Blu-ray Review: WARLOCK COLLECTION

Warlock was directed by Steve Miner from a screenplay by David Twohy and stars Julian Sands, Lori Singer and Richard E. Grant.

This 1989 supernatural horror-thriller starts off in 17th-century New England and follows witch hunter Giles Redferne (Richard E. Grant) who captures an evil warlock (Julian Sands) and attempts to imprison him but the conjurer eludes death with a little supernatural help. The warlock escapes and ends up arriving in the 1980’s where he picks right up where he left off with his mission of evil. Hot on the trail is Redferne who has also found a way to the 80’s where he teams up with Kassandra (Lori Singer) and the two of them come up with a plan to ultimately stop the warlock before completes his mission.

This one takes me way back to the video store days. The movie was a 1989 production but it took a few years to get released due to financial problems with the distribution company. I liked the story for this ambitious low budget production that decided to focus on a male witch instead of retreading on the same old territory with female witches. The cast was great and their characters were all fun to follow. Just look how young Julian Sands, Lori Singer and Richard E. Grant all look in this movie! This is also the one that put Julian Sands on the map and even though he’s the antagonist of the story, he ends up being the star of the show. The special effects still look fantastic after all these years except for the flying scenes which look a little dated and cheesy even though they’re still fun to watch.

Run Time: 103 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features (Disc One):

  • NEW Audio Commentary with Director Steve Miner
  • NEW Isolated Score Selections/Audio Interview with Author Jeff Bond
  • NEW Interviews
  1. “Satan’s Son” with Actor Julian Sands (25:04)
  2. “The Devil’s Work” with Director Steve Miner (16:18)
  3. “Effects of Evil” with Make-up Effects Creators Carl Fullerton and Neal Martz (16:24)
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage (17:35)
  • Vintage Interview Segments with Cast and Crew (40:28)
  • Vintage Featurette with Make-Up Effects Creators Carl Fullerton and Neal Martz (05:50)
  • Vintage Featurette with Visual Effects Supervisors Patrick Read Johnson and Robert Habros, Animation Supervisor Mauro Maressa, and Matte Artist Robert Scifo (05:51)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:54)
  • Video Trailer (00:32)
  • TV Spots (02:41)
  • Still Gallery (09:07)

Warlock: The Armageddon was directed by Anthony Hickox from a screenplay by Kevin Rock and stars Julian Sands, Chris Young, Paula Marshall, Steve Kahan, R. G. Armstrong, Charles Hallahan and Zach Galligan.

This ambitious 1993 sequel takes everything to the next level when the warlock is literally born again and is hellbent on retrieving six Druid rune stones from the 17th century. The ancient stones are scattered across the country so the warlock takes a road trip from hell and picks up each one from his unsuspecting victims where his journey ultimately leads him to a small group of heroes who possess the final stone. Standing in his way are some leftover Druids and two teens who possess some newly discovered supernatural powers to stop the warlock from setting Satan free from his prison.

My first introduction to this movie was actually at the theater and I remember it like it was yesterday. The story for this impressive sequel was really interesting and the movie took everything to the next level. With a grander budget comes a bigger cast and better special effects. The cast did a really good job with their characters and once again Julian Sands stole the show with his performance as this ancient warlock who is hellbent on completing his mission. There’s also Paula Marshall who also starred in Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth just one year earlier. Director Anthony Hickox even gave his pal Zach Galligan a fun cameo in this one! The two had previously worked together on the Waxwork movies. The special effects all looked great except for the cheesy flying scenes which unfortunately look really dated now. They weren’t able to improve too much on the high-flying visuals from the first movie but they’re still fun to watch. Warlock: The Armageddon is easily the best of the trilogy.

Run Time: 98 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features (Disc Two):

  • NEW Audio Commentary with Director Anthony Hickox
  • Vintage Making-of Featurette (07:43)
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage (04:57)
  • Extended Vintage Interview Segments with Actor Julian Sands, Director Anthony Hickox, and Actress Paula Marshall (05:41)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:50)
  • TV Spots (01:14)
  • Still Gallery (04:10)

Warlock III: The End of Innocence was directed by Eric Freiser from a screenplay by Bruce David Eisen and Eric Freiser and stars Bruce Payne, Ashley Laurence, Angel Boris Reed, Paul Francis, Jan Schweiterman and Rick Hearst.

This third and final entry was a direct-to-video release in 1999. The movie follows Kris Miller (Ashley Laurence) and her friends who set up shop in an old mansion that she recently inherited. It’s all fun and games in the beginning but once Phillip Covington (Bruce Payne) shows up, things slowly turn deadly for Kris and her friends. By the way, the warlock has been imprisoned inside the old house and is accidentally unleashed so he’s posing as an architect at first. Anyway, he has a long history with Kris and her family but Kris doesn’t know that she has witchcraft in her family history but as the two battle it out, she discovers that she has the power to fight back against this ancient evil.

Warlock III: The End of Innocence was a departure from what the first two movies had offered that gave off sort of a comic book vibe like the movies had been adapted from a graphic novel. This one flet like it had been adapted from boredom. The story for Warlock III wasn’t that interesting and neither were most of the lame characters. Bruce Payne was brought on to replace Julian Sands who talks candidly about why he didn’t return for this one in the special features. There was also Ashley Laurence who was already known from the Hellraiser series but that wasn’t enough to salvage this supernatural stinker. The entire movie takes place in this old house and the special effects were kept to a minimum and nothing close to what the first two movies had offered up.

Run Time: 95 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features (Disc Two):

  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage (14:06)
  • Vintage Interview Segments with Cast and Crew (43:19)
  • Trailer (02:22)
  • Video Sales Promo (00:45)
  • Still Gallery (03:44)

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes series details, specs and list of special features. Each Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were crisp and clear. All three of these movies have been restored and remastered and the finished product is impressive. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this high-definition release.

Bottom line is, the Warlock Collection includes these three classic movies that I hadn’t watched in quite some time, especially the first two starring Julian Sands. Sands only starred in the first two movies and Bruce Payne stepped in as the antagonist in the third and final installment that came long several years later. The series follows an evil warlock who flees from the 17th to the 20th century and works to unleash Satan upon the world. Each film gives the warlock a different opportunity to complete his mission in different ways but there’s always someone standing in his way to save the day. The 2-disc Warlock Collection set includes all three films from the Warlock franchise: Warlock, Warlock: The Armageddon, and Warlock III: The End of Innocence, and are packed with all-new special features, including audio commentaries, isolated score selections, interviews, TV spots, still galleries, making-of featurettes, and more. The Warlock Collection arrives for the first time ever on Limited Edition Blu-ray on July 25th and is a great addition to the Vestron Video Collector’s Series.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment / Vestron

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