4 days ago
Monday, April 25, 2011
Death By Magic
I don't recall when I first watched Lord Of Illusions, but I do remember being pulled right in by the story. It was sometime after it was released to DVD, that much I do know. The version I have is the director's cut, which I highly recommend. I don't know that I have ever watched the R rated version, but from what I understand, it was heavily edited in order to get the rating.The story was for me very different the first time I watched it. I could be wrong, but I don't recall seeing any other horror films that had to do with magic. I'm not into magic. I have never tried to learn or do a magic trick. Even so, the mix of horror and magic worked very well for me in this story.
The story for Lord Of Illusions is mostly based around Harry D'Amour, played by Scott Bakula. D'Amour has appeared in a few of Braker's novels actually, so it was nice to see someone playing the character. D'Amour is a private detective who has a past with the supernatural. It is only hinted at in the movie that he saved a boy that was reported to be possessed. A friend of his has a job that has to do with insurance fraud. Harry decides to take it, if for no other reason then to get out of New York for a while. Out in L.A., Harry finds the guy he is looking for and follows him around for a while. Things are pretty normal until Harry comes across a fortune teller that has a bunch of knives in him. After a fight with the guys that did this, Harry stays behind to listen to the guy who is still alive. Because of this, the wife of famed illusionist Phillip Swan wants to hire Harry to help protect her husband against the same people that killed the fortune teller. Harry accepts the job since it is $5,000 a day, but little does he know what he is really getting into.
Clive Barker based Lord Of Illusions off the short story The Last Illusion. A few people are surprised that Barker changed the story so much for the movie. Barker eventually decided to try and direct because he got tired of people changing his stories, yet he did it here. I guess it isn't that big of a deal this time around, since it is his story. With it being his own story, he has the right to change it any way that he feels. I would be rather ticked too if someone came in and rewrote a story that I spent a lot of time putting together as well.
I have a confession to make, one of the main reasons that I love Lord Of Illusions is because of Scott Bakula. I admit that I had a very large crush on him back in the day, and it was the main reason behind my watching this movie. I still like him, even though I have yet to watch his new show. I was surprised to discover that the future Jean Grey, Famke Janssen, was in this movie. Barker apparently knew that Famke was the person he wanted for Swan's wife as soon as he looked at her picture. Keven J. O'Connor gets the role of Swan, while Daniel von Bargen plays Nix, the bad guy of the movie.
Even though I consider Lord Of Illusions to be one of my favorite movies, it is hardly perfect. Barker gives too much away in his opening. I'm not saying it should have been cut completely out. Instead, I think it would have been better used as a flashback later on in the story. The story itself can be a little confusing. I hear the R rated version is actually worse. I also noticed that some of the special effects don't hold up. It would also have been nice if magic had played into the plot just a bit more then it did.
If you have yet to check out Lord Of Illusions, then I would be careful if I were you. From the user reviews on Netflix, it sounds like they rent out the R rated version of the film. I would hate to suggest for everyone to go out and buy it, since it isn't for everyone. Since it is in part dealing with real magic, I found it to be a very interesting movie, despite that I only watched it because of Scott Bakula.