02nd Mar2018

‘Wishmaster’ Blu-ray Review (Vestron Video)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Andrew Divoff, Tammy Lauren, Robert Englund, Ted Raimi, George “Buck” Flower, Reggie Bannister, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Chris Lemmon, Wendy Benson-Landes, Tony Crane, Jenny O’Hara, Ricco Ross, John Byner, Gretchen Palmer, Angus Scrimm | Written by Peter Atkins | Directed by Robert Kurtzman


Wishmaster is one of those movies that is a treat for horror geeks. Featuring some of the genre’s most iconic actors part of the fun is hunting out all the Easter eggs that are so easy to spot. The question is, on revisiting the film, does The Djinn (Andrew Divoff) still have what it takes to make your dreams come true?

When a Persian statue of Ahura Mazda is broken, a red jewel is discovered within. Given to Alexandra Amberson (Tammy Lauren) to evaluate for auction, she accidentally awakens the Djinn inside. While capturing more souls inside the jewel, he chases down Alexandra with the aim of offering her three wishes which will then set the rest of the Djinn free to rule the world.

When horror fans see Robert Englund in Wishmaster, it already becomes a sort of seal of approval for the film. Then Ted Raimi appears, George Flower, Reggie Bannister, Tony Todd, and Kane Hodder appear too, then you realise what this film is. Wishmaster feels like a horror film event, and has some of the best-loved horror actors in it. This includes Angus Scrimm as the narrator. Need we say more?

There are other cameos hidden away, even the Pazuzu statue from The Exorcist makes an appearance. The question is though, with all this horror history in one place, does the film itself actually end up being any good?

Thankfully, with the first Wishmaster film at least, we are presented with a fun and gory film that manages to bring another memorable movie monster to the screen. Andrew Divoff gives the Djinn a charismatic edge, which is to be expected from a creature that seduces its prey with wishes.

One thing that is noticeable is that there is more of a focus on gore with Wishmaster, and there does feel like there is a certain attempt to replicate what Hellraiser did in this respect. This is not surprising when Peter Atkins, who wrote Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 and some of the other Hellraiser sequels, also wrote this.

What really makes Wishmaster stand out though is the Djinn, which his impressive as there are so many out there already. He stands in horror history with the likes of Freddy Krueger and Pinhead, though maybe not at their iconic level, but he does have his place. In the end, I tend to feel that films based on wishes do tend to be trapped by their own subject, and Wishmaster does fall into that trap. Thankfully though, it still manages to entertain.

Similar to the other Vestron Collector’s Series releases this week there are plenty of special features. Included in these is two commentaries, which include screenwriter Peter Atkins, director Robert Kurtzman, Andrew Divoff and Tammy Lauren. There are also plenty of other features including plenty of interviews on the making of the film. For those looking for a trip down Wishmaster memory lane, these are perfect special features.

Wishmaster is one of those horror movies that you may not have seen for years, but is well worth a watching again. If anything, the amount of horror stars and Easter eggs hidden in the film make for a fun watch, making Wishmaster something of a gory event movie for horror fans.

****½  4.5/5

Wishmaster is available in the UK on Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-Ray now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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