If you’re like me, you probably spent a good chunk of your October revisiting a hell of a lot of horror films in prep for Halloween. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t watch horror flicks all year round, it’s just that the holidays tend to inspire me to break out some of the more obscure titles I own or just things that I haven’t seen in years. On this year’s queue for me were the Wishmaster movies. (They’ve made 4 if you’re counting, but I’m just talking about the first two for now.) Seeing them again recently reminded me just how much fun they are.
The first Wishmaster was presented by Wes Craven; it was one of the first films directed by Robert Kurtzman, the FX guru who made up one third of the Oscar winning team at KNB EFX Group, and it had a script penned by Peter Atkins who had written Hellraiser II: Hellbound and Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth. It featured a bevy of cameos from plenty of horror genre alumni including Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd & Ted Raimi. Angus Scrimm, the “tall man” himself from the Phantasm movies provided the narration. And even Verne Troyer (Mini-Mi!) played the Wishmaster briefly during his “re-birth” scene. The plot is fairly straight forward – an evil Djinn trapped in a red ruby stone is set free during a freak accident. His goal is to collect souls by granting wishes (most of which he cons his victims into making) until he can grant the 3 wishes to Alexandra, the person who initially set him free which will bring about his reign.
Wishmaster is a fun romp of a horror movie thanks to both the performance of Andrew Divoff who portrays the Djinn with such delightful glee, as well as the stand out FX extravaganza courtesy of director Robert Kurtzman. No surprise there considering his background. And ya know what? I actually really enjoy Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies a lot too, if not maybe a tiny bit more than the original! Sure the sequel doesn’t have nearly as many elaborate FX sequences, but it does have its fair share, plus we’ve got Divoff back and even more sinister than ever. In the sequel, the Djinn needs something like 800 souls, so what does he do? He gets arrested and goes to jail! Why? Because all the convicts in jail want something and they’re more than happy to give up their souls for it. The wishes in the 2nd one are a little more over the top (one criminal wishes for his lawyer to go **** himself, and the Djinn obliges!) but that’s what makes it a blast.
Here’s the good news faithful FEARnet followers. We’ve got both Wishmaster and Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies currently streaming on our website for free right now! So if you’ve been wanting to revisit these movies too, no excuses – here’s your chance. And if you’re staying in all weekend, our 3rd free movie this weekend is the original 80’s “slasher” cult classic Maniac! Happy watching, fiends!