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‘Warlock: The Armageddon’ (R)

By Hal Hinson
Washington Post Staff Writer
September 25, 1993

In "Warlock: The Armageddon," Julian Sands is the warlock. A warlock, for the folks who joined us late, is a male witch, in this case the son of Satan. And during the six-day interval between lunar and solar eclipses that occurs only once a millennium, this warlock must gather up six ancient "rhunes" to bust Dad out of his infernal jail.

The protectors of the rhunes -- and the only people who can stop the warlock -- are Druids. (Ask not why or how.) And the only real match for this smartly tailored, towheaded demon are two teenage Druid warriors who, as it happens, up until this crucial moment in history had thought of themselves as fairly normal students at the local high school.

If the kids (played by Chris Young and Paula Marshall) don't stop the warlock -- who's so mean he chuckles after running down a cuddly bunny -- it's closing time for Planet Earth. To his credit, director Anthony Hickox knows this is patent nonsense, and so he pulls out all the stylistic stops, trying out every freak show angle and trick shot in the book. Meanwhile, as the teens dawdle through warrior boot camp, little hints are dropped that the evil one is zeroing in on his target. The movie tells us these freakish incidents, foretold by Druids, are signs. One such prediction is, "The maggot will seek the light." As they say in The New Yorker: "Noted."

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