Friday, 28 July 2017

Popcorn & Coffee: Warlock Collection: 3-Film Set Blu-ray Review

Lionsgate; Rated R; 296 minutes; Amazon

Now available Blu-ray from Liongate's Vestron Video Collection Series is the Warlock Collection, featuring all 3 films on a two-disc set, as well as a bunch of special features.

Filmed in 1988, but released in 1991 in the United States, Warlock centers on a Warlock (played by Julian Sands), who barely escaped death in 1691 by traveling through a portal to 20th century Los Angeles. Hot on his trail is the witch-hunter Giles Redferne (played Richard E. Grant), who travels through the portal on a revenge quest.

After quickly adjusting to the present world, the Warlock summons Satan, who gives him orders to find the The Grand Grimoire, a Satanic book that contains the true name of God. The twist is that the pages of the book have been hidden around the country, which sends the Warlock on his own quest to find them and assemble the book.

Meanwhile, upon arriving to the present day, Redferne befriends a young waitress, Kassandra (played by Lori Singer), who has been cursed to grow old quickly by the Warlock. With a only days left to live, thanks to the curse, Kassandra, helps Redferne collect parts of the Grand Grimoire, and find a way to kill the Warlock.

Julian Sands ("Warlock") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's WARLOCK.

Lori Singer ("Kassandra") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's WARLOCK.

The first sequel, Warlock: The Armageddon, was released in 1993, and it has nothing to do with the original except for the fact that it stars Julian Sands as the Warlock. The plot centers on a teenage couple, Kenny and Samantha (played by Chris Young and Paula Marshall), who are both killed and later resurrected to become Druid warriors, so they can protect the six magical rune stones and stop the Warlock from unleashing Satan from hell.

Julian Sands ("Warlock") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's WARLOCK: THE ARMAGEDDON

Paula Marshall ("Samantha") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's WARLOCK: THE ARMAGEDDON.

Warlock III: The End Of Innocence was released straight-to-video in 1999. It was filmed on a low-budget, and ignores the previous entries in the series. The film centers on a college student Kris Miller (played by Ashley Laurence), who inherits an old house from long-lost relatives. She travels with her friends to the house for the weekend, where they accidentally released a Warlock (this time played by Bruce Payne) from his imprisonment. 

Warlock Special Features are:

  • NEW Audio Commentary with Director Steve Miner
  • NEW Isolated Score Selections/Audio Interview with Author Jeff Bond
  • NEW Interviews
    • “Satan’s Son” with Actor Julian Sands
    • “The Devil’s Work” with Director Steve Miner
    • “Effects of Evil” with Make-up Effects Creators Carl Fullerton and Neal Martz
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Vintage Interview Segments with Cast and Crew
  • Vintage Featurette with Make-Up Effects Creators Carl Fullerton and Neal Martz
  • Vintage Featurette with Visual Effects Supervisors Patrick Read Johnson and Robert Habros, Animation Supervisor Mauro Maressa, and Matte Artist Robert Scifo
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Video Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery

Warlock: The Armageddon Special Features are:
  • NEW Audio Commentary with Director Anthony Hickox
  • Vintage Making-of Featurette Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Extended Vintage Interview Segments with Actor Julian Sands, Director Anthony Hickox, and Actress Paula Marshall
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery

Warlock III: The End Of Innocence Special Features are:
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Vintage Interview Segments with Cast and Crew
  • Trailer
  • Video Sales Promo
  • Still Gallery

Final Thoughts: I recall seeing the VHS box arts for the first two Warlock films at a video store (Remember those?) during the 1990s when I was either a thirteen or fourteen-years-old. Not too long later, I saw the edited versions of both films on TNT (probably on Monstervision). I had completely forgotten about the films until I heard about the Warlock Collection Blu-ray set.

Warlock is an underrated horror road trip flick, which mixes in bits of The Terminator and the Highlander movies. Besides from the bad aging makeup, it's a fun movie with a few decent bloody special effects scenes. Warlock: The Armageddon features tons of bad acting and a cheesy plot, but there a few creepy horror effects that makes the film slightly entertaining. Warlock III: The End Of Innocence is the weakest link in the trilogy, but it has good performances from Ashley Laurence and Bruce Payne.

The picture quality on all three movies are topnotch. WARLOCK (disc 1) is in 1:85:1 1080p HD with 2.0 master stereo mix & 5.1 mix. The sequels (disc 2) have 1080p HD transfers with 2.0 master stereo mixes.

Overall, I enjoyed watching the Warlock Collection. While it isn't the greatest horror series, the films due have their entertaining moments. There are tons of special features and extras (some new and some old) on the Blu-ray set, which should satisfy diehard horror fans.

*Note- I received a complimentary copy from Twentieth Fox Home Entertainment. All opinions are my own.

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