ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled (2002)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Chris Angel

Starring:
Tara Spencer-Nairn/Lisa Burnley
Michael Trucco /Steven Verdel
Jason Thompson/Max
John Novak/Djinn
PLOT-CRUNCH
When bootieliscious Lisa (Spencer-Naim) receives a gem stone from the flirting lawyer (Trucco) working on her crippled boyfriend’s (Thompson) legal case, she unwillingly releases an evil “overacting” Djinn (Novack). The rambling Djinn imminently takes the physical appearance of the “mac-daddy” lawyer and proceeds to woo Lisa into giving him his 3 wishes. Will the Djinn’s homeboyz be released onto this world? Will the Djinn finally get laid? Will Andrew Divoff return to the role already????
THE LOWDOWN
I almost see this series of films as two separate entities. First we have Part 1 and Part 2 which are the much missed (by my ass anyways) Andrew Divoff years. There, the horror elements were more prominent, the humor darker and some solid quality always reigned due to Divoff’s “bang on” show alone. And then we have Part 3 and Part 4 which are the “Canadian Made” era. There the more fantastic elements kicked in (those fucking Angels), pure horror got tossed aside and the low production values showed more.

Having said that; Wishmaster 4 is a step up from Part 3 in some respects; the screenplay is definitely better than the one Part 3 polluted our brains with. I appreciated this sequel’s attempts at bringing in fresh meat to the series. You see this time around the Djinn actually gets his third wish, but it’s a trick wish and he has to have the lead gal fall in love with him in order to grant it. The shit you have to do to open Hell up I tell ya! I mucho dug the idea though and it gave way to a groovy softer side to the Djinn’s personality.

The well developed lead players are also a strong factor as to why this sequel was a more involving watch than Part 3. They brought human drama to the chopping block and it was surprisingly quite gripping. Lisa (Tara Spencer-Naim) is a wonderful and complex female lead. The shaky relationship she shares with her boyfriend (Thompson) is without a doubt the film’s main strength and it’s what kept me watching. She also managed to ring true even while taking her clothes off! You got to respect that: a horror heroine that shows flesh but that isn’t portrayed as a slut/tramp/hussie/my ex-girlfriend. You mean nice girls have sex too??? Wow! I didn’t know that! The last bit of good news is the presence of competent actor Michael Trucco (Steven) who plays the Djinn in human form. He’s a way smarter casting choice than British joke Jason Connery was for Part 3. Trucco is closer to the Divoff vibe (no vaginal goatees here), actually has fun with the role and there were moments in this Zoo where he really echoed the TRUE Wishmaster’s humble presence. Fun stuff!

Alas the film does wind up pissing in its own soup many times. It badly handles its horror vibe and its fantastic elements turned me off big time. Like what was up with the “Calvin Klein model wannabee” Angel being tossed into the mix? That sublot was damn tacky and it brought nothing to the storyline apart from beefing up the clock time, offering us blah action scenes and a low rent “Highlander” like swordfight. Then we have the lousy Djinn costume. Oh Man! How am I supposed to take this villain seriously when he looks like a “Dill Pickle” dipped in purple paint? Shooting that awful suit in daylight wasn’t the way to go either, talk about killing an effect! Another minus is that the murders are not only low in numbers but are mostly never taken to their full potential due to the low budget (I wanted to see the guy be the pimple, couldn’t cover that? COME ON!). Tag to that shitty CGI flames, the Djinn’s brothers on the others side looking like puppets with bad cases of diarrhea, a hammy John Novack (the dude didn’t learn with Part 3) and a cheapo ending and you get a flick that is its own worst enemy.

In the end, Wishmaster 4 reeled me in with its characters, its drama, Michael Trucco’s slick show and its situation but then lost me with its laughable Djinn in creature form, lack of scares, idiotic ideas, bad visual effects, low kill count and dumb as shit cap-off. I’m half-half on this one. Rub this gem! PING! Make a wish beeyatch! I wish…
GORE
We don’t get many murders here but when they happen, they get ugly in a red way. The highlight is some dude cutting off his nose, piercing his cheek and blowing his head off (did the whole budget go in that scene?). We also get a crushed hand, a burned hand, a severed head, some impaling and more. NOTE: the effect sometimes looked amateurish.
ACTING
Tara Spencer-Nairn (Lisa) not only impressed me with all the right body curves but she also displayed the acting chops to back that body up. Nice! Michael Trucco (Steven) reminded me of Divoff at times and that’s the best compliment I can give him. Jason Thompson (Max) does fine although the script sometimes played against him. There’s just so much self pity I can take from one man. John Novack (Djinn in creature form) still thinks he’s on a Shakespearian stage spitting out “Othello” or something. Every time he’d have an over the top exchange with his poorly made Djinn brothers I’d throw rocks at my TV (note to self: buy new TV). Boo this man! BOO!
T & A
My wish for TNA was also granted! Tara Spencer-Nairn shows her tits very early on and proceeds to show them again down the road. It’s rare that the heroine shows it off and I appreciated that different spin on the token “flesh” shots. Thanks babe, much appreciated! We also get some stripper chick baring tits and butt cheeks but she’d have to pay me to get hard over her. Just not my type yo! The ladies will be happy to know that most of the men in this movie spend time at the Gym off set and take their shirts’ off on camera.
DIRECTING
Angel does kool things visually; be it slick camera angles or well handled slow motion, but I felt that the film just looked too bright. Bleaker atmosphere would’ve made this flick feel more like a horror movie and less like a TV Movie of the week.
SOUNDTRACK
We get some ok pop rock tunes and an uninspired score.
BOTTOM LINE
I never thought I’d say this but Wishmaster 4 succeeds as a drama and fails as a horror movie. Its human conflict is involving in a soap opera kind of way but its horror hors d’oeuvres/fantastic crud are badly handled and feel out of place. Anyway you cut it you can do better than renting this stuff but if there’s a night where you just don’t know how to murder time, maybe you can try it out. As for me: I wish for…mmm…a bottle of JD and “Jenna Jameson” sitting snuggly on my face. Can you wing that Djinn dude?
BULL'S EYE
The flick was shot in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Chris Angel directed this flick back to back with "Wishmaster 3".
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