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Artisan Home Entertainment presents
Wishmaster: The Prophecy Fulfilled (2002)

"According to an ancient prophecy, one who wakes a Djinn shall be given three wishes. If the third wish is granted, the unholy legions of the Djinn will be unleased upon the Earth."
- narrator

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: November 18, 2002

Stars: John Novak, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Michael Trucco
Other Stars: Jason Thompson, Victor Webster, Kimberly Hue
Director: Chris Angel

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence/gore, sexuality and some language
Run Time: 01h:31m:41s
Release Date: October 22, 2002
UPC: 012236130529
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- C+B-B B

DVD Review

In this fourth installment of the Wishmaster saga, the ancient, evil, wisecracking Djinn (John Novak) is once again up to his usual nasty tricks, trying to coerce wishes out of unsuspecting humans in order to bring about some kind of Armageddon. Since his debut in 1997, the Djinn character has never had the marketable, comedic panache of Freddy Krueger, or even of the Leprechaun series, but he's still a fairly fun, mindless little horror diversion. This chapter is directed handily by Chris Angel, who also helmed part 3, and it's clear that his comfort zone with the whole Djinn mythos was solid enough to allow him to relax and come up with what turned out to be a sexy, gory and often funny addition to the series.

Any knowledge of the other three Wishmaster films isn't really essential to enjoy this one, as this is pretty much a stand-alone story. The Djinn is accidently released from his glowing red gem prison, and he immediately assumes the identity of an oily lawyer named Steven Verdel (played perfectly by Michael Trucco), after peeling off his face, that is. Verdel is representing a young couple, Sam (Jason Thompson) and Lisa (Tara Spencer-Nairn), who are trying to get a big money settlement after a motorcycle accident has left Sam paralyzed. Verdel/Djinn somehow realizes that Lisa is something called The Waker, and if he can grant her three wishes then it will unleash an army of demons to take over the Earth.

Director Angel throws in a hunky, sword-wielding good guy known as The Hunter, some demonic mumbling about ancient prophecies, a heady dose of nudity and plenty of whacked out gore (including a decapitation, a nose removal, a ripped out tongue, in addition to the aforementioned face peel) which turns this film into a decent and enjoyable B-movie. Novak, covered in layers of nobby Buffy-demon-worthy latex, struts around cockily and utters pithy one-liners before dispatching people, and he seems to have a lot of fun with the role. Though he has a tendency to sound like an over-testosteroned pro wrestler at times, Novak's Djinn is campy enough to compliment the occasional inaneness of yet another potential demonic-Armageddon scenario.

Wishmaster: The Prophecy Fulfilled could really serve to make Tara Spencer-Nairn a genuine horror movie pinup star, what with her readiness to doff her duds at a moment's notice as well as put up with an assortment of Djinn-fueled deadly mischief. She had a well-received dramatic turn in 1999's New Waterford Girl, but B-movie horror needs a new queen, and she gets my vote based on her performance here.

Though this one is a bit uneven in spots (what's with the goofy swordfight and equally goofy car chase?), most of what's laid out works well enough, at least within the confines of the sometimes logic-flawed story. Of course, the blood and nudity helped smooth out some of the thematic looseness, too.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen (thanks for small blessings), this latest chapter in the Wishmaster empire looks fairly grainy at times, which is the most noticeable flaw in this transfer. Colors are not particularly bright, but retain a consistent, though slightly subdued, tone, while fleshtones (lots of 'em here, thanks to Ms. Spencer-Nairn) looked a little red during some of the scenes.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Artisan has included a pair of very similar audio tracks, in 5.1 and 2.0 surround. The 5.1 is obviously the preferred choice, and it does offer a slightly more expansive soundfield that incorporates the rear channels a bit more noticeably, specifically for ambient music cues. The 2.0 track is flatter, with less pronounced spatial imaging than the 5.1 mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Featurette(s)
2 Feature/Episode commentaries by Chris Angel, John Novak, Michael Trucco, Jason Thompson
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Wishmaster Dating Guide
Extras Review: For this fourth Wishmaster film, Artisan has supplied more extras than I would have expected for such a far removed sequel. There are two easy to listen to commentary tracks, though these easily could have been condensed into one. The first features director Chris Angel, and cast members Jason Thompson and Michael Trucco, while the second has Angel paired up with the Djinn himself, John Novak. Angel is chatty and likeable on both tracks, but he tends to cover a lot of the same ground. Novak delivers some sarcastic comedic content, much like his character, but there are times when his stabs at humor become a little on the obnoxious side. The bad news is that Angel lets on early that Tara Spencer-Nairn was supposed to be part of his commentary with Novak, and her absence is unfortunate.

The cleverly titled Wishmasterpiece Theater (07m:13s) is a fun variation on the traditional dull behind-the-scenes featurette, designed as a parody of Masterpiece Theater, complete with cheesy classical music and veddy British narration. The footage is the usual stuff, but the narrator's comments are generally funny, such as when he says "rather than actually crush the actor's hand, makeup is applied to simulate the effect." The Wishmaster Dating Guide is a series of seven lighthearted questions posed to the Djinn (ex: What does Wishmaster think about premarital sex?). John Novak, in character, voices appropriately hammy and cornball answers.

Storyboards, a theatrical trailer, Spanish subtitles and 20 chapters complete the more than adequate extras.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

The Djinn doesn't get as much screen time here as he has in other Wishmaster films, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Plenty of blood, nudity and cheap laughs to be found here, held together by John Novak's dry wit and Michael Trucco's despicably slick lawyer, Verdel. I really found Tara Spencer-Nairn, as the will-she-be-unfaithful genre heroine, to be an unexpected and extremely pleasant bonus.

Definitely worth a rental.

 


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