Warlock Collection (Blu-Ray Review)

Warlock Collection (Blu-Ray Review)
Rated: R/Region A/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Vestron Video

Warlock (1989)
Directed By: Steve Miner
Starring: Julian Sands, Lori Singer, Richard E. Grant

In Boston of 1691, a warlock is sentenced to death, but escapes magically into the future (our present), followed doggedly by the witch hunter. There he is searching for the three parts of the Devil’s Bible, trailed by the witch hunter and the woman whose house he landed in. They must stop him, as the book contains the true name of God, which he can use to un-create the world.

Warlock was a movie I often saw sitting on the shelves of my local mom and pop video stores but I never did pull the trigger of renting. The poster hung outside the store for a long time before and during its original release on VHS. Vestron brings it to the land of HD with a set that not only includes the first movie but has the second and third as well. As this review will point out, it might be best to just count it as a special edition of the first and just called the other two “bonus” movies. In the first film, we see a Warlock played by Julian Sands come to the then present to look for books that will reveal Gods real name. Once it is said backwards basically everything done will become undone. Which probably means himself, but nobody is paying THAT much attention to details while writing the script I’m sure. He’s being trailed by a man played by Richard E. Grant who is also from the past on the hunt for a male witch. Along the way they both cross paths with our female lead, Lori Singer (you may recall her from the original Footloose), who joins in on the hunt to stop the Warlock because she not only has a crush on the male lead, but because our Warlock has placed a curse on her making her older by the day. That effect, by the way, shows its limited with how well the film looks in HD here.

Warlock isn’t going to be a film anyone calls a classic I’m sure, but it isn’t half bad for what it is. It at least has some mood and odd atmosphere going for it. Part of it might have to do with that strange vibe that seemed to always effects movies that straddled the line between the 80s and the 90s. The gore effects aren’t very bad at all when used, but effects like the makeup used to make the character of Kassandra (with a “K”) as mentioned before look a bit dated and odd due to how well the overall film looks on this set. If you had to pick between all three of the Warlock films, you’d easily be picking this one over the bunch and I’m happy to report that it has a nice haul of extras for it that comes along on the disc as well. Unlike the other two films, this one is on its own disc and gets the very royal treatment. The film might be a whole lot on the corny side of things, but all in all, you could do a whole lot worse in horror movies than the original Warlock.


– Audio commentary with director Steve Miner
– Isolated score selections featuring audio interview with author Jeff Bond
– Satan’s son – an interview with Julian Sands
– The Devil’s Work – an interview with Steve Miner
– Effects Of Evil – an interview with make-up effects creator Carl Fullerton
– Theatrical trailer
– Teaser trailer
– TV spots
– Behind the scenes footage
– Stills gallery
– Vintage interview with cast and crew
– Vintage featurette with Carl Fullerton and Neal Martz
– Vintage featurette with visual effects supervisors Patrick Read Johnson and Robert Habros, animation supervisor Mauro Maressa and matte artist Robert Scifo

Quality of Transfer: 92%





Warlock: The Armageddon (1993)
Directed By: Anthony Hickox
Starring: Julian Sands, Chris Young, Paula Marshall

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.

Did you read that plot synopsis above there? If you did then you probably will understand really quickly why I’m not anywhere as near forgiving or fond of the second Warlock film, Warlock: The Armageddon. Made in 1993 the movie brings a sequel to Warlock in name only with a plot you find a bit confusing and some really awkward moments of acting and line delivery. You know how awful it is to see a role you dug taken over by someone else playing the part? Well, Warlock: The Armageddon, gives a whole new level of frustration as we get Julian Sands back playing the Warlock but he never feels like the same guy, nor does he really act like the same guy. I’m not even sure he is even supposed to be the same guy judging by how he makes his return in the film. Perhaps I missed something somewhere in the mess or perhaps the movie just never did a good job of bringing that information to light for anyone watching. The tone is a bit looser and in your face with the whole comedic horror thing, but it does seem to more times than not miss the mark and mostly just keeps you watching for the train wreck nature of it all.

Giving credit where it is due, however, I will admit we have pretty good effects when the movie decides to bring them out. I might even offer more of this stuff than it did before, but the other parts of the movie are either so bad or insane that you might forget to notice while watching. One thing you won’t be unable to notice is the quality drop from the first film and this one. I don’t know what went on with the sources of this one but this movie never does hit those marks as before in the quality area. That means for both the movie in general and the look in HD. I really tried to find more to praise about this one but I just couldn’t do it. Our leads are bad, our plot is whacky, and everything about this one just sort of screams what was wrong with horror films from the 90s.


– Audio commentary with director Anthony Hickox
– Theatrical trailer
– TV spots
– Vintage making-of featurette
– Stills gallery
– Behind-the-scenes footage
– Extended vintage interview segments with Julian Sands, Anthony Hickox and Paula Marshall

Quality of Transfer: 79%





Warlock III: The End of Innocence (1999)
Directed By: Eric Freiser
Starring: Bruce Payne, Ashley Laurence, Paul Francis

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. Almost immediately, she and her friends are targeted by a powerful warlock who is very interested in her bloodline.

Well, if you couldn’t tell right out of the gate by what everyone in this movie is wearing, we are in the year 1999 for Warlock III: The End of Innocence. It is also the end of Julian Sands as our Warlock as we have Bruce Payne playing our male witch this time around. At least this gives us a reason for why our Warlock is acting so differently than before. We also have our leading lady being played by none other than Ashley Laurence of Hellraiser fame. She is looking nine shades of hot in this one if I do say so myself. While the rest of the cast is hit and miss, you will notice on a character is being played by Rick Hearst of Brain Damage fame. Also of General Hospital and Guiding Light fame if you happen to be a middle aged house wife who enjoys daytime TV. This movie toes around in ghostly stuff and bloodlines a bit, you’ll probably not pay too much attention to it, however, due to how slow this one is getting off and running. You do have Ashley Laurence to look at until something does happen but outside of her, things are a bit far and in between at first.

This also includes the gore, which is pretty darn good when it is used. We also have some rather nice kills that I dare say touch on over into the areas of being very creative. Yeah, you might get some very late 90s/early 2000s effects that aren’t that great you can take a dump on, but at least be happy that the movie at least has some effects in it that doesn’t look like it came from a Nintendo 64 game. Given the time of the movie, that is a bit of a hard thing to find. Also, I don’t hate Bruce Payne as our Warlock. I know he wasn’t the first guy to play the role and maybe we’d have liked the O.G. Warlock here, but he does his own thing with the part and isn’t bad at all in doing so. The movie is at least watchable after you get away from the dull beginning and it also comes with a much better transfer than part 2, making two out of the three Warlock films on this set very nice looking in HD. And as Meatloaf would say two out of three ain’t bad. The jury may still be out of if we actually two out of three movies here that are “good” however.


– Trailer
– Video sales promo
– Behind-the-scenes footage
– Stills gallery
– Vintage interview segments with cast and crew

Quality of Transfer: 91%