Director - Robert Kurtzman (The Rage, Buried Alive)
Starring - Tammy Lauren (The Drew Carey Show, Home Improvement), Andrew Divoff (Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation, The Dead Matter), and Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm St., Strippers vs. Werewolves)
Release Date - 1997
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Be careful what you wish for"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
The 90s are often panned by horror fans. Most believe that horror films from the 80s are far superior to films from the 90s. This is something I agree and disagree with. In general I typically like more movies from the 80s than any other decade but completely writing off the 90s as a shit decade is stupid and something I was once guilty of myself. The 90s should not be pushed to the side because it was the decade to release some great films. We have Savini's remake of Night of the Living Dead, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Frighteners, Dead Alive, Army of Darkness, The Blair Witch Project, The People Under the Stairs and so many more. One film that I remember was popular in horror forums back in the days before Facebook was the 1997 Robert Kurtzman film Wishmaster starring Andrew Divoff. I watched this film and the sequel when I was in college and remember liking it somewhat. Not long ago Vestron Video release all four Wishmaster films in one set and they were kind enough to send one my way. Thanks guys!
The film follows Alexandra (Lauren) who works as an appraiser for a jeweler when someone brings in a rare gem. When she starts appraising it she accidentally unleashes an evil djinn who must grant her three wishes to obtain her soul. He tricks her into making three wishes but when she refuses to make the third he starts attacking family and friends forcing her to take action and stop him before everyone she knows and loves is destroyed.
Wishmaster is one of those films that has a lot going for it and delivers on the gore but the overall film is rather boring and lackluster. The film is directed by Robert Kurtzman who is the K in KNB Effects so he knows his away around horror but the film still suffers from several stale scenes that tries the viewer's patience. The acting in those has always disappointed me. Tammy Lauren is a great actress but her character is very weak for the most and she seems like she doesn't know how to deal it. She feels awkward and out of place for most of film which makes several scenes lose it's impact. Andrew Divoff is great as the sophisticated and intelligent djinn. He was perfectly cast in this role but I feel as if his character was not given room to shine or his personality to flourish. His character could have been so much bigger than what it was. The supporting cast is decent but they feel forced and several scenes sound as if they were dubbed later on and the voice actor makes no attempt at capturing the emotions portrayed on screen. The story for this one is one we had seen several times throughout the 80s and 90s before Wishmaster. I can't count how many films follows an ancient creature being awakened by something breaking, being excavated, or unleashed by accident forcing someone to stop it before it kills everyone they love. The creature being a djinn does make it stand out and the mythology around it is very fun to follow and has endless possibilities. The story does suffer from horrible pacing as well. Some of the scene drags on for far too long. The overall appearance of the film is not put in jeopardy by this but there will be times where you catch yourself distracted. Finally, this wouldn't have been a Kurtzman film if it didn't bring the amazing special effects. The film has several amazing on screen kills that use top notch effects. Kurtzman is a well known name among horror fans for his genius practical effects so fans expected a lot from him in this film in which he delivers. The kills are very imaginative and the effects are fantastic. Sadly, some of the kills are visual effects and CGI which are very dated by this point and just horrible to look at. These should have been skipped completely. Overall, Wishmaster is a decent movie especially for a first time watch but this is one I can't watch more than once every decade. It has it's flaws but is still a solid watch.