Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Conjuring (2013)

I know some people like this movie for some reason, so allow me to express my opinion of it in the most balanced, well-reasoned and fair way possible.

It fucking sucks ass! Why would anyone like this cancer-boil on the face of horror? It’s the same thing as every other unoriginal Exorcist-wannabe horror movie released since fucking Emily Rose and there is nothing – I repeat, N-O-T-H-I-N-G – original about it at all! Not to mention it’s boring as hell and incredibly poorly written – like, first-year-college drama students wouldn’t even pen something this dross. I don’t even think there’s a scary moment to be found. Fuck it!

Ahem. Okay. Now that’s out of my system and we can move on with the review.

Director: James Wan
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor

The Conjuring is the latest in a series of modernized horror movies made by James Wan. Wan got really famous back in the day for directing Saw, but then he went on to completely destroy that potential by directing Dead Silence. He made a good move by going with the mega-hit Insidious a few years later, but after that he seems to have decided “fuck it,” and just went back to doing complete shit like Insidious 2 and this movie. The Conjuring is a film that seems to forget there’s anything else you can possibly do with a movie besides rip off Poltergeist and The Exorcist. That’s really about it. Let’s take a look.

We kick off with a bunch of kids talking to the dad from Insidious and the mom from Orphan – a totally credible pair of characters, if you remember anything about their original movies. I’d trust them to exorcise my house about as much as I’d trust Dr. Kevorkian to treat cancer patients who have billion-dollar trust funds somewhere.

He kills old ladies and she slaps little girls in hospitals, I sure trust them any day to deal with my supernatural problems. Added bonus for the fact that Insidious Dad had ghosts following him around most of his life and ended up putting his whole family in danger more than once. Sounds trustworthy to me!

Apparently these two are paranormal researchers. The kids talking to them feed them some dumb story about how they let an evil ghost haunt their doll. Then when it started being, well, evil, they threw it out, but it kept on coming back. This whole thing is really just a Goosebumps story. Night of the Living Dummy? And this is supposed to be a serious modern horror movie. Get the fuck out.

WHAT? I can't believe bad stuff happened when we let an evil spirit live in our creepy ass doll! Yes, that's really the plot here. No, I haven't figured out a way to kill the writers yet.

We then switch over to bland 70s family with bland 70s wannabe lighting and color on the screen. They’re moving into a new house. This house has all the perks – places to play hide and seek in AND scary doors that open and close with ominous sound effects laid overtop! We get a long string of just dull as hell scenes – just this family going through every dull attempt at a scare this movie tries to pass off. Their oldest daughter is incredibly bitchy and annoying, and one of the younger daughters sleepwalks.

Witchcraft! Well, maybe if it was the 1770s, but I know it’s not that time period. This movie is too busy trying to shoehorn in blatant references to the 1970s. It’s about as subtle as the Brian De Palma Black Dahlia’s attempt to recreate the ‘40s. Sepia tones and stupid haircuts don’t make your movie any better.

Oh, and the dog dies:

Oh man, our dog just died! Let's never investigate why this happened and never mention it in the movie again. We are so awesome.

Fuck you. Also it’s never mentioned again, and they never investigate it. Glad to see they cared so much about their pet.

If that doesn’t make them care about creepy happenings at the house, how about their daughter having a nightmare and then waking up talking about someone wanting the family dead?

No, I guess that’s not enough to care or move out of the house at all. What’s the reason given for this again? Oh yeah, because they have money invested in the house. That trumps the safety of your family.

You know what does finally get them to do something about it though? One night they’re all sleeping and the sleepwalking daughter comes in, waking up bitchy daughter. Then they see a Grudge ghost and the bitchy daughter starts fighting with herself.

The daughter needs to quit watching bad Japanese movies before bed - they're not doing her imagination much good.

That apparently is enough. They hire Insidious Dad and Orphan Mom onto their case and they get right on it. What follows is about an hour of some of the most boring crap you’ll see in a horror movie these days. It has everything. You got the endless, boring scenes of people talking about whatever ancient histories and pasts the movie somehow thought was interesting – it’s not. It’s really not.

