Wishmaster

on September 19, 1997 by Dale Winogura
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   Dominated by the magnetic, seductive charm of Andrew Divoff as an evil Djinn (or genie, if you will) in human form, "Wishmaster" is otherwise a lukewarm stew of supernatural horror, mythical fantasy and gratuitous gore. The captivating idea behind Peter Atkins' script is that the Djinn is loose in today's world, granting wishes to various suckers that turn out deadly. But the cheap production values, often amateur acting and Robert Kurtzman's lively but uninspired direction prevent the promising concept from reaching fruition.
   The Djinn's main nemesis is a gym teacher (Tammy Lauren) who accidentally unleashes the creature by rubbing a gemstone that her boyfriend was examining. The ensuing nightmarish results have the Djinn committing all sorts of dastardly deeds, including turning people into liquid and transparent plastic, care of impressive, sometimes startling computer graphics. Of course, it's up to Lauren's character to stop the fiend from continuing his reign of terror in a frenzied finale.
   If its budget had been higher, and the filmmakers' imaginations had been more fanciful and less violent, "Wishmaster" could have been more than just a standard exploitation item. The stated admonition behind the film--to be careful what you wish for--is an interesting moral lesson that deserved to be treated with more creativity and les pandering to the horror crowd.    Starring Tammy Lauren, Andrew Divoff and Robert Englund. Directed by Robert Kurtzman. Written by Peter Atkins. Produced by Pierre David, Clark Peterson and Noel A. Zanitsh. A Live release. Horror. Rated R for horror violence and gore, and for language. Running time: 89 min.
Tags: Andrew Divoff, monster, slasher, supernatural, horror, Robert Englund, Tammy Lauren, Robert Kurtzman, wishes
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