I normally wait for a 20 year anniversary to celebrate a movie with its own column, but this past weekend was such a Wishmaster love fest I couldn’t wait until next year to give props to this classic horror movie (maybe just in my own mind) from 1997. Here are 15 reasons I love Wishmaster.
Please note: This column is “for the fans.” If you haven’t seen Wishmaster yet, go watch it right now. If you have and don’t like it, you and I can never be soulmates.
1. The design of the Djinn, aka the Wishmaster (and all of the gore and special effects for that matter), are really imaginative and fun and an example of the tremendous practical creature effects work of KNB from the mid-'90s when creatures and gore effects in horror movies were king. You can tell this movie was a real labor of love for the company.
3. The theatrical one-sheet for Wishmaster is stop-you-in-your-tracks amazing. I remember staring at it for several minutes the first time I saw it (after seeing Spawn…yeesh) and being out of my mind excited for the movie. I saw it opening night and was not disappointed in the slightest. I’ll never forget the dude in my theater who yelled out “GORE!” excitedly during the crazy, amazing opening sequence where the Djinn unleashes his powers upon ancient Persia.
4. The opening credits are the best, from the font to the long pan of an opal being made. I always nerd out when I see shots of things being forged in powders, mixed in liquids, lava poured over coals and all that shit.
5. The score by Harry Manfredini is great. I love how he replays the Dun-DUN! Dun-DUN! again and again at the end of the opening credits. It’s like three times too many.
6. The opening text explaining the set-up for the film is wonderful. “Fear one thing only in all that is…Fear the Djinn!” It’s narrated by Angus Scrimm of the Phantasm series.
8. Everything about Regal Auctioneers, from its offices to its employees (especially the manager, Nick, and his V-neck green sweater). It’s the best. It feels so porno in a charming way.
9. Tammy Lauren’s every line delivery. She’s a Dollar Tree Meg Ryan and I love her.
10. This exchange used to establish Tammy Lauren’s character’s status with her bestie Josh: “How ‘bout dinner and a movie?” “How ‘bout hot dogs and a ball game?”
11. The corny as hell jump scares.
12. Every scene with Tammy Lauren’s children’s basketball coaching is gold. “It’s all about stillness.” “See it. Find it. Shoot the ball.” Then #44, later in the movie, makes a basket and is like “Stillness Ms. Amberson. That’s how I did it. Stillness, just like you said.” It’s also great that this is how Tammy Lauren defeats the Djinn – stillness, people.
13. Tammy Lauren’s screaming/freaking out face.
15. The late ‘90s rock songs are the bomb. I love when horror movies include 20 seconds of generic sounding rock music to transition at the beginning of a scene.
Wishmaster is so perfect that I haven’t even watched any of the sequels for fear that they will tarnish the original. That puts it in the same pantheon of Saturday Night Fever and 2001: A Space Odyssey. #ThatWhichIsEternalCannotDie
Questions for you all:
1) Do you like Wishmaster?
2) What “embarrassing” horror movie do you secretly adore and maybe are too afraid to tell anyone? Tell me quickly – while you still have a soul!