What kind of brain-mash thought this up? It’s practically just an afterthought – toss in some Satanic warbling about ghosts and killing babies, and you got yourself a poorly written horror backstory. Who even gives a shit? Just be honest about it. “We don’t really care at all about establishing a coherent, meaningful or scary story. We just wanted to make a cash grab in time for the end of the summer season. Just send us your money now, you corporate whore rider!”

"Why yes, this scene has been done in every other horror movie in the last decade. But we're still doing it. Because we just don't give a crap."

Play that over these scenes – it’ll be less deceptive. It’s not like there’s anything going on. Some crap about Satanic sacrifice and possession. Bitch, please. If you sacrificed anyone involved in this movie to Satan, he’d just send them right back to Earth with a little pink sticky note saying “Please try again” on it. But I digress – the movie sucks. That’s all I was trying to say.

We also get cliché jump scare scenes, of which there are too many to name. Ooh, are they going to have a quiet scene and then get real loud for the jump scare? Fucking don’t keep me waiting too long – the suspense is killing me. Yes, movie, bouncy balls truly are the way to keeping an audience on the edge of its seat:

40 minutes in and the scariest thing in the fuckin movie is a bouncy ball. Man, this is such a giant piece of shit.
"A bouncy ball killed my father..."


Don’t tell anyone. I can trust you, right?

But hey, it’s not like we’ve hit every cliché. There’s still one we’re missing! At least they haven’t done anything involving an exorcism yet – oh, wait. It’s the next scene where they mention that. And here I was having some form of hope for humanity left in my soul.

We’ll get to the exorcism soon enough. Before that wonderful scene, we have other things to contend with, like dying birds:

Those are never really talked about either. This movie just seems to hate animals.

We also get some despicably poor dialogue from almost every character. Like when they’re all having a sunny breakfast together the following morning – always good after a fresh round of bird suicides – and the mother says “The house hasn’t been like this in a long time!” Yeah, especially considering you moved in and the creepy shit started the next morning when the dog died. Oh, wait, I forgot nobody in the movie gave a shit about that – my bad.

How about when Insidious Dad gets handed some pancakes from the little girl who was also in Orphan? He’s like “They really are a nice family.” Yes, nice families truly are judged by the number of times little girls hand you pancakes. You goddamned weirdo.

There’s also a scene later where Mr. 70s Bowl Cut Dad finds Insidious Dad working on an old car. 70s Bowl Cut Dad says Insidious Dad “really looks like he knows what he’s doing,” even though all Insidious Dad is doing is sticking his hands inside the open hood of a car. How does that equal “knowing what he’s doing,” you fucking idiot? He could be wiring a car bomb to your engine! Granted, that’s implausible – though it would make this movie so much more entertaining.

Ugh, point is, the dialogue sucks. I guess that’s to be expected when most of the movie consists of dog-shit exposition spouted out like a broken leaky faucet in that scummy bathroom on the subway.

After that we get a scene where the demon tries to snatch the bitchy daughter. I’m not really sure what he’s trying to accomplish – he kinda just drags her around the room. Maybe that’s how he “gets to know” new girls. Or maybe he’s just really bad at “Tag.” Either way, you want to know what they do to free the daughter? Well, no, you don’t care. But I’ll tell you – they just cut off the part of her hair that the demon is holding onto. That somehow stops the demon from doing anything else.

Awesome, she can fly!

What the hell? What kinda pansy-assed pussy demon is this? Is cutting off that one part of her hair really enough? What a wuss. He probably slinked back into the shadows with his tail between his legs. Captain Howdy is laughing at you, you moron.

Elsewhere in the film’s rolls of fat we get references to other movies, like the aforementioned Captain Howdy – referenced here in a music box one of the little girls is holding. It’s poorly thought out and means almost nothing.

Well, “almost” is actually giving the film too much credit. We also get references to the previous movies these actors have been in, like several nods to Insidious in the house and the layout of the rooms. I’m pretty sure the scene where the Orphan mom is looking around the house is almost identical to the beginning of Insidious. Later on we get people looking around a bedroom with UV lights, similar to a certain scene in Orphan.

The first and third pics are from this movie, the second and fourth are from Insidious and Orphan respectively. Can you tell the difference? I wouldn't be able to if I hadn't been the one who took these screenshots. I really think this just points out the deficiency in how samey all of these modern horror movies look, both in the lighting/cinematography and the set pieces. We need some more original shit in the mix.

