BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
Blu-ray Review and Details:
Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate Films | Vestron Video
Available on Blu-ray - March 28, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: Wishmaster; English SDH; Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies; English SDH; Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell; English SDH, Spanish Wishmaster: The Prophecy Fulfilled; English SDH, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Three-disc set
Region Encoding: Region A
The words “show me wonders” should probably never be uttered in a horror movie concerning an evil genie. The bloodbath that follows such a command is a gnarly one. Thank the maker for 1997 and its use of insane PRACTICAL effects. Limbs are lost, throats are slashed, and guts are dumped on the floor. All in the matter of seconds as one Persian emperor receives the answer to his second question by the Djinn (Andrew Divoff).
He calls himself The Wishmaster, but he might as well be the devil himself and his plan, once he captures the soul of those who release him, is to fill the earth with others like him. For every soul this foul creature, known as the Djinn, gets, a portal to earth is open in which another like him can travel. And their plan is for a total takeover, damning us all to a certain hell on earth.
Originally produced by Wes Craven, the Wishmaster series – including the 1997 original, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (1999), Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell (2001), and Wishmaster: The Prophecy Fulfilled (2002) – finally make their way to blu-ray with this impressive collection from Lionsgate’s resurrection of Vestron Video. While the movies vary in quality – with the first two being the best – the collection is a definite must-own for fellow Horror Hounds and Gore-Gore Girls.
Divoff, who starred as the twisted wish granting creature in the first two films, gives a memorable performance of pure horror at a time when audiences were primed and ready for new monsters. And we had a lot of them at the time. From The Hook killer in I Know What You Did Last Summer to the Judas breed of cockroaches in Mimic, horror audiences were getting a little spoiled solid practical slices and dices. As has been stated before, 1997 was a pretty good year for horror.
With Wishmaster, audiences were in for a treat. In a celebration of all things horror, we have a cast that includes Phantasm’s Reggie Bannister and Angus Scrimm (as our narrator), Nightmare on Elm Street’s Robert Englund, Ted Raimi from The Evil Dead series, George 'Buck' Flower from damn near everything genre related, Friday the 13th’s Kane Hodder, Candyman’s Tony Todd, and Ricco Ross from Aliens. And the story – written by Hellraiser’s Peter Atkins – is a solid one, featuring a fire opal that gets found after a docking accident kills Mr. Raimi that eventually finds its way into the hands of actress Tammy Lauren, who plays the woman who accidentally awakens the Djinn.
The Djinn takes his time, which adds to the suspense and the scary-ass setup in the first film. In the second film, he spends most of his time in prison, convincing prisoners to spend their three wishes on foolish things like having lawyers fuck themselves in the ass. He also spends a lot of the movie convincing the prison guards that this is his prison. The other two flicks – both directed by Chris Angel and featuring John Novak as the Djinn – are inferior and probably only for hardcore fans.
VestronVideo Collector’s Series, bringing back genre titles with a newly remastered print and filled with a good amount of supplemental material, is certainly doing things right with this release.
Anyone else got a wish they’d like to ask? Anyone? Anyone at all? Or does this 4-film release grant your last wish? That’s what I thought.
Scream Factory continues to roll out their catalog of horror releases just in time for the scares this Halloween. Presented in a crisp 1080p transfer, Carrie’s new 4k scan of the original negative is a thing of pristine beauty. The film is dominated with reds and greens that absolutely burst with color. It’s a dark film, for sure, but the costumes are detailed and the simple backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity. Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural. Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen. Audio wise, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 mono soundtrack is clear and the dialogue is never lost or hard to hear.
See Special Features for breakdown of audio supplemental items.
For the dollar amount, you definitely get your money’s worth of supplemental material. Something Vestron prides themselves on.
- Director Robert Kurtzman and screenwriter Peter Atkins
- Director Robert Kurtzman and stars Andrew Divoff and Tammy Lauren
Isolated Score Selections/Audio Interview with composer Harry Manfredini
"Out of the Bottle" - Interviews with director Robert Kurtzman and co-producer David Tripet
"The Magic Words" - An Interview with screenwriter Peter Atkins
"The Djinn and Alexandra" - Interviews with stars Andrew Divoff and Tammy Lauren
"Captured Visions" - An Interview with director of photography Jacques Haitkin
"Wish List" - Interviews with actors Kane Hodder and Ted Raimi
Vintage Featurette: "Making of Wishmaster"
Trailers, Spots, Galleries: Teaser & Theatrical Trailers, TV & Radio Spots, Storyboard & Still Galleries
Behind-the-Scenes Footage Compilation
WISHMASTER 2: EVIL NEVER DIES
Audio Commentary with writer/director Jack Sholder
WISHMASTER 3: BEYOND THE GATES OF HELL
Audio Commentary with director Chris Angel and cast members John Novak, Jason Connery, and Louisette Geiss
Vintage Featurette: "Making of Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell"
WISHMASTER 4: THE PROPHECY FULFILLED
Director Chris Angel and cast members Michael Trucco and Jason Thompson
Director Chris Angel and actor John Novak
Featurette: "Wishmasterpiece Theatre"