Warlock is an attempt to concoct a pic from a pinch of occult chiller, a dash of fantasy thriller and a splash of ‘stalk ‘n’ slash’. But what could have been a heady brew falls short, despite some gusto thesping from Richard E. Grant and Lori Singer.
Pic opens in the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1691 where a contemptuous warlock (Julian Sands) is being readied for execution. But with a bit of nifty hocus-pocus, both he and witch-hunter Grant are sent to 1988 LA.
Sands soon gets back to his nasty habits – including chopping off a finger, gouging out eyes and skinning a child – as he pursues the magical book the Grand Grimoire.
Waitress Lori Singer meets Sands when he crashes through a window into her house. After he puts an ageing spell on her, she teams up with Grant to try to kill the warlock.
Director Steve Miner directs ably but doesn’t pull away from some of the horror cliches.