Wishmaster 2 Evil Never Dies Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
And off we go in our trip through the Wishmaster series, with Wishmaster 2 Evil Never Dies. A straight to video release that came out in 1999, with Andrew Divoff returning as the villainous Djinn and the last of the series that I have seen before. While the first movie remains a favorite of mine. How does the second one hold up and fair to a more impartial viewing? Let’s dive in and discuss shall we.
They start off fast, with a robbery going south at a museum. Sirens start to go off and shootout commences between the guards and the thieves. One of the shots, hits the statue and knocks out the Fire Opal. Morgana picks it up and ends up saving her, when a bullet hits it again. Shattering and beginning to glow. Before they find out why, a guard shows up and shots her boyfriend, Eric. Who tells her to go. While she is escaping, the Djinn comes out, in his slimy serpent form. Asking Eric if he wishes the pain to go away. To which, Eric replies that he wishes he was never born. and immediately begins to shift in reverse from adult to teen to child and eventually nothing. As the Djinn was collecting the stone. A cop shows up, ordering him to freeze and the Djinn froze him. By the time the rest of the cops arrives, he is in his human form and willingly surrenders and takes full responsibility of all the crimes Morgana and Eric committed. While Morgana is having a break down over her lose and killing the guard. ” Nathaniel” is being interrogated and driving the cop insane. Cop not believing his story while The Djinn is trying to get him to slip up and ask for something, till he just sends him to lock up at county. Morgana sees it and only adds to her guilt. While he is in county, he grants one of the prisoner’s wish of walking right out the bars, by him getting flung up against the bars and forcefully shoved between them, in a gruesome sight. While Morgana sees it in her dreams. The next day she goes off to a Catholic Church to meet Father Gregory. Wanting to talk to him about what was happening and he was not really willing to listen, but let her talk. Asking if he believed in the Devil and when he asked what her point was. She tells him about Eric being dead and he more or less shrugs it off. Saying he wasn’t right for her and she storms away after an argument. Meanwhile, back at a state penitentiary and fulfilling another wish. Telling them to spread the word to their friends. The next morning, she confesses to Gregory and goes to visit Nathaniel, to find out what is going on, and why he confessed and why is he appearing in her dreams and what is the prophecy. He tells her that she’ll learn in time and he is in her only temporarily, needing to collect souls. After catch a glimpse of his true self and panics. Leaving to go find out more about him and what he is collecting souls for before he is finished and comes for her three wishes and will end it there for now.
They really took what made the first movie great doubled down on it. By giving the Djinn the goal of needing a thousand and one souls before he even cares about collecting the three from Morgana, means that we get more Divoff and more wishes. Some being overtly gory and some funny. Most over the top, but wanted so much more just to see how he would twist the conversation to meet his goal. Bringing back the part scene at a casino this time and still works just as well. A bit more CGI affects, but the practical ones were still as much fun as they were in the first.
They changed up the make-up and prosthetic of the Djinn. Losing the armor and cape, for more human body. Face being more shrunken which allowed the horns sticking out of his head and the spiked shoulders stood out more because of this change. Was the same coloring and more slimy but they did a great job and one thing they did keep was his orange and red flicked eyes and that made up for any change. They are just so menacing and make the look that much better for it.
Cast wise, this was very much a one man show, Andrew Divoff just knew this character so well and brought out every nuance and tick and made every second of screen time a blast. He just came across as so unusual and terrifying and when he was even enjoying himself and taunting Morgana and Gregory, it was unsettling and just so well done. In my first review, claimed he was potentially more scary in his human form then he was as the Djinn. This time around, it is absolutely true. He was fantastic and made this such a fun time.
A mixed one, was Holly Field. She wasn’t bad when she wasn’t bad, and was better when she was opposite Andrew. She took a tumble when she was paired with Paul Johansson. She wasn’t very good, but not awful either.
Now, who was awful was Paul Johansson’s character Gregory. Every word out of him is delivered in a flat, near emotionless pitch and so, so repetitively. He offers nothing of substance. He is not likable throughout and has quite a few… jerk lines and can’t even enjoy his death because he is just that bad of a character and acted.
One final negative and don’t know if its a big one or not was that this had such a shove it down your throat Catholicism story thread that just drags things down. Djinn are more attached to Arab religions. Not against going religious to beat him, but at least go through the ones with them more highlighted in. The first movie really felt like Alexandra pulled the win out of the fire by outsmarting him and this just felt so bland in comparison, because Morgana didn’t really didn’t do anything.
