So we’ve finally hit direct to video schlock with the Warlock ending up in a bland slasher film. I’m frankly surprised we haven’t had Warlock in Space or in da Hood but I don’t want to give Hollywood ideas. It is also strange that after two films where the Warlock is travelling around America on these epic fetch quests we have gone smaller with the stories by having him pick off college students in a spooky old house.
The story is Kris (Ashley Laurence) discovers she is the long lost relative of some family she never heard of and she has inherited their ancestral house. Kris did not know her parents and takes a weekend off from college (bringing her annoying college friends along of course) to go to the house to see if there are some clues to her past. The Warlock (now played by Bruce Blue Lips Payne) needs to sacrifice Kris in order to gain more demonic powers.
You may think I would hate this movie more than the last one. Despite being the third movie, we still aren’t continuing any of the plot threads from the previous two and in fact we are glossing over even more things. Like can we please have even a token explanation for why the Warlock is alive!? This guy gets thoroughly disintegrated and he just pops up at the house in this movie like ‘whatev‘. It’s bad when you can’t even be bothered to come up with a bullshit excuse. It’s also bad when Julian Sands is too good for your sequel and you have to get Bruce Payne to stand in for you.
But despite all that, I can’t hate this as much as The Armageddon. This movie is shite don’t get me wrong, but it is still slightly better than II. Why? Cause stuff happens in this movie. Yes, the scope of the plot is diminished by being a glorified boogeyman but there is at least some arc. There is even a reason for why the Warlock has to pick off the students one at a time. As part of the ritual of sacrificing Kris, the Warlock has to get her friends to betray her by corrupting them. As much as I harp on overacting Payne, it was slightly entertaining to see him do smarmy Faustian deals. The man is just funny when he is trying to be sleazy and here he is trying to get people to betray everyone else for the dumbest reasons.
This is still a dirt cheap horror film and it has all the trappings of a lazy cash in. The characters are your stock unlikable douches who you are not supposed to like and are just fodder for the bad guy. Even our main character is inconsistent and annoying. She spends one night in the house alone prior to her friends showing up and she is practically seeing blood coming from the walls. Later when Bruce Payne shows up acting like his character from Highlander Endgame one of Kris‘ friends tries to explain that he is a shady person and Kris just brushes it off. I’m sorry, but not two seconds ago this place freaked you out enough that you almost ran back into town through a thunderstorm, but Bruce Payne acting like the son of Satan and causing everyone around him to be sick is perfectly normal? Also, even though I somewhat praised this movie for having an explanation for the students getting picked off, of course the writing is inconsistent. There is one friend who flatly says no to the Warlock’s offer and says she will never betray Kris? What does he do? He just kills her. Don’t let a thing like writing yourself into a corner get you down writers of Warlock III. Just plow straight through like the Kool Aid man.
There is still no reason to see Warlock III. Bruce Payne, while slightly amusing, never chews enough scenery to make it entertaining and is in fact rather reserved from his usual schlock. Of course, nothing is added or continued to the Warlock story line and is a disposable horror film. The story is bland, the characters are annoying, the budget is minuscule and the effects are non-existent. While this movie didn’t piss me off like The Armageddon, that is still far away from me actually recommending this to anyone. This is still a shitty sequel and hopefully there is never a fourth movie.