Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Review: WARLOCK COLLECTION (1989, 1993, 1999): Fun But Campy Fantasy Films

Julian Sands Warlock

Warlock Collection Blu-ray Review

Warlock (1989) Blu-Ray Review, a movie directed by Steve Miner, starring Julian Sands, Lori Singer, and Richard E. Grant.

Release Date: July 25, 2017

Plot

“A warlock flees from the 17th to the 20th century, with a witch-hunter in hot pursuit.”

Disc Specifications

Run Time: 103 Minutes

Format: Blu-Ray

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Language: English 2.0 Stereo Audio (DTS-HD Master Audio)

Subtitles: English(SDH), Spanish

Rating: Rated R

Warlock: The Armageddon (1993) Blu-Ray Review, a movie directed by Anthony Hickox, starring Julian Sands, Chris Young, and Paula Marshall.

Release Date: September 24, 1993

Plot

“An order of druids train their children to battle an evil Warlock determined to unleash Satan upon the world by bringing a collection of six mystic rune stones together.”

Disc Specifications

Run Time: 98 Minutes

Format: Blu-Ray

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Language: English 2.0 Stereo Audio (DTS-HD Master Audio)

Subtitles: English(SDH), Spanish

Rating: Rated R

Warlock III: The End of Innocence (1999) Blu-Ray Review, a movie directed by Eric Freiser, starring Bruce Payne, Ashley Laurence, and Paul Francis.

Release Date: October 12, 1999.

Plot

“A college student unexpectedly finds that she has inherited a derelict house.  Accompanied by a group of friends, she goes there to clear it of heir-looms before the structure is demolished.”

Disc Specifications

Run Time: 95 Minutes

Format: Blu-Ray

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Language: English 2.0 Stereo Audio (DTS-HD Master Audio)

Subtitles: English(SDH), Spanish

Rating: Rated R

Video

Warlock is presented on Blu-Ray via Lionsgate Films’ Vestron Video imprint with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer.  Picture quality is solid throughout, very little grain is present.  The lighting is very well done, especially the outdoor scenes the picture is bright and crisp.  This is the best looking of the three films in the collection, despite being the oldest.  Some of the special effects have not aged well, including the flying sequences and some of the warlocks powers.  But the practical effects hold up very well, with some nice make-up work done to rapidly age a character.

Warlock: The Armageddon is also presented on Blu-Ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer, though the picture quality is noticeably less than the first film (and probably the worst out of the three films).  The visual effects are much worse, but the practical effects (especially the reptilian placenta) are quite impressive.

Warlock III: The End of Innocence has the same technical specs as the first two films, but the transfer is slightly better than Armageddons.  Close-ups are very well done, with nice detail on the actors expressions.  Because there are more practical effects in this film versus the second, it has also aged much better.

Audio

Warlock is presented with a 2.0 Stereo Audio (DTS-HD Master Audio) the film has an excellent score by Jerry Goldsmith that is perfectly balanced with the dialogue and sound effects.  There is a nice deep bass from the sound effects, and screams.

Warlock: The Armageddon also has a 2.0 Stereo Audio DTS-HD.  I had no complaints with this audio track.  The score is a step down from the first film, but the sound effects are well done.

As with the other two films, Warlock III is presented with a 2.0 Stereo Audio DTS-HD.  With less sound effects than the other two, this film is very quiet with atmospheric music taking hold in most scenes.  But the score by David Reynolds doesn’t hold a candle to Goldsmiths in the first film.

Blu-Ray Bonus Content

Warlock:

Audio Commentary by Director Steve Miner – The commentary by Miner reveals how he got into the project, his insistence on casting British actors to play the warlock and the witch-hunter that were from colonial 17th century America, as they would have been just off the boat.

Satan’s Son – An interview with star Julian Sands.  Julian discusses his involvement in the film from the beginning, what he brought to the role in creating a “suave” warlock, and the enduring legacy of the film.

