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Cinophile: Warlock

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In the convoluted world of magical practitioners, it is often assumed that men are wizards and women are witches. The Harry Potter series went a bit of the way to fix this glib generalisation, showing that anyone can be a wizard, regardless of gender. But if we had our say, we’d not go for something as pedestrian as a wizard, witch or sorcerer. Call us a Warlock, because that just sounds bad ass. And as this gem from the late-Eighties demonstrated, warlocks ARE bad ass, With a capital B, A and D…

Warlock

From the pen of the man who created Riddick, Warlock starts in 17th century Boston, where a bunch of puritans have captured a male witch said to have made a deal with the devil. That turns out to be spot-on when Satan rescues the villain and transports him into the 20th century. Here our antagonist is instructed to collect the pages of a particularly evil book that, when completed, can undo creation itself. Luckily for us all, an intrepid witch hunter manages to also jump across time, tracking down the devil worshipper before all hell literally breaks loose.

Warlock

Folklore is often a fertile bed of ideas for horror films. Strangely the paranoid musings of American Colonists are not tackled that often. Films like The Blair Witch Project played on this, but few movies quite went for the topic as wholeheartedly as Warlock did. The bad guy in this is formidable and it’s easy to compare the witch hunter’s challenge to that of Kyle Reese in the first Terminator film. Some top-level special effects and a solid cast round Warlock into a well-paced and fun movie. But the real star is the warlock himself, creating an ambiance and look that was adopted almost completely by Harry Potter’s Lucius Malfoy. Seriously, they both even have pointy shoulder pads.

Warlock

Warlock is that kind of horror movie that only comes around every so often: it is brilliantly original, but still sticks to the staples that genre fans expect. It pushes the boundaries, but not so far as to replace style with bad taste. And in a world of rehashed monsters and horrors from beyond, it actually taps some very original material. Warlock is a vivid memory for anyone who grew up in the Eighties, if only because we all now know to a) never talk to strangers, b) take curses by men speaking in olde english very seriously and c) always carry salt on you.

Cinophile is a weekly feature showcasing films that are strange, brilliant, bizarre and explains why we love the movies. This week’s movie was suggested by Noelle Adams.

Last Updated: September 9, 2013

12 Comments

  1. Avatar changed?

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    • James Francis

      September 9, 2013 at 16:08

      Huh?

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief of Rivia

        September 9, 2013 at 16:11

        Huh indeed, was referring to article

        Reply

        • James Francis

          September 9, 2013 at 16:16

          Ah, okay. No, wait, still not following… what avatar?

          Reply

  2. RinceTheSwineStains

    September 9, 2013 at 16:07

    Awesome, have been meaning to see this for years.

    Reply

    • James Francis

      September 9, 2013 at 16:08

      I forgot about it until Noelle pointed it out again. Also never realised that the witch hunter was Richard E. Grant.

      Reply

      • RinceTheSwineStains

        September 9, 2013 at 16:10

        Yeah, me too. Didn’t know ol Richard did stuff like this 🙂

        Reply

        • James Francis

          September 9, 2013 at 16:16

          He’s probably up for anything. When he filmed Withnail And I, he was actually a staunch teetotaler – never drank.

          Reply

          • RinceTheSwineStains

            September 9, 2013 at 16:18

            Yeah, I loved the scene where he drinks the ‘lighter fluid’. I hear they actually had vodka in there that he was not expecting 🙂

        • Skyblue

          September 9, 2013 at 21:37

          Nooooo!!! Free bullets for all of you!!!!!!

          Reply

      • Skyblue

        September 9, 2013 at 21:37

        Oh the humanity of it all, please stop!!!

        Reply

    • Skyblue

      September 9, 2013 at 21:36

      -10 000 geek points…

      Reply

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