Schlocktoberfest IV – Day 7: Warlock

Schlocktoberfest IV

Warlock (1989)


*Spoilers Throughout*

Warlock-posterWhat’s It About: A Warlock, or “Male Witch” in 17th century Massachusetts, avoids death by leaping 300 years into the present day and searches for pieces of the Grand Grimoire, a book that has the actual name of God. A witch hunter, named Redferne, also leapt to present times to hunt down the Warlock and with the help of some raver chick, Kassandra, will stop the Warlock from finding all 3 pieces of the book and ceasing all existence on Earth.

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • I know it’s just the opening credits but the length of time that we watch these old Puritan dudes briskly walk through town is way too long and uninteresting. At least it’s to a Jerry Goldsmith score. 
  • There’s a production designer named Roy Forge Smith. That’s actually a cool name. 
  • “Thou art to be hanged. And then burned over a basket of living cats?” What?!
  • It’s almost like this movie is ripping off The Terminator with the time travel aspect. But in this silly movie the Warlock arrives in a small tornado like Link in Legend of Zelda.
  • Man, Lori Singer and her gay roommate are so super friendly to take in an unconscious and oddly dressed man who somehow magically flew into their house through the window. They put him in a bed! They don;t even bother calling the authorities. That’s a lot of trust right there.
  • Was there any real good reason that the Warlock had to bite off the guy’s tongue?
  • Is this spiritualist cumming or channeling a spirit?
  • I can barely make out what this cat Zamiel is saying. 
  • I think the Warlock’s name is just Warlock. They don’t give a name for him. Maybe it’s War Locke? Dennis Warlock Jr.? Maybe I’ll just call him Daddy Warlocks?
It makes sense that the Warlock isn't some very weird fetishes.

It makes sense that the Warlock is in some very weird fetishes.

  • Yeah, what are you doing Redferne? It looks so disgusting with you salting a piece of stringed leather and biting and mashing it with your teeth with drool dripping out. Is there an easier, more 20th century way of “salting the leather.” And Salting the Leather sounds like a name of a bar I would stay miles away from.
  • Why exactly is the Warlock chumming it up with this kid? What does he get out of it?
  • I can understand that the townsfolk can think a coyote killed a kid but not so much when the kid was found skinned alive. 
  • Did the Warlock just get a power-up by drinking the kid’s fat and now he can fly super-fast? Is this movie somehow inspired by Nintendo games?
  • Did the filmmakers/screenwriter have any basis for the Warlock’s powers and how he acquires them or for any of the supernatural stuff? Like did they come up with the Warlock gets his power of flight when he consumes the fat from an unbaptized kid? Or was that in an old book from long ago. Because if they invented most of these rituals and spells, then bravo to them.
  • What luck that the Warlock happened to shack up in a Mennonite farm in Colorado. And that Mennonite farmer knew he had a Warlock in his barn and knew how to put a hex mark on his barn for the Witch Hunter to see it from the highway. All in the span of a day!
  • I always assumed Richard E. Grant was Hugh Grant’s brother growing up. They are not related. But they look almost exactly the same! His real name is Esterhuysen as a matter of fact. And speaking of Richard E. Grant, how’d he get roped in this film? He’s not exactly action/adventure material. He was great in Withnail and I and then went right into Warlock and Hudson Hawk; two cheesy movies and pretty much has done nothing substantial since. Shame because I like him.
  • Great, now I wish I could watch Hudson Hawk.
  • Wow. Lori Singer’s aging make-up is downright ridiculous. Her lips don’t move when she speaks!
At least Redferne knows what he's getting himself into in 40 years.

At least Redferne knows what he’s getting himself into in 40 years.

