WARLOCK: THE ARMAGEDDON attempts to reinvent the mythos introduced in the original WARLOCK, but only winds up cheapening it.
The Warlock (Julian Sands) is a satanic entity who must be born to a woman wearing a magical stone. Hundreds of years ago, just such a ceremony was interrupted before the birth could occur, and the birth gem, along with six magical runestones, was stolen. In the present day, the rune stones are
scattered across America, and the Warlock is coming back to collect them. After being born to a Manhattan woman wearing the birth gem as jewelry (naturally, she dies), the Warlock kills and zombifies a cabdriver, whom he has drive him to the location of each of the stones. There's a catch, though;
each owner must give up the gem voluntarily. The first stop is a fashion show, where designer Paula Dare (Joanna Pacula) is taken on a flight into the night sky by the charming Warlock; once she hands over the stone, he drops her through a skylight into the middle of her own show.
The only people aware of the Warlock's presence and able to stop him are a group of druids living in a small California town. One, Will Travis (Steve Kahan), knows his son Kenny (Chris Young) has the makings of a great druid warrior. Kenny reluctantly enters into druidic training, where he learns
to harness his latent powers. At the same time, the Warlock continues his bloody journey across country, coercing rune stones from a carnival barker--who finds himself trapped in a mirror world full of deformed monsters--and a gallery owner, who is turned into a living, Picasso-like piece of
sculpture. An elder druid, Ethan Larson (Charles Hallahan), attempts to intercept the Warlock at the gallery, but is killed.
Ultimately, the Warlock arrives in the druids' town, where he procures another stone from Will's friend Franks (R.G. Armstrong), dismembering him in the process. But Kenny is ready to do battle, aided by his girlfriend Samantha (Paula Marshall), also a warrior. At first, it seems the teens are
no match for the Warlock, who has secured all the stones and begun to use them in a ritual to raise Satan himself. But Kenny manages to turn the tables and vanquish the Warlock, who disappears beneath the Earth, dragging the birth gem with him as he goes.
It's hard to imagine why Trimark Pictures tampered with the WARLOCK formula for this sequel, since the original remains their biggest-grossing release. While WARLOCK has a sense of scope, style, and impending apocalyptic evil, the sequel looks tacky, like a direct-to-video quickie. The movie's
horror isn't created through the sense of awesome cosmic forces being unleashed, but by a series of gross-out special effects set pieces in a sequential murder scenario not unlike that of a cheap slasher movie.
Matters aren't helped by the fact that the characters opposing the Warlock don't get to face him down until the climax, and that the rules of magic seem to have been made up at the script's convenience. While WARLOCK gave the impression that the creators knew their witchcraft, WARLOCK: THE
ARMAGEDDON piles on the mumbo jumbo.
Sands is still in good form as the title character, but the lack of any onscreen opponents before the final reels gives him little to do but sneer imperiously and drop wicked bon mots as he kills his victims. The rest of the cast is serviceable at best, and while the special makeup effects are
effectively disgusting, the opticals have a rushed, chintzy look. (Graphic violence, profanity.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: WARLOCK: THE ARMAGEDDON attempts to reinvent the mythos introduced in the original WARLOCK, but only winds up cheapening it. The Warlock (Julian Sands) is a satanic entity who must be born to a woman wearing a magical stone. Hundreds of years ago, just… (more)