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By James Whittington, Wednesday 21st March 2018
Ahh, just imagine what could have been. Wishmaster had all the elements needed for the birth of a great horror franchise; a superb cast, a great story and just the right amount of respect for the horror genre. Then followed a trio of ever decreasingly poor sequels. But let's not dwell on those sloppy entries, let's just revel in this little horror gem (pun intended).
Magically powerful. Supernaturally evil. The ancient entity known in human legend as the Djinn can grant a person's wildest dreams. And in the process, it unleashes your darkest nightmares in the bloodiest way possible.
Though the premise is straight forward, this is one of the best from this time, a period where horror was about to enter a cinematic lull where inspiration and originality was starting to run dry.
The plot is only half the story here as the cast is a who's who of genre talent including Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Reggie Bannister, Ted Raimi and the vocal talents of the Tall Man himself Angus Scrimm all contribute small but perfectly formed cameos here. The main cast of Tammy Lauren, Andrew Divoff, and Robert Englund give it their all. Lauren makes a solid lead who, as the movie progresses transforms into wimpy woman to a bad-ass with sass and backbone. Englund too in a rare role that relies on him being enigmatic without being evil is obviously enjoying himself here. Divoff proves himself as the bad guy here. His vocal tone is guttural and creepy and the way he relishes every wish received just adds to the fun. You know this Djinn just wants to wreak havoc and horror.
Though Wes Craven's involvement over shadows his work on this, SFX maestro Robert Kurtzman directs the movie with huge confidence and gives the crowd exactly what they want, lots of drama, tons of action and no let-up in the story.
The effects from KNB are just fantastic, a mix of gore-drenched practical and early CGI, yes some are far better than the others but hey, we're here for the ride not the restrictions of technology from 21 years ago.
The transfer here is slightly soft but in keeping with the time it was shot and is drenched in bold colours, the major improvement for me was the soundtrack which jumps around from speaker to speaker with copious amounts of bass which doesn't stop the dialogue from being heard.
Then we come to the extra features, there's far too many to list here and is a dream come true for fans of the movie. Ther's commentaries and trailers and plenty of original EPK material to enjoy and remember the era in which this was shot.
This, one of the first titles in Lionsgate's Vestron Series and I seriously can't wait to see what they unleash next. In short this a wish come true of a release and is essential for any horror fan's collection.
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