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Horror - Demons

Wishmaster (1997)

Duration1h 30m
RatingsUK: 18, USA: R, some places 16.
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorRobert Kurtzman, 
Writers/ScriptPeter Atkins,
StarringAngus Scrimm, Andrew Divoff, Robert Eglund,  Tammy Lauren, 

Elevator Pitch: Somewhere between the world, heaven and hell live the djinns, creatures who would if they could, inhabit the earth. In series of accidental events a djinn is released from an ancient jewel and sets about changing the world. He must enslave the soul of Alexandra, the woman who found him, by granting her three wishes, after which the earth will be his. Disguised as a man he  induces others to wish for things in a way which allows him to create mayhem, and to move in the direction of his final victim. What wish can Alecxandra make which will return things to normal?

Content: There is no sex or nudity but some social drinking. The main reason for the rating is the level of violence blood and gore as the humans inadvertantly make wishes which allow the djinn to capture their souls. These include a shop assistant who wishes to remain beautiful for ever, and is turned into a shop mannequin, a policeman who wishes that a criminal’s murderous acts could be witnessed, and so the perp kills people in the police station and so on, working up to a climax at a society party, which the host wishes would be memorable. 

A View: This was a low budget shocker which did not gain the approval of the critics, although not many had a look at it. However, on an estimated budget of $5 million, it covered its production cost on its first weekend, once more illustrating the public appetite for blood and gore. I don’t really get this myself and sometimes have to look away at the particularly unpleasant bits. Actually I’m a bit queasy about some scenes in Call the Midwife. But the plot was ingenious and if you have read this review you know what to expect, so maybe a watch for nothing while having a few beers.

Additionally Info: There were cameos in the film featuring actors from other horror films, including Noghtmare on Elm Street, Friday 13th, and Candyman.  

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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