Harlequin (Dark Forces) (The Minister's Magician) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Harlequin (Dark Forces) (The Minister's Magician) Reviews

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March 4, 2015
A lower budget movie out of Australia using Brits in the main roles. It's fairly well done though and Robert Powell's mysterious character offers us a seductive insight into the world of faith and mind control with an intriguing presentation.
November 18, 2014
WOW......WOW......WOW.....BRILLLIANT.....GENIUS.....FANTASTIC.....AMAZING.....SUPERB......SO SO SO BRILLIANT.......man I have just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is such fantastic movie 2 watch......its got a good cast of actors/actresses throughout this movie......I think that Gus Mercurio, Broderick Crawford, David Hemmings, Carmen Duncan, Robert Powell, play good roles/parts throughout this movie......I think that the director of this drama/mystery/suspense/sci-fi/fantasy movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.....


Simon Wincer and Everett De Roche had previously collaborated on Snapshot but were not happy with the film since it was made so hurriedly. They decided to make another film, came up with six ideas and eventually chose The Minister's Musician, a modern-day version of the Rasputin story. They did a treatment and Antony I. Ginnane became involved as producer.

Everett de Roche originally did a 400-page first draft in which the central character, Gregory Wolfe, was a priest. When the producers sent the script to the US, they were worried that this would make the film hard to market in Catholic countries so it was changed. The script was given to some American writers to work on but Wincer was not happy with the changes. As de Roche was not available, Wincer went over the script with Russell Hagg although he later said he would have preferred it if de Roche had done the job.


The script was written with David Bowie in mind for the lead role and conversations were had with Bowie but the filmmakers got "cold feet" at the last minute and cast Robert Powell . The original choice for the role of the senator was Orson Welles but he wanted $80,000 a week for two weeks so Broderick Crawford was cast instead

The film performed poorly at the Australian box office but was very successful overseas. Simon Wincer says it was particularly successful in South America, due in part to Robert Powell's popularity there

In Australia, Harlequin was released on an All Region DVD by Umbrella Entertainment on Wednesday, 27 October 2004. It was presented in a remastered 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, and Special Features were an Audio Commentary by director Simon Wincer and producer Antony I. Ginnane, a theatrical trailer and a photo gallery.

In the US, Harlequin was released as Dark Forces by Image Ent. on 8 June 2004. It was presented in 2.35:1 Widescreen, with Behind The Scenes Photo Gallery, Filmographies, Isolated Music Score and an Audio Commentary by director Simon Wincer and producer Antony I. Ginnane. It is set for release on Blu-ray in the US by Scorpion Releasing on 29 October 2013 under its original title.

man this is such a thrilling entertaining movie 2 watch......I think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch......I think that this is such a brilliant movie 2 watch....man this is such a really creepy movie 2 watch, but it is such a fantastic movie 2 watch, its got a great cast throughout this movie.....man this is such a brilliant movie 2 watch, it is such a fantastic movie 2 watch it is so so so brilliant movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie......WARNING THIS MOVIE CONTAINS STROBE LIGHTINING EFFECTS THROUGHOUT THIS MOVIE ......MAN THIS IS SUCH A BRILLIANT MOVIE 2 WATCH, WITH A GREAT CAST THROUGHOUT THIS MOVIE.......
November 12, 2014
Thanks to the cracking documentary Not Quite Hollywood which dealt with the Ozploitation genre I have been seeking out some of the films featured.
Most of the better films were produced by Anthony I Ginanne and were written by Everett De Roche .
This film is a basic spin on the tale of Rasputin as mysterious faith healer Robert Powell turns up at the home of a local senator played by David Hemming's cures his son of leukaemia and proceeds to gain a strong influence over him and his wife..
its kind of Rasputin meets the Omen with a political thriller tacked on as well, and despite it being a bit confused in some places its not half bad .
Powell is clearly having a great time as the mysterious healer and Hemming's is suitably bemused as his life falls apart.
Only Broderick Crawford who was a last minute replacement for Orson Welles lets the side down as he looks like he has had a heavy night out on the beer before acting in the film.
So aside from that this Is a solid entry in the OZplotation genre
November 18, 2013
Classic Australian shlock-fest.
January 31, 2013
The sickly son of a state senator is miraculously healed by a traveling magician, Gregory, who helps to cure the boy of his illness and his mother of her loneliness as he eases his way into the family's good graces. Meanwhile, the senator is caught up in a sinister ploy for power, which Gregory looks to stop. This modern reworking of the Rasputin tale is filled with added mystery and intrigue as director Simon Wincer bends the limits of reality in DARK FORCES. At its heart, DARK FORCES is a political allegory dealing with absolute power and corruption, but the intertwining themes of family drama and pure fantasy make it easily accessible for fans of varying genres. Wincer has assembled an excellent cast, with a paranoid David Hemmings as Senator Rast, Carmen Duncan playing his disillusioned wife, and the talented Mark Spain as their young son. Most impressive of all is Robert Powell in the lead, whose charming and devious performance as Gregory Wolfe never quite reveals his character's true intentions. Drawing additional influence from the Australian shocker PATRICK and THE OMEN, DARK FORCES includes several flashy special effects and gory murders as well. As yet undiscovered by many Horror fans, DARK FORCES stands as one of Australia's strongest entries in the genre.
July 30, 2011
A nice attempt, but still disappointing.
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2011
An enchanting fantastical mystery movie, I didn't even mind that I was still confused in the end, the movie was cool anyway. Check it out.
August 26, 2010
An interesting fantasy and mystery movie, but I'm still not quite sure exactly what the dark force behind everything was supposed to be. Even so, I found the movie captivating.
July 26, 2010
In trying to inject some genuine drama into the proceedings, the director only comes off looking silly for taking this nonsense so seriously.
December 13, 2009
For a poor man's "Omen" this is actually not a horribly schlocky genre flick. For it's time there are some pretty cool special effects, and the performances are pretty solid (especially from Robert Powell). The ending kind of falters at parts, but all in all not bad
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