Steve Miner’s Warlock

Steve Miner’s Warlock is billed as a horror film but it looks, feels and works better as a sort of time travel adventure deal. There are elements of horror, and the sequel (which I’ll review next) definitely dabbles in horror more hardcore but this is a rollicking, spirited jaunt from 1600’s New England through space and time to 1990’s L.A. as a hyperactive witch hunter (Richard E. Grant) pursued a dangerous supernatural sorcerer (Julian Sands) before he can collect enough dark magic to unleash the apocalypse or… something. It doesn’t matter what your specifics are when your effects, journey and overall atmosphere are this much fun. Sands is mercurial, devilish and relentless as the Warlock and he carefully walks a tightrope between being an unstoppable, faceless force of evil like some horror boogeymen and having his own unique charisma and panache, like others. Grant is ridiculously fun as the initially boorish, then gradually likeable and by the third act downright adorable witch hunter, sporting a coat right out of The Revenant and a mullet that Chuck Norris would be jealous of. Also he’s called “Giles Redferne,” which might be the coolest name ever in cinema, and he sure lives up to it. He meets a bubbly 90’s valley girl who has no interest joining forces with him until the Warlock puts a nasty aging spell on her and then, well, you can imagine. The effects are naturally of the 90’s variety but they have their own kitschy charm, especially during a hilariously shocking sequence where Sands literally kills a child and uses its blood for a flying potion so he can become a cruise missile and engage Redferne in a raucous highway car/flying Warlock chase. This is a fun one with elements of horror, dark comedy and swashbuckling tinged adventure all at play.

-Nate Hill

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