FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 6, 2015

Day 6: OMEN III: THE FINAL CONFLICT (1981)

"Liquidate the Nazarene."

Just lie back and think of Heaven

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzwhaHUH? Oh, sorry. Guess I must have dozed off whilst trying to make it through this interminable slog of a film. A trilogy following the life of Damien Thorn from his cherubic childhood to his time as a prep school punk to his adult life as an ambassador and head of a corporation sure seems like a good idea. By the time Omen III: The Final Conflict came about, though, that idea had run completely out of steam. Who knew that the ascendancy of the Antichrist would be so friggin' dull?

Though he's in his thirties now, things haven't changed much from the time Damien was a boy. He's still got a Rottweiler and minions who do his bidding. He's still waiting to bring Hell to Earth and claim his place as leader, or as the leader's son, or...look, it's a little vague. But it'll be bad! And that's why a bunch of priests wave around sacred knives and try to stop him. Prophecy this, stars lining up that, ho hum. You've seen it all before, from the closeups of eyes both canine and human to the frightened grey-haired dudes who pull their trench coats tighter and cast furtive glances behind them as they scuttle away from creepy feelings, it's...you know. The Omen. Cue the hosanna-laden bombastic score.

It's a franchise that always seems to be classier than it actually is, thanks to its self-serious tone and formidable actors, but its trashy, lurid side is never too far from the surface; the shocking moments in the original film are still, well, shocking. The Final Conflict has a few memorable scenes for sure–I mean, one of Damien's schemes involves wiping out any baby that could possibly be the second coming of Christ–but these scenes are too few and too far between the copious minutes spent with either Good or Evil as they fret.

Surprisingly, the obvious political allegory is left to wither on the vine. The President brushes aside the laws that don't suit Damien's desire to be an ambassador and a UN council head and a corporate chairman, but then it's all dropped. For all the running time (this shit clocks in at almost two hours) and use of the word "machinations", there's virtually no political machinations to speak of and it seems like a missed opportunity. Maybe now would be a good time to remake this movie, particularly if–Charles Nelson Reilly forbid–Donald Trump ends up in the Oval Office. Hmm, maybe those knife-wielding priests were onto something. Someone check the back of Trump's head for the telltale birthmark!

3 comments:

Madamoiselle Macabre said...

Had to blog along with you on this one.

http://madamoisellemacabre.blogspot.com/2015/10/final-conflict.html

And agreed about the political subtext. It was like the screenwriter went, "I have a great idea! (blink) Wait, what was I talking about?"

On a random (but still horror-related) note, have you read HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS by Paul Tremblay, Stacie? I could be totally wrong, but I think this blog may have provided some inspiration.

Stacie Ponder said...

Yeah, it's surprising (or actually, maybe NOT so surprising) that the political plotline would be overlooked/abandoned for a tired rehashing of the first two movies. Alas, alack.

And I haven't read that book, but you've definitely piqued my curiosity, I'll check it out!

Yummy Pizza said...

Cat poo!

(So happy the get all these new reviews! :D)