Lord Of Illusions

on August 25, 1995 by Christine James
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   From the filmmaker who brought us "Hellraiser" comes..."Hellraiser 0.5: Heckraiser." "Lord of Illusions" disappoints severely in the thrills and chills department. Nix (Daniel Von Bargen), a villainous satanic sect leader resurrected from the dead, is much more revolting than scary, unless you deem oozing pustules terrifying. Though formulaic camera angles and jolting chords of music will still make audiences jump out of reflex, there's nothing authentically frightening about this film, its premise or any of its characters.
   Scott Bakula as private investigator-turned-ghostbuster Harry D'Amour does fine with what he's given, though horror vet Barker should have extrapolated on the introduced premise that, all his life, D'Amour has traveled the line between Heaven and Hell, and is drawn to the "dark side." If this is the culmination of his journey, as is intimated, it's pretty anticlimactic. D'Amour's love interest, Dorothea (Famke Janssen), a bereaved widow with a secret, has little to do except be imperiled and wear gauzy blouses. Kevin J. O'Connor as master illusionist and evil-fighter Philip Swann is an uncharismatic cross among David Copperfield, Donny Osmond and Clint Howard -- not a winning combination in anyone's book. Barry Del Sherman is intriguing as an obsessed sociopathic cultist with an odd fashion sense. In all, the film is a melange of half-baked good ideas and stock horror schlock.    Starring Scott Bakula, Famke Janssen and Kevin J. O'Connor. Directed and written by Clive Barker. Produced by JoAnne Sellar and Clive Barker. A United Artists release. Horror. Rated R for strong violence and gore, and for language and sexuality. Running time: 109 min.
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