Julian Sands remains unrepentantly evil as he assails familiar territory in "Warlock: The Armageddon." Though not specifically linked to the earlier horror thriller, the new outing echoes the first foray sufficiently to satisfy fans of hokum-filled, good-and-evil conflict. It should have good initial box office impact and thrive in subsequent ancillary exploitation.

Julian Sands remains unrepentantly evil as he assails familiar territory in “Warlock: The Armageddon.” Though not specifically linked to the earlier horror thriller, the new outing echoes the first foray sufficiently to satisfy fans of hokum-filled, good-and-evil conflict. It should have good initial box office impact and thrive in subsequent ancillary exploitation.

The current mumbo jumbo involves the struggle for control of six 17th century Druid rune stones. The baubles not only have the ability to summon Satan’s emissary but also have the power to quell his nefarious activities.

So when the Warlock pops up in the contemporary world, his task is to seek out and secure the pieces and commence a relentless evil reign.

His path leads to a Northern California hamlet that is one of the last known enclaves of the virtually extinct sect. The descendants are secure in the knowledge they have two warriors in their midst. The problem is that the two (Chris Young and Paula Marshall) are not trained in their chosen roles.

To paraphrase the venerable Mammy Yokum: “Good is better than evil ’cause it’s nicer.” However valid that contention, it serves little purpose here. Dramatically, these scrubbed, wholesome teens are bland beside Sands’ sinister histrionics.

Director Tony Hickox, too, seems more at home with the bad guy. The strutting and posture of the character is considerably more entertaining than the picture-book community.

Chewing up the landscape with great relish, Sands almost erases all thought of his colorless adversaries. He’s also given additional ammo with some very effective special-effects work.

“Warlock: The Armageddon” has enough fire and brimstone to burn up the screen. All the franchise requires is a healthy threat to keep this diabolical creature alive.

Warlock: The Armageddon

Production

A Trimark Pictures release of a Tapestry production. Produced by Peter Abrams , Robert Levy. Co-producer, Natan Zahavi. Directed by Anthony Hickox. Screenplay , Kevin Rock, Sam Bernard.

Crew

Camera (color), Gerry Lively; editor, Chris Cibelli; music, Mark McKenzie; production design, Steve Hardie; art direction, John Chichester; set decoration, David Koneff; costume design, Leonard Pollack; sound (Dolby), Don Johnson; makeup special effects, Bob Keen; casting, Alison Kohler. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 19, 1993. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 93 min.

With

Warlock - Julian Sands Kenny Travis - Chris Young Samantha Ellison - Paula Marshall Will Travis - Steve Kahan Ethan Larson - Charles Hallahan Franks - R.G. Armstrong Kate - Micole Mercurio Andy - Craig Hurley Ted Ellison - Bruce Glover Amanda Sloan - Dawn Ann Billings Douglas - Zach Galligan Paula Dare - Joanna Pacula

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