Originality, what’s that?!

The crowning failure of this whole mess is the climax, in which we get all the same old exorcism clichés you’ve seen before. I’ve gone on rants about this before, but honestly, fuckin’ honestly, what is the appeal? I understand not hating this kind of scene – maybe if these kinds of scenes really scare you for whatever reason. Maybe if you are actually the son of Satan yourself, hissing at the cross, that would scare you. Otherwise I just don’t see it.

Worst frat party hazing ever.

The scene is overly long and cluttered, with maybe a couple nice shots I guess – but mostly it’s pretty weak. There’s some crap shoved in about how the possessed wife has to remember this one really nice day at the beach with her family – this day she apparently said she would never forget.

And nobody is wearing a swimsuit for some reason.

It’s just so forced and contrived – those are the only words. What do we know about this character? She likes the beach. What does that tell us about her personality? She … likes the beach. What relevance does that have to the overall meaning of the story or of her character arc? She likes the fucking beach! God! Can’t you deliver one thing of substance?

Eh, I guess not. Just have a bland happy ending scene of the family hugging out in the sunlight. Because horror movies always have happy endings.

Wait, no they don’t. That’s pretty much the cincher on why this sucks: name one good horror movie with a totally happy ending like this one. I mean it really fucking is – it’s wrapped up nice and neat in a pink bow with a complimentary box of Peeps along with it and a note from the Easter Bunny. There’s no darkness here! Where’s the foreboding and the fear? Name one horror movie that’s any good, that ends in a happy-go-lucky manner like this one does.

Maybe the reasoning for this was the “Based on a True Story” tagline. But really, if the defense is “oh, they’re keeping it true to the original family” – well, no, that is not an excuse at all. You clearly showed no regard for any semblance of reality when you included the exorcism scenes with the screamy bloody ghosts and rolled-backwards eyes. I don’t care how people remembered it in real life – the way it’s presented here is just like any other craptastic exorcism horror film. Not real life.

Frankly, I think this got it closer to real life:

Images copyright of their original owners, I own none of them.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell (2001)

As a drawback to wishing for something as great as Wishmaster 2, I also had to sit through its Yin Yang counterpart – Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell. Or more realistically – Beyond the Gates of Total Horseshit.

Director: Chris Angel
Starring: Jason Connery, A.J. Cook

I mean this is just total garbage. What the hell happened? It’s not like we were asking for much; just more goofy jokes and retarded genie scenes. But this movie couldn’t even give us that. What it does give us is a black hole of hope for humanity from which it will be impossible to return. Those with weak stomachs are advised to turn back now – this is going to be painful!

We start off this one with a fitting metaphor for the ensuing 85 minutes we’re about to be tortured with:

If you're hoping to get some kind of explanation for this, don't waste your time. It's just the typical horror movie crap - "hey, we can't think of a backstory or any real character traits for our lead!" "Just throw in a horrible car accident story!"

Apparently this is a flashback from our main character, Bland White Girl. She's a part of a hit reality show, Attractive People on Rooftops, along with her dumb looking boyfriend.

I love hanging out on rooftops almost as much as I love killing my career by appearing in movies like this.

What's her personality like, you ask? Well, she's bland, a girl, and her British college professor wants to fuck her. Magical, isn't it?

I made a joke about the teacher wanting to fuck her, then literally a few scenes later he's trying to get her to have dinner with him. What a total scumbag loser he is.

If you’re wondering if this is going to have anywhere near the level of schlocky goodness as the other two – well, let me just put it like this: Andrew Divoff, who played the genie in the first two, is nowhere to be found. I’m imagining the scenario where he got the script for this one: “No one craps out coins or fucks themselves in the ass Yoga style in this movie? Please, I have better things to do.” Instead, the genie takes the body of the douchebag English college professor.

Not before enacting his greatest fantasy though – two beautiful women, topless, scratching his eyes out:

I wonder what these girls' diaries look like. "Well, my time in Hollywood trying to become an actor is kind of rough. I got a part in a movie, then it turned out the only thing I had to do was get naked, make out with some middle aged guy and then kill him. I wanted some character with depth and subtlety, but I guess this is the only role I'm fit to play. Sigh. I miss the days when women were stereotyped as the damsel in distress in horror films instead of ... whatever this is."

