Sunday, April 24, 2011

I've Got a Golden Tick-Um, Spellcaster?

I have no memory of putting 1992’s The Spellcaster on my Netflix queue, but apparently, it happened and I watched it. The following review is proof of such.

Quick Plot: A pair of fresh-faced Ohioan siblings win the chance to compete in an MTV sponsored contest wherein they, plus five detestable young people people get to spend the weekend in an Italian castle with a pop star to find a check for $1 million dollars.
Yes, at this point, your mouth should be watering for an Everlasting Gobstopper.
Essentially, The Spellcaster is an early ‘90s remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, with a few major modifications:

Willy Wonka = Diablo, played by Adam Ant as a demonic Brit who secretly dreams of being a VJ (not to be confused with a DJ, come on people)
Slugworth = The Madonna-esque rock chick from Dolls playing a Madonna-esque rock chick

Lifetime supply of chocolate = $1 million
Veruca Salt = Ivy Crane from Passions (or if you’d like, the mom-in-peril of Rumplestiltskin) as a hot pink leotard wearing California tease with an odd habit of luring men into showers, having them wash her back, and then dismissing them with a polite ‘thank you’
Agustus Gloop = Frank, the token fat guy whose main character quirk is the fact that he eats a lot and gets turned into a pig (cause, you know, he’s fat)

Charlie Bucket = A young and blond Gail O’Grady who does one better by not daring to steal fizzy lifting drinks
Mike Teevee = a British female hunter in riding pants
Oompa Loompas = Diablo’s collection of living antiques, including a killer chair

...and so on. Much like Ghoulies and other minor VHS rentals of its time, The Spellcaster is all about pretty (well, by 1992 standards) people stuck in a giant haunted house for an evening of practical effects-based mayhem. The blood is fairly minimal and visuals more than laughable by today’s standards, but the film has a playful spirit about it that makes the action and dialogue quite smile-worthy for a lazy afternoon. 
High Points
Between a pig transformation, glowstick snake strangulation, and woman-eating chair feast, there sure are some enjoyable death scenes to be found

Low Points
I suppose I could take fault with the fact that the characters are essentially walking stereotypes (Horny Italian Guy, Good Girl, Her Brother, French Skank, Blond Bitch Who Disrespects Books, Aggressive Huntress...okay, the last one’s new). In truth, I found that aspect rather amusing
Lessons Learned
There ain’t no such thing as winners in Cleveland
Like so much else in Italy, policeman pants are exceedingly sexy
Italian men are well aware that they are greasy and always want to come (you know, for walks)

As the great Fear No Evil taught us, when in doubt, toss in zombies

Winning Line
“It’s the police, and I don’t see Sting”
When said with utter seriousness, these words are kind of golden

The Spellcaster is streaming on Netflix, which is precisely where it should be. The film is  a typical grilled American cheese sandwich, not overly nourishing but tasty enough for lunchtime satisfaction. 


  1. I remember this movie from when it came out and had no interest in seeing it whatsoever. For some reason I always thought it was a romantic, possibly soft-core porn, horror film. I think you might have shown me the light and changed my mind with this review. I love sexy Italian pants!

  2. The closest this film gets to porn is Ivy Crane from Passions turning on a shower. But that happens a few times, so I suppose that can be intense. I feel like you'd get a lot out of Spellcaster. It's terrible, but in a pretty lovable late '80s way with sexy Italian pants. Maybe it was made for you?

  3. I don't remember this one at all :o
    Any film with a large Pig puppet must surely be worthy of my attention.
    To the que!

  4. Now if only the Pig Puppet ALSO wore sexy Italian pants...

  5. Someone disrespects books? How dare they!

  6. I know ZedWord! They TOTALLY deserve to be hunted by pigmen!