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Warlock

Warlock

By Patrick Samuel • September 26th, 2012
Static Mass Rating: 3/5
WARLOCK (MOVIE)
New World Pictures

Original release: June 2th, 1989
Running time: 103 minutes

Director: Steve Miner
Writer: David Twohy

Cast: Julian Sands, Richard E. Grant, Lori Singer

Warlock

Stories about witches and warlocks have been with us for as long as humanity’s been around. We’ve probably heard most of them from the days of the witch trials in Europe and North America from 1480 to 1750. This period spanned the upheavals of the Reformation and the Thirty Years’ War and resulted in an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 executions.

Even before that time though, between 1095 and 1291, while the Crusaders spread the word of Christianity in the Holy Land their swords spread the blood of Muslim Turks far and wide, and anyone accused of being a heretic or non-believer met the same fate – among them were many of those charged with witchcraft. Altogether it’s thought that over 100,000 such executions took place, out of these I’ve often wondered how many were innocent and how many were actually witches?

In this fantasy horror adventure directed by Steve Miner, who also directed Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) and Friday the 13th Part III (1982), we’re taken back to Boston in 1691 where we meet an actual warlock (Julian Sands) who manages to escape execution by travelling via thunderbolt to modern-day (late 80s) Los Angeles.

Once there, he sets about finding the missing pages of a book called The Grand Grimoire. In those pages are believed to be written the true name of God, spoken backwards they have the power to uncreate all of creation.

The warlock’s arch enemy, a witchfinder called Redferne (Richard E. Grant), has also travels forward in time with the mission to find and stop him. With the help of a street-wise modern-day girl, Kassandra (Lori Singer), they should be able to do just that, but the self-obsessed Kassandra is slowed down by a hex the sinister warlock has put on her which makes her age 20 years each day.

Warlock

Warlock, with its kooky make-up and special effects might not be a film that tells us a lot about the witch hunts of former times, but it does go on to perfectly illustrate some of the problems a 17th century warlock might face when he suddenly resurfaces in the modern, albeit 80s, world. Cars, phones and even the way people dress comes as a surprise to him, but nothing deters the warlock from that task of finding that Grand Grimoire.

With Sands looking like he’s enjoying the role, it’s a film with some mild gore and entertaining moments, such as when he befriends a young boy and shows him a couple magic tricks he’ll never forget.

I remember first seeing the film shortly after it was released on video in the early 90s. As the first film I’d seen starring Julian Sands he certainly made an impression. With his tall frame and piercing eye he fit the role perfectly and would go on to play a few more villainous roles over the years. The notorious Boxing Helena (1993) and more recent Season 5 of 24 (2006) come to mind, but this is the one I’ll always remember him for.

Hilarious camp at times, Warlock might not be the best history lesson when it comes to witches and witch hunters but it makes for an enjoyable hour and a half and is one of the many overlooked Cult Movies of the late 80s.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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