If you ever wanted Wishmaster themed porn, well, this is the closest you’d get. Not to mention the genie’s voice is soaked in echo and reverb like he’s speaking from the bottom of a laundry chute. Which, to be fair, is the only place you’d find this movie, so I guess it fits.

The genie takes over the professor’s body and goes to find Bland White Girl, because she summoned him I guess. Meanwhile we get two jackasses getting ready to screw. The girl has a very typical way of surprising her boyfriend: jumping out from the shadows while wearing a giant bull’s head mask.

Yeah, I’ve done that a lot too.

Then they start having sex while porto-potty-ready alt rock music plays in the background. It’s a mercifully short scene, but even so – this is just as bad as the fucking Hitcher remake or fucking Bad Kids Go to Hell; just the bottom of the barrel. Throw in the following scene where of course we need to see every step of this girl getting dressed:

I can picture this scene being rehearsed in my mind: "Uh, Mr. Director, don't you think we could just skip all of this and go directly to her being dressed? Wouldn't the audience be able to figure out that was what happened?" "NO! We have to show this!"

She runs into Professor English Fuckwit, who turns her down, as he’s only into bland girls with no personality and blond hair. What a shame. Now she’s all dressed up with nowhere to go on the weekend – Friday nights spent in the dorm after being rejected by a 40-year-old college professor who’s actually a thousand-year-old genie were always the lowlights of college.

Bland White Girl is too busy talking about her equally bland boyfriend with the other chick. Because, you know, all girls really talk about by themselves is boys and love. To be fair, though, Bland White Girl does somehow discover all about the genie and what he’s done to the professor a few scenes later. Her boyfriend shows up at her dorm and she asks if he loves her. He says he’s come to ask the same question: “DO I LOVE YOU?” I dunno. Look deep in the pools of reflection at the moonlit garden of the sacred talisman and you may find the answer to this deep Zen question.

This is the only place you can get the answers you seek.

She blabbers about the genie and he doesn’t believe her. He’s more concerned about whether or not they love each other. Genies are going to destroy the world! Let’s talk about our relationship. Makes a lot of sense to me. I guess they are about the same level of seriousness in this movie – the whole genie plot really is just kind of swept under the rug here, and never explained all that well. The other two movies had too much plot, this one has too little. Can’t there ever be a happy medium?

The answer is in the crystal ball:

Huh. Well, OK then.

The genie is trying to figure out information about Bland White Girl while this is going on, going to the school’s file clerk or something and asking about her. The file clerk wishes all the files would go up in flames – I think she’s related to this guy:

Anyway, I guess the genie was drunk, because the lady ends up bursting into flames! Human combustion is so wacky. You can just never predict what’s gonna happen! Ha ha ha … why did I ever think it was a good idea to watch this movie?

So we get some really dull scenes of Bland White Girl and her dumbass boyfriend trying to convince everyone the genie is real. They all think she’s crazy as expected. Why bother having anything compelling or interesting in your movie when you can just do the same clichés as everyone else? Snore.


There’s also another scene with that slutty girl hitting on the genie/professor. She says she likes her men older because all the boys in school are dumb or something – I so love how every female character in this movie is written to be single-mindedly obsessed with boys and sex and nothing else. Give the first two Wishmasters credit; they were dumb, but at least they didn’t just phone it in with lame crap like this.

We then get a confrontation between Bland White Girl, her boyfriend and the genie in a church. The genie kidnaps this one girl and somehow, I think, plays on her wish to be skinnier by giving her a magic liposuction:

Yeah, not only do we get yet another horrible female stereotype - they only want to be skinny and beautiful! Ugh - but also a flat out disgusting, nasty, unpleasant death scene like this. This isn't fun at all. Fuck this movie and fuck this scene in particular.

What’s up with the lame death scenes? These aren’t entertaining at all. What happened to the goofy over the top gore-fest deaths from the last two movies? I also love how Bland White Girl actually has to think about saving Anorexia Girl. I guess the logic is that if she makes three wishes, the genie will be able to destroy the Earth – same thing as the last film. But seeing as she hasn’t done any wishes yet, why not use one to save her friend? I guess it’s a tough decision, if you’re a terrible human being.