At the end of the day, I am giving it a B. While Morgana and Gregory were more on the bad side. Andrew Divoff pulls this film up several levels on his performance as Nathaniel alone. He was just so, so good. The gore is there and some pretty funny moments throughout. It is not as good as the first, but still fun to be had here. Final Grade = B
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thanks For Reading.
Wishmaster Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
Feeling a bit nostalgic and thumbing through my Dvds when I came across an old favorite of mine. Wishmaster being among the first horror movies I watch as a kid and has stuck with me ever since and figured; why not, lets not do just a review of the first Wishmaster, but the series. Covering all four reviews over the next week or so. Some I have seen. Some I haven’t. In the end, going to have a good time regardless. So, lets gets started by diving into the first shall we.
We get things started during the opening credits. Watching the Fire Ruby being forged and opening words. Detailing the birth of the Universe, Angels, Man, and finally the Djinn. That the person who awakens the Djinn, gets three wishes. Upon the third, the legion of Djinn will be freed from the veil between the worlds and to fear them and them alone. Leading us to Persia in 1127 A.D. Where a pharaoh was making a wish and how horrific the wish was being twisted and the people were being devastated in twisted ways. Before he made the third, the Sorcerer interrupted. Sealing him away in the ruby. Jumping to today, we see a Museum Curator receiving a statue from the docks, but the Crane Handler was drinking on the job. Argument leading to his drink spilling and caused the Box to drop on top of the Curator’s Assistant. Killing him and shattering the statue. While the Curator is fuming over the loss of the statue. Doesn’t see the Dock Worker pocket the hidden Ruby. Who took it to a Pawn Shop, and the shop owner brought it to be appraised and the owner was more than happy to pass it along to his best; Alex. Who is currently playing Tennis with her best friend, Josh. Who wants them to be more than friends, but after some loss in her life. Alex doesn’t want to lose anything more in her life. Departing on him asking her to think about his offer for dinner and a movie. Jumping to her at work. Starting to evaluate the ruby. Inadvertently, kick starting the awakening of the Djinn. Realizing that there was something wrong, she takes it to Josh to get testing on the inside of the ruby. Going off to coach the girls basketball team, and she sees the Djinn exploding out of the gem. Injuring Josh in the process. The creatures gets him to wish the pain would end, which kills him and allows him to gather the energy to regain his true form. With him out, powering the Ruby with the souls of everyone who makes a wish, till it is time to go to get the three from Alex. She is scrambling to get any sort of information on the Djinn and how to stop his reign of terror and that is where I will leave it for now.
I really love the story they tell throughout. Was a simple story that was told excellently. The twists on the wishes went from horrific, like the pharmacist getting Cancer and the party scenes at the beginning and end. The party scene heavy on the gore and effects that are criminally underrated. To the more comical ones like the Houdini trap and the million dollar insurance policy. Pacing was spot on ramping up in intensity perfectly.
Then there was the way they handled the all powerful Djinn. The make-up and prosthetic were beautiful and he feels terrifying in his movements and gestures. Playing off the fact that he couldn’t really do anything without a wish to twist. Particularly with the guard telling him to leave and he was actually leaving. Not able to resist in anyway. Showed just how precise Alex was going to have to be to beat him at the end. In a way, the one thing that hurt the monster side was his human, cause the Nathaniel part was just as fantastic. His ticks and mannerisms. Smooth talking and reading his victims. Knowing just way to say, whether it was bringing out their vanity or get under their skin with frustration and getting them to open up. He was better that human than he was under the costume. Which is a huge applause to the actor, Andrew Divoff.
Andrew Divoff performance was simply spectacular as the Djinn. Like I said above, he brought out a level of fear and style in both forms. He ranks really high in my book of best horror villains, as controversial as that may sound, but he is just that good throughout. Aided by a good performance from Tammy Lauren as Alexandra. I have watched the scene between the two of them in Wendy’s Apartment a hundred times. The chemistry between them was just spot on that even the conversations were a blast. Then you had a Murder’s Row of whose who in horror. Start with narration from Angus Grim. Joseph Pilato, Reggie Bannister, Ted Raimi, George ” Buck” Flowers, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, and Robert Englund and probably more that I missed. All except for Angus dying at the hands of the new monster, but were a blast to see appear.
Negative wise, is a short little thing and that was an bit of audio issue with the Djinn. At times he is extremely hard to hear, but was only really and issue when they were in the ruby.
Alright. I am going to give it a give it a higher grade than it probably deserves. The fact is anytime anyone asks for a suggestion, this is normally the high on the list. It holds a special place in my heart. I have a blast every time I watch it. Gore, effects, comedic moments and Andrew Divoff. Had the line-up of Horror Acting Prestige. Everything I love and helped kick start my love of horror. Final grade = A+
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank you for reading.