Do you remember Artisan Entertainment? The independent company that most famously released The Blair Witch Project, but also brought us many straight-to-video sequels, such as the dreary Candyman : Day of the Dead and the very decent Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies, before being bought out by the expanding Lions Gate.
Coming from Jack Sholder (who helmed the darkest in tone entry into the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, and an effective slasher Alone in the Dark), Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies is a cost-effective follow-up to Robert Kurtzman’s 1997 Wishmaster. Made with half the budget of the original film and released straight-to-video, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies is another opportunity for Andrew Divoff to shine in the role that made him famous. Despite its smaller budget, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies is, if anything, an improvement on the original, that got carried away with the special effects at the expense of the story. The script (by Sholder himself) is focused and the many violent deaths caused by the evil Djinn are certainly graphic and imaginative. Holly Fields (Alien Interceptors) is suitably desperate as the girl who’s unwittingly unleashed the Djinn in the course of a robbery gone badly wrong. The Russian flavour is something that sets Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies apart from the first film. During his stint behind bars, the Djinn recruits the services of a small-time Russian mobster who’s supplying him with souls, while Holly Fields’ character turns to Russian Orthodox Church for spiritual salvation.
With simple, assured direction from Jack Sholder and some bloody special effects scenes (CGI is used very sparingly, thank god), Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies is quality low-budget horror and the last watchable Wishmaster film. Two more utterly worthless sequels followed, without Andrew Divoff or anything to recommend them for.