Wishmaster Collection - Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell Blu-ray Review
Written by Steve Pattee
Blu-ray released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Directed by Chris Angel
Written by Alex Wright
2001, 92 minutes, Rated R
Blu-ray released on March 28th, 2017
Jason Connery as Professor Joel Barash
A.J. Cook as Diana Collins
Tobias Mehler as Greg Janson / St. Michael the Archangel
Louisette Geiss as Katie York
Aaron Smolinski as Billy Matthews
Daniella Evangelista as Anne
Emmanuelle Vaugier as Elinor Smith
John Novak as The Djinn
If Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies is a slight step down from Wishmaster, then Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell is the top down, pedal the medal, fuck it we don’t have anything to live for scene out of Thelma and Louise because saying this is a step down would like be calling Ebola a case of the sniffles. It’s as if everything that was good about the first two films was gutted and the holes were filled with mediocrity.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The third film in this...quadrilogy (thanks, Alien box-set) is more of the same; you know the drill, a woman unleashes the evil Djinn, there are visions and wishes, and at the end there’s a showdown where our heroine wishes for just the right thing to put the baddie back in his jewel for (at this rate) another year or three. The only things that change are the actresses and location – this time taking place on a college campus.
Now, normally, this wouldn’t be an issue. I mean, just look at the Friday the 13th series. It’s more or less the same story each time (with the exception of Jason Goes to Hell; goes to hell indeed), but that doesn’t mean you aren’t entertained. And why is that? Because of the consistency of the person we’re all there to see – the bad guy. And guess who didn’t reprise his role as the Wishmaster? You got it, Andrew Divoff.
Wishmaster 3 has its problems, but the biggest one of them all is Divoff’s absence. For God’s sake, this is a role tailor made for the guy, and he is sorely missed. Taking on the role of the Djinn here is John Novak. While you probably wouldn’t know it unless you listened to the commentary, Novak doesn’t play the same Djinn Divoff did, but rather a different one altogether. Either way, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to sit here and crap on Novak because acting-wise he’s fine, he’s simply not the Wishmaster. He’s an imposter. It’s like when Jackie Earl Haley took over the Kruger role in the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake. As an actor, Haley kicks ass up and down the street, but he’s not Freddy. And once you have that glaring issue that the bad guy isn’t the one you know and love to hate, everything else that is wrong with the film comes to the forefront.
I could easily go on for pages on the problems with the movie, but I know at the end of the day I’m just pissing and moaning because Divoff isn’t around to entertain me. There are still a couple of nice kills and wishes to be had in Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell, but not enough even for a mild recommendation. When you take the Wishmaster out of the Wishmaster movie, everything else just falls apart.
Video and Audio:
Like the prior two movies, the 1.85:1 video is rock solid here. Regardless of how I feel about the movie, I have to commend Lionsgate for the work they put in cleaning it up.
The DTS-HD Master Audio track is 2.0 this time around. Granted, like the others, the mix is solid, but I am a bit surprised that this gets a 2.0 where parts 2 and 4 have a 5.1 mix.
• Audio Commentary with Director Chris Angel and cast members John Novak, Jason Connery and Ouisette Geiss
• Behind the Scenes
The audio commentary with director (not that) Chris Angel and cast member John Novak, Jason Connery and Ouisette Geiss is more interesting than the movie itself. Angel goes into a lot of detail about the production of the film, including filling in some missing pieces (like the Djinn here isn’t the same one from the first two films).
The behind-the-scenes featurette (5:51) is a fluff piece from when the movie first came out.