Wishmaster title

Tag Line : Don't make a sound. Don't make a move. And above all...Don't make a wish.

Wishmaster Misleadingly released under the title "Wes Craven presents..." to make horror fans believe the cult director had more of an active role in the making of this film (the director was actually Robert Kurtzman, Craven served as a producer), Wishmaster tells the tale of a modern day evil genie as who's definitely NOT the sort you would want to dream of ("I dream of Genie", Geddit? Oh never mind!).

Centuries ago, an evil Djinn, or genie as it were, was imprisoned inside an opal gem stone, which was then sealed inside a statue. Flashing forward to the present day and we see the statue being shipped over to Los Angeles, having been purchased by a wealthy antiques collector named Raymond Beaumont (played by horror veteran Robert Englund).

However, the statue is damaged in transit courtesy of a drunken crane operator, and the gem recovered from the rubble by a fellow light-fingered employee. It eventually ends up in the hands of a young gemmologist named Alexandra (Tammy Lauren) who unwittingly unleashes the Djinn when her friend Nathaniel (Andrew Divoff) tries conducting some laser experiments on it.

Taking on the appearance of her now dead friend, the evil genie goes off in search of Alexandra, who he requires to make 3 wishes of him, which will allow him to release his fellow Djinn's into the real world. Along the way, he amuses himself by granting wishes to several unwitting people with grim, but highly amusing results.

A security guard is turned into a plate glass door after saying "I'd love to see you try and go through me", a chemist shop owner suddenly dies after a passing tramp says to him "I hope you get cancer and die" and a store assistant gets turned into a statue after remarking "she'd like to remain beautiful forever", along with many more evil jinks besides.

Andrew Divoff is perfectly cast as the evil Djinn, and the exceptionally good looking Tammy Lauren is wonderfully distracting as the beautiful Alexandra. The Djinn's evil high jinks provide the films more amusing moments, particularly the scene in the police station.

Although only moderately successful at the box office, the film is actually very enjoyable and IMHO recommended viewing. It was certainly popular enough to spawn 3 direct-to-video sequels. Look out for fellow horror veterans Kane Hodder,  Tony Todd and Reggie Bannister who have guest starring roles alongside Robert Englund.

Overall Marks : 7/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag line "Be careful what you wish for".

  • Director Robert Kurtzman is actually better known in the horror world for his special cosmetic effects, being one of the founders of the KNB FX group.

  • The characters named Finney, Beaumont and Demerest are all references to science fiction writers of the 1950's.

  • The films soundtrack was composed by Harry Manfredini, who also scored the "Friday the 13th" films.

  • Robert Kurtman and Wes Craven managed to enlist several well known horror actors to star in the movie, albeit in brief guest appearance roles. Robert Englund (Freddy Kruger), Kane Hodder (Jason Vorhess), Tony Todd (Candyman), Ted Raimi (Sam's brother), Tom Savini (the SFX wizzard), Reggie Bannister (Phantasm), Joseph Pilato (a regular in Romero films) and George "Buck" Flower (who appears typecast again as a street tramp, see "They Live")

  • The narrator doing the voice over at the beginning of the film was Angus Scrimm who plays 'The Tall Man' in the "Phantasm" films.

  • Director Robert Kurzman makes a cameo appearance during the party scene. Look for the guy who gets strung up with piano wire

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

 
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Other films in the series.

Wishmaster 2 : Evil Never Dies

 

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