DAMIEN: OMEN 2/OMEN 3: THE FINAL CONFLICT/OMEN 4: THE AWAKENING…
A SATANIC TRIPLE BILL OF HORROR FILM REVIEWS BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
DAMIEN: OMEN 2. (1978) DIRECTED BY DON TAYLOR. STARRING WILLIAM HOLDEN, LEE GRANT, ROBERT FOXWORTH, SYLVIA SIDNEY, LEW AYRES AND JONATHAN SCOTT-TAYLOR. MUSIC BY JERRY GOLDSMITH.
OMEN 3: THE FINAL CONFLICT. (1981) DIRECTED BY GRAHAM BAKER. STARRING SAM NEILL AND LISA HARROW. MUSIC BY JERRY GOLDSMITH.
OMEN 4: THE AWAKENING. (1991) DIRECTED BY JORGE MONTESI AND DOMINIQUE OTHENIN GIRARD. STARRING FAYE GRANT, MICHAEL WOODS AND ASIA VIEIRA. MUSIC BY JONATHAN SHEFFER AND JERRY GOLDSMITH.
It might seem like a funny thing to do but I spent the whole of Mother’s Day 2016 immersing myself in a boxset of films about an evil child. The evil child, as a matter of fact. His name’s Damien (in Ireland, he’d be known as Damo!) and he’s literally the spawn of Satan, sent here to rule over us all when he’s old enough. Bless his demonic buttons…!
The original film of THE OMEN, starring Gregory Peck, Lee Remick and the excellent Billie Whitelaw as the evil nipper’s nanny, is generally regarded as one of the best horror films of all time. For atmosphere and the slow build-up of dread and terror, it’s right up there with THE EXORCIST, in my ever-so-humble opinion.
Right now we’re taking a look at its three sequels, which I think are similar enough that we can lump ’em in together like beardy hipsters en route to the opening of a new trendy coffee-shop, haha.
While I write this, I have that amazing piece of music from the films, Ave Satani, on repeat on the CD player just to inspire me. It’s on my 100 HALLOWEEN HITS album and I wouldn’t part with it for anything. It has the theme tune to John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN on it, among other things.
DAMIEN: OMEN 2 has Hollywood royalty William Holden in it as Damien’s super-rich uncle who’s kind enough to take the little brat under his roof after what happened in the original film. Naturally Damien, who’s a teenager in military school and a total little shit to boot now, repays his uncle’s hospitality with malice, death and chaos all round. Well, you know what they say about house-guests being like fish. They stink after three days…!
The snowy landscapes in this film are breath-taking. Sylvia Sidney is a Bette Davis-esque game old gal whom I would have loved to see more of. Robert Foxworth, who went on to battle with Jane Wyman’s Angela Channing as Chase Gioberti in glossy ‘Eighties serial drama FALCON CREST, does a good job as one of Damien’s ‘minders’ here on Earth.
The best scene in this film is undoubtedly the one where journalist Joan Hart meets her destiny on a lonely country road. The movie temporarily turns into Alfred Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS as the ‘lady in red’ gets up close and personal with an assailant of the feathered variety. To my mind, the scene contains all the stark horror of the one in which Damien’s nanny meets her end in the original film.
We’re skipping now to OMEN 4: THE AWAKENING, a made-for-TV movie that was made after the original series of films was supposed to have ended. In this one, it might surprise you to hear that we’re dealing with an evil girl for a change. Say whaaaaat…?
Damien’s daughter Delia, who’s naturally as evil as her cloven-footed Pops, is adopted by a rich couple, to whom she brings only unhappiness and bad luck. Asia Vieira does a terrific job as the pretty little dark-haired child who looks like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but we know better, don’t we? Underneath that angelic exterior beats the heart of a demon. Literally. If you cross her, she will take you down. You’ll be sorry you ever messed with the little sweetie-pie.
Next to Asia Vieira herself- great name, isn’t it?- my favourite performance here comes from Michael Lerner as Earl Knight, the private dick hired by Delia’s adoptive mum to find Delia’s real parents. (Trust me, she really shouldn’t go there…!) He bumbles about in a shabby coat like Columbo’s getting straight to the heart of the matter (just like Columbo!) but unfortunately, he goes out like a wrecking-ball…! I’m saying no more on the subject, no matter how much you torture me.
Check out Sr. Yvonne in the pit of snakes as well. A split-second loss of concentration costs her her career as a preacher of the faith and let’s just say that there won’t be any calls from Anna Wintour at VOGUE anytime soon either, looking for a cover girl. Aw, that’s mean. Sorry, Sr. Yvonne. Everyone knows that inner beauty is what counts, heh-heh-heh. Check out the brilliant ending too, with Ave Satani playing as the graveyard slowly, slowly disappears from view.
OMEN 3: THE FINAL CONFLICT is the film I really want to discuss, which is why I’ve left it till last. It’s my absolute favourite of all the OMEN movies, with the obvious exception of the original one. Sam Neill, who later goes on to play Dr. Alan Grant in the JURASSIC PARK movies, does a terrific job of portraying the grown-up Damien, now American Ambassador to Great Britain just like his Pops, Gregory Peck, was before him.
Sam Neill just seems to be having such a good time hamming it up as the Son Of Satan. It makes this film the most marvellous fun to watch. Check out his evil smile when he’s exhorting his Unholy Army Of The Night (the hunting-dogs!) to kill one of the bumbling oafs attempting to assassinate him with the Seven Daggers Of Megiddo. ‘Get him,’ he smiles coolly. And they do…
I love the plot of this one. However, people who object to hunting will be outraged by the hunting scenes. People who can’t bear to see babies hurt will hate the scenes in which it’s strongly implied that babies are hurt. Damien and his minions are trying to kill the new Messiah before he grows up and becomes a threat to Damien, see? Therefore, baby boys are being killed all over the place but don’t worry, you don’t really see anything because as I said it’s all implied. The woman ironing her husband, now that’s pretty messed-up as well. You do see that…
Sam Neill is at his absolute sneery, hammy best during his contemptuous one-sided exchanges with ‘the Nazarene,’ otherwise known as the life-size wood carving of Jesus Christ on the cross he keeps in a locked room of the Ambassador’s residence. Check out the way he always appears to be thrusting his groin against the naked buttocks of Our Lord during their ‘conversations.’ Do I detect a hint of gayness? After all, when Damien has sex with the TV lady with the awful hair, he goes in by the back door there too.
Remember those television commercials for luxurious chocolates Ferrero Rocher? Set at one of the Ambassador’s fancy-pants parties? With all the Ferrero Rochers piled up into one enormous golden pyramid which they would have had to glue together to keep ’em steady? Only people who remember those ads will know what I mean when I say what I’m going to say next. When I watched the anal sex scene for the first time, I turned to my friend on the couch beside me and I said:
‘Ah, Monsieur Ambassador, with zis rough sex you are really spoiling us…!’ We spent the rest of the night laughing our asses off.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below to her Amazon Authors Page:
You can contact her at: