We're back with the second film ins the series and with a brand new director. This time, it is Anthony Hickox, the man behind the Waxwork films and Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat. What this should tell you is that the movie will be weird, bloody and full of odd special effects. In that regard, the movie truly delivers. What I should note is that this an in-name only sequel to the movie and ignores everything else. Even the origin of our villain has been tweaked a little. Even so, it has Julian Sands in it, so it will never be all bad. Can this movie deliver the kind of visceral experience that the original promised? Find out in my review of...
The film begins in the past with some Druids. Oh no, they're back to make sub-par historical epics! Actually, a group of them is attacked as they seek to do a ceremony involving some magical stones. Most of them are killed, but a few get away with some of the stones. We jump to the present where a woman is getting ready for a night out on the town. Unfortunately, a mysterious force attacks her and impregnates her! In a matter of moments, a gross creature pops out of her circa Xtro. That creature: Julian Sands. If there ever was a case for late term abortions, this would be it. Her date shows up and it is...Zach Galligan. He is killed off-screen for his all-black ensemble. Thanks for visiting, Zach. I'll see you again in...well, nothing really. I kid, I kid. Anyhow, we meet our hero and heroine, a young couple who are not meant to be. The father of the girl is against them seeing each other, saying that it has something to do with his family. At the same time, the son complains about his family being different. Um, what's the big secret, guys? Maybe the dad will explain it when he meets the couple out in the field. Oh, he actually just shoots the kid with a shotgun. Holy coming out of left field, Batman!
Finally, we all get some explanation. The family, you see, is the descendants of the Druids from the beginning. The other dad is the local priest of a congregation who thinks that Druids are Satanists. No, you're thinking of the Seventh Day Adventists. Seriously though, the young man is a Druid Warrior (multi-classing?!?) who is destined to stop the Son of Satan (Sands) from opening up a portal to Hell with the magical stones. Our villain has six days to collect the stones and do the ceremony during the lunar eclipse or be forced to wait another long time to do it. Hundreds of years in Hell with a disappointed Satan- not fun. He goes about his task of retrieving the stones while our hero has to prepare. His preparation involves learning to use his Druid powers, which look oddly like the Force. Keep an eye out for some CG object effects which do not exactly hold up to well. During that, Sands is wreaking some serious havoc. The catch to retrieving the objects is that they must be given to him. Of course, knowing this guy, he will not play fair!
The bits with the evil warlock killing people are by far the best parts of the movie. One woman agrees to give him the stone if he demonstrates some magic. He does this by flying into the air...and dropping her. Another man is trapped in a mirror dimension by Sands and given the option of handing over the fake stone in exchange for his release. Yeah, he picks wrong. Of course, his best moment is still grabbing a midget fortune teller- no, not Zelda- and slamming her into an iron maiden. Guys, lock the medieval torture device next time! The most freaky retrieval involves Sands tricking an art dealer into giving the stone over in exchange for the best piece of his life. When he gets the stone, he turns the man into an object de art! The big, bloody finale involves our hero manipulating the elements of earth to try and stop the warlock. He fails initially when he is launched out of a building and onto a pipe. Things take a turn for the better when our heroine uses her new-found Druid powers- without all the training, mind you- to battle Sands as well. They are both immobilized, however, and the Warlock begins the ritual. Using their combined powers, our heroes stop the ceremony by turning on some truck's headlights (don't ask), which makes Sands really mad. One magically-propelled knife later though, he dies a bloody death. Picture the melting death of Radu, basically. One sequel-bait ending and this is over.
*This movie- in spite of its flaws- is clearly the movie that Warlock should have been. Hickox' influence is clear, with all of the blood and crazy effects. Not all of the hold up- anything CG, pretty much- but it is all fun. If you love crazy blood effects, this is definitely the movie for you! Sands delivers another great performance here and really relishes the role. He has a neat mix of disinterest and anger that is much harder to pull off than you might think. The supporting actors do a solid job, although the older Druids really steal the show. The main actors are passable, but never really get the star-making role out of it that they may have hoped for. Although, fun fact- the girl (Paula Marshall) would also star in Full Eclipse and become a staple of TV show guest-starring. The guy, however, has not worked since the direct-to-video sequel to The Brave Little Toaster...in 1998. If you are going to see one Warlock movie, make it this one. You don't really need to see the others for this to work either.
*Up next, the conclusion to the Warlock trilogy. Was it worth the six years it took to get made? All signs point to 'no.'