It's been years since I've seen LORD OF ILLUSIONS. I think the last time was when it was a new release on VHS? Well, not much has changed in my opinion of the film. Let's explore: A private detective is hired by an illusionist's wife to investigate the murders of his past associates, as the three are thrust into the dark world of magic, murder, and betrayal. For a film titled LORD OF ILLUSIONS, there is a serious lack of illusions. Like, maybe 5. Now, granted, the visual FX for 1995 were pretty remarkable, however the plot plays out as a film noir detective story focusing on the slow revelation of clues rather than the big budget FX the title and cover suggest. That isn't to say that the plot is bad, necessarily, but rather unexpected. Barker introduces his favorite sleuth Harry D'Amour to the screen as played by Quantum Leap's Scott Bakula, whose combined talents do create a genuine throwback to the detective films that dominated the 40s and 50s. There are also many other odd and offsetting characters that continue to drive the mystery and suspense; that is, all but one. Daniel von Bargen just doesn't sell the harbinger of destruction that he should as the supposed Lord of Illusions. The film is given ample time to build to the climactic end, but after the audience blindly lends their attention to Clive in expectation of a nightmarish finale, the end of the film just leaves most fans wanting more. What can be said of it is that the film clearly delivers a Barker original, and his mark is stamped all throughout the characters and visuals. It is interesting and unique, but certainly does nothing to top his ground-breaking HELLRAISER or Horror/Fantasy NIGHTBREED.
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