Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lord Of Illusions blu-ray review

 Lord Of Illusions blu-ray review

PLOT - In 1983 a group of young adults raid the desert headquarters of Nix, a powerful cult leader who knows the secrets of the universe and has the terrifying power of dark magic. Saving a little girl who was meant to be sacrificed and taking down Nix, the group buries him so deep, that they think nobody will ever find him.

They were wrong.

13 years later private investigator Harry D'Amour, a man who has a sense for the supernatural, arrives in LA on a routine case when he happens upon the murder of a fortune teller. The killer's are past cult followers of Nix who have been waiting for him to be resurrected. It seems that they were slowly tracking down each person who turned and murdered him all those years ago. It isn't long before Harry is hired by the beautiful wife of famous illusionist Philip Swann. It seems Swann was friends with the fortune teller who was killed, and the two of them have more in common than D'Amour knows. It seems that both were part of the group of people who killed Nix all those years ago. After a horrible accident on stage, Swann is left dead and D'Amour is left to try and figure out of mystery of who is left of the people who betrayed Nix, and if the cult members are right in believing that Nix was so powerful, he even knew how to escape death and rise from the dead.

LOWDOWN - There are just certain movies that just stick with you. Lord Of Illusions is one of them. Back when I was 18/19 I remember first seeing this movie on Chiller (right before the network went to total shit) I was confused as Hell on what exactly was going on (didn't help that I missed almost 30 minuets of the film.) After a second viewing and better understanding I really dug the store and went straight out to buy it on DVD. Instantly I was hooked. I had always remembered seeing the movie cover at the video store growing up, and something about this movie spoke to me when I finally got around watching it as a young adult. This was Clive Barker's third and final attempt at directing. After Nightbreed (his pride and joy) was cut to shreds by studio, and it bombed at the box office, just a few years later Barker tried again developing yet another one of his short stories and using a common character (D'Amour) from other works of his. Sadly Hollywood didn't know the master mind they had at their fingertips and it seemed as if nobody could get past the Hellraiser thing. I'll be the first to admit, as much as I LOVE Hellraiser (In fact I down right love the first 3 films) I feel Nightbreed and Lord Of Illusions are ten times more of a visual, and ground breaking film than the first Hellraiser ever could be. In fact I believe had these two films been released just 15 years later both would have broke box office records and knocked Hellraiser's socks off. After yet another disappointment Clive went back to working in other stages of art, but his three films will and forever be favorites of mine. I think Lord of Illusions is a great follow up to the epic of Nightbreed, and captures one hell of a story.

This was by far one of my favorite films. I legit watched it day after day after day wearing out by DVD copy. I got an original poster of the film (which still hangs in my office) and I even have the soundtrack which I always find myself listening to during long drives. Lord Of Illusions is sadly an often over looked film, but it's a strong effort on Barker's part, and one of the few rare awesome gems horror wise from the 1990's. 

I have always found myself drawn to stories of magic (what can I say, I'm a huge David Copperfield nerd). Lord Of Illusions showed a colorful different and much darker side to the sparkle and glitter of show business and the West Coast. With some great actors, an amazing opening, and some killer effects this is a film to make sure you check out no matter what, horror fan or not.

Does the film have flaws? Of course it does. I feel the opening of the movie was the strongest of the entire film. Had maybe the film taken more time on that period of the film and fleshed out the characters maybe the audiance would have felt something more for them. (also seeing Kevin J O' Connor in that wig, a fan girl can drool for days...)


The character of Dorothea was another thing I had to roll my eyes at. I don't get the whole "I didn't marry my husband for love." bit. I'm sorry, she seemed like a little ungrateful bitch. This guy risks everything to save you, turn his back on his master, fake his death and give up all that money and fame and what do you do? Yep, you fall into bed with a complete stranger before your husband is even buried. 

Maybe I'm just bitter...

The movie is highly visual. One of my favorite scenes if Swann's sword death. The rich blues, golds, and reds used in this movie are completely stunning and really seems to pop on this blu-ray. Seeing Lord Of Illusions in HD is always a treat!

Another thing was the villain. Love ya Nix but after all that hype of you coming back the ending result was a little blah. Such a great film with a very weak ending. 

I feel had they taken the time on the members who defeated Nix and them getting picked off one by one it would have been a much stronger movie. Nothing against the character of D'Amour, but I found the Swann backstory much more interesting. Hey, maybe it's just me...

Besides some dated CGI, Lord Of Illusions tells a very haunting a tragic story with some great and memorable moments. Lately I have been on a HUGE Clive Barker kick and this will and forever be a huge favorite of mine. I'm totally in love with the blu-ray release and have only gotten mid way thru the extras. The new artwork is amazing and I just framed up my Nightbreed and Lord Of Illusions posters from Scream Factory. 

By far one of my new favorites for my blu-ray collection. So go check out Lord Of Illusions, Clive Barker's final and most visually stunning film yet!

4 Stars!

Met Kevin J O'Connor by complete chance at HorrorHound in 2011. I gushed about this film like a complete idiot to him. #PhilipSwannforlife

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