What do you do when Bruce Willis is too busy to don a white vest and play a jaded New York private dick? Call in Scott Bakula apparently. But thanks to his Golden Globe award-winning performance in Quantam Leap, we can all just pretend Dr. Sam Beckett has temporarily stepped in to fill Bruno’s shoes for an hour and a half before his next leap to the cover of Playgirl – oh boy! [NSFW WARNING: Three hard-to-make-out nipples!]
LORD OF ILLUSIONS (1995)
Genre: Fantasy/ Horror/ Mystery
Director: Clive Barker
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A band of ex-cult members are tearing ass through the Mojave Desert to rescue a random teeny bopper who’s been kidnapped by crazed cult leader, Nix aka ‘The Puritan.” What sets Nix apart from his delusional counterparts is that he wields the Power of Magic©, like juggling a cheap ass looking fireball from hand to hand, and keeping a pet baboon.
Despite being armed, they fail to take down Nix without the aid of the 12-year-old hostage who had the sense to grab a gun and actually shoot someone. Nix’s protégé, Swann, takes this opportunity to bind him with an intricate ironwork mask that he had prepared earlier, using his own blood as a form of adhesive, and screwing it into his face just to make doubly sure it won’t fall off. And that’s the end of that!
Fast forward to New York 13 years later, and enter the office of Harry D’Amour, a private detective with a nose for trouble and the occult. After a few flashbacks to a recent case of possession that seem overly extravagant considering the utter irrelevance to everything that follows, he takes an insurance fraud case that leads him to LA. And boobies.
But things are never easy when you’re in a horror movie: after the mark leaves his session of debauchery for an urgent engagement with a fucking fortune teller, Harry trails him to an apartment where he promptly gets attacked by a crazy bald guy who really knows how to take a beating. In the next room he finds human pin cushion Quaid, bristling with pointy kitchen utensils.
Quaid was part of the rescue party back in the desert and one of Nix’s disciples has come to exact revenge. It may have taken him over a decade to pull his finger out, but better late than never.
Quaid somehow manages to stay alive for long enough to give D’Amour a free palm reading before magnanimously deciding to share a shred of pertinent information: The Puritan is coming home and he is not a happy bunny. He promptly pops his clogs, content in the knowledge that he’s just made an innocent man responsible for saving the world.
Across town (probably), Swann and his giant forehead are now famous, performing feats of illusions in suitably tacky locations. His wife Dorothea, concerned that the pair will be next to snuff it, orders her manservant Valentin to hire D’Amour after seeing his picture in the paper, because hiring someone with no police powers that you know jack shit about is always the best course of action when lives are at stake.
D’Amour arrives in time to accompany Dorothea to Swann’s stage show, involving scantily clad human props and an obscene amount of pyrotechnics. But things start looking up once a death defying trick goes awry and the audience look on as Swann gets a half a dozen broadswords plunged into his appendages whilst the stage hands rush to do absolutely bugger all about it.
D’Amour is left to figure out just what the hell is going on in this crazy town and does some serious poking around in Dorothea’s underpants before getting back on the trail.
The lightening of his balls gives him renewed vigor and he’s soon up to his nipples in occult shit, dealing with faked deaths, campy nut jobs in v-neck tees and skin-tight pants, and resurrected cult leaders that could benefit from a serious facial. (No, not that kind.)
Will Harry crack the case? Did they really think that giving Scott Bakula a fake tattoo would make him look more hardcore? And where’s Al when you need him? Consult the Lord of Illusions to find out more.
Author Gamer Girl writes for FrontTowardsGamer.com and GamerGirlTalk.com. It is highly recommended you follow her on Twitter.
Previously in Poison Popcorn: BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW! See previous Poison Popcorns right fucking here!