Cast: Julian Sands, Bruce Payne
Release Date: July 25, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9/10
A 17th-century Warlock is transported to the 20th century, where he looks to end all of creation. The 2-disc Warlock Collection set includes all three films from the Warlock franchise: Warlock, Warlock: The Armageddon, and Warlock III: The End of Innocence, and are packed with all-new special features, including audio commentaries, isolated score selections, interviews, TV spots, still galleries, making-of featurettes, and more!
Fans of the cult classic franchise can at last rejoice as all three films in the epic ‘Warlock’ franchise finally arrive home on Blu-ray in one solid 2-disc collection marking the eleventh entry in the ongoing Limited Edition Vestron Video Collector’s Series lineup of Blu-ray releases from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Collecting the original 1989 fan favorite ‘Warlock’, along with sequels ‘Warlock: The Armageddon’ and ‘Warlock III: The End of Innocence’, fans can now revisit both memorable and bloody outings with actor Julian Sands at his terrifying best in the title role, as well as the notably different third entry featuring Bruce Payne as the powerful warlock along with genre favorite Ashley Laurence opposing him. Released between 1989 and 1999, all three entries in the cult classic dark magic franchise offer unique and at times surprisingly goofy (and of course gory) fun that hardcore fans will be thrilled to finally have the opportunity to own all in one satisfying 2-disc ‘Warlock Collection’ on Blu-ray.
Passionate fans of the cult classic ‘Warlock’ franchise should (at least for the most part) be absolutely thrilled with this 2-disc Blu-ray collection featuring all three films in the series finally together on Blu-ray and each featuring quite gorgeous high definition video presentations and clean and sharp lossless stereo soundtracks that alone should leave fans quite pleased. Fortunately this is no bare-bones release and following the trend set by the previous ten Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray releases, the ‘Warlock Collection’ also offers a solid collection of supplemental material that includes a number of brand new extras created specifically for this Blu-ray edition. Featuring new and archival interviews with the cast and crew from the various entries, along with an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Steve Miner’ on the first film and an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Anthony Hickox’ on the second, plus a great deal more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) which should altogether make this wonderful little set an absolute must own for the majority of ‘Warlock’ fans, along with anyone making a point to collect every release in the Vestron Collector’s Series Blu-ray lineup. The only real flaw that some may find in the set is the shared disc between the second and third film’s, and while it’s always preferable to some to have a separate disc for each film in a collection, fortunately the bitrates don’t suffer too greatly as a result and the quality remains relatively impressive all around.
Overall, longtime fans of the franchise and fellow genre fans that have been collecting each title in the ongoing Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray lineup from Lionsgate will both likely want to make certain to pick up a copy of the ‘Warlock Collection’ on Blu-ray to add to your collection. Marking the eleventh release in the Vestron Video Collector’s Series lineup, this solid 2-disc set brings home all three entries in the franchise sporting glorious high definition video and audio presentations on each film that should have no trouble plastering a grin on the face of fans, along with hours of worthwhile bonus content that includes numerous brand new extras created just for this Blu-ray release. Even if it may be preferable to many folks to have each film on its own disc, this 2-disc collection is still quite fantastic and will undoubtedly be a definite must own for most diehard ‘Warlock’ fans.
Disc One: ‘Warlock’ – Disc one on The Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release of the ‘Warlock Collection’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation of the first ‘Warlock’ utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. This presentation is likely the best of the bunch and delivers a sharp, fairly clean and detailed presentation that doesn’t suffer any huge faults throughout, yet does retain some pops and other small elements representative of its source. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit sequences and never fails to impress, especially when taking its age into account. It should have no trouble thrilling the franchise fans who have been awaiting its arrival in high definition.
Disc Two: ‘Warlock: The Armageddon’ & ‘Warlock III: The End of Innocence’ – Disc two in The Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release of the ‘Warlock Collection’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation of both ‘Warlock: The Armageddon’ and ‘Warlock III: The End of Innocence’ and both utilizing a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. Both video presentations look pretty great for the most part and provide detailed, smooth and quite solid presentations throughout (although the second film offers a bit more video noise than the other films, likely an unavoidable source issue) and even while sharing a disc still manage to hold their own, retaining decent enough bitrates that should keep the fans relatively pleased.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all three films in the ‘Warlock Collection’ (Warlock, Warlock: The Armageddon & Warlock III: The End of Innocence). All three of these lossless stereo soundtracks sound outstanding for what they are and offer crisp, clean and surprisingly sharp audio presentations that suffer no real faults at any point throughout their courses. Every tidbit of dialogue, the magic and action effects, along with all of the rest sound consistently sharp and gorgeous, sharing the two channels without issue and as a whole providing impressive 2.0 DTS-HD MA soundtracks for all three films in the franchise that shouldn’t disappoint the fans in the slightest.
The Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release of the ‘Warlock Collection’ includes numerous worthwhile extras that feature bonus goodies for all three films and includes a number of brand new extras created just for this Vestron Collector’s Series Blu-ray release. As the bonus content is specific to each film (even the two movies that share a disc offer a title selection) I’ve broken down the supplemental material by disc and film title below for the sake of simplicity:
Warlock – The first film in the series offers the most bonus content by far and includes an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Steve Miner’, plus ‘Isolated Score Selections Featuring an Audio Interview Author Jeff Bond’, in addition to some new Featurettes/Interviews with the cast and crew: ‘Satan’s Son: An Interview with Julian Sands’ (running approximately 25 minutes), ‘The Devil’s Work: An Interview with Director Steven Miner’ (running approximately 16 minutes), and ‘Effects of Evil: Interviews with Make-up Effects Creators Carl Fullerton and Neal Martz’ (16 minutes). We are also treated to ‘Behind the Scenes Footage’ (approximately 18 minutes), ‘Vintage Interview Segments with the Cast and Crew’ (40 minutes), a ‘Vintage Featurette with Make-up Effects Creators Carl Fullerton and Neal Martz’ (6 minutes), and a ‘Vintage Featurette with Visual Effects Supervisors Patrick Read Johnson and Robert Habros, Animation Supervisor Mauro Maressa and Matte Artist Robert Scifo’ (6 minutes). A ‘Still Gallery’ (9 minutes), plus the ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes), a ‘Video Trailer’ (30 seconds) and a collection of ‘TV Spots’ (3 minutes altogether) for the movie are also included.
Warlock: The Armageddon – The second film’s bonus content offerings include an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Anthony Hickox’, along with a ‘Vintage Making of Featurette’ (running approximately 8 minutes in length), ‘Behind the Scenes Footage’ (approximately 5 minutes), a ‘Still Gallery’ (4 minutes), and ‘Extended Vintage Interview Segments with Actor Julian Sands, Director Anthony Hickox and Actress Paula Marshall’ (6 minutes). The ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes), and a couple of ‘TV Spots’ (1 minute combined) for the movie are also included.
Warlock III: The End of Innocence – The third film’s collection of extras includes ‘Behind the Scenes Footage’ (running approximately 14 minutes in length, in addition to ‘Vintage Interview Segments with the Cast and Crew’ (running approximately 43 minutes altogether), a ‘Still Gallery’ (approximately 4 minutes), and a ‘Trailer’ (2 minutes) and ‘Video Sales Promo’ (1 minute) for the movie.