Sunday, 14 September 2008

What Happens When You Watch Too Many Omen Films

This is something I did in June and its coming into my head now. Essentially, following completion of my film I was in the mood for some low-brow trash as was prepared to go full-on and not stop watching. As my film is about as far from these as possible, its seemed the perfect choice.

So what happens when you watch four Omen films in a weekend? Do you go mad and start killing people? No, and I have to say, that was disappointing. Do you develop a fear of the anti-Christ? Not really. I find the idea absurd. (The best treatment of this is Good Omens by Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaimen, an Omen parody that does not take the situation seriously but is very inventive in all sorts of way, especially by the idea that this end of the world thing isn't a very good or sensible idea, what's the point, isn't it silly, something the films don't look into.) Do you watch them in the proper order? Nah. Didn't even manage that. I'll do a quick view on the films in order of being watched.

Now, is this a cry for help? Perhaps. Perhaps its a cry for sanity. For while I love a good Ozu or Bresson (this is the defensive bit here), this isn't anywhere near my pit of atrociousness that I've seen. but I ain't saying what the other stuff is.

So, the Omen films I bought in that HMV sale, where they almost give them away.

So started with number 3: the Final Conflict, as I hadn't seen that one. It's got Sam Neill as Damien, who gets killed in this one. The first half where Neill dominates is fun, because you kinda like the guy, despite his ethnic origins (this is either a dig at hell or New Zealand. It could be taken as rather suggestive of New Zealand's place but that's being silly) Then they start killing babies, which is kinda fun but not interesting in story, and the final section is them trying to kill the bugger. Evil is punished blah blah blah. For laughs you kinda want him to win but they don't have a sense of humour about that sort of thing. And apparently the anti-christ is a serious threat. So he dies. Still a fun stupid movie that I'll give a look in the future. It gets three decapitations out of five.

Then to number 4: the tv movie. It's another I hadn't seen and its awful. Its a little girl demon this time, who apparently has a very bad aura, who likes torturing new age types. Apparently that's bad or something. The lead actress was from V and she's fine, does her best with the awful script but the whole thing is funny in scary scenes and has a ton of plot twists at the end, which you can't be arsed figuring out because you're bored. Even an ex-nun being bitten by lots of snakes in a circus faith show gone wrong doesn't do much for the interest. Best bit is a death scene where possessed homeless killers start singing the Omen tune during a stalk and slash on a tv budget. This gets one decapitation and a skull exposure showing an unprotected throbbing brain (one and a half stars, the half for the weird stuff in concept)

Now to the best one. Number 2. The something. I think. No real plot. Damien in Military school, with his uncle. Lots and lots of inventive death scenes. Even minor characters get brutalised. This is the only time Damien is actually sympathetic, as a young man finding his destiny, who ends up killing his cousin, the one person who he cares about. There's also a subtext about corporate exploitation. But loads and loads of nasty deaths. So many. Its wonderful. Women get killed by birds, doctors are killed by elevators. William Holden is in it but doesn't care. In Omen terms this gets five decapitations (but in normal terms its about a three)

Now the Omen remake. Its okay. I didn't hate it. Its directed pretty badly but Liev Shreiver is a good lead. He gives the film a lot of focus and emotion. And this little Damien resembles a friend of mine (with different hair colour.) Which is worrying. Don't have anything to say except its a pretty hacky remake. Its two and a half decapitations.

So that was the weekend. Watched the original Omen later but had seen it a year before. Its kind of pompous. It works but takes a dumb idea with uninteresting realism and somberness. So its not about anything but acts like it is, something I kinda hate. It three decapitations but Peck is insanely dull in the film.

So that's my weekend of shame. For anyone who knows me, don't mock me too much next time you see me. We all have these lapses. I just admit to it.

No comments: