OMEN III: THE FINAL CONFLICT - 1981
20th Century Fox
Rated: USA: R
A drill bit is unearthing a whole bunch of earth (Ha! I don't have to tell you about drill bits! Amirite?). But among its soiled treasures is a soiled dagger we've come to know. We follow the circuitous route of the dagger, as it changes many hands, and finally winds up with some Catholic holy men who are ready to give their lives to kill the Anti-Christ. These guys are obvious redshirts and are led by Brother DeCarlo (Rossano Brazzi: TRITTICO, FEAR CITY, THE THIRD SOLUTION)
Funny, that's not like anything I read in the Catholic bible.
Then again, THE OMEN has always been fuzzy on the details and prayed that their audience would be as well.
Then we meet the grown up Damien Thorn (Sam Neill: JURASSIC PARK, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, EVENT HORIZON, JURASSIC PARK III, DAYBREAKERS). Actually, for the embodiment of Satan who is supposed to rule over earth, the best Damien could cook up is to be another CEO at another major corporation in a world full of major corporations.
We also get a lot of talk from Damien about "My Father"
this and that. This clear distinction between Damien as the Anti-Christ is certainly helpful. It clears up why magical things happen to people who could be threats to Damien, when Damien can't possibly know they exist (and has never shown otherwise).
Like all CEO's of major corporations, especially ones who come from politically involved families, Damien has political influence
and the ear of the U.S. president (Mason Adams: GOD TOLD ME TO, REVENGE OF THE STEPFORD WIVES, F/X, NOT OF THIS EARTH, THE LESSER EVIL). It's now near the end of Damien's rule on earth when Christ is supposed to return. What becomes increasingly odd about all of this is that Damien does not, in fact, rule the earth. He can barely maintain control over one company and now he is going to end his days as ambassador to Great Britain?
I mean, okay, Damien hopes to defeat Christ and continue his reign on earth.
Except Damien doesn't have a reign on earth. He can't even muster up one lousy banana republic!
What Damien does have is his very own exposition boy. His right hand man,
Dean (Don Gordon: Z.P.G., THE BEAST WITHIN, KUNG FU CANNIBALS, THE EXORCIST III, THE BORROWER), acts as Damien's Alfred, watching over him, following orders, and enduring Damien's endless rants and reveals. From the start it is clear that they Damien and Dean are waiting for the Christ child to be born (that's not how it works in scripture, but anyway), and that Dean's wife is about to have a baby.
Gosh! What do you suppose they'll do with THAT lot device?
I know that if I had a plot device laying on a table like that, I'd use it!
Anyway, in getting from here to there, Producer Harvey Bernhard (THE OMEN [all], THE BEAST WITHIN, THE LOST BOYS) and Writer
Andrew Birkin (THE NAME OF THE ROSE), decided to throw in a love interest for Damien, which comes in the form of a unreligious, skeptical reporter named Kate Reynolds (Lisa Harrow). Hoo boy is she ever skeptical! You know how, in the two previous OMENs, whoever was the big skeptic was designated for the big Eye-Opener reveal in the third act?
While Director Graham Baker (ALIEN NATION, IMPULSE, BEOWULF ) told the story here, nothing is present to reveal his own stamp on this. OMEN III is pretty much cookie cutter. What do I mean by that?
Fans of the series often repeat the same slogan when speaking of the OMEN movies: "stylish"
Horror. Richard Donner's THE OMEN sure was, that's inarguable. But as for the rest, they look about as stylish as a made-for-TV movie, and I'm not talking cable. They are lit, set, blocked, shot, and even lensed (perpetual 1970s soft-focus on the leading women) in the manner of 1970s television shows. In fact, nearly all of them use well known television actors of the time. The only cinematic thing they have going for them is their widescreen format.
I don't want to spoil the ending or anything, THE OMEN III does a pretty good job of that all by itself. I will say that there is nothing threatening or scary about this movie, and this was the one that really could have and should have brought the horror.
Two Shriek Girls.
copyright 2012 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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