Then the genie is about to kill her boyfriend, when she wishes to invoke the spirit of the Archangel Michael to help her. How did she know this would work? The movie doesn’t even know. To distract you, we get the Archangel Michael possessing the body of the boyfriend. He speaks in a goofy deep voice that doesn’t in any way fit with the boyfriend’s rather wimpy look:

I will kill you with the rage of a thousand flannel shirts and downloaded Linkin Park albums!

It’s pretty much hilarious for all the wrong reasons. It’s also the only part of this whole goddamn movie that is actually enjoyable. The other ones were a laugh a minute; this one has goofy over dramatic voices like you’d expect a father telling his kids a bedtime story would use. Sad, what these movies have come to.

So we get a ridiculous fight scene between the genie and Michael the Archangel, and it’s about as lame as you’d think – why this movie thinks it can pull off a serious epic fight scene is beyond me. I’m just amazed any of these actors stayed on set the whole time without bursting out laughing. Or falling asleep, for that matter.

The genie gets away and goes to find one of the other girls. For some reason her wish involves being eaten by mice?

Fuck it, I don’t know – this movie wasn’t trying, so why should I bother trying to understand it? This face is all you need to know about this scene:

This guy is the worst genie ever!

During another fight scene, Michael cuts off the genie’s arm – it’s just a flesh wound, though.

Give the movie credit, though – they shoehorn in an action-movie style car chase next, taking up a couple minutes of runtime for no reason other than the movie’s sheer desperation to keep the audience awake. It’s not working.

They have a final showdown on the rooftop. Bland White Girl whips out a Deus Ex Machina if I’ve ever seen one – the genie can’t fulfill its prophecy if she dies, since she was the one who summoned him. So she tries to jump off the roof. The genie catches her, though, and tries to pull her back up. She decides the best way to respond to this situation is to stab the genie through the chest with a sword:

So, awesome! She doesn’t have to fall anymore and the day is saved! Even though the genie has proved before that being physically wounded doesn’t kill him – even just a scene or two ago. So that doesn’t make sense. But at least she doesn’t have to fall to her almost certain death or horrible injury now!

… whoops. And she’s spending the next year and a half in a full body cast. Except she doesn’t, because somehow she’s OK and Michael the Archangel turns back into her bland boyfriend.

So I guess they live happily ever after as the blandest, least interesting couple ever. At least they have that awesome story about how a genie killed all their friends though! That’s always a real crowd pleaser at parties. They didn’t even bother showing everyone killed by the genie coming back to life in this one. I guess they’re all still dead and the college will shut down after a scandal where one of the professors murdered everyone. Then again, if Penn State can survive a sexual abuse scandal, I'm sure this place will be A-OK.

This is crap. The only thing the boredom in this movie accomplishes is numbing your mind from the constant blatant misogyny on display - disgusting really. I’m amazed the director wasn’t told mid-production to pack up his shit and go home. Maybe he had some kind of infernal pact with a genie himself. He wished for the ability to make a movie, but the downside was, the movie he made wasn’t a good one!

The genie then further punished him by forcing him to make Wishmaster 4. If you wish to see me review that horrible movie too, well, let me grant your wish and take you four years back in time…

Click the picture!

The only downside is, now you’re stuck in 2010 forever and have to live out life from then on! Mwuhahaha! Okay, I’m done now. The movie has clearly sucked all the funny out of me. Until next week!

Images copyright of their original owners.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (1999)

Well, I got what I wished for today: an even stupider, less coherent Wishmaster sequel, with twice the laughs and half the sanity. Praise the evil 1,000 year old Djinn who made this possible with the expense of my mortal soul!

Director: Jack Sholder
Starring: Holly Fields, Andrew Divoff

We kick off this one with a bunch of robbers robbing a museum. How absolutely clichéd. The way they scream and start making noise like maniacs as soon as one of them stupidly breaks glass that sets off an alarm is just priceless. I’m no museum robber, but I think running around like drunk maniacs screaming “LEAVE IT, COME ON, GOGOGOGO!” isn’t the best way to avoid capture.

