Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Warlock The Work Of The Devil
Year: 1989
Director: Steve Miner
Stars: Julian Sands, Lori Singer, Richard E. Grant, Mary Woronov, Kevin O'Brien, Richard Kuss, Allan Miller, Anna Levine, David Carpenter, Kay E. Kuter, Ian Abercrombie, Kenneth Danziger, Art Smith, Robert Breeze, Frank Renzulli, Brandon Call, Nancy Fox
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The time is the 1600s, the place is Boston, Massachusetts, and a scheming warlock (Julian Sands) is being kept chained up in a tower so that he may be executed the next day for consorting with the devil. The witchfinder, Giles Redferne (Richard E. Grant), ventures up to see the prisoner and tells him he will not escape his fate, but no sooner has he walked back down the stairs than dark stormclouds loom over the horizon and Redferne realises that he's going to be cheated of his victory. Rushing into the room, he witnesses the Warlock disappear and dives into the vortex after him... but where will they both end up?

Warlock was one of the final films produced by Roger Corman's New World studio and nearly didn't come out at all as it was mixed up in the legal wranglings that arose from the end of the company. But eventually it was released to good reviews and a brief but popular run on home video, after which it sunk into relative obscurity, which is a pity as quite a few people would have happy memories of it should their memories be jogged. Heading its cast were two young British actors making a name for themselves in Hollywood after British successes: A Room with a View for Sands, and cult favourite Withnail and I for Grant.

Fortunately, neither of those stars adopt the tongue in cheek approach that could have made Warlock tiresome, instead playing their roles with a commendably straight face. Joining them, and equally as enjoyably, is Lori Singer as Kassandra (with a K) who encounters them when they both arrive through time in the Twentieth Century. Yes it's a sort of Terminator from the past or Time after Time from further back through the years as the Warlock attempts to unite the pages of a grimoire that reveals the true name of God. Should he discover this and speak it backwards then the whole of creation will be undone.

Yup, every last bit, so it's lucky that Redferne is around to hunt him down. When the Warlock crashes into Kassandra's apartment, she and her flatmate think he's drunk, but when he later bites out the flatmate's tongue and generally kills him, Kassandra gets panicky. The Warlock smashes up the antique kitchen table, for a third of the grimoire pages are contained there, and heads off in search of the rest; Kassandra is packing to leave when Redferne shows up and recruits her to assist him, but just as she tries to get away the villian places a curse on her: she will age twenty years every day. Now she needs to find the Warlock as much as Redferne does.

In spite of some modern day ribbing from Kassandra in Redferne's direction, this film has a rather conservative outlook of the "scaring people into being pious" school. An unbaptised boy is killed (offscreen) so that the Warlock can use him for his magic potions, and the deeply religious Redferne is the hero, with Satan being a genuine force. But any misgivings are forgotten when the story is acted with such aplomb and David Twohy's script is so brisk and breezy along with its serious minded mythologies, with fun 17th Century dialogue for Sands and Grant, and exasperated eighties-speak for Singer. The plot may start to wind down in the last act as the usual conventions of such horrors are made plain, and the effects are wisely used sparingly as they're not the best you'll ever see, but in the main Warlock is a modest triumph of its genre. Music by Jerry Goldsmith. Followed by a cinema sequel and a straight to video sequel.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 4967 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: