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"Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

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"Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Old 09-24-23, 11:57 PM
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"Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Warlock (1989)

Selected by Gobear

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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.

Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.






Old 10-21-23, 10:27 AM
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Re: "Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

The disappearance of Julian Sands earlier this year, especially the grisly nature of it, seems apt to make Warlock a more intense watch.

I had only recently watched Warlock for the first time and given it's prominance in VHS rental stores I was a bit disappointed (I expected some legendary gem). Warlock is one corny film but breezy enough that it need not be taken too seriously, I think rewatching it with the right expectations helped - that its more of a fantasy buddy comedy. The mix of metaphysical and Christianity is odd (is Zamiel the same as Satan, does it matter?); it someimes puzzles me when films shoehorn in Christianity. At times I respected the attempts at theateical presence from the actors given the hammy content (when Julian Sands holds up the most obviously wake eyeballs.. or the 'witch compass'...). Kassandra, with a K, who has diabetes and premature aging but outruns trains is a likeable heroine and has great chemistry with Richard Grant. Warlock finds inventive ways of inflecting evil beyond bloodletting which is refreshing. The flying potion bit is great how they sequence Warlock talking to a kid then to reveal it was a flashback to before murdering the kid. Nail the ground? Now they're just making stuff up. The cemetary standoff is epic and by that time I was having a blast.
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Old 10-21-23, 01:13 PM
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Re: "Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I remember this as more of a cable staple. I want to say it was USA or maybe TNT that used to show it all the time. It had been a long time since I last watched it.

It was a fun watch but a bit cheesy. The effects are a mixed bag for me. A lot of the practical effects are a lot of fun, but the heavy dependence on traditional animation was distracting for a couple reasons. The style of the animation was almost like Disney or something. It was such that it instantly makes the scenes feel more kiddie. Then there is the technical reason where you can tell that the filmed action is second generation. I get that this is necessary to add the animation, but it just stood out more to me here - maybe because the animation style itself seemed to stand out to me. But the performances are fun. It's overall a nice watch.

I ended up watching the other two Warlock films as well. I think the second one was probably my favorite. The Warlock character seemed a little nastier. There's more blood. Sands still gives a fun performance. It still comes with a heaping helping of cheese, but it's fun. The last one is a step down. It's not necessarily terrible, but it feels longer. It also doesn't have Sands playing the warlock. His presence was missed.

And going off that last point, Sands has a presence that will indeed be missed in the world of film. The man clearly loved to work. He made a shitload of films. As such, he has some real stinkers on his resume. He certainly didn't seem snobbish considering some of his credits. But you'll also see he appeared in films directed by many great directors, which shows he was clearly very well respected. He was also one of those actors known to frequently bare all in his films. I only bring that up because I think it speaks to him as an actor. He wasn't afraid to show everything or look vulnerable or do whatever was necessary for a role. He was never my favorite actor or anything, but he also showed up in interesting projects.
Old 10-21-23, 04:33 PM
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Re: "Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I can't believe I hadn't seen this one before. It was a good watch for today after the psychological horror of the Zulawski films yesterday. Eerie, inventive, and cheesy all at once, and a great 90's cast (nice surprise to have Mary Woronov pop up). I forget how terrific Richard E Grant can be because he doesn't take it too seriously. RIP Julian Sands. What a presence.
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Old 10-21-23, 05:19 PM
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Re: "Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

This is just a breezy fun watch. Nothing special. Just a fun time
Old 10-21-23, 05:32 PM
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Re: "Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Hard to believe I never saw this series back in the VHS rental days. I remember seeing them at every store but for whatever reason, never had the interest in picking them up and watching them.

This was enjoyable enough. Pretty light and breezy with some humor, light horror and mediocre thrills. The two main actors seemed to be sincere in their roles without taking it too seriously or cheesing it up. I also thought the effects were decent and hold up pretty well with the exception of some of the flying and the main girl's wigs. Seriously...what the fuck was up with those awful wigs?

So this was fine. Though I can't see myself chasing down part 2 or 3 anytime in the near future.

My rating: *** out of *****
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Old 10-22-23, 10:42 AM
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Re: "Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I was looking forward to this because of Julian Sands. Can't believe I never saw it.

It was a decent watch, not mind-blowing. The script felt simplistic or, as my husband put it, "after school special". But Julian Sands and Richard E Grant were both magnetic. Julian Sands in his prime was something. He does the evil/sneering thing so well. Loved when he just laughed at the little boy. It's sort of a head scratcher why any warlock would want to "undo creation". Seems a little self-defeating to me, but okay. I thought the girl was pretty forgettable. With the wigs, she looked like a Darryl Hannah knock off.

Also, how would a 17th century guy know about the Amish? That made me laugh.

This is a good watch for this stage of the challenge. I had a really heavy day on the "true story" theme, so I needed some lighter movies.
Old 10-22-23, 08:27 PM
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Re: "Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Warlock is a fun watch, even though as others have noted it's not anything special. I don't like the gay victim's characterization, but, eh, the 80s.

Originally Posted by jholmes
. Julian Sands in his prime was something.
He takes his kit off in Ken Russell's Gothic. That man was incandescently gorgeous in his youth.
Old 10-26-23, 09:19 AM
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Re: "Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I watched this last night. Had never seen it before. It's nothing great but it brings back memories of many similar films that I watched on cable in the 80's and 90's, and for that I really enjoyed it. Actually can't believe that I had never seen it before. It was also a great palate cleanser after the supremely weird "Possession." I probably won't be adding it to my collection or seeking out the sequels, but I was glad to watch it in this point in the challenge. All 3 leads were really good and played well off of each other. I was also a bit uncomfortable with the line of questioning from the police about the death of the gay roommate,but yeah, it was a different time.
Old 10-29-23, 02:25 PM
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Re: "Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Like many, I caught this for the first time on cable probably in the early 90s. Had zero expectations (there was lots of horror crap to filter through) and ended up being surprised at how entertained I was.

Airplane scenes from older movies often stick out now. Carrying on a gigantic metal spear? No problem! In fact, he even gets asked if he wants help storing it. Not to mention lighting up cigarettes in your seats. As a non-smoker, that's a change for the good.
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Old 10-30-23, 10:06 AM
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Re: "Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I've seen Warlock a few times, so I opted to just listen to a podcast on it and watch the sequel instead.

I can definitely recommend the sequel, if you dug this. A little weirder/dumber (You need a special kind of druid to fight a Warlock?), but ups the practical effects, almost in the vein of Wishmaster.
Old 10-30-23, 06:07 PM
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Re: "Warlock" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I have the collection somewhere and planned to watch them all, but the disc evades me. Pretty sure this was a first time watch for me, more fun than I expected.
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