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Review Warlock (1989) and Warlock: The Armageddon (1993)

genre: action, fantasy, horror




Julian Sands plays a Warlock who is about to be judged and condemned but before this can happen he manages to flee. He calls upon Satan who thrusts him into the 20th century Los Angeles. He then gets taken in by Kassandra (Lori Singer) and her roommate. Once recovered he doesn't waste time to wreak havoc and chaos in search of the Grand Grimoire.

In essence Warlock is basically a chase film where witchhunter Redferne and Kassandra are on the funt for him and to stop him finding the pages that can reassamble the Grand Grimoire (a spellbook which can undo creation). One thing you have to understand is that this Warlock is immensely powerful and can do things Harry Potter only can dream of. It's very cool to witness his power and what the Redferne and Kassandra have to go through to deal with him and his spells. Most of the events are pretty bloody and gory but Sands plays his Warlock with a sense of humour making the experience more enjoyable.

Warlock is not a straight up horror intending to scare you. It's more a fantasy films where some strange and bizarre things happen that can freak you out. Director Steve Miner brings an energy to the film that is unrelenting and fun. Of course, it has some flaws. But I think that is more due to lack of story and characterization than lack of budget. In my opinion the dated special effects are highly creative which do add to the charm of films like these. The performances by Julian Sands and Richard E. Grant are top notch. I am not sure by Kassandra. It doesn't really look like she is having a good time. I read that he she was being problematic because of the makeup sessions she had to endure. (These makeup effects were spot on if you loop up recent pictures of her).

Overall, Warlock is quite the thrill ride if you don't mind the dramatic liberties it's taking.

How is it possible that a sequel has worse special effects than the original? I mean, some of these looked so horrendous compared to similar ones in the first film. Then again, some looked on par or even better. So, a mixed bag! That usually doesn't bode well.

I think it's hardly a surprise that our Warlock from the first film returns. In very spectacular but gross fashion. Julian Sands reprises his role, which is a good thing since he carries the whole damn film by himself. Sands infuses even more humour but at the same time is even more ruthless than before. No disrespect to the supporting cast and the supposed heroes, but their input into this franchise was amateur hour. In their defence, they didn't know and weren't aware they were druid warriors. If their parents had done this on time, then maybe they would have been able to do a better job. Now they looked like apprentices coming fresh from the Jedi Academy. Still, there are many moments when they are aware of their skills and the dangers and still act like they haven't got a clue. It's so infuriating.

I did manage to be entertained due to sheer creativity in parts. But I can't help but feel there was more heart in the original than this one. This does seem like a cash grab and suffers because of it. Overall, it is worthy of your time, but do be prepared for some disappointment!

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