Wishmaster 3: Beyond The Gates Of Hell (2001)

DVD Cover (Artisan)
Genres: Creature Film, Horror, Supernatural Horror
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Chris Angel Chris Angel
Jason Connery Jason Connery
A.J. Cook A.J. Cook
Tobias Mehler Tobias Mehler
Louisette Geiss Louisette Geiss
Aaron Smolinski Aaron Smolinski
Movie Connections:
> Wishmaster (1997)
> Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (1999)
> Wishmaster 3: Beyond The Gates Of... (2001)
> Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled (2002)

3.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: February 03, 2008
I loved the first two Wishmaster movies. It was not only an original premise for a horror movie, a rare feat in itself, but it was a premise that required some clever writing and consequently, lays claim to some of the more inventive kills in horror. Top all this off with Andrew Divoff's two amazing performances as the djinn, and you got one hell of a franchise. All good things, however, must come to an end, and that end is Wishmaster III: Beyond the Gates of Hell.

This plot synopsis is going to be a little bare-bones because a) there's not a whole lot to it and b) I really don't give enough of a damn about this movie to put any effort into it. Diana (A.J. Cook) is a history major in college still trying to come to terms with her parents' death in a car accident when she was just a child. Her friend Katie (Louisette Geiss) and boyfriend Greg (Tobias Mehler) are constantly trying to get her into some sort of therapy, but Diana is content to just drown her problems in her work. She's currently working in a museum with Professor Barash (Jason Connory) setting up a new Persian history exhibit. Among the artifacts, Diana finds a box which she accidentally unlocks to find a red gemstone inside. By handling the stone, she inadvertently releases a djinn, an evil genie who wants to take over the earth for his race. The only way he can do that is by granting three wishes that Diana makes. Shortly after he is released, he kills Barash and uses his body as a disguise. Knowing that the djinn is after her, Diana and Greg take refuge in a nearby church, where Diana is tricked into making her first wish. Seeing what might be her only chance, she uses her second wish to summon the archangel Michael, who inhabits Greg's body, hoping he will have the strength and knowledge needed to destroy the evil djinn.

Jesus, talk about dropping the ball. There's so much wrong here I don't even know where to start. The biggest thing that slaughtered any chance of this movie being entertaining was the sheer mindlessness that went into the kills. After all, the intelligence behind the djinn's wordplay was a huge part of what made the first ones so great. Here, the best way to describe them is 'inane.' For example, when the man wishes that two beautiful women who love him would appear before him, two topless women suddenly appear, start grinding on his body, and then out of nowhere start clawing into his flesh. Later, a girl wishes there was somewhere to hide, so the djinn grabs her and sticks her head into a cage where rats tear up her face. Where the hell did they even make that connection? In the old days, the two girls would have loved him so much that sheer jealousy would lead them to violently kill each other and the guy would take the rap for two accounts of murder. Meanwhile, the girl would have been rammed into a ventilation shaft half the size of her head. I mean, shit, at least pretend to try.

Another misstep was the passing of the torch from Andrew Divoff to John Novak. In my opinion, that would be comparable to casting someone besides Robert Englund to play Freddy Krueger. Divoff had a cockiness about the character that truly accented just how powerful he was, plus he had that voice. I really can't explain it to anyone who hasn't seen the movie, but his voice was creepy as shit and there is simply no topping that. Even in his human disguise, Divoff was off the charts good. But all that is a thing of the past; Novak's djinn is more cheesy than anything, with a performance that's as over-the-top as the rest of the movie. The costume doesn't look near as menacing as it had, and Divoff's croaking voice was replaced with a layered, echo effect. This subpar djinn fit in very well in a subpar movie.

That plot is fucking ridiculous, and it's extremely obvious that Chris Angel had no idea what the hell he was doing. All the dialog scenes are close up of the actors' faces, and whenever the man felt unsure of how to go about things, he threw in some bad special effects to try and redeem himself. The point that went flying over his head is that in this series, less is more. For example, in the first movie, when the Djinn took on his human form for the first time, he cut off the man's face, placed it to his own, and the skin and hair just spread out over his body. Now that same scene is accomplished with a giant red flash of movie magic. And finally, capping this disaster off is the sorry state of actors assembled. Every single person in front of the camera obviously wanted to be somewhere else, although I really can't blame them in the least.

With Wishmaster and Wishmaster 2 available in a two-pack that costs a whopping five bucks, (albeit on those shitty double-sided DVDs) there's no reason anyone should hesitate to pick that up, and just pretend they stopped right there. I'm going to go ahead and give this a 1/10 since there's enough hot women wearing little or nothing to warrant it at least one point. And since I'm such a nice guy, I've even included screen shots of those scenes to remove any and all reason you would want to watch this travesty. You're welcome.
Chad #1: Chad - added 01/12/2012, 12:01 PM
"There's enough hot women wearing little or nothing to warrant it at least one point"

Agreed. I threw it a couple of extra points for some neat kills, but otherwise, agreed with the rest of your review.
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