Horrorfest 2014 Presents: Wishmaster (1997, Robert Kurtzman)


Even though Robert Kurtzman directed this nasty and entertaining piece of work much of this film has the look and feel of a Wes Craven movie. Which makes sense considering that the master of horror produced this film, the first in a series of movies about a sinister djinn that is released into the world, creating havoc and plaguing the living. As the insane and gory opening reveals, this foul creature requires three wishes so that it may be free to walk the earth, something that no one should ever want. This monster is portrayed in human form with wonderful sneering menace by Andrew Divoff, who is given plenty of horribly funny one liners. This film may be a reflection of other films such as the cult Leprechaun series, and yet it stands apart from those because its really creepy with only small bits of humor involved. Plus you have Robert Englund, Ted Raimi, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Reggie Bannister and other famous horror movie actors who have been in numerous classics over the years involved in this movie, which makes their cameos (save for Englund, who has a big part) fun to notice.

It also helps this movie that the female lead is pretty great-Alexandra, played by Tammy Lauren, who quickly realizes she is in over her head. The scenes where the dijnn plagues her, then later on tempts her with wishes are both freaky and engaging. And of course this film has multiple horrible things happening to people who actually make wishes, bringing to mind the idea that one should not only be careful what they wish for, but also that one should be really specific. Or just not make any wishes at all, considering that’s what the diabolical dijnn wants you to do. I also liked how the film concluded, as it was a bit of a fun surprise, and this movie has plenty of nasty elements to keep viewers who hunger for such things entertained. I’m not sure if I want to view the sequels although I’m reminded of The Prophecy, although 90s horror film series with mythical beings (depending on your point of view and beliefs) that turned out to be fun and enjoyable, so perhaps I’ll give the Wishmaster series a shot as well.

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: The Prophecy (1995, Gregory Widen)


If you bothered to read the Horrorfest list heh then you know that this was not feature on there. I decided to quit viewing the lackluster Beneath The Darkness because its neither scary nor thrilling, and check out a 1995 horror/fantasy film on Netflix Instant Viewing titled The Prophecy. Despite being somewhat dated and having that standard 90s horror look, I was actually engaged throughout and found the movie rather interesting. After all the plot is about a war in heaven waged by angels, with the archangel Gabriel coming to earth to claim a dark soul and tip the war in his favor. Yet the humans and a lonely, wary angel named Simon have other plans. I was reminded of an equally solid and entertaining 90s horror flick, the Clive Baker directed Lord of Illusions, which came out the same year and operated in the same horror/fantasy vein as The Prophecy did.

Simon, played with a tragic wariness by Eric Stoltz (whatever happened to him? I liked him as an actor) appears on Earth, telling a failed priest turned cop named Thomas (Elias Koteas, in another likable and well acted performance of his among many others) about upcoming events. A vague warning, but one that Thomas heeds, as he is forced to investigate after the death of another angel. What this leads him to is Gabriel, played with a wondrous mix of hammy overacting and menace by the legendary Christopher Walken. Walken completely takes over this movie by not only being creepy, but also spewing hilarious one liners and clearly enjoying playing the main villain of the film. One of my favorite moments is when Gabriel is just sitting at a school, hanging out with children while looking for Mary, who has been forced by Simon to keep the soul within her. Its just a random funny moment, with Gabriel’s hidden sense of evil contrasted against the innocence of the young students.

What I also like about this movie is the mythology: the idea of angels waging war against each other sounds cool (although there was only one war in the Bible, and it was when Lucifer was driven out). Virgina Madsen by the way is rather gorgous as Katherine, the school teacher caught up in all of this, and the scene between her and a leering, sinister and really freaky sounding Lucifer, played by a young Viggo Mortensen, is a great moment in the film. For some reason I find it weird that three Pulp Fiction actors were together in this (Walken, Stoltz, and Amanda Plummer) although I don’t think it really means anything. The Prophecy has its share of flaws, sure, but overall I liked it a lot, and I thought it was a good, fast moving horror movie with some decent thoughts on religion and faith. However I still cannot believe they made four or five sequels, especially with how the movie ended. Some wonders never cease.

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