Movie Review: LORD OF ILLUSIONS (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

lord of illusions blu

LORD OF ILLUSIONS was written and directed by Clive Barker and stars Scott Bakula, Famke Janssen, Kevin J. O’Connor and Daniel von Bargen.

Lord of Illusions follows Harry D’Amour (Bakula), a private investigator that gets drawn into the dark world of the occult and supernatural when he meets the beautiful Dorothea (Janssen) and her husband Phillip Swann (O’Connor), a wealthy illusionist who is packing a whole lot more than simple stage show magic tricks. You see, Swann is a guy who was once part of a religious cult that dealt in the supernatural and his dark past comes back to haunt him.

What happens is, Nix (von Bargen), the power hungry psychopathic leader of this cult who was thought to be dead and buried for years ends up being resurrected by what’s left of his loyal minions and he wants a reunion with his former apprentice, Swann. So, this is how Harry gets drug into the picture because he is hired by Dorothea to help protect Swann who ends up faking his death at one of his shows so he can go in hiding but of course, all of this doesn’t go as planned and Nix’s goons are hot on his trail.

Ultimately, Swann has to deal with not only his inner demons but the resurrected Nix who is now more deadly and powerful than he ever was before. Harry and Dorothea both witness this supernatural reunion between the two powerful sorcerers (a master and his former apprentice) who battle it out one last time – it’s a supernatural showdown of good versus evil.

Okay, I remember going to the theater to see this movie way back in 1995 and really liked it. I already knew all about Clive Barker who had introduced the world to Pinhead and his army of demonic Cenobites in the Hellraiser movies and those monstrous misfits in Nightbreed, hell I even knew about Rawhead Rex and Lord of Illusions was something completely different. This movie deals with the supernatural, the occult and magic. Harry D’Amour is played to perfection by Scott Bakula. This character, who is a private investigator, is a combination of Dick Tracy and John Constantine all rolled into one. He’s a guy who sees the danger ahead of him and tries to avoid it at first but he ends up going in full speed and taking on anyone who wants a piece. The story for Lord of Illusions is a fascinating one that is full of magic and interesting characters and it’s Harry D’Amour who is at the center of it all. I know Barker included D’Amour in several different stories, and this world of his is so interesting, I would have loved to have seen more on screen adventures.

Lord of Illusions includes some action scenes but nothing extreme or over-the-top. What is does feature plenty of is some fantastic special effects, especially for its time. Hey, a supernatural thriller that features magic and illusions has to have some tricks doesn’t it. On top of these tricks are some wild makeup effects for some of these unique characters in the movie, especially a few of the cult members. The creepiest makeup was easily Nix and how he looked when he returned. I mean, this guy looked so creepy I think I remember having nightmares about him as a kid after I saw this at the theater. We’re all aware of some of the wacko cult leaders we’ve seen on the news over the years and this character Nix takes it to the next level.

The packaging comes with a slip cover that features some amazing new artwork by Joel Robinson, who has cranked out the artwork for Ginger Snaps, Nightbreed Limited Edition and both Vincent Price Collections for Scream Factory. The front of the box also includes the new artwork and the original art on the reverse sleeve. The back of the slip cover and box includes movie details, some images and list of extras. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and audio quality for this high-def release were both really crisp and clear – another fine job by Scream Factory!

Bottom line is, Lord of Illusions is the perfect way to follow up that amazing release of the Director’s cut of Nightbreed that Scream Factory unleashed to the fans a few months back. I definitely see a Clive Barker trend going on here and I’m digging it a lot. To me, Lord of Illusions is another one of those movies that just gets better with age and  what Scream Factory has done here is just add more awesome to an already awesome classic. This Blu-ray releases on December 16th and is definitely worth picking up and adding to your collection.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: Theatrical Cut 109 Minutes / Director’s Cut 121 Minutes

Rated: R

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

Blu-ray Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo

Special Features: There’s some good stuff here but most of it has been included on previous releases over the years. We do get an all-new interview with the storyboard artist which is a cool watch. Clive Barker also gives a nice intro to the director’s cut of the movie so don’t miss this.

  • Commentary by Director Clive Barker
  • “A Gathering of Magic” Featurette – Original Behind the Scenes Footage
  • Unseen Rare Behind the Scenes Footage “Illusion of Reality” – Vintage Interviews and UNSEEN On-Set Footage Provide a Fascinating
  • Look into the Making of the Film
  • Deleted Scenes with Clive Barker Commentary
  • NEW Interview with Storyboard Artist Martin Mercer
  • Photo Gallery

 

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