Weird Watch: ‘Lord of Illusions’

Drew Dietsch

Part of the joy of being a fan is finding odd and obscure gems that you end up falling in love with. For every Batman, there is a Darkman. For every Star Wars, there is The Black Hole. Here at Fandom, we like to go hunting for some offbeat and off-the-wall films and TV shows that might just become your own secret treasures. Strap yourself in and expect the unexpected, because this week’s Weird Watch is Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions! (Last time: Tokyo Gore Police)

Doctor Strange might be a little weirder compared to most Marvel movies, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the magical oddness of Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions. The story involves private detective Harry D’Amour as he gets wrapped up in the world of stage magicians. However, it turns out that some magic is terrifyingly real. D’Amour discovers a plot to resurrect a dark magician named Nix. It’s up to D’Amour to figure out what this has to do with the secretive illusionist Swann and his mysterious wife Dorothea.

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Lord of Illusions is the third and final directorial effort from horror master Clive Barker. Barker’s signature oddness is on display but this is easily his most accessible film. His other movies, Hellraiser and Nightbreed, make for good companion pieces.

Barker brings one of his favorite characters, Harry D’Amour, to the screen courtesy of a Scott Bakula performance. Bakula plays a great pessimistic PI and it’s a shame he never got to play the role again. D’Amour recently tangled with the cenobites in The Scarlet Gospels, Barker’s most recent novel. If only we could see a movie version of that!

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The Finished Product

The best parts of Lord of Illusions are the bookends when we see the villainous Nix. Daniel von Bargen plays Nix and he really sinks his teeth into some lofty bad guy dialogue. The ending of the film is absolutely bananas. The effects work in the final twenty minutes is a real joy for horror fans. It’s worth the price of admission.

Lord of Illusions isn’t a great movie but it has a lot of great things in it. The horror elements are excellent and genuinely shocking. If you’ve got an itch for some even stranger magic movies after Doctor StrangeLord of Illusions is a great place to start.

Check out our other Weird Watch articles here!

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