1993 / Director. Anthony Hickox
Warlock The Armageddon is a sequel that divided fans. Julian Sands reprises his role as the Warlock, only there are radical differences in his character. Where the original film cleverly balanced comedy with horror, this second instalment is all horror. It's a much darker movie with gory, graphic violence and a menacing atmosphere. Abandoning the rules and structures of the first movie, the Warlock is reborn during a lunar eclipse and is tasked with bringing together 5 rune-stones, which will bring upon armageddon. The only hope of stopping the warlock is a pact of 4 men, druids from a long bloodline who's calling is to prevent hell from rising. Much of the film's criticism from fans is in regards to the change in mythology. It's been an ongoing discussion and without any clarification or explanation from the writer, it's left to interpretation. My personal take on this story is that he is NOT the same Warlock from before. Where the first warlock was destroyed and his satanic bible banished, this is a new 'minion' sent to Earth, born in the image of Lucifer (as before). In terms of being a sequel, it's a pale comparison. Lacking is the character interactions and dynamics and Julian Sands is left to carry the entire film on his own. I do, however, like this one and Sands delivers a laboured yet enthusiastic performance. Anthony Hickox isn't half the director Steve Minor is, but he has stepped up to the task as best he could. He made this movie back to back with Hellraiser 3 and there are lots of parallels between the two movies. Julian Sands often casts a striking resemblance to Pinhead with his ironic and authoritative commands. His rebirth at the beginning recalls Frank's resurrection in Hellraiser and a nightmarish carnival mirror maze suggests a realm of Laviathan influence from Hellbound. To fully enjoy Warlock The Armageddon a separation from the original film is helpful. It is a fun film, which could have been great if only for a better set design and stronger script. I wonder if Anthony Hickox has an unreleased director's cut, like he did with Hellraiser 3? I would be very keen to see it.