Never mind the fact that there's a third burglar who gets shot right away and is never ever mentioned again in the movie. If the characters didn't forget he existed due to all the drugs they were doing, the writers most certainly did.

We then see that apparently museum cops in this world get to have guns. That’s understandable, seeing as how they’re trained to be the next John Wayne with them, but are somehow stuck guarding museums at night.

All museum cops are bullseyes with a gun. It's 'cause they have so much free time guarding the museum to practice outside on Coca Cola cans and their wives' old dildos.

How about this for some ridiculously cliché writing – the robbers turn out to be a boyfriend/girlfriend couple. It’s never explained why they’re robbing this place, and in fact the plot point of them being robbers is completely dropped afterward. So we’re just left with the baffling cliché of two romantically intertwined museum burglars – how risqué! – and the headache-inducing dilemma of why anyone would put something that retarded on paper, let alone film it. The film tries to distract us with something totally batshit insane:

Man, Picasso's later work wasn't as good as his early stuff.

Is this just what happens when you’re dying? You see blobby heads on the wall telling you they can grant your wishes with red lights glowing around you like a rave in Hell? The dying robber doesn’t even care. He’s just like, “Go to hell.” Not “OHMYGOD WHAT IS THAT” but just “fuck off.” What a badass! Can we have him stay alive for the rest of the movie and be the protagonist? Apparently no – the genie has other plans for him:

Instead we get stuck with museum robber chick, whose idea of grieving is sitting alone staring at a gun and then randomly freaking out and wrecking her own apartment. Geez. You’d think her boyfriend got shot and killed and she then shot and killed a man herself after. Well, I guess that is kinda what happened. In a manner of speaking.

We also find out that she used to date this priest guy. The priest, who unfortunately is a main character in the film, is – well, just bizarre, to put it nicely. I just didn’t know priests’ training allowed them to tell their exes to leave a place of worship to avoid awkwardness, or that they could just chat casually about how the girl’s new boyfriend (who is now dead/turned into a baby) wasn’t right for her. Doesn’t seem all that Catholic!

But the real headscratcher is the fact that this girl apparently went from dating a priest to a museum burglar. Interesting choice! And also one that makes me wonder if the writers of this film actually interacted with any human beings in the last ten years before making this. I mean we’re fifteen minutes in, and nothing makes sense. I’m just praying for scenes with the genie fucking with people like in the first one now.

Andrew Divoff thankfully reprises his role as the genie in this. His performance here contains 50% more evil grins and 20% more Ray Liotta than before. With added smarmyness and corny lines delivered in a game show host voice, I think it's safe to say Andrew Divoff's performance is a part of a balanced breakfast for bad movie fans.

Lo and behold, I get my wish. He gets arrested at the crime scene and hauled in by the world’s most angry cop ever. The cop accuses him of being gay and seems quite adamant about knowing the details about whose cock he’s sucking. When the genie doesn’t share that info, the cop gets unrealistically angry and starts screaming about how he’s HAD IT UP TO HERE with the genie. Uh, buddy – take my advice and see a counselor. Your sexuality may have a few unopened doors.

The genie gets sent to prison. The first guy he meets is a complete whackjob – I know this because when the genie says he can offer the guy anything he wishes for, the guy draws the logical conclusion: “You’re a fuckin’ genie!” he says, and then threatens to “own his lily white Yuppie golf playin’ ass” if he doesn’t make it come true. Personally I would be skeptical as fuck and ask a lot more questions. But then again, I guess I’m not living in this bizarro-world the movie has created.

What follows over the next forty-odd minutes of the film is pretty much the genie in jail just doing horrible things to the prisoners. The prisoners do deserve it though, just for wording their wishes in the most asinine ways possible. Like wishing “to go right through the bars” gets you this:

And this bird knows you can't chaaaaaaaange...

Wishing to get completely wasted and fucked up gets you thrown into a fight scene between extras from Michael Bay’s The Rock:

Just play the Looney Tunes music over this and it would be complete.

