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!

Images copyright of their original owners.