailers, audio commentary and a 'making of'. The commentary is quite good with the director, writer and effects supervisor. They talk about the chaos on screen, set mishaps and creting the effects. The 'making of' is also surprisingly good. It features footage of a set burning down after an ill-timed stunt, cast interviews and also one of the most amusing interviews with a member of the crew who has a really bad hairstyle ! If you see it in the video store it's worth a rental along with good amounts of beer.
I decided to give this film a chance, as it was directed by Wes 'Nightmare on Elm Street' Craven, and he is regarded by some to be the king of horror movies. Well I have to say after watching this film the crown has either slipped, or fallen completely from his brow. I have an active imagination, so it does not take much for me to stay entertained, and usually grasp the main plot or meaning to the film within the first 15 minutes. However with this film I was still hunting in the gutter from which it came a good hour into it. The film revolves around a young woman named Alexandra, who unwittingly (as most femme fatales do) releases a demon back onto the Earth known as a Djinn. This Djinn was, as legend states, a creature put on Earth after the creation of Angels, but before the creation of man. However their soul purpose was to grant wishes, much as a genie, except they have an alteria motive for doing this. Each time a person makes a wish they in return give up their souls to the Djinn, who uses them to create a doorway to a demon realm so that his minions can enter onto Earth and take over. This is the Djinn's form of vengeance on God for making them able to serve only those who make wishes. However the Djinn can only fully open this portal if the one that releases him back into the Earth realm makes three wishes, and you guessed it, poor old Alexandra makes this big mistake. What follows is a cat and mouse race between Alexandra and the Djinn, with the Djinn trying to force her to use her wishes by using his powers to torment and terrify her. The film has potential, but spirals rapidly down hill with all of the almost comic special effects. And the one liners fail to add any form of amusement. By the end of the film you are actually routing for the Djinn, to take over the Earth, as if this happens the film may just become exciting! Apart from the usual Craven film appearance from Robert 'Freddie Kruger& #39; Englund, there is no real star presence in the movie, which probably accounts for the poor acting abilities of around 90% of the cast. If you are looking to watch or rent this film then I make no promises as to whether or not you will enjoy it, but if you are a Wes Craven fan, then I would suggest watching it just to see the usual blood and bizarre monsters.
An evil genie, the Djinn (Andrew Divoff), escapes from an ancient statue and wreaks havoc in this horror film from director Robert Kurtzman. The devious Djinn can regain human form permanently if he grants someone three wishes. The Djinn at first is trapped in the statue, which falls and cracks open when a drunken worker unloads it from a ship. The genie is inside a precious gem, which a puzzled pawnbroker gives to university gemologist Josh (Tony Crane). The Djinn kills Josh, and Josh's friend and colleague Alexandra Amberson (Tammy Lauren), who had been resisting Josh's romantic advances, sets out to find the killer. She follows a trail of carnage, and she soons learns the truth about the genie from anthropologist Wendy Derleth (Jenny O'Hara). The Djinn presents itself to Alexandra, who resists his seductive offers to grant wishes, but then the fiend sets his sights on Shannon (Wendy Benson), Alexandra's younger sister. The genie makes his final stand to grant a third wish at a party where antiquities collector Anthony Beaumont (Robert Englund) is displaying the statue.
Apart from having his name on the box, Wes Craven, had nothing to do with this film apart from 'presenting' it and more than likely giving it more exposure in the box-office and making the trailers sound a bit better. All in all the movie isnt really that bad, but definetly isnt a masterpiece, and introduces us to a new villain in the world of horror films - the Djinn. The film starts with a great scene to get you in the mood of things with lots of people dying in well tohught out and disgusting ways, this whole scene is set hundreds of years ago and we see a magician seal the Djinn into a gem and incrust it into a statue. The film then switches to the present day and a ship unloading goods, the man using the crane is drinking and is very drunk and manages to drop one crate on drop of a fellow workers, smashing the statue inside to pieces. Here one of the dockworkers spots the gem and steals it, he then sells it to a pawnbroker who in turn gives it to Alex (Tammy Lauren), an evaluator for a local auction. She starts to inspect the gem and spots what seems to be a little falw with the otherwise perfect jewel, she rubs the jewel and awakens the djinn, she doesnt know this and interested by the stone passes to one of her friends to scan it with a laser. The laser smashes the stone and hence lets the djinn out to wreck havoc on the people it meets, it grants them one wish but twists it, only to take their soul in return. Andrew Divoff is great as the Djinn, getting people to make wishes before twisting the words and making it backfire on them at a later date, somehow, somewhere. The Djinn oozes a malicios menace as Freddy Kruger did all those years ago in the first Nightmare on Elm Street, mixing his mystical, exotic background with the witty dialogue and one-liners he is given make him a spuerb horror villian. Part of the fun watching this movie is actually figuring out how the Djinn will grant the wishes of its summoners with the intent of d estroying them, before the camera finally reveals the result. In Wishmaster, they get a whole load of horror actors together to make cameo apperances, first one we see is Freddy Kruger himself Robert Englund as an abtique dealer wanting to buy the statue with the gem in it. We also get Kane Hodder (Jason) who plays a security guard, Tony Todd (Candyman) who plays a police officer and Reggie Bannister (The Tall Man - Phantasm) who plays a chemist. You can see Wishmaster was made on quite a low budget but it manages to look very smart and polished, all the sets look very detailed and the speicla effects and death scenes all look really great. This movie really relies on the special effects and graphic death scenes to pull it through. Wishmster is a very fast paced and imaginative horror film lasting only 90 minutes, this could be a bad thing but seems to work here, The story and the character are so rich that it should have been easy to fill another 30 minutes with some of the Djinn’s malevolent tricks. As it is we get an amazing bad sequel to watch.
After inadvertently freeing an evil Djinn from his gemstone prison, an auction house gemologist fights to bring his rampages to an end, as they include stealing the souls of the hapless humans whose wishes bring them to ironic early ends. Heavy on the computer-assisted effects, with some mitigating touches, such as Ted Raimi in a cameo and Englund as a stodgy art collector. Craven acted as Executive Producer, but later removed his name.