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The Wishmaster

A film review by Joe Parra

Rating: 1? out of 4.

Sometimes, at this Fall season, we have reasons to give thanks and feast early.  Other times, it's just a badly-cooked turkey dinner that gives you salmonella.  Wishmaster is pure diseased bird.  Wes Craven executive-produced this endeavor, which I'm sure he now wishes he hadn't.  Robert Kurtzman (who last helmed that debacle The Demolitionist) directed this mess.  The story, by Pierre David and Peter Atkins, involves the creation of the Djinn as a separate race that exists in a netherworld.  Now, these aren't of the nice Barbara Eden/Genie-ilk or the type that grant you three nice wishes and fare-thee-well.  Picture the Arabian Nights tales with a nasty disposition - and looks to match!  The story starts in the 12th Century, where a djinn is tricking a potentate into destroying his kingdom by granting him three wishes, with hideous twists.  The royal court sorceror develops a jewel to encase the evil monster (not a lamp?).  Cut to today:  the djinn escapes and must grant three wishes to his accidental releaser.  Once this is accomplished, the door to the djinn world will open into ours...  The road is a bloody one, in more ways than one.  The acting in this turd is uniformly lousy, with Andrew Divoff (as the Djinn) being the only participant who knew to place his tongue firmly in cheek and leave it there.  The rest of the cast isn't mentioning, as it would use up good ink for bad work - except to say that there are cameos by horror vets Robert ("Freddy Krueger") Englund, Tony ("Candyman") Todd, and Kane ("Jason Voorhees") Hodder.  Fortunately for them, they're dispatched quickly.  The make-up, by director Kurtzman, Greg Nicotero, and Thomas C. Rainone, is quite impressive, as are the takes on the wishes granted.  These being the only saving graces, LIVE Entertainment (who produced and released this) must be praying (let along wishing) that when this dud hits home video, their wish for big coffers will be realized.  Hah!  Good luck!  No enjoyment here.  I wish I hadn't seen it!

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