Most importantly is one scene that takes place about 25 minutes into the film. This one guy wishes his lawyer would go fuck himself for not helping him out more. What happens is, well, exactly what the guy wished for:

You know, there’s a limit, and this scene – this lawyer contorted like a Chinese trapeze artist practicing the fucking Kama Sutra – goes FAR BEYOND the limits of what my sanity can tolerate! The first Wishmaster had that weird Kane Hodder with the jail cell scene, and Wishmaster 2 has this scene. Do they just have some nightmare factory where people come up with these scenes to make sure nobody has a peaceful night’s sleep again? Jesus.

If you’re wondering – for whatever sadistic reasons – what the genie’s plan is in this movie, I’ll tell you – he wants to collect 1,001 souls so he can start the apocalypse and let the race of evil genies come to Earth and destroy everything. Apparently it’s all part of some sort of prophecy from thousands of years ago. What kind of prophecy is that? Who figured that one out? Maybe some ancient Mesopotamian philosopher was sitting around one evening, looking at the stars and thinking ‘hmm, it’d be really cool if, in thousands of years, a race of genies destroyed the Earth after granting people wishes.’

It’s just so contrived. Why not make the plot about a prophecy saying the Looney Tunes will destroy the world after Donald Trump collects 1,001 copies of Space Jam? I mean you can’t tell me they weren’t just ad libbing this shit anyway. Jesus, this is insane. I’d love to go back in time to the writing room and envision exactly what kind of mindset the writers were in when creating this movie.

Seems about right.

In between this, we get seemingly interminable scenes of that weird museum burglar chick and her boring priest boyfriend basically just spouting exposition. They’re the kinds of scenes you get in every 90s and 2000s horror film – attempted drama as the characters research various ancient prophecies and history and then shout about it to one another while trying to sound worried. It’s pretty much boring as hell. I’m sorry, I can’t take your doomsday prophesizing seriously when the director keeps trying to look up your skirt:

The 2014 Man Hating Feminist reissue of the movie has jogging pants digitally edited on.

The genie makes friends with this Russian mafia guy who he helps escape from prison. The Russian guy tells him about a place where he can find lots of souls – a casino in Vegas. But not before an agonizingly long detour in which the film becomes about Russian Mafioso politics. This Mafia leader guy tells the genie he wants someone else’s head – and lo and behold, his head changes into that of his enemy. Get it?

Wanting someone's head is a Mafia movie cliche for 'wanting someone dead.' But the genie took that literally and actually gave him someone else's head! HA HA HA! Okay I'm over it now. Wasn't that funnier now that I explained it?

I think this genie just has the best job in the world. He gets to collect souls and make up ridiculous ways to turn peoples’ wishes against them!

So eventually everyone gets to the casino, and it’s a jolly old time. Well, until people start shitting coins out of their asses – always a lowlight of any night out in Vegas. The weird demon-alien mutant things bursting out of their stomachs aren’t exactly an enticing point of the Vegas casino experience either. Most people usually like to leave before that starts happening; cash out early and what not.

Wait, these are normal occurrences in Vegas, right?

They even fit in some Jesus-bashing when the genie takes out some personal issues on Priest Boy:

This wouldn't have happened if the genie's mom hadn't made him dance to I'm a Little Teapot while wearing a dress and a beret after church every Sunday!

Gee, that would be really shocking if this character wasn’t just an afterthought to give the main girl someone to bounce vapid dialogue off of. They defeat the genie this time when the main girl wishes that the guy she shot was still alive – somehow, that nullifies everything and sets time back to when the movie began. I’m sure there’s an explanation somewhere in the movie, but come on, do you really think this is the type of movie where an explanation needs to be explained? Just remember it had this scene in it:

Yeah, so I guess everything is good now. Except for those people in the casino, who are left with a faint but definite desire never to gamble again. Crapping out a pound full of gold coins will do that to you. That old lady will wake up at night and feel a tingling in her ass, and she will know that the casino has never been further away. That, my friends, is the power of Wishmaster.

There’s so much wrong with this movie it isn’t funny. Except when it is funny – which is most of the time. While it’s pretty much indefensible, with bad writing, poor plots and uninteresting characters, it’s just hugely entertaining, and I had a good time watching it anyway. If you want a good time, wish upon a star and you’ll get this to make you laugh and scratch your head plenty.

Every wish has its backfiring, though, and mine has become clear – I have to review Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell next week!

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