There were a lot of clever moments in this movie that were kind of minimized in a way since it had a few things working against it, such as limited special effects, a story that was good but didn’t really have a great deal of depth to it, and at least one or two actors that weren’t that convincing, unfortunately. But to be perfectly honest, this is the movie that I still think about whenever Julian Sands pops up in a current project. Sands is the kind of guy that can perform arrogance and menace at the same time and send chills down the average person’s spine since he’s just that good at it. The idea of casting him as the titular character was brilliant, but for one reason or another, the budget for this movie didn’t appear capable of landing anyone else that was considered top-tier material. It’s fair to think that Julian wasn’t even considered to be that big of an actor, even though he’d been working for a while. The guy is amazing to be honest since he is fun to watch and very convincing in his roles.
But thinking of how this movie would play out now makes for a lot of interesting ideas as there are dozens of different directions things could go in the current time period given that warlocks are considered to be mythical and not at all real. It’s definitely seen this way in the 1989 movie as well, but it does feel like a serious lack of exposition and less than stellar acting that makes the movie flow forward by necessity rather than in a natural manner. Sands plays his part well, but those that are trying to stop him, despite not being the worst actors in the world, feel a little too frantic, a little too rushed, and as a result, end up looking a bit foolish as they go hunting a man that could kill them both if he wasn’t on a mission to undo all of creation.
Yep, that’s how big the stakes are in this movie, and yet the audience probably never feels it since the idea is mentioned more than once, but somehow the movie downplays itself so effectively that there the feeling of the world ending soon doesn’t really come into play. At one time this movie was kind of terrifying since back in the late 80s the effects still weren’t great but the feeling behind them, the story, in other words, was just enough to keep people watching and perhaps even allow a couple of people to enjoy what they were seeing. If this movie was ever given the reboot treatment it does feel as though a lot could be done with it, but it also feels as though the movie might be turned into a joke yet again unless someone came along that was ready and willing to put some money into the project and really push the special effects to the limit. The movie wasn’t overly gory to be certain, but it did have several disturbing moments that helped to increase the feeling of severity when the acting failed to do so. It might sound like I’m criticizing the actors a little too much, and I might be, but if you watch the movie you’ll see why.
Like many horror movies, it’s necessary to pay attention to the overall tone of the story and what is really trying to be conveyed since otherwise one is bound to nitpick their way through this movie from front to back. The idea of a warlock that has Satan on his side and is transported to the 20th century where he can wreak havoc is kind of a strange idea, but not a horrible one since the concept of the devil being able to send people through time like a magical Skynet is something that could be worked with and done in a way that might make a little more sense and even heighten the effect in a way that might make it completely feasible for this movie. Another reason it would be great to see a reboot of this movie is that there’s a hope that Julian might actually want to have a cameo or a small role in the movie since he was the one that made it work as much as it did.
The hope that a lot of movies could be given effective reboots isn’t something I saw myself saying just a couple of years ago, but it’s easy to admit that some reboots have worked, while others have done even worse than the movies they were trying to emulate. Warlock is one that doesn’t start off at the bottom of the barrel, but it’s still a movie that could be vastly improved and even given a chance at gaining the attention it needs to become a popular idea.
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