I get so annoyed when people say that the 90’s didn’t produce any worthy horror movies. In a world of remakes and reboots, you would think people would be more appreciative of some of the most original horror films to date. Obviously, the 90’s wasn’t as hyped up as the 80’s for the horror genre, however, we did get some awesome cult classics that were unique and freaking awesome. Some of them were Candyman (1992), In the Mouth of Madness (1994), Arachnophobia (1990), The People Under the Stairs (1991), Scream (1996), The Blair Witch project (1999), and several more. One rare gem that also came out of this era would be Wishmaster and here’s why I wish everyone would watch it.
On September 19th, 1997, we were graced with the film Wishmaster, directed by Robert Kurtzman and executive produced by the late great Wes Craven. With a budget of $5 Million dollars it ending up grossing $6 Million during opening weekend, coming in third at the box office. Theatrically it ending up making over $15 million. Although it didn’t make a huge amount of money and is not rated highly among critics, I think it was a complete success and I’m here to tell you why they are so wrong about this movie.
The plot follows The Djinn (Andrew Divoff) a demonic genie, who if you unleash him, he will grant you three wishes. The unfortunate case for Alex (Tammy Lauren), who is an appraiser, is when she gets her hands on a rare gem that contains The Djinn. She takes it to her friend Josh (Tony Crane) to help analyze the gem further. The Djinn is released and feeds off wishes, however, in order for him to take over the world he needs Alex to ask him about the wishes. He sets off on a mission to find her meanwhile granting wishes and destroying every single person he comes into contact with. Alex is connected to him and can see everything that he is doing. When he finally catches up to her will she be careful about what she wishes for or will she carelessly throw them away?
Why is this movie so classic? Well for one, the graphics and death scenes are awesome! Every wish is turned into your worst nightmare. A woman wishes to be beautiful forever and gets turned into a mannequin. A security guard (Kane Hodder) wishes that The Djinn would go right through him, which happens to be my personal favorite.
Beyond the awesome kills, this movie has some major horror celebrity star power! The opening scene is narrated by the amazing Angus Scrimm (Phantasm) plus there are cameos with Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise), Tony Todd (Candyman), Ted Rami (Evil Dead 2), and as I previously mentioned Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th franchise). With an all-star cast like this, how can you go wrong?
However, the reason this movie really stood out is because of Andrew Divoff and his character The Djinn. He played this role to perfection. His voice was so surreal and creepy it would give anyone nightmares. Fun Fact: He is actually not smoking cigarettes in the film they’re just “Clovers” aka fake cigarettes. It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing this role. He did go on to play in the sequel – Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies. However, the next two films in the franchise: Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell and Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled went to the role of John Novak. None of these can surpass the original.
Also, I can’t forget to mention the unforgettable quotes by The Djinn such as, “Yes. The shit just… hit the fan, didn’t it?”
Wishmaster is almost twenty years old and is still remains bad ass. It is clearly an underrated gem. The cast and crew of this film were incredible especially The Djinn who made this movie a classic. Andrew Divoff played the role perfectly and I just recently had an interview with him. It was so fun learning more about him and his character. Plus, the graphics are pretty damn amazing, none of the CGI bull crap. Therefore, saying the 1990’s sucked for horror films isn’t true because there are truly some awesome ones that you just might have missed or need to give another chance like this one. So take my advice and watch it. I sure wish you would.