The weirdest thing about the first Wishmaster film was that it was brought to us by Wes Craven. Quoi? Asked the cinema-going audience. This load of old codswallop was devised by one of modern horror's most respected directors? I suppose all those good films were karmatically dodgy and he had to make a few bollockfests to balance it out. Whatever the reason, Wishmaster has enjoyed an awful lot of straight to video sequels, and frankly I would be very surprised if at any point Craven came within five hundred miles of any of them.

The Djinn occasionally moonlights as an Easter Bunny.
Right, for the uninitiated, the central tenet of the Wishmaster series is a bit of a migraine, so I'll quickly explain it. There's this evil genie, or Djinn, who is trapped inside a magical ruby. If someone at any point releases him from the ruby, that person then becomes the Chosen One, who can make three wishes, but once they make the third, the Djinn lets all his guffawing mates into the Earth realm in order to enslave and destroy and all the usual crap. The Djinn can also grant the wishes of anyone else it runs into, and then claims the poor bugger's soul, and typically twists the wish as best it can to create the goriest outcome. They're notorious for their gore content, the Wishmaster films, possibly to make it as difficult as possible to confuse with I Dream Of Jeannie.

Wishmaster 3's wholly uninformative subtitle is Devil Stone, although the video box and the film titles can't seem to decide if that should be Devil Stone or Devilstone. The latter one seems to me like it should be the name of a small industrial town in the West Midlands. Welcome to Devilstone. Invest In Local Business.

Anyway, Wishmaster 3 opens with an attractive young blonde woman, who differentiates herself from the two attractive young blonde women who have been the chief protagonists in the last two films by also being a student of history at some university. She fields a package addressed to her tutor, whom I shall name The Lecherous Professor Beardy, and finds the In ruby djinnside. I mean, the Djinn ruby inside. Then, rather than taking the sensible course of action - that is, dance laughing all the way to the pawn shop - she decides to give it a bit of a clean. ARGH NO YOU STUPID COW WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU - oh. Bugger all happens.

After that, she skips off and The Lecherous Professor Beardy arrives to find some guy in full Djinn makeup wandering around his office. Now, the LPB is a learned man, and is aware of the Djinn legend, and immediately poos his lecherous pants. The Djinn, not the same guy who played him in the earlier films and as such a hearty disappointment, attempts to provoke LPB into making a wish, threatening to release information about an incident wherein the LPB non-consentually stuck his coconut tree where it didn't belong. That seemed an oddly tame threat for a fellow who isn't adverse to breaking people in half and knitting their gizzards into attractive jumpers. Besides, if a huge green betentacled bloke marched off to a disciplinary committee to complain about faculty misdemeanours, I'm sure his revelation would lose its weight somewhat while the committee were busy trying to hide under their chairs.

Knuckling under, the LPB decides to make a wish. Instead of making a sensible one like 'I wish to not die or be injured at any point in the near future', he takes the dickhead route and decides to try and go out with a bang. I'll pause the review each time a wish is made to make a little assessment.

WISH 1: "I wish for the two most beautiful women in history to come in here and be completely in love with me", or something like that

Abuse Potential: Medium

Outcome: Two hot topless girls come in and start eating the LPB. I dunno, that seemed like kind of a stretch. I mean, I love McChicken Sandwiches but I wouldn't exactly say I was IN love with them. I guess the Djinn likes to take liberties when he's up against a smartarse.

The possessed LPB awkwardly laughs off the blackboard's accusation.
Anyway, the laugh-a-minute Djinn repeats a trick he first showcased in the first Wishmaster by peeling off LPB's face, sticking it on his own, and thereby magically taking on LPB's appearance. How thoughtful of the villain to possess the only bloke with the English accent. Now, if I was the bloke playing the Djinn, I'd have been a little bit pissed off by this script. It's bad enough that no-one could recognise him under the costume, but he only turns up for a total of about five minutes, while some other tosser takes the role for most of the film. Something is definitely wrong when the actor with top billing playing the central character has less screen time than half the cannon fodder.

Speaking of which, we flip to our heroine and her mates, who all might as well paint fucking targets on their shirts, living it up in the halls of residence. Our heroine - I forget her name, let's just call her Dolores - experiences a vision of the LPB being munched in the worst possible sense of the word, whereupon she leaps to the slightly baffling conclusion that a Djinn has entered the world and possessed the LPB. Okay, so she was right, but it's still a bit of a leap of logic when she's only had one vision to go by. I dread to think what would happen if she ever dropped a tab of acid. "Hey, giant peas are coming out of the walls! YOU'VE GOT TO HELP ME STOP THEM!"

Understandably, her friends greet her assertions with healthy skepticism. Less understandably, they decide to believe her and go to a library to research ancient mythology, because this is behaviour you have to expect from students. At one point, two of them fuck for no reason, because this is behaviour you have to expect from characters in shitty horror films.

Sex over with, we return to the violence. The Djinn, or 'the only reason we are watching this film' as he is sometimes known, subtly makes the warty old hag of a school receptionist make a wish in his presence.

WISH 2: "I wish all of this work would go up in flames so I can get out of here"

Abuse Potential: High

Oh, it's too bloody easy. There's no challenge to twisting this one around. I know the point of horror is to shock, but it would have shocked me a lot more if the Djinn had NOT set fire to the stupid bitch.

