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Vestron Video’s ‘Wishmaster Collection’ Brings the Evil Djinn Into HD

By  · Published on March 26th, 2017

The films are an example of diminishing returns, but the collection is more than the franchise’s fans could have wished for.

There are rumors that Lionsgate’s fantastic Vestron Video line of remastered, supplement-filled Blu-rays celebrating horror films from the ’80s and ’90s may be closing up shop. It’s unconfirmed, and LG themselves have been mum on the subject, but it would be an unfortunate turn of events for genre fans if true. They’re only nine releases in, but already they’ve done tremendous work with fantastic new editions of fun classics like Chopping Mall, Waxwork, and The Gate.

Their most recent release, and possibly their last if the rumor proves true, is the four-film Wishmaster Collection. As someone who had never seen the first film and was utterly unaware that three sequels even existed this set offered a first-time watch across the board. So of course I binge-watched all four across a single day. Keep reading for a look at the new Wishmaster Collection from Vestron Video.


An evil djinn (Andrew Divoff) arrives in modern-day America after being released from the statue and gem that have acted as a prison of sorts, and he has a single goal. He wants to unleash hell on earth, but to do so he needs the young woman (Tammy Lauren) who freed him to make three wishes. Per an ancient prophecy, their granting would then invite all the evil djinns to begin new lives as rulers of earth. As bodies start piling up ‐ and falling apart ‐ all over town she races to discover a way to stop the powerful entity.

Director Robert Kurtzman‘s second feature is an absolute blast of gory gags and creative demises, and while the logic behind the djinn’s powers seems a bit inconsistent at times the bloody fun overwhelms the script issues. Kurtman’s experience with practical effects ‐ he’s the K in the legendary KNB EFX Group ‐ lends itself beautifully to a film whose villain is capable of doling out magically-enhanced deaths.

The plot is hampered somewhat by Peter Atkins’ script which sets up an interesting enough premise before deciding it’s not all that interested in the details, but the frequent gory bits and character urgency distracts with momentum. The djinn is a well-crafted character in his natural, monstrous form, and Divoff gives him great personality both in and out of make-up.

Wishmaster is a fun, gory romp that, while never as scary or serious as it wants to be, is an entertaining slice of late ’90s horror.

Vestron Video’s three-disc set puts the first film and its extras on disc one including trailers, galleries, and the following special features:

Wishmaster 2 ‐ Evil Never Dies

The djinn (Andrew Divoff) is once again released from the gem and statue that hold him, but he winds up in jail after taking the identity of a dead art thief. He eventually escapes and once again needs a young woman to complete the prophecy that will allow his ilk to overrun the earth, but not even an evil djinn gets everything he wishes for.

Writer/director Jack Sholder is best known for the terrific late ’80s sci-fi/action film The Hidden, but he deserves equal respect and love for his feature debut Alone in the Dark. What I’m saying is the man made two great horror movies, so we’re going to forgive him for the utterly dull, ridiculously boring Wishmaster 2.

After the first film’s epic amount of gory goodness this sequel brings the fun to a screeching halt. We get one good gore gag early on involving a man being squished through some jail cell bars and then nothing until the film’s final ten minutes. In between we’re left with lifeless characters and repetitive plot turns. The djinn is in prison for half the movie ‐ in prison! ‐ and while he kills a couple inmates it’s in the most uninteresting ways as instead he’s content gabbing with gangsters and trading cigarettes for laundry duty or some shit. It’s rough.

Bokeem Woodbine shows up in the back half, but not even he can give the film a heartbeat. Wishmaster 2 is a dull affair until its third act, but by that point we’re only wishing for it to end.

Vestron once again includes the film on its own disc which includes a trailer and the following extra:

Wishmaster Collection (4 Film) [Blu-ray]

Wishmaster 3 ‐ Beyond the Gates of Hell

The djinn (John Novak) is once again released from his ancient prison by a young woman (A.J. Cook) who he once again needs to complete his prophecy. He takes the form of a professor (Jason Connery) and puts his evil plot in motion.

I’m torn between thinking this is worse, better, or just bad in different ways from the bland Wishmaster 2. The gore effects are once again kept to a minimum here, inexplicably ‐ although probably due to budgetary restraints ‐ but it’s boggling to think anyone wants to watch an evil genie movie where the evil genie’s magic is lacking in visual flair.

The trade-off seems to be the inclusion of bare boobs as almost every female on screen finds some reason to remove her shirt. I’m not against this in theory, but here the intent seems to be breast implants will distract viewers from the lack of cool effects, interesting story ideas, and the terrible drop in djinn quality that comes from swapping out Divoff for Novak. His performance is goofy and lacks any of the former’s menace, and as he only acts in makeup we’re stuck with Connery for his “human” antics.

Wishmaster 3 is at best a weak Seventh Sign, and even as a fan of that Demi Moore flick it’s not something to be proud of.

The collection’s third disc includes both Wishmaster 3 and Wishmaster 4, and features the following supplements for this film:

Wishmaster 4 ‐ The Prophecy Fulfilled

The djinn (Novak) is once again… well, you know. But wait! There’s more! This time the young woman makes her third wish only to leave the djinn flustered and unsure how to grant it. The longer he delays the angrier his djinn brethren get, and soon he’s forced to face off against a mystical swordsman called the Hunter.

On the one hand the final Wishmaster film earns points for mixing up the same plot that’s been used across all three of its predecessors ‐ the djinn finally gets the person who released him to make a third wish ‐ and in better hands it could have been a return to form. Unfortunately both Novak and director Chris Angel (no, not that one) return from part three ensuring that none of what happens ever feels all that interesting.

The Hunter character should have been a cool new spin, but he’s a ludicrous waste of screen time in practice. Similarly, the plot thread involving the djinn’s delay in granting the final wish ‐ the one he’s been desperately craving across four films now ‐ seems ripe with possibility but instead wastes it all on an empty love turn. But hey, at least there are more boobs.

Wishmaster 4 is another generic let down. Not only does it skimp on the gory goods, but it also throws away the final opportunity for the djinn to be defeated not through swords or running times but through a smartly-written wish.

The collection’s third disc includes both Wishmaster 3 and Wishmaster 4, and features the following supplements for this film:

If this is the swan song for Vestron Video’s retro horror collection then at least it’s going out with a fantastic presentation of a truly fun, incredibly gory, and highly entertaining ’90s horror film in Wishmaster. And yeah, it also includes the three sequels.

Wishmaster Collection (4 Film) [Blu-ray]

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.