Warlock: Armageddon isn’t as fun or creative as the 1989 original, but it has its moments. For fans of Anthony Hickox, who directed Waxworks and Hellraiser III, it’s probably essential viewing. At the very least, I found it amusing whenever I spotted flourishes which reminded me of his work on other pictures.
At the end of the
The first time I heard about a sequel to Warlock I wondered how they were going to handle the fact that their villain had learned the spell to undue creation by the end of the first movie. Despite the fact Julian Sands returns to the lead role, it’s not really a continuation of the first one. This is a different warlock and a different story. That usually sucks (see: The Warlock 3… or better yet, don’t), but here it’s a little more forgiving and the practical effects are actually better than those in the first film.
The bigger problem is Armageddon is two movies in one. The better half follows the warlock as he leaves a trail of destruction across the countryside. The other half is a lame coming-of-age tale about two small town teenagers training their newfound telekinetic abilities. The two plots exist independently of one other until suddenly they don’t. The crossover is so abrupt it’s as if they forgot to include a scene.
A flashback reveals that Druids have been warding off Satan for centuries now. The Druids managed to scatter the runes which can herald his return, but in the next scene a modern woman inexplicably gives birth to the fully grown warlock. Now this is certainly a fun and horrific entrance for the warlock to make, but later in the movie he says he has existed for hundreds of years… so why show us such an entrance? And is “warlock” an accurate descriptor for the son of the devil? Doesn’t that make him more demon than warlock?
I enjoyed many of the scenes with Julian Sands, but some of the kills are about as creative as the stuff in the later Wishmaster sequels, particularly one dud involving a mirror riddle. It’s worth watching for Sands alone, but the way the heroes defeat Satan is one of the most egregious things I’ve ever seen put to film. I’m also disappointed the sequel didn’t have as much fun lore as the original.