Warlock: The Armageddon

(Anthony Hickox, USA, 1993)


Picture two ordinary teenagers in small town USA who meet during a school production of Romeo and Juliet. The boy is a wimp; the girl's stern father is the local parish priest. Suddenly strange portents appear: birds fall dead en masse from the trees, bugs swarm over everything in sight, blood rains down from the sky. Then the boy's father murders him, in order to promptly resurrect him – since Satan's son once more walks the earth, and the boy is one of God's chosen warriors.

There is much more to the plot of Warlock: The Armageddon, including some neat, modern twists (the teenage girl turns out to be a chosen warrior, too). But the essential thrill of this furiously paced and marvellously inventive film comes from its sure-fire combination of daggy teen-movie elements and grand, apocalyptic myths.

This instalment has more of a B movie feel than the first Warlock (1991). It is certainly much gorier and more extreme in its black humour. Prolific director Anthony Hickox (who made the equally impressive Hellraiser III [1992]) leaves aside no opportunity for a gruesome joke involving decapitated body parts or blood-soaked designer furniture.

This time around, Julian Sands plays the devilishly handsome villain like a wisecracking Freddy Krueger rather than a symbol of depraved evil.

Most of Warlock: The Armageddon alternates between two plot lines. While young Kenny (Chris Young) and Sam (Paula Marshall) come to terms with their divine destinies and hone their paranormal powers, the Warlock roams America collecting the sacred stones that have the power to inaugurate the world's end.

The ultimate confrontation of all parties is presented as a multi-generic super-spectacle: by turns a Western, a horror movie gross-out, and a delirious apotheosis of romance in the manner of Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992).

This is a film to seek out and cherish.

© Adrian Martin November 1994

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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