Frequently, in shit horror, people get killed or go missing and nobody seems to notice or comment on it at all. In this case, though, the death of the receptionist is noted and referred to, but no-one gives a shit. In fact, all the students who refer to it seem to think it was funny. This was probably because the receptionist was neither young nor attractive, and was therefore a second class citizen.

Dolores' empty-headed chums start dropping like flies as the Djinn becomes increasingly impatient for Dolores to use up her three wishes. Three of them snuff it in quick succession: a slut, boyfriend of another slut, and a third slut.

WISH 3: "I want you to break my heart" (made through inept flirtation)

Abuse Potential: High

The camera actually went inside the slut's fucking ribcage so we could watch her heart judder and explode. Geez, I'm not that stupid, Mr. Director Man, if I'd seen her clutch herself and collapse I'm sure I wouldn't have just assumed it was a stomach ulcer.

WISH 4: "Blow me" (expression of defiance)

Abuse Potential: Really High

I've said it once but I'll say it again - if you understand the nature of the Djinn, watch your fucking language. Of course this bloke was going to be blown backwards and impaled on a huge spike. It's not that hard to wish something like "Go away leaving me completely unharmed and never come back".

WISH 5: "I want to lose weight"

Abuse Potential: Really Fucking High

Don't act surprised when I tell you this bitch proceeds to puke up all of her internal organs. Admittedly she wasn't completely clued into the twisty turny nature of the Djinn's wish granting service, but it was still a stupid thing to wish for when, like most Hollywood actresses, she needed to lose weight about as much as I need to lose oxygen.

Dolores uses up her first wish asking for the above slut's pain to end, then acts really surprised when the Djinn kills her. Then she uses up a second wish asking to - wait for it - "invoke the spirit of the Angel Michael to help stop you".

Let's all take five to ruminate on this stupid plot development coming out of fucking nowhere.


Welcome back. Seriously, the Angel Michael? If she could invoke anyone, why not Jesus? Well, I guess he'd be too busy preaching tolerance. Okay then. why not Robocop? Fuck that - why not Gamera? He saves children, y'know. No, the silly cow summons the Angel Michael, who possesses her dipshit boyfriend and attempts to fight the Djinn with a big wibbly-wobbly sword. He gets his angelic arse handed to him and legs it with Dolores in a car, which the Djinn chases after, leaping onto the roof.
In this film, we learn that angels can take the form of cobwebs.

The film kind of hurts itself by not having Andrew Divoff - the Djinn in the previous films - reprise the role, but I don't think he would have been up to the whole car roof thing. Divoff's Wishmaster was much more of a passive villain, pursuing his charges with a calm, measured pace. He wouldn't go for no messy T-1000 shit. He'd just watch them drive off with a roll of the eyes and get back to staring creepily into the middle distance.

Speaking of which, next to go is Dolores' best friend, hiding out in a laboratory, who makes the mistake of crying into a telephone within earshot of the Djinn, and making what could be construed as a wish:

WISH 6: "I need somewhere to hide!"

Abuse Potential: Low

Once again, the Djinn stretches credibility a bit. He drags the chick along the floor and sticks her head in a cage full of rats, commenting "No-one will find you in there!", which would be true if the rest of her body wasn't sticking out, and if she wasn't screaming blue murder. It's moments like this that make me wonder exactly how tightly the Djinn is bound to the whole wish-granting obligation, because he took some pretty fucking big liberties with this one. If he was allowed this much of a departure from relevancy, why didn't he interpret Dolores' "invoke the Angel Michael" request to mean something like "I want to have my legs chainsawed off"? Whatever, the heroes happen upon this chick later to find her eyes and lips nibbled off. I think that was the make-up artist's intended effect, although it looked more like someone had smeared catfood on her face.

Djinn chases Dolores and Michael around for what seems like far too long, and they have some kind of final showdown on a roof, Dolores stabs the Djinn through with Michael's sword and they both fall off the roof to land to their deaths below. Then Michael uses his magical angel powers to bring Dolores back to life. Apparently he couldn't offer the same service to all the other people who got killed, presumably it's a service exclusive to chief protagonists. The Djinn is banished for another indeterminate period until the screenwriters are once again sobered up for long enough to make another moneyspinning sequel.

Phew, that was excruciating. Ratings ahoy!

Fingers in Ears Rating: 4/10
It's more into gore than shocks. What's stupid is that there are faux-scary moments when perfectly harmless people sneak up on other perfectly harmless people, but the Djinn himself never sneaks up on anyone in the same manner. Yahtzee's Screenwriting Tip of the Day: never attempt to foreshadow events that don't fucking occur.

Get Nekkid and DIE! Rating: 8/10
Gratuitous sex? You better believe it. All participants of same killed? Ho yeah. Main character virtuous and innocent? The sun shines out of her pants.

Blood and Guts Rating: 10/10
It's nice to see, in today's CGI-choked film industry, some traditional prop-based Tom Savini-style creative gore effects. In this case, I presume most of the effects were created by dipping Rice Krispie squares in ketchup. Hmm, that sounds kind of tasty, actually.

Hateful Heroes Rating: 7/10
Wishmaster 3 loses out on a full score because, for heroes to be as hateful as possible, they must be juxtaposed by a loveable villain. There isn't a single character you can get behind in this entire film. In human form, the Djinn is somewhat dull. In monster form, he's just a twat.

Overall Horror Movie Sequel Rating: 8/10
Seriously, the Angel Fucking Michael? Was the screenwriter trying to win a bet, or something? As cop-outs go, that's almost a literal Deus Ex Machina.

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