If we were drawing up a list of under-appreciated films of the 1980s then there's no question that the 1989 Warlock would be on it, the sort of escapist fantasy-horror-thriller that gives that multi-sub-genre a good name.
The story? Glad you asked. A sinister 17th century warlock summons satanic intervention to escape a death sentence and finds himself transported 300 years into the future, arriving in modern-day Los Angeles, in the apartment of young waitress Kassandra (Footloose's Lori Singer). His quest is to find the scattered remains of the 'Grand Grimoire', the Devil's bible containing the true name of God and with it the power to destroy mankind. Following in hot pursuit is Giles Redferne, the witch-finder who brought him to trial and who must now hunt him down once more.
A smartly devised screenplay by David Twohy (The Fugitive, G.I. Jane, Pitch Black) is energetically directed by Steve Miner (Lake Placid) and memorably scored by the great Jerry Goldsmith, where it really scores is in two excellent lead performances, with Julian Sands making for a most convincingly malevolent Warlock and Richard E. Grant playing the role of Giles Redferne as if born to it. Indeed, said Time Out of the film: "This updated witch-finder movie eschews hardcore horror in favour of supernatural action adventure, with enjoyable results. Its master-stroke is the inspired casting." Glad we agree.
Warlock will be released on UK DVD on 18th April 2011 at the RRP of £15.99. Disappointingly, there look to be no extras features.