Day 44: Warlock (1989)


It’s the same old story. Girl meets warlock. Warlock curses girl with an aging spell. Girl meets witch hunter from the 1690s. Girl and witch hunter quest across America to retrieve all the pieces of a weird demonic book that could bring about the end of the world before the warlock finds them. Yadda yadda yadda. I am sure you have heard it a million times before.

 

In Warlock, Julian Sands stars as the title character who is evil, evil, evil (cha, cha, cha). He traveled through time and ended up in 1980s Los Angeles (maybe he was trying to go to Hell and thought, “eh, close enough”). He really wants to find a book– and not the hard copy of The Road, because frankly, he read it and was really not that into it. No, he has to find a book that could (wait for it…wait…. wait…) END THE WORLD (dun dun DUN!). But, he is followed through time by a man wearing furs. A man who will stop at nothing to destroy this malicious being—Giles Redferne (our hero’s name is Giles? OK, if you say so). Redferne teams up with Kassandra—with a K, as she points out about every seven minutes—to hunt down the warlock. And in the final battle scene—and I hope this doesn’t give too much away here– the warlock gets kicked in the crotch. In the crotch! A warlock! It’s like if Willow and America’s Funniest Home Videos had a baby, it would be this film.

 

This movie is so 80s. I would love to break it down and do a historical and cultural analysis, but does anyone really want to read that? (OK, I would… but if I write it, do I just end up sounding pretentious?) From the wardrobe to the special effects, this film really takes me back to all those cheesy flicks I watched as a kid.

 

Warlock was written by David Twohy—the writer/director of A Perfect Getaway, which I just saw a few days ago–and is a pretty textbook horror film from a few decades back. Don’t tell anyone, but I really enjoyed it (what am I saying? Am I under a spell or something?). It was tough getting through the first fifteen minutes or so, but Warlock was a fun ride after that. Sure, some of the lines and effects are a little laughable now, but that is part of the charm for me. Perhaps I am waxing nostalgic here, but this film took me back to sleepovers in my friend’s basement. We would rent five videos for five days for five dollars at the local video store. We would order pizza and spend the whole night talking and watching movies (and for some reason this usually ending up including either Pet Cemetery 2 or Encino Man. I don’t know why.). Those were the good old days.

 

When I thought about how to score this movie, I had to consider what this film is and use that as a basis for evaluation. It IS an 80s horror film. Expect half-sweaters and sequined skirts. Expect special effects that look like they were swiped from a Ghostbusters reel. Expect a lot of really fake, really disgusting gory moments. And expect the hero to have a man-permed mullet.

 

Score: B-

 

Netflix Queue: 471


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