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Damien: Omen II (1978)

Omen II
Omen II: Damien


Cast:

William "Winner of the 1978 'I can be Surly' Award" Holden is Richard Thorn
Lee Grant is Ann Thorn
Jonathan Scott-Taylor is Damien Thorn
Nicholas Pryor is Dr. Charles Warren
Lance "My Last Samurai was superior to the other one" Henriksen is Master Sergeant Daniel Neff
Meshach "I was the second most manly on Designing Women after Delta Burke" Taylor is Dr. Kane


What the box says:

Since the sudden and highly suspicious death of his parents,

-year-old Damien has been in the charge of his wealthy aunt and uncle (Lee Grant and William Holden).

Widely feared to be the Antichrist, Damien relentlessly plots to seize control of his uncle's business empire - and the world. Meanwhile, anyone attempting to unravel the secret of Damien's isnister past or fiendish future meets with a swift and cruel demise.

In this chilling sequel to "The Omen," the forces of good and evil battle each other to a taut and terrifying end.


Plot:

A heavily bearded, Carl Bugenhagen, drives through a Middle Eastern city. He meets with Michael, an archeologist. Showing a newspaper with a child photo, Carl proclaims Damien to be the antichrist. The daggers were given to Damienís father.

Carl wants Michael to take a letter and some evidence to Damienís uncle, Richard Thorn. Michael refuses to do it. Carl does convince him to come to the recently discovered Yigaelís wall.

At the deserted dig, they head to the wall. We only see a lone crow.

Through a series of tunnels, the duo finds a statue of the Whore of Babylon riding the beast. