When I picked Wishmaster for this entry in Late to the Party, I had no idea I was missing a film with so many horror powerhouses. Actors include Angus Scrimm (Phantasm, John Dies at the End), Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th Part 7, Hatchet), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Tony Todd (Night of the Living Dead, Candyman) and the movie starts with the death of Ted Raimi (Evil Dead, Spider-Man).
In ancient times, an evil Djinn was running rampant, until a sorcerer sealed the creature in a jewel. Fast forward to current times, a crane operator that is drinking on the job drops a crate from a ship, smashing the statue and revealing the jewel. Another worker steals it and sells it to a pawn shop, who then takes it to an auction house where it ends up in the hands of Alexandra Amberson.
Alexandra accidentally triggers the release of the Djinn while examining the jewel, before passing it off to a friend. From there, the Djinn begins his rampage, granting wishes to people in exchange for their souls, which he needs to charge the jewel and turn it into a doorway for the rest of his race to invade Earth.
Meanwhile, he also searches for Alexandra. Because she awakened him, she gets three wishes, but on the completion of her third wish, the door between worlds will open.
As one might expect of an evil genie, the wishes he grants are twisted versions of the people’s desires. For example, a man who wishes to not see what the Djinn is doing has his eyes sealed. Others that wish to be freed from their pain and fear are just killed.
The Djinn hunts Alexandra down, and forces her to make her wishes, but at the last moment she figures out a wish to rewind time so that she would never have freed him to begin with.
The story isn’t the most original. I remember reading about a similar tale as a fable as a kid, and the idea of a genie that grants wishes that are twisted into things people didn’t mean has been made into single episodes of shows such as Supernatural and The X-Files.
Still, Wishmaster is a fun movie to watch, just to see the twisted wishes and the onslaught of horror stars. Definitely worthwhile if you haven’t seen it and can catch it on Hulu or Netflix. Certainly required viewing for any real fan of the genre.