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Monday, November 11, 2019

Warlock (1989)




The story begins in sixteen ninety-one in Boston where a warlock has been captured by a hunter named Redferne. He manages to escape with the help of the Devil who sends him to present day, well present day nineteen eighty-nine. But Redferne follows the warlock thru the portal. Before he arrives, the warlock kills a man and goes looking for a medium to communicate with his master. There he learns he must reassemble the devil’s book where he will learn the true name of God. Speaking the name backwards will undo creation destroying the world!

Redferne finally shows up but not before the warlock has cursed the roommate of the man that he has killed. Her name is Kassandra and the pair set off after him. She to break the curse and him to save the world. They have to try to stop him from finding the three fragments of the book by destroying the warlock or getting the pages first. The cross-country race takes them from California to Boston where they started from in the first place almost three hundred years earlier.

This was a staple of the cable channels in the early nineties and I know that I’ve watched it many times. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I’ve never owned a copy of Warlock or it’s sequels. Not on DVD, Blu-Ray, or even VHS! This is such a quintessential eighties movie I don’t know how that is possible. When I saw the new Blu-Ray set I grabbed it and added them to my library. I’m glad that I did because this is a decent movie. 

The plot is straightforward and easy to follow along. The bad guy has to collect something, the good guy is in pursuit, and early on picks up a sidekick who in this case is a pretty girl that ends up falling for him. I don’t mind formulaic stories when they are done well and here that is the case. There is never a wasted scene as the action gets started early and is nonstop. The characters are interesting and those they meet on the way to Boston are as much fun as our protagonists and antagonist. My favorite is the old school Mennonite who understands the signs and almost stops the warlock early on. How often do you get to see a Mennonite on screen much less as a hero? Not only that but I don’t think in the history of cinema one has ever been able to utter the following line… Diabetes to the rescue!

This is a weird movie...
I was also surprised at how well the special effects hold up. There is a particularly gruesome attack when the warlock takes a shine to a piece of jewelry. We also find out the ingredient necessary to make a flight spell. It isn’t pleasant at all, though we don’t get to see the “act” we do see the aftermath in all its gross glory. Really you should get you children baptized just in case an evil warlock comes to town. There is some green screen work that doesn’t hold up well in HD but that is forgivable in a movie that is almost thirty years old.

I really enjoyed Warlock and am glad that I own a copy for my collection. Not only do I recommend the movie but I also suggest the Blu-Ray set. I will be checking out the sequels in the near future. I’m hoping they hold up as well as the original does.


© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer

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