LORD OF ILLUSIONS opens with an effectively creepy flashback set in the hellish commune of Manson-esque sorcerer Nix, then flashes forward to the travails of illusionist Philip Swann. When one of Swann's death-defying tricks goes fatally wrong, Det. Harry D'Amour (Scott Bakula), a
hardboiled dick who's equally comfortable tracking down deadbeat dads and demons, finds himself investigating a mystery that leads straight to Hell on Earth. Barker's fusion of traditional horror and film noir elements isn't entirely successful, but it's more ambitious than the average fright
flick, and features a cast of supporting villains whose perversity is near-sublime.