Warlock is probably one of the strangest fantasy movies of the eighties. And these are the eighties we’re talking about, so you know that the bar is set really high. During the first twenty minutes, it changes so many genres that you can’t help but keep your eyes peeled to the screen. And this is the thing about this movie, it’s just so odd, refreshing, and quirky that you can’t wait to see what’s the next scene. We open with a sorcerer, pardon warlock, cuffed with thumb cuffs binding his toes and fingers together. I mean, right away you can see that you can’t tell if they are for real or not. Just get through these first twenty minutes and Warlock will enchant you. Mind you, the tower where Warlock is kept looks like a Hexenturm or Witch Tower, a building used to keep witches during the middle ages.
This blend of authenticity, honest approach, and bizarre situations makes Warlock incredibly entertaining and engaging. And trust me, things will get much, much weirder. You couldn’t possibly guess where the story is going and what’s going to happen. The atmosphere is vibrant and cheeky but most of all it has that adventuristic spirit about it. Like you’re witnessing something grand. And you are, as the faith of the entire world rests on the shoulders of a waitress and a witch hunter from the past. Our three leads are also perfect and have great chemistry. I bet they had loads of fun filming this movie.
It is the year of our Lord 1691 and Boston is about to become a much safer place as an evil Warlock is sentenced to death. However, Satan decides to intervene and sends him forward through time, in the 20th century. Witch-hunter Redferne, who caught him in the first place, also travels with him. So now he must catch him again but to do so, he’s going to need a little help.
The cast of Warlock is just perfect. First, we have Lori Singer of her Footloose glory playing the quintessential eighties girl. Next up is Richard E. Grant who takes a while to warm up on you but once it does, he easily becomes your favorite character. And finally, there’s the Warlock, played by charismatic Julian Sands. I can already see the female part of the audience in the eighties wishing him to “curse” them. The director Steve Miner did the old switcheroo between these two actors to avoid the typecasting. Something that worked out wonderfully.
Warlock feels like a fairy tale for adults if that makes sense. It’s an adventure that uses many familiar elements and blends them in an unexpected way. Although we have time travelers, we don’t dwell on the whole “how the world has changed” gimmick. Although there’s witchcraft and spells, they are not pervasive, and so forth. The special effects are decent and for us, fans of the eighties movies, very nostalgic. And they didn’t fuck up the finale, something that oftentimes happens with these movies. Finally, there are two more Warlock movies and both of them are quite decent. Especially if you liked the original. And if you’re looking for something a bit more serious check out The Ninth Gate.
Director: Steve Miner
Writer: David Twohy
Cast: Julian Sands, Lori Singer, Richard E. Grant, Mary Woronov, Kevin O’Brien, Richard Kuss
Fun Facts: The fate of the unbaptized male child was intended to be shown but was ultimately deemed to be too gruesome.