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Customer Review

on 19 February 2004
I remember watching the trailer for a horror-murder-mystery movie a few years back, and it looked so exciting. The special effects looked impressive and the production design was smooth. A very 'noir'ish thriller indeed.
Well obviously, I must have been mistaken because Lord of Illusions is defintely not it!
The film is an absoloute mess and proves along with Nighbreed (1990) that he cannot direct (but he made an awesome debut with Hellraiser... (1987). I can't reveal the whole plot but it involves a cult surrounding a man called Nix (Daniel Von Bargen - Commandant Spangler from Malcolm In The Middle) (Nix IS a rubbish name ;-) with incredble powers (you know, levitation, throwing people across the room, etc).
Anyway, Philip Swann, a former 'disciple' of Nix (Kevin J'O Conner from The Mummy (1999) arrives with a team to catch him and stop him but they fail, and in fact Nix transfers some of his powers to Philip promising even more power if he follows him. But Nix is beaten by Philip's 'good magic' and is "buried" and the story moves on.
Cue present day: Harry D'Amour, (Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap and Star Trek Enterprise) who is following a case comes across black magic imagery, which leads him to Philip Swann who is now an incredble famous magician, with a gorgeous girlfriend (Famke Janssen from X-Men 1 and 2).
His shows are sold out night after night, he uses strong visual effects and he makes tricks that look like they would kill most people but he always gets out alive. Except one night things go 'wrong' and he 'dies'. After this there's double-crosses, lies, lots of blood, more (suprisingly poor) special effects, bad dialogue, plot holes and it culminates in a ridiculous finale full of SHOUTING (?) and more blood (and torture).
Now I bought this film based on the 'special' effects (Scott Bakula's character being chased by 'flames') but as a whole the film makes no sense. Certain events are not explained (like why does Scott Bakula's character have a large intricate tattoo on his back? Was it his destiny to be involved with Nix and Philip Swann?)
Don't waste your money on this. Clive Barker only directed one great movie... Hellraiser 1 (after #2 the rest are trash).
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