Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Wishmaster

"Wishmaster" (1997, Robert Kurtzman, Wes Craven, Live Entertainment) is a movie about a djinn (genie) who grants wishes in return for your soul, only, like all genie tales, the wishes never turn out how you imagined them.

We are first introduced to this djinn (Andrew Divoff) creature in 1127 Iran where a Persian emperor has set it free and it is causing all kinds of massacre on his people. This is where we are told the rule: the one who sets a djinn free is granted 3 wishes, but their third wish will free the djinn and all his friends to destroy the earth.

Snap to modern day and the art collector, Beaumont (Robert Englund) is having an ancient statue delivered to his collection. Only, the crane operator is drunk and accidentally drops the statue, killing Beaumont's assistant and releasing the red ruby containing the djinn. The gem is pawned by one of the workers and eventually comes into the hands of Alex (Tammy Lauren) who accidentally awakens the djinn. The djinn goes off on its merry way, torturing any whom it can trick into saying 'I wish' and claiming their souls, which, through her links to the djinn as its 'master', Alex can see as visions. The creature eventually takes the form of a deceased man and goes around town by the name Nathaniel Demerest.

Eventually, Alex and the djinn confront each other. Can Alex trick the djinn, as he has tricked people for centuries, with her final wish?

A cheesy 90s gore movie with a hell of a lot of genre-cameos (Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Ted Raimi, Ricco Ross... to name a few). The action is funny and over the top, the acting is sometimes dubious but suits the film, the plot is a little thin (probably hence all the gore) and it is far from actually scary, but I enjoy "Wishmaster". Kurtzman was a makeup and effects artist, so he was keen to make use of as many practical effects as he could which I appreciate, even if some did not date very well. All in all, this is very much a friends and pizza kind of cheesy movie rather than a smart nail biter. If you're looking for chills, tension or intelligent writing, this is probably not the film for you.

[Image: Live Entertainment]

Hani