There are too many monsters in horror to count. From vampires, werewolves and mummies to giant bugs, invaders from outer space, zombies, slashers, rogue fish, and God knows what else, hundreds if not thousands of oogedy-boogedies have sprang forth from filmmakers’ imaginations to terrorize us. Tonight’s triple feature examines films about three very different monsters.
We all believe that a genie is a good thing that grants wishes after you free him/her from his/her lamp. Blame I Dream of Jeannie and Aladdin. This is one where the folklore, history and mythology is horribly under served. We know more about how to resurrect a mummy than we do the history of genies. Wishmaster taps into the dark side of that history and mythology.
Andrew Divoff tries his best to create an iconic bad guy as the Djinn, a truly evil genie from whom you really don’t want wishes granted. There’s always a catch and it usually costs you your soul. His chilling voice delivers the command that almost makes the movie, “Make your wishes.”
The sequels are hit or miss, but the first film is an interesting entry in the horror movie catalog thanks to Divoff’s performance. Tammy Lauren stars as the protagonist who matches wits with the Djinn.
Horror was trying to find its way in the late 1990s in the wake of movies like Scream. Another science-gone-wrong film, Mimic involves altruistic scientists trying to solve a child-killing plague and accidentally create six-foot-tall killer cockroaches in the process.
An ensemble cast including Mira Sorvino, Josh Brolin, Charles S. Dutton, Jeremy Northam, Giancarlo Giannini, and F. Murray Abraham pace this dark, gritty creature feature.
Of course, there are sequels and they are not very good. Stick with the original. It’s plenty gory and gooey.
86. The Relic
Another from 1997, and instead of Mira Sorvino, it’s Penelope Ann Miller this time. Science mixes with lost jungle tribe folklore and mythology as an ancient creature is unleashed on unsuspecting museum-goers in Chicago. Potions and elixirs concocted from native plants take center stage as Miller and Tom Sizemore’s characters try to solve the mystery and slay the beast.
Now, I really like Tom Sizemore. It’s too bad that his personal life has been such a mess over the years. I think he is at his best in roles like this, a cop or a government agent, skeptical, wisecracking, but ultimately heroic. Miller has appeared in all kinds of productions throughout her career, and this appears to be the only horror film she’s done.
Linda Hunt and James Whitmore also star in yet another underrated horror movie.