Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Omen 3 bad. Can't form cogent sentences. As result. Sam Neill bad actor. Rottweiler Devildog better actor than Sam Neill. Nothing happens.

Baaaaaad Movie! Bad!

There is no way I am seeing Omen 4 now. You can tie me down and hit me with a stick (in the immortal words of Adam Ant), but I just won't do it. To make things even more bleak for Omen 4, I read in my handy Time Out Film Guide (which is the best publication of its type I have seen, and which is surely the best bathroom companion ever) that it was originally made for TV and is painfully awful. This in a way supports my marginally possible theory that 70s horror movies were the best horror movies. With the 80s looming large on the horizon, Omen movies started to descend into crappiness like brie that's been left on the counter for too long:

Omen 1 (1976) - relatively badass. A tricycle is ridden in a circle on a hardwood floor by Satan's son, something only the antichrist himself would do, surely. Goldfish suffer. Threatening dogs do bad things to Gregory Peck. Knives are variously shown and ineffectively used. Evil is threatened. Leo McKern has cameo as not-entirely convincing Middle-Eastern archeologist, but at least doesn't call anyone "number 6". Actors try their best to act.

Omen 2 (1978 [70s almost over]) - Ominously dull. Tension mounts throughout but nothing happens. Child actor playing Damien shown coming to grips with being the Hoary Host of the Netherworld. References to Armageddon (e.g. Famine) abound, though why Famine is only horseman alluded to never made clear. Woman variously possessed, pecked at by crow and hit by Mack truck. Surprise ending surpises no-one over age of seven. By end of film, you feel cheated, but have grounds for thinking hour and a half of your life was not wasted, because surely they were just building up to !THE FINAL CONFLICT! in Part 3.


Omen 3 The Final Conflict (1981 [note: no longer 70s movie]) - Almost bad enough to be humorous, but not quite. Satan has terrible henchmen. This is OK, however, because the only people threatening him are a gang of monks that frankly leave a little to be desired in the "Holy Warrior" category. First monk conceives of plan to stab Damien with Wango Zatango Knives of Destiny which apparently involves assing around on a catwalk over his head while target is interviewed on television. Tragedy ensues. Further monks stab each other by accident, then hide out in pit where they become trapped. This is a common Holy Warrior error: do not, under any circumstances, climb into pit from which there is no escape. Best Monk Holy Warrior Plan: Monk traps Damien and about 50 dogs during fox hunt. First, Monk had to separate Antichrist from rest of hunt by dragging around dead fox in move carefully calculated to not be very interesting for home viewer. Only thing evil about Sam Neill: his hair. And his American accent. Antichrist apparently has no impressive superpowers.

Remember, if you watch this movie at home, not to do damage to your television. It's not the television's fault. Really.


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