The Devil’s Work – An interview with director Steve Miner.

Effects of Evil – interviews with make-up effects creators Carl Fullerton & Neal Martz.

Vintage Featurette – Visual Effects supervisors Patrick Read Johnson and Robert Habros.

Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots, Still Gallery

Warlock: The Armageddon

Audio Commentary by Director Anthony Hickox – A solid track where the director highlights the films challenging production, the advent of CGI and the challenges it posed, and working with Julian Sands to make the film unique and not a retread of the first.

Making-of Featurette – Behind the scenes footage

Vintage Interviews – Director Anthony Hickox, Actor Julian Sands and Actress Paula Marshall

Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots, Still Gallery

Warlock III: The End of Innocence

Behind the Scenes Footage – Vintage footage of the making-of the third film.  Interviews with cast and crew.

Trailer, Video Sales Promo, TV Spots, Still Gallery

Film Review

Warlock, directed by Steve Miner, is a film that you would find late at night on tv or collecting dust in a video store.  That’s not to say the film does not have merit, just that it isn’t something that is widely known to general audiences.  Written by David Twohy (who also wrote The Fugitive, and Waterworld) the film plays a lot like the Terminator films, but with a horror/fantasy vibe.

Opening in colonial America in 1691, a warlock (played by Julian Sands) escapes from his captors and flees to present-day Los Angeles.  Hot on his trail is a Van-Helsing-esque witch hunter (played by Richard E. Grant in one of his first screen roles).  They both encounter a young woman Kassandra (Lori Singer).  From there, the film plays as a straight chase movie, where the characters have to get from point A to point B while running into each other for skirmishes.  Through the course of hunting the warlock, it is revealed that he is trying to obtain three pages of a lost book, and once combined those pages will reveal the true name of God.  And if spoken backwards, all existence will be destroyed.

Warlock is best viewed as a B-adventure movie with some horror thrown in.  The acting is fine, and it is clear that Julian Sands is having the most fun hamming it up.  Richard E. Grant as the hunter is given a nice backstory that fuels his motivation for trying to kill the Warlock.  I did have issues with Singer’s performance.  Her delivery of lines is pretty poor, and whenever she is in peril her screaming is cringe-worthy.  Dialogue throughout the films is a bit clunky, the scripts could definitely have used some rewrites.  The special effects are well done, though some do not hold up.  For example, some of the Warlock’s powers include flight, breathing fire, and levitating objects.  The flying sequences are pretty laughable, CGI fire to this day is still not believable, and the objects kind of jolt when levitated.  The practical effects were very well done!  There is one scene where a woman is possessed, it is truly scary and hearkens back to scenes from The Exorcist.  The score by legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith is haunting, and melody’s will stay with you for hours after listening.

Overall, Warlock and the two sequels are not by any stretch Oscar-caliber film making, nor are they trying to be.  With influences from the British Hammer Horror films of the 1960’s, and the Universal Monster movies of the 1930’s, The Warlock Collection is fun camp fantasy/horror, with solid performances from its leads, and very good practical effects.

Rating The Warlock Collection: 7/10

Disc Acquisition

You can purchase Warlock Collection here

Leave your thoughts on this Warlock Collection Blu-ray review, the Blu-ray disc set, and the films within it below in the comments section. Readers seeking more Blu-ray reviews can visit our Blu-ray Reviews Page. Want up-to-the-minute notifications? FilmBook staff members publish articles by Email, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Facebook.

Related Articles:

 
 

About the author

Kyle Steininger

Born and raised in Chicago, Kyle has loved movies ever since his father took him to the theater to watch Home Alone. Since then, he has developed a passion for films and everything about them from watching endless DVD extras, interviews with cast/crew, and attending screenings of older films when available. Some of his favorite directors include Kubrick, Fellini, Scorsese, Tarantino, Leone, and Nolan.

Send this to a friend