The Films (3/5 - Wishmaster, 2.5/5 - W2, 2/5 - W3, 1/5 - W4)
I remember my initial excitement when the first trailers for "Wes Craven's Wishmaster" flashed on my TV screen in the late 90's. I was a teenager and the promise of a new Wes Craven film was still a very exciting proposition. I was still unaware of the concept of filmmakers lending their name to smaller films to help them gain awareness at the box office. My friends and I, all equally excited to see Craven's new creation ran out to see it. Only to find out it was directed by Robert Kurtzman whose name I recognized from the many issues of Fangoria I'd read by that point. I felt we were still in good hands. I left the theater entertained, but in the 21 years since seeing the film I had never revisited the film or seen it's 3 DTV sequels.
Wishmaster follows a jewelry appraiser Alexandra. Alexandra has acquired a rare jewel through a construction worker and while analyzing it releases a creature known as a Djinn who will grant dark versions of her wishes. Upon 3 wishes being granted he is set free upon the world to do as if he will.
Wishmaster held up exactly as I remembered it. It was a decent little 90's horror film, nothing mind blowing. The monstrous performance from Andrew Divoff as the Djinn was a fun distraction and with KNB behind the FX there was some decent gore. Also, for 80's horror fans there is practically a drinking game involved in pointing out cameos from horror stars, this film has everyone from Joe Pilato and Robert England to a voice over from the late Angus Scrimm.
Wishmaster 2 retcons some of the Djinn mythology of the first, in this one he needs to collect 1000 souls to get back his "wish powers". In order to do that he goes to jail in place of Morgana, the woman who got caught stealing the jewel he was resting in. This allows him to take 200 of the souls he requires. He later ends up in a casino to get the rest of his souls. Morgana, can now get her 3 wishes, and the Djinn now has his chance to take over the Earth.
This one is a clear step down from the first. Oddly, it does have the same high points. The gore here is decent, and Divoff plays the Djinn here (which he won't do in the remaining films), and he does so quite well. Unfortunately, the first film wasn't great, and didn't have a lot to hang on, so the 2nd film is mostly gore mixed with bad humor with nothing else to recommend it on.
The third film sees the Djinn is awakened by Diana, a college student, and oddly, takes the form of a college professor (Jason Connery) to help collect more wishes, and victims. This one no longer has Divoff as the Djinn, and the gore effects are lacking. The film is bloody, but the effects are terribly executed. This one is really only for completists (Are there Wishmaster completists?)
The fourth film finds a woman named Lisa in the midst of a lawsuit alongside her crippled boyfriend. When all of a sudden due to the Djinn's jewel coming into her possession their lawyer becomes possessed by the Djinn, who tries to become involved with Lisa's life and get her to make 3 wishes, which she does. After which multiple Djinns begin to operate on Earth. Which it could be said it sort of interesting. This one ups the sex, in place of the gore, which is still tamer than the first 2 entries.
Audio/Video (3.5/5 - Combined Score)
The first Wishmaster is presented 1:78:1 the rest are presented 1:85:1 all 1080p AVC encoded transfers. The transfers are decent, but look like they might come from slightly older HD masters. Still they are decent enough, details is fine, blacks are solid, colors are well reproduced.
Audio for all 4 films are handled with DTS-HD MA 2.0 tracks in English. Everything sounds quite fine here with dialogue and score coming through quite clearly, nothing really pops, but there are no issues.
There are commentaries for every film, multiple featurettes, trailers, and more on this set. Wishmaster has never seen it so good.
Not the greatest series of films, but there is some fun to be had early on. The Wishmaster films are nice splatter/monster horror. The Blu-ray's look and sound decent, and are stacked with extras. RECOMMENDED.