  • The whole concept of wounding the Warlock by impaling his footsteps in the ground with nails is kinda a neat idea actually. 
  • I’m pretty sure that tricking the cashier that the credit card computer is down by pulling the plug doesn’t guarantee that they’ll still give you a plane ticket. 
  • So I know I’m digressing here but why would the Warlock time travel from 17th century Massachusetts to 20th century California? Wouldn’t it just make sense to travel forward in time but in the same location? Ah hell, he is a Warlock after all. 
  • To answer my previous question it was because the evil book the Warlock is seeking is broken up into 3 pieces and scattered throughout the United States and one piece happened to be in a desk of the gay guy warlock bit the tongue out of. But the last piece of the book is in Boston, where both Redferne and the Warlock started in the 17th century. Why didn’t they start there and then end in California?
  • Kassandra did have a good point. How can Redferne’s corpse be in the coffin if he leapt 300 years in the future? His time travel altered the space/time continuum. Are we to assume that events in the film happened before in an alternative time line—Redferne defeating the Warlock and guarding a third of the Grimoire in the coffin when her time traveled back to the 17th century? Then how did he jump back to the 17th century then? My head hurts now.
  • Can’t they just destroy the Grand Grimoire for good? Like burn it or something? It’s just paper. I don’t believe they explained this plot-hole. I mean, it’s already split in three pieces so obviously it can be altered or somewhat destroyed. 
  • It kinda sucks that Redferne really has no weapons. Other than a weather vane that has Warlock blood on it but they mostly use that to locate him like a compass. But Redferne made no effort to make a nice spear or gather knives or anything that may help him defend himself and Kassandra.
  • After some weak taunting and trash talk, it all comes down to Redferne punching and kicking the shit out of the Warlock. They couldn’t think of anything more clever to take down the Warlock? When he’s powerfully and has black magic on his side, you better have a better plan to get the upper hand than cold-cocking the sonuvabitch.
  • So salt water is all you needed to take down and kill the Warlock? And it took them this long to either figure that out or figure out how to use salt water as a weapon. Kassandra put some in her empty insulin syringes and injected him with the salt water thus killing him before he could wipe out creation. Didn’t Redferne know that salt water would make a perfect weapon? They could’ve put salt water in a Supersoaker and shot him with it until he perished. Do I have to think of everything?
  • Why is Redferne kissing Kassandra’s eyes?
  • Somehow and inexplicably, Redferne hops the next mini-tornado back to his original time. And leaves Kassandra with the Grimoire without explaining to her what to do with it. 
  • But Kassandra is very smart and buries the book in the Bonneville Salt Flats. Which is great but she only buried it about a foot deep. Why not bury it a little deeper just to be on the safe side?

Is It Actually Scary: More of an action/adventure flick with supernatural elements to it. Without the satanic aspect this is no different from an Indiana Jones movie.

Smoking or non?  Make haste, we have a Warlock to catch!

“Smoking or non?”
“Make haste, we have a Warlock to catch!”

How Much Gore: It’s fairly tame as far as gore goes. I can’t recall any blood other than the bitten off tongue.

Best Scene: I really liked the idea that the Warlock is vulnerable when you hammer a spike or nail in the ground where his body touched. So if his footstep is found and a nail is hammered down his foot would be in severe pain; kinda like a voodoo doll. There was an instance that his head hit the sand and she nailed him in the cranium! I don’t know but it was a different element to see in a supernatural movie.

Worst Scene: Just based on the fact that they made Zamiel, satan or whatever the spirit Mary Woronov channeled through herself, mostly unintelligible made for a very disappointing scene. There was like 4 voices overlaid on the soundtrack to give the voice a very sinister and other-worldy vibe but it wasn’t done very well.

No I was not in Notting Hill.

No; I was not in Notting Hill.

Any Nudity: None! Apparently there’s a deleted or alternate scene with Mary Woronov that had her nipples become Zamiel’s eyes. The Warlock then freezes her solid, breaks her and takes the eyes as guides to the Grand Grimoire’s pages. Sounds like a great scene.

Overall: I’ve only seen this movie in bits and pieces when it premiered on cable back in 1990 or so. I didn’t avoid it just never got around to seeing the whole thing. It was fun for the most part and glad I finally saw the whole thing. The supernatural stuff was good and mostly original and the acting was fun, especially from Julian Sands. Richard E. Grant played Redferne very stiff but considering the character it worked well. Jerry Goldsmith’s score was great as usual. It wasn’t the greatest flick but it was entertaining enough to watch and I’d recommend it if you have a free afternoon. It wasn’t scary in the sense I thought it might be but It did have a great villain.

Score: 7 Tongue Omelets (out of 10)

10 thoughts on “Schlocktoberfest IV – Day 7: Warlock

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