Warlock 2 The Armageddon
PLOT - Every six hundred years, a great evil has the opportunity to escape and unleash Armageddon. A group of five stones has the power to either free the evil, or banish it for another six hundred years. An order of Druids battles with a Warlock determined to unleash his father upon the world.
LOWDOWN - There are certian movies you closely relate with your own childhood. Certain movies you fondly remember watching over and over again as a child, renting at local mom & pop video stores, and associating those old worn VHS copies with pleasant simple memories. These were the movies that helped shape many of us into the horror fans we are today. The original Warlock directed by Steve Miner was one of those movies. I can't even tell you how many times I remember watching that movie. It was not only a favorite of my mother's, but a fun, original, creepy, very quotable movie with plenty of charm. Julian Sands as always stole the show, playing the lead villain who drank child fat to fly, looked sexy as hell in black, spoke to Satan through a crystal, and cast the coolest age spell I personally have ever seen on screen. I mean dude, he made the chick from Footloose look like a dried up raisin! Well the film had a pretty epic showdown in Boston, and gave one of the most romantic bittersweet endings of all time.
I vaguely remember years later renting the film's sequel, and later it's AWFUL third film. For years I always said the first movie was about the pages that had God's name in them, the sequel was about the stones. In fact the most memorable part of this movie was the fun-house scene where the guy is trapped on the other side of the mirrors that looks like some sick and twisted Hellraiser movie. Well, years passed and one day I picked up Warlock The Armageddon on DVD. While at school I had the pleasure of working a HorrorHound show and was able to help Mr. Sands at his table (this man is seriously such a pimp, I was swooning the entire time.) I'm mostly a fan of Julian from Rose Red, but I really had to geek out over the fact I was sitting and helping Mr. Warlock himself. Well, at one point we were sitting shooting the shit and I plain out asked him why he didn't return for the third film? He simply explained that he LOVED making the first two but when he read the script for the third film he was beyond dissapointed and didn't like where the series was going so stepped out. Even through I haven't seen the third film since it first came out, I'm sure he made the right choice.
I soon afterwards began to watch this film's sequel mostly as a background movie I was working on things. Soon all the memories came back by why I really truly enjoyed this movie. The main reason mostly being that director Anthony Hickcox took over from Steve Miner. Mr. Hickcox is a hero of mine simply because he directed Waxwork and Waxwork II Lost In Time. Two of my all time favorite horror movies of all time.
Hickcox has a very distinct style and look about his films. Each one is visually stunning, and seems like a true adventure ride. I feel if anyone had to make a sequel to such a great movie it would be him. He followed the rules very well in terms of doing a sequel. Believe it or not I liked that he didn't continue the story/characters from the first film. I feel the ending for them was perfect (love the shot in the original of the sky clearing and the stars coming out and of course the salt flats at the end. Very clever.) Hickcox decided to take the same character played by Sands and put it into a new story and universe. Many have had problems with this trying to find plot holes but I liked it and feel it worked perfectly for this movie. Besides a Hickcox universe is always a great one to be in!
What really made this movie was Hickcox's style. I seriously need to watch more of this guy's work. Pretty much using Mr. Zach Galligan's title for me as the ultimate Waxwork fan, I have to say Warlock 2 is a great movie that I personalty feel take place in the same surreal dream like world. The collecting of the stones I loved. We follow the Warlock as he travels across country picking them all up one by one and leaving a bloody trail behind him. The whole the druids storyline worked very well. I loved how they are these warriors who for generations have served to protect the world. That every 600 years Satan has his child reborn in order to open up the gates of Hell to bring his father into the world and leave it in darkness. This all ready even from the opening credits has a rich storyline with great history. This is a story that is very interesting and like I said almost like a true adventure. I loved how two children were chosen as warriors (time warriors via Waxwork II anyone?) to fight against the Warlock and stop the gate from opening. The scene where both have to be killed then brought back to have their speical powers were great. Love the lead kid watching his father walk over with the shotgun, gotta love the shot/camera trick of him being blown backwards screaming "Don't shoot!" and waking up afterwards.
Speaking about scenes, even through some of the CGI/Green screen work dates itself, I really was blown away by the visuals which Hickcox relies on very and uses perfectly. The setting in that small town was gorgeous, I loved the rain for blood scene. In fact this was a scene I mostly remembered besides the fun house part. I also loved when the lead girl stabs herself. These were beautifully made scenes with perfect build up for the end. What I loved the most was following the Warlock as he crossed the US to collect all the stones. The first scene which is the most popular is during the eclipse when he's re-born to the poor chick who happens to own the first stone. This scene is brutal and has some pretty gross and awesome practical effects. I urge anyone who's expecting to not watch this movie...gross! Still, it was wonderful and Mr. Sands shows his kibble and bits for a second.
This is where my favorite cameo of all time happens. We all know that Anthony Hickcox worked with actor Zach Galligan on both Waxwork and Waxwork II Lost In Time. I feel Zach was the Jimmy Stuart of Mr. Hickcox's early work. Warlock 2 and Waxwork II are very similar in terms of feel and look. Well Zach appears as the girl who sadly gives birth to the Warlock's date. He's in it for seriously less than twenty seconds but I remember having a really good laugh over this cameo. In fact last weekend at Spooky Empire I asked Zach about his cameos in this film and the year before in Hellraiser III. Zach joked about how Anthony called him up both time asking him to visit the set and both times he was pretty much thrown into the movies. This I would like to think of as a little treat and hidden Easter egg for Hickcox fans. I still wonder if there would have been a Waxwork 3, or if Zach and Anthony would have worked on any more projects together. I did hear Anthony did in fact want him for another role but Zach turned it down fearing to be typecast in only horror roles. (would have been awesome to see Zach in a bigger role in this, but I always enjoyed the cameo and love that the Warlock wears Zach's character's clothes the whole movie.)
Speaking of cameos by second favorite scene is the fashion show scene set in Chicago. If you look closely actress Monika Schnarre can be seen appearing in a cameo as well as the model on the runway wearing the second stone. Yep, Monika played the second Sarah in Waxwork II Lost In Time along side with Zach. Very cool to see both actors return! The fashion show scene was always amusing and loved this amazing cast (Joanna Pacula, va The Kiss, R.G Armstrong, Bruce Glover, Paula Marshall from Hickcox's Hellriser III, and many more...) We have the Fun house scene with another Waxwork cameo by the lovely Mihaly 'Michu' Meszaros who stole the show in the original Waxwork film. This of course is the creepy scene with the double mirrors, then we have that great black blood scene at the gas station. For some strange reason I always thought the taxi driver from the second Waxwork movie was the same in this movie...after a few closer viewings I noticed it wasn't. Fail. But of course there's the office building scene. Both the elevator scene and the sculpture scene are fucking AMAZING. This was a movie with great dazzling effects with very creative kills. In fact I rather see a movie with Warlock doing kills like this vs any of that bullshit they mostly have out today. This was brutal fun which was highly enjoyable.
The show down at the end in the small town was great. Loved the two warriors making love with the leafs falling (yet again very Waxwork II) The poor woman from the diner getting strung up, and of course the epic showdown at the end. Reminded me of an old Western movie. The showdown reminded me a lot of the original movie, and had a great ending (love the final stone being grabbed.) This was a fun movie that shows that in the 1990's there were some truly hidden gems out there. Warlock 2 is one of them.