Reviewed November 15th, 2001 by David Nusair
The first Wishmaster was a modest success, so sequels were inevitable. But what the filmmakers behind this sequel (and the second one, too) fail to realize is the only reason the first one did well (and was so entertaining) was due to the novelty of the Wishmaster himself, known as the Djinn. The Djinn was this malicious and gleefully evil creature that would grant you a wish, and then use it against you (example: If you were to wish for a million dollars, he’d probably fix it so that a suitcase full of money appeared inside your stomach – thus killing you quite horribly). The problem is, however, that once you get the general idea of what the Djinn is all about, watching him twist a poor sap’s wish around tends to lose its appeal after a while.
And it also doesn’t help that the plot for these movies never seems to change. In this one, a young student at college unwittingly releases the Djinn from his prison – which happens to be an ornate antique. Now, the Djinn needs his “waker” (as he continually refers to her) to make three wishes, thus allowing him to take over the world. Along the way, he grants the wishes of the various co-eds that have the misfortune of running into his human form (in this case, it’s a professor played by Jason Connery – Sean’s son).
Wishmaster 3 is workmanlike in its execution – there’s no real originality or distinctiveness separating it from other low-budget creepers. As is often the case with the sort of direct-to-video sequel, the entire enterprise appears to have been crafted with but one thing in mind: $$$. None of the characters are compelling, since the script doesn’t give us a reason to care. These people are merely pawns thrown in front of the Wishmaster, in order to create more chaos and death. And all these complaints would be moot if the various methods of mayhem employed by the Djinn were even the slightest bit interesting – which they’re not. One particularly idiotic character puts up a tough-guy front for the Wishmaster and says to him, “blow me!” which is exactly what the Djinn does; he blows him across the room and impales him onto a moose head. Very creative.
Wishmaster 3 isn’t even the last in the series – a fourth installment was filmed concurrently with this one and is scheduled for release next Halloween. I’ve got a wish – stop making these movies!
Audio: Wishmaster 3 is accompanied by a DD 5.1 soundtrack and it’s expectedly dull. Given that this is an ultra-low budget affair, one wouldn’t expect much out of the sound. What kind of a sound designer can you afford with such little cash? But there are a few instances of ambient sound – such as an early car crash – but this is generally a straight-forward, front-speaker only soundtrack.
Video: And given that this is a direct-to-video number, you’d expect the transfer to be clearer than a flick that’s seen celluloid. You’d be wrong. This 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is among one of the worst mainstream efforts I’ve seen (I’m not counting those $5 DVDs you see at Walmart), with a plethora of DVD-related artifacts. Darker scenes are particularly troublesome, with heavy pixellation and related compression problems abound. This is slightly better than VHS, but a lot worse than what you’d expect from DVD.
Extras: Nothing. Not even a trailer.
Conclusion: Wishmaster 3 is a really terrible movie, and with an awful transfer and a complete lack of extras, this is a disc only the most die-hard Djinn find will find appealing.
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