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Wishcraft (2002)

Directed by Danny Graves & Richard Wenk Written by Larry Katz

Quiet and slightly charming Brett Bumpers (Michael Weston) had been more known for his ability to geek out opposed to anything deeming memorable for ones typically expected high school experience. Having many interests including food, movies and girls…you mean there are people out there who don’t like those things? Receiving a mysterious package in the mail with a note attached stating how the enclosed totem would grant him three wishes. The totem? You mean the bull penis that was hundreds of years old…of all things. Testing out his first wish and asking for the cheerleader he had been tutoring, Samantha (Alexandra Holden), to attend the Spring Blast dance with him. All returning back to normal after such. Soon taking the totem to a specialist with best friend Howie (A.J. Buckley) in which he’s informed of the objects authenticity with an offer to take it off his hands for 30, no, 130 dollars. Because he obviously wasn’t hiding anything about its worth.

Deciding to go forward with another wish, he desires for Samantha to become his girlfriend, though without any question and wanting a genuine connection between the two. Because wishing for that relation was the better way to go about the situation. Causing a riff within the jocks as Cody (Huntley Ritter) and Jimbo (Charlie Talbert) bide their time in messing with Brett. The latter losing his life in a samurai sword fight, on a golf course…while looking for his pants. Gladly ending the agonizing pain that had been his reaction to the ordeal and shortly followed by with another death of a jock. Detective Sparky (if ever a more perfect name for a cop) follows through asking several students questions and providing support for those needing such. Thankful for the confession deriving from odd looking fellow named Eugene who spoke in detail of the deaths and showed the immense strength needed in order to complete such. Just failing to fit his fingers to the bowling ball (the second weapon used) before the press release where they planned on stating having caught their killer.

So what does the boy who now has everything he wants do? Decide to come forth with the information concerning the totem and newly found love. Taking Samantha to Howie’s family lake house to break the news softly to her, admitting that while he had liked her all along, had fallen for her and was unable to uphold his lie any longer. When did this become a romantic comedy exactly? Rushing upstairs (or playing hard to get) she locks herself in a bedroom until the lights go off and she’s forced to find reassurance in the attic; a typical location for finding such. Just in time as the killer approaches and does away with Cody, with one final person remaining on his list. Using a Darth Vader mechanism to call down Brett, who had joined Samantha, as its unveiled to be Mr. Turner (Austin Pendleton); the history teacher turned murderer when tiring of no longer being listened to. Now, I’m not saying I didn’t like the outcome, but who could believe for one moment that the stuttering lawyer from My Cousin Vinny could actually be taken seriously for murder to this degree. Trying to bring in the aspect of magic as though sufficing for the poor deliveries all around. While there are a lot of familiar faces, none were of particular appeal in that they were all able to not fully rise to the occasion, making for the mediocre B Horror film undoubtedly executing. Certain veteran Actors making their cameos as will tend to happen but Zelda Rubinstein was more creepy than who the killer turned out to be. And Meatloaf, MEATLOAF!, was just something I’ll choose not to associate with this all together. Talk about a laughable performance. The main two Actors do maintain the screen by actually having the slightest bit of chemistry. And Alexandra Holden certainly was more tolerable then in the other popular girl roles having acted in. What, with her ability to hop up and down when walking. Coming up with completely original cheers for her star quarterback boyfriend. An all around appeal and choosing love in the end. Though…because using her wish for them to travel meant she was still under his original spell of loving him. Meaning she acted out of the spell and possible not actually love at all; doesn’t sound as romantic when you think about it like that though.

In fact, it felt less and less like a Horror film the more it continued. Having taught for the past 25 years, Mr. Turner became tired of teaching as parents would rather blame his ability to impose knowledge on others than condemn their child of an ability to misbehave. Receiving some divine intervention interpreted as a means to kill the dummies, no doubt being the butt of jokes from then when he was back in school. Passing on the gift to Brett who disappointingly used his wishes to pursue “some bimbo.” Though the charm that it consistently held was not only because of the all the familiar faces but that at the end of the day, couldn’t even say it felt like  you were walking away from a Horror, especially not in R form. More comedic in a lot of aspects and when coming down to closing out the whole thing, fell through with assessing any knowledge and simply letting the geek get the girl in the end. Referring to earlier information concerning the totem and how was part lore in if giving freely, able to let anyone have use of magic. Which wouldn’t explain how he was able to use such if having to pay 100 bucks for it, right? Okay, so I’ve been rather rough on this one when it seemed others were quite fond of such overall. Perhaps being something that could have been worse. But it also could have been a hell of a lot better.