|Lord of Illusions|
"He fakes his death to avoid being murdered..."
Over ten years ago, a dark cult’s guru was killed and buried by Swann, a member that could no longer tolerate the leader’s immoral behaviour.
Today, those who had followed him in his rebellion are found dead, one by one, and a famous detective, Harry D’amour is called to investigate. Because of his slowness, Swann is murdered during his own illusion show by what seemed to be, in the eyes of the public, a technical mishap. Harry knows better.
As he digs deeper, the more this massacre reveals clues to a troublesome retribution. He also understands that, with Swann’s death, the disciples have cleared the way to reanimate their powerful guru.
Lord of Illusions explores so much territory left behind by other horror movies that it deserves much more attention than what it has received. I have come to the conclusion that it failed in being recognized as a revolutionary film because of the somewhat poor quality of the special effects that take away from its credibility. This is almost the only thing that can we can complain about!
It is difficult to explain the special gift possessed by Clive Barker, the director: it is much easier to witness it ourselves. He is not only a master of horror but also of pain. He knows what is painful and shares it with us but always by incorporating it with class and style, to a point where it could even be considered as art. Swann’s death is one of the most impressive, and even passionate scenes in horror movie history. He is tied up, stretched upon a metallic wheel from which he must escape before a series of sharp sabres fall upon him from the ceiling. The feat fails and blood is spilled. Each blade that pierces the skin is more difficult to watch than the one preceding it. This is the reason for only one of the many grimaces that you have to expect while watching Lord of Illusions.
At a time where studios seem lifeless, deprived of new ideas, Lord of Illusions easily innovates in environments that long should have been exploited. This masterpiece concentrates in part on the similitude of black magic, illusion and prestidigitation and develops a great and mystical form of art from which the action arises.
The characters are complex but subtle and never become clichés. Many of them are close to craziness and the development doesn’t take it upon itself to explain why. This is the case for most of the enigmas and situations brought forward by Lord of Illusions. Because we are following Henry’s investigation, we discover and are surprised with him. I would have to say that this film’s biggest charm is its audacity at incorporating different elements of surprise, slightly develop them and know how to stop at the right moment to follow-up fluidly.
- Nix’ disciples, cutting their hair with knives, scalping themselves accidentally as a sign of submission.
- Nix’ disciples, kneeling in broken glass as a sign of submission.
- An enraged disciple tearing off a doorknob with his nails.
- Swann’s death, transpierced by a few sabers.
- Philip Swann (Kevin J. O'Connor)
- Nix (Daniel von Bargen)
- Butterfield (Barry Del Sherman)
Released in: 1995
Horror - Gore - Thriller - Invaders - Fantasy - Love
Films in similar category:
Firestarter 2: Rekindled
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
( 2002-09-02 )
Read this article in French