Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell (2001)
Director: Chris Angel
Some hot blonde teen (Cook) frees the Djinn (Novak) from his stone. The Djinn possesses the body of a goateed whore-of-a-teacher (Connery) and then proceeds to chase the hot blonde around campus, granting the occasional gory wish.
I enjoyed both "Wishmaster" movies on a certain level, but this sequel pales in comparison. The first big drawback is that the actor who played the evil Djinn in the previous two films, Andrew Divoff, bailed out of the series and has been replaced with the son of Bond Jason Connery.
Now the Connery casting kind makes sense. He looks nothing like Divoff (he’s bleach blonde where Divoff had brown hair) and I assume that they went that way to avoid comparison. It didn’t work. Divoff brought so much to the part and Wishmaster fans won't forget him. He was sexy, charming and deliciously evil. Connery, on the other hand, plays it very straight and he sports a goatee so thick that his face kind of looks like female genitalia (not sexy yo!). He’s not particularly bad in the part, but he just doesn’t have the spark that Divoff had.
Djinn casting aside, the movie has other problems as well. First off, the budget must have been pretty minute. That would explain the ridiculous looking “real form” Djinn costume (worn by John Novak). I was laughing out loud when he popped up and his dumbass dialogue didn’t help his case either. The low budget would also explain why the school is so empty. Where are the other students in the nighttime scenes and where the hell are the other teachers? This school is way too deserted and that took me out of the situation many times.
The movie also falters on a script level. The dialogue is atrociously bad at times. My favorite line has to be: “What I know would turn you insane”…. I almost hurled! Characterization-wise, nobody stood out apart from Diana (Cook). I didn’t give a rat’s ass about the other teens; DIE ALREADY! I didn’t fully digest the love angle the script tosses our way in respect to Diana and Billy either. Way too “typical” for me. And I also had trouble buying that the all-powerful Djinn couldn’t find one damn chick on a campus; go back to Djinn-school, you hack!
But the worst script fuckup is the inclusion of the angel “Michael” to the mix. What the hell was that all about? That plot turn elevated the film to super corny level, and had me groaning constantly. Not only is the sight of some angel-dude running around campus with a huge sword way silly-looking, but the angel chump is also frustratingly ineffectual. He always gets his ass kicked by the Djinn, doesn’t really do anything to help, bored me with his crappy dialogue and never used his power when he should have. Example: He has the power to heal (he uses it on Diana) but when they find one of Diana’s friends barely alive, does he heal her? No, he just lets her die. What kind of Angel is that? No wonder the world is going to shit! Fuck that Angel.
On the flip side, the film does deliver in the “candy” department. We get lots of tit shots for our bucks, a nice car crash and some kool gory bits. The evil genie premise still holds up and most of the nasty wishes granted by the Djinn were creative. The pace of the film is fast and I was never really bored. Yes, it gets a bit redundant but I was still somewhat amused for an hour and a half. Movies like this are the reason why people shouldn’t just check my rating on top of the page; they should also read the review. This flick is by no means "good" but it's still fun in a "so bad, it's good" kinda way. I laughed a lot and forgot my troubles for an hour and a half. Now rub my stones and make a wish.
This is one of the film’s highpoints. We get a bit off tongue, a ripped face, a slashed chest, a burnt girl, an internal liposuction, a girl’s face turned into a rat snack, an impaled dude, a blown up heart and a cut off hand that reconstructs itself.
Jason Connery (Joel) just doesn’t have fun with the part like Divoff did. His look is also questionable (shave the goatee, dude). He does okay but nothing memorable. A.J. Cook (Diana) has strong acting chops and manages to come out this flick looking good. Aaron Smolinski (Billy) does fine but he got on my nerves in “angel” form. Louisette Geiss (Katie) didn’t convince me and her bad lines didn’t help. John Novak (Djinn) looked ridiculous in that costume and his putrid dialogue sucked also. Tobias Mehler (Greg) got on my nerves doing his Matthew Lillard shtick.
T & A
I guess they knew the film was weak because they slapped lots of titties our way to make us smile. We get two chicks showing their ta-tas (one black gal, one white gal) early on. We get Louisette Geiss (Katie) following in their footsteps, also showing us her melons, we get a hot brunette in her undies and the ladies get Tobias Mehler (Greg) showing off his buff upper body stuff.
Apart from some occasional tilted camera angles and extreme close ups, the film looks pretty flat. Scares were totally absent from the film and visually, it could’ve looked more polished.
The movie slaps a cheapo techno score our way to make us think the film is exciting. I wasn’t fooled. We also get a few bland pop rock songs.
Distributor: Artisan Entertainment
IMAGE: The movie may be bad, but this DVD makes it look good. We get a 1.85:1 anamorphic Widescreen
image that gives this piece of trash a nice coating. The colors shine through and grain is absent.
SOUND: We get Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround sound (no 5.1 surround???) and it's adequate. The score and the dialogue comes out fine.
EXTRAS: Did this turkey deserve all these kool exras? Artisan are way too nice.
Commentary: We get a commentary track with Chris Angel (director), John Novak (The Djinn), Jason Connery (Prof. Barash), and Louisette Guis (Katie). This enthusiastic commentary is very informative and touches upon everything: effects, casting, specific scenes. Watching the film with the commentary on actually makes it way more enjoyable.
Making of Wishmaster 3: This six-minute featurette is more fun than the actual movie. We get the lovely A.J. Cook (Diane) talking about the story, we get a look at Jason Connery (Wishmaster) doing his own stunts, we get a glimpse at the making of the special effects and more. Director Chris Angel, Djinn in makeup actor John Novack and Aaron Smolinski (Billy) also give their two cents on the shoot and the film. Everybody looked like they had a blast. It seemed like a very groovy set. I kind of feel bad that I didn't dig the film now...
Production Notes: Here we get some info on director's Angel's intentions in regards to this sequel, the casting of Novack and Connery and more. Fairly interesting. I always love knowing behind the scenes stuff, even about bad movies.
Storyboard Gallery: We get penciled storyboards for 5 scenes of the film. A pretty kool and harmless extra.
We also get the obligatory Cast/Crew Biographies and Trailer. Once again "Artisan" delivers another top notch DVD with a way slick animated menu. This poor sequel couldn't have gotten a better treatment.
This is not a good horror movie or a worthy sequel to the original "Wishmaster". The script is weak, the direction is flat and the dialogue is poor. But the film can be enjoyed on a cheese level if you’re in the right frame of mind. I was amused, appreciated the gore, the situation and the tits. Overall though, I say rent the first Wishmaster again, it’s a masterpiece compared to this one. I wish that Divoff would come back to reclaim the part.
Aaron Smolinski (Billy) played baby Superman in the 1978 "Superman" movie.
A.J. Cook (Diane) played Mary in the "The Virgin Suicides".
Jason Connery is the son of actor Sean Connery.
"Wishmaster 3" was filmed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
The film’s original title was "Wishmaster 3: The Sword Of Justice". It now goes by: "Wishmaster 3: The Gates Of Hell"
"Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled" was filmed back to back with Part 3; expect it next year in 2002.