This is one of my favorite films from my childhood and was surprised just how well it had stuck in my memory. I hadn’t seen this film since before I was a teenager and I remembered every detail incredibly accurately. I was even more surprised to see how well it aged, staying just as engaging now as it was then. This is due to the very memorable performances from Julian Sands and Richard E. Grant.
Warlock opens in with the titular Warlock (Julian Sands) being captured by with-hunter Giles Redferne (Richard E. Grant) in Boston, Massachusetts back in olden times. While waiting to be executed the Warlock is thrown through time to late 80’s Los Angeles by his father Satan. Redferne will have none of this escaping bullshit, as he has a vengeance boner for the Warlock over the bewitching of his bride-to-be and follows him through the time portal. The Warlock is taken in by Kassandra (Lori Singer) and her roommate. After Kassandra leaves the Warlock kills the roommate and takes a ring. She is later questioned and the police make it clear that they made the decision to what happened and that was he was killed by a gay lover, because… reasons. So when Redferne appears at her home hunting the Warlock, she calls the police and has him arrested. That night the Warlock returns and steals her youth, well actually he accelerated her ageing, but lets get bogged down in semantics. When she wakes up and realizes what has happened, she bails out Redferne and the pair set to hunt down the Warlock before he can reassemble The Grand Grimoire . Learning the name of god and undoing creations…
It’s honestly the story that I found memorable. But all the moments that comprise the story. Most notably the scenes featuring the Mennonite farmer or the boy that gets killed for his fat. Turns out unbaptized male child fat is an amazing ingredient for potions in this universe. Never seeing the boys remains actually works in Warlocks interest here, as I have a feeling it would look laughable by today’s standards.
Like I said though it’s really Julian Sands and Richard E. Grant that makes this movie. This is undoubtedly my favorite film starring Julian Sands, with his work in Rose Red coming in a very distant second and I can praise his performance enough. Richard E. Grant works great off of him and the two feel at odds in all the right ways.
My only complaint is Lori Singers performance and happens to be the least memorable part of this film. Which is real down considering she’s one of the three major characters and is supposed to be the one we’re rooting for. She comes of vapid and vain. Two things that turn me against a character faster than just about any other traits. Her refusal to wear most of her aging makeup makes her character feel phony and ruined my suspension of disbelief every time she was in the frame.
Final thoughts, if you can get past Lori Singer this is a really great movie. Because once you get past her this film is great. Easily worth Cult status, but I’m unsure if this film has achieved that and if not I find that saddening. 8.5/10