It’s October, and to help celebrate, we at BAD want to bring you just a shitload of horror writing. My contribution will be Sequels in the Dark - a weekly column (conceived by Phil Nobile Jr.) in which I discuss a late sequel from a horror franchise I don’t know at all or know just a tiny little bit. Will it be fun? So far - no!
This week I look at Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled. This seemed like an especially good candidate because not only have I never seen a Wishmaster film, but the movie’s subtitle indicates the coming of something I should totally know about by the fourth entry. I imagine Wishmaster fans read “The Prophecy Fulfilled” and say, “Oh yeah!” Meanwhile I’m picking my nose in total ignorance.
I didn’t remain ignorant for long, however. Within the film’s first minute, I already had a pretty good textual summation of what’s going on. See, there is a race of wish-giving devils called the Djinn. They all look sort of like a Wal-Mart Halloween costume version of Tim Curry from Legend. One of them, the main Wishmaster, can walk around the planet causing trouble. The rest are trapped in some kind of hellish place. If he can convince a person to make three wishes, all the Djinn will be unleashed. Seems like that would be pretty easy, but it’s not because Mr. Wishmaster simply cannot help but take these wishes to their literal extremes which usually ends up killing people on their first try.
That was minute #1. In minute #2, the film offers a pretty steamy sex scene. So I was impressed with this movie early on. This wonderful sex scene introduces us to the film’s two protagonists, Lisa and Sam. They have just moved into a house together, and their humping indicates a long life of happiness ahead of them. But it is not to be. Without really telling us, the film jumps ahead to some uncertain point in the future and Sam is in a wheelchair. Humping days: Arrested!
Sam and Lisa are suing the guy who put Sam in his wheelchair. This brings her to Steven, a sleazy-looking lawyer. He’s taking their case for free but makes it pretty clear that he wants to bang Lisa. She rebukes him, but it’s not easy because Wheelchair Sam has turned into a huge self-pitying jerk. Like the film really pushes his assholedom. If she were to say, “Can I make you eggs?” He’d probably respond, “Fuck you! Eggs rhymes with legs and you know mine don’t work anymore!” That kind of guy.
In his quest to have sex with Lisa, Steven presents her with a big ruby that he found on one of his “all night web surfing jags.” Little do they know, Mr. Wishmaster is hiding inside. I guess this is some kind of weird Wishmaster Ruby. Found on Ebay. After Lisa leaves, he pops out, cuts off Steven’s face, and wears it like a disguise. If you know your low budget horror, I probably don’t have to tell you that Mr. Wishmaster spends 99% of this film looking like a sleazy lawyer.
Actually, the film’s plot is pretty cool. Mr. Wishmaster just needs Lisa to make three wishes. First, she wishes that she and Sam could win their lawsuit. Mr. Wishmaster makes this happen by calling his lawyer opponent and telling him to “hold his tongue” (he pulls out his own tongue), telling him he knows he’d cut off his nose to spite his face (he cuts off his own nose), offering a fairly straightforward “you get the point” (he stabs his own cheek), and then finally by telling him to “Take a gun and blow your brains out” or something like that. They win the case.
With her second wish, Lisa wishes Sam could walk again. So that happens. Shockingly, it does not make him any less of an asshole, mostly because he’s pretty sure she’s sleeping with Steven. So he goes off to bang strippers. This guy’s a real piece of work.
It should be noted that Lisa doesn’t realize she’s talking to a Mr. Wishmaster. He just kind of goads her into wishful thinking. So when the time comes for her third wish, the one that will end the world, shit gets real: “I wish I could love you for who you are.”
Shocker! How can Mr. Wishmaster grant this wish without telling her he’s a Djinn? And how can he get her to love him! He can’t! All his Djinn buddies are getting impatient, and yet he’s stuck in this awful conundrum. He has to really woo this lady! To make matters worse, some angel guy shows up to kill Lisa and make sure Djinn Armageddon does not commence. You think he’s nice, but right away he decapitates an old lady. Everyone’s awful.
I guess the main joy supplied by this movie comes from Mr. Wishmaster’s troll-level literalism, which can be pretty funny. A bartender at a strip club points to a stripper and says “I’d sell my soul to be a pimple on her ass.” Sure enough, that’s what happens. Mr. Wishmaster overhears a waitress lament “I wish someone would kiss my like that” while watching a couple make out. “You will” he says, and suddenly every male in the restaurant starts Frenching her. I can't remember if there was a point to that or not. In my favorite bit, a lady tells him “I wish I was having some killer sex,” and he kills her with phantom orgasms.
In the end, some shit goes down and Mr. Wishmaster fails to bring about Djinn Armageddon. He also dies. I don’t know how often he dies in these films, but it didn’t feel all that monumental. In fact, I only watched the movie a couple days ago but had to hit Wikipedia to remember what even happened in the last act.
I have to admit, however, that I sort of liked Wishmaster 4 and would be open to watching the films leading up to it if it were really easy to do so. Like, really really easy. I’m into these hyper-literal wish-kills, but not THAT much.