#237 -- Wishmaster (1997)

Rating: 4 / 5
Director: Robert Kurtzman

I'm not really sure how I've overlooked this movie for so long. If I had known about a handful of the cast members, I would have watched it a lot sooner than I did. It's pretty much a horror movie fan's wet dream. It's got a lot of good things going on with it, and I think everyone will agree with me on that one.

It's about a race of genies called the Djinn. This Genie is no Robin Williams, though, because he's pretty mean. The deal is this--as is typical for genies, once they are awakened, they must grant three wishes to whoever released them. But the thing is, once that third wish is granted, that opens up the portal between their world and ours, allowing all of the Djinn to take over and wreak havoc however they may please.

The movie starts out in ancient Persia, where the Djinn were killing everyone in sight. This opening scene was incredible. It didn't take me very long to realize that I was going to enjoy it. There was so much going on, and all of it was awesome. There was a man who was turned into a snake; one had some kind of worm growing out of his chest that was trying to eat a woman's arm; and another man's skeleton literally jumped out of his skin. It was great. However, the Djinn couldn't get their man to make his third and final wish, and the Sultan ended up trapping him inside of a ruby-like stone.

In the present time, a girl named Alex comes across the ruby. While inspecting it, she releases the Djinn. How does she release him? Well, she rubs the ruby, of course. So, as the Djinn comes to Earth, he starts granting wishes to random people, which never really ends well. All of this is just for shits and giggles, though (not really, because he actually steals their souls in order to become stronger), because what he really wants is Alex. He has to grant her wishes so that he and his other Djinn friends can take over the world.

Once he finally finds Alex, that's where the the movie lost its charm for me. I really liked him walking around, granting wishes to people, and fucking shit up. Alex's wishes really weren't all that interesting, which was disappointing for me. She was the heroin, so I expected her to pull some really awesome stuff. That didn't really happen, though.

Okay, let's talk about the cast. I mentioned before that the movie is a horror fan's wet dream, and the cast is exactly why. Robert Englund is a rich collector. He's the on that bought the statue where the ruby was hidden. Tony Todd played a bouncer at Robert Englund's party. Ted Raimi had a very short part as a guy who got squished by the ruby-statue. Kane Hodder played a security guard at Alex's office. Harry Manfredini (who composed the music for most of the Friday the 13th movies) did the music. And of course, Wes Craven was a producer.  So, like I said--horror fan's wet dream. I freaked as I was reading the opening credits, and I couldn't believe this movie slipped under my radar for so long.

But what I liked most about the movie were the special effects. They were amazing, all except for a walking skelton, but that never looks good in my opinion, so I can't really blame it for that. Everything else was amazing, gory, unique and inventive. The Wishmaster himself looked fucking incredibleThe acting was good and the story was wonderful; I loved the mythology behind the Djinn.

Wishmaster is definitely a must see for fan's of the genre. You'll love the cast, the effects, the gore, and the story behind it all.

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