Conjuring a Sense of Blunder: “Wizards” (1977)


       Ralph Bakshi continues a downward spiral of technical quality of animation detail while simultaneously making preparatory practice motions toward his later incomplete rendering of “Lord of the Rings” in the dismal 1977 “Wizards”, a film which by all available evidence is hampered by a lack of completion funds, or completion interest on the part of Bakshi, or both. The film is a blatant amalgam of scattershot varieties of art styles and past film references, without the reverential tug of homage that often is the refuge of artistic plagiarism; though in the case of “Wizards” the usefulness in the borrowings is as equally ill-served by the most mundane of scenarios- a post-apocalyptic (why?) tale of sibling wizards in which the declaration of a war between technology and magic (though in its lurid context on Nazi propaganda what it’s genuinely about is the power of the movies to alter popular consciousness: the technological “marvel” able to excite the vanquishing armies is merely a film projector, significantly referenced as the “dream machine”) is declared in a rather crudely executed title card, though in the Eisenstein-inspired (the evil wizard Blackwolf even resembles Ivan the Terrible) wholesale slaughter of massive rotoscoped armies becomes irrelevant with a last minute switch which betrays the formal delineation between magic and weaponry (and thus undercuts the entire announced intention of the film), so the real difference between the brothers seems to be merely cosmetic (shades of “The Dunwich Horror”!).

To read the complete review, click the following link to:

About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in 1970's movies, animation, cartoons, cinema, fantasy, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Ralph Bakshi, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Conjuring a Sense of Blunder: “Wizards” (1977)

  1. Kadmon says:

    This was a helpful review, thank you! I’ve recommended your work in our article about the movie:

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