B Sound B+ Extras B-
starring Michael Trucco, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Jason Thompson, John Novak
screenplay by John Benjamin Martin
directed by Chris Angel
by Bill Chambers You've got to love a movie (trust me, you do) that opens with a sex scene, brings up a title card to read "3 Years Later," and mere moments after that flashes back to the opening sex scene. The dumbitude of Wishmaster: The Prophecy Fulfilled, frankly, excited me--this is not a dull bad film, but one chirpy and alive. Shot like an episode of "Red Shoe Diaries", rendering the goblin-featured title genie an always-jarring sight (you keep expecting to see him in lingerie), the picture reveals itself to be on autopilot (the Airplane! kind that's inflatable and winks) when it can't even offer up a clever resurrection of the Djinn except to have some schlub hand our heroine a box capped by a fire opal and say, "Here, I bought this for you." She peers into it, sees a creature screaming against a backdrop of flames, and suggests he have it appraised.
Forgoing a cool vessel for the first person he encounters, the Djinn takes the form of lispy lawyer Verdel (Michael Trucco), attorney to couple Lisa (the sporadically-naked Tara Spencer-Nairn) and Sam (Jason Thompson), a hunky sculptor who turned to booze and has shunned Lisa ever since a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. Somehow aware of all facets of his host body's life, the Djinn scores Sam a $10,000,000 settlement against...the motorcycle manufacturer?...through aggressive negotiation tactics that include talking a man into cutting off his own nose to spite his face. And then, as luck would have it (for the Djinn), Lisa wishes for an improvement in her lovelife, paving the way for Verdel to steal her heart--and as her third wish, granting it would also free the Djinn's extra-dimensionally imprisoned brothers from their fiery shackles. But--the Djinn explains to said banshee-pitched siblings--matters of the human heart are, like, totally complicated: What if she thinks he's mega-ugly upon seeing, sniff, the hideous monster lurking beneath Verdel? Ohmigod!
Wishmaster: The Prophecy Fulfilled avoids the trap of monotony into which many a horror sequel falls--the picture has free-floating ideas to spare. If anything it could use more "good" guys like the rarely-needed, Sears catalogue-ready Djinn-hunter, who decapitates a bystander for failing to answer the cryptic question, "Where is the waker?" In fact, I wanna see a movie about that guy: It's one thing to be a wish-granting Djinn, another altogether to devote your life to a single task you expect never to perform. Most of the film is devoted to a compellingly pathetic Beauty and the Beast scenario that has--and this is where the reader's fists clench--more integrity than Disney's retelling of the classic fable, just worse computer-animation. Though far from a classy production, this latest uninvited in the ongoing series is nonetheless irrationally lovable.
Presented on DVD by Artisan in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, Wishmaster: The Prophecy Fulfilled's image lacks boldness and depth, though its aggressively stereophonic audio does not. Supplementing the film on disc are not one but two commentary tracks, both featuring director Chris Angel. On the first, he is teamed with stars Trucco and Thompson, on the second he's paired with Novak. How seriously Angel took the project is difficult to gauge: Wowing his collaborators with the revelation that he chose separate colour schemes to represent "Lisa and Sam's love" and the intrusive Djinn and comparing this Wishmaster to Y tu mamá también in each yakker, he would seem to have his head, as Bruce Campbell might say, completely up his ass.
Yet the same man is quick to chuckle at the stupid parts (i.e., the film in its entirety), and even he has a hard time listening to the philosophical musings of Novak as the eccentric thespian deconstructs the emotional thrust of the picture's climax. Rounding out the DVD: five "dating tips"--a hilarious, relationship-oriented Q&A with the Djinn; "Wishmasterpiece Theatre: An Inside Look at the Film", seven minutes of B-roll footage narrated without regard for usefulness by a Nardwuar soundalike; a gallery of storyboards for the big showdown; and a redband theatrical trailer for Wishmaster: The Prophecy Fulfilled. Originally published: October 21, 2002.