Wishmaster Collection - Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies Blu-ray Review
Written by Steve Pattee
Blu-ray released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Written and directed by Jack Sholder
1999, 96 minutes, Rated R
Blu-ray released on March 28th, 2017
Holly Fields as Morgana
Chris Weber as Eric
Andrew Divoff as The Djinn / Nathaniel Demerest
Vyto Ruginis as Hosticka
Paul Johansson as Gregory
Robert LaSardo as Gries
Carlos Leon as Webber
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister Jr. as Tillaver
Ryan 'Rhino' Michaels as Butz
All things considered, our favorite Djinn is a relatively lucky fellow. It was a few hundred years from the time he was trapped in the Fire Opal before his release in Wishmaster in 1997. This time around, he only had to wait two years before he's set free due to a robbery gone wrong. In the midst of the heist, and the coppers closing in, a stray bullet from Morgana's gun dislodges the Fire Opal from the statue it was embedded in. The Wishmaster is reborn (literally) and Morgana is the new Alexandra, to whom the Djinn must grant three wishes so his brethren can be set fre...wait. This time it's different. In order to open the Earthly gates for his brothers, the Djinn (Andrew Divoff, reprising his role from the first film) must also grant an additional 1,001 wishes. Not quite sure why it changed from one movie to another, but what are you going to do?
Like most sequels, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies is a slight step down from its predecessor, but that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable. Also, like most sequels (horror in particular), the Big Bad gets more screen time than he did in the first film. A lot of the movie takes place following around Djinn as he goes on a wish granting mission, starting in prison. In order to get there, he confesses to the shooting of the cop in the museum heist because this would be a pretty good place to start his goal, as there would be plenty of folks wishing for something. Mama Djinn didn't raise no dummy.
The part spent in the prison has some of my favorite scenes in the film. Some of this has to do with the Djinn giving people exactly what they wish for, but also he shares screen time with Tiny Lister and Robert LaSardo; the former playing a hack, the latter playing a convict. Both of these guys are a lot of fun to watch, and neither disappoints here.
While the Djinn is spending time in the pokey, Morgana has hooked up with an ex-boyfriend/priest to try to figure out what's going on with her life. Seems that ever since she sit the Djinn free, she's been having all sorts of crazy visions and dreams that can't be explained.
As it goes, the Djinn gets his 1,001 wish-fulfillment-requirement (some from the prison, some from a Casino scene that's not only a lot of fun, but also has Bokeem Woodbine as the Casino boss) and meets up with Morgana to get the final three wishes out of her so he can rule world.
Like I said, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies isn't quite as good as its predecessor, but it's certainly no slouch. The two films make for a fine double feature, as both have their share of both gore and laughs. Unfortunately, the final two fall even farther and harder in entertainment, but Wishmaster and Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies make for a fine double feature.
Video and Audio:
Like Wishmaster, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies sports a damn fine picture. The 1.85:1 presentation has a lot of fine detail, and colors are quite natural. This a straight-to-video film shot almost two decades ago and really has no business looking as good as it does.
The disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is surprisingly sharp, with some nice use of the surrounds (all things considered). There's also a nice balance of dialog, score and effects, with none overpowering any of the others.
- Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Jack Sholder
I have to admit I was a bit surprised at the lack of features for this one (especially considering the weaker films that follow have more). That said, the commentary is quite interesting to listen to as Michael Felsher of Red Shirt Pictures moderates and does an amazing job of pulling interesting information from Sholder.