Thursday, April 1

Anyone else think the Djinn got a raw deal?

At least concerning Andrew Divoff's performances in the Wishmaster series? Over the past couple days I've watched the first two in the series after not seeing the first film in years and nothing of the second. Both are atypical examples of the weird sense of comfy contrivance that pervaded '90s horror. Despite being just over a decade old, they feel far removed from the norms of today--for better or worse. I mean honestly, who really gives a flying damn about a gemologist that coaches high school sports or a punk goth chick with a priest friend that looks like Tim McGraw as leading heroine protagonists? Wishmaster almost feels like a sorta valiant last theatrical B-flick stand right after Scream exploded by all the aging icons of horror stuffed into the runtime; while the sequel sacrifices the original's earnest positives for poorly-executed toilet humor.

Divoff is so damn great in Wishmaster that even though he's not an actor to get his own vehicles, he throws Vehicle-flavored Top Ramen (tastes like Charles Bronson) into the proverbial cinematic microwave and instantly owns the feature after two scenes. Even with the cavalcade of recognizable genre luminaries, everyone from Joe Pilato to Pazuzu, you quickly find yourself impatiently awaiting Demerest/Djinn's next appearance. Divoff has this inflicting sardonic smirk paired pockmarked serpentine physiognomy that really sells the Billy Mays of wistful doom quality in the Wishmaster. Come to think of it, the actor might have been one hell of a Patrick Bateman...

So back to the raw deal, it's just a shame Divoff's two Wishmaster turns are cluttered with so much goofy '90s trite claptrap. The films are very widely seen, but perhaps at a different time with better "everything" outside the Djinn, they could have meant something more meaningful than a minor albeit well known footnote in modern horror. Of course, if I wished for this, I'd promptly have my intestines wreathed out of my ass as the Djinn sends me back in time at hyper-speed to alter such history.


Buscemi said...

Wishmaster: a good reason why Robert Kurtzman should have stayed at KNB.

William Malmborg said...

Wow, it has been such a long time since I saw any of these movies that I don't even remember much about them, and, honestly, forgot all about them until this post. They used to be on quite a bit when I was in high school though and I probably still have them taped on VHS somewhere. I will have to see if I can find them.

Anonymous said...

I loved Wishmaster and Divoff was so materfully creepy in the films. Agreed, I hate the 180 in the second and the switch to a more cheesedick style of horror (A Nightmare on Elm Street anyone?).

But on the whole, I think the original Wishmaster is underrated.

DrunkethWizerd said...

I saw the original Wishmaster in the cinemas... it was pretty sweet dude.

Unknown said...

i enjoy the films, with great attitude and yes they should have kept the lead actor for the whole wishmaster series. alas like everything movies... direct to dvd is not appealing or even the money would not be there to keep 'em happy... you dare tread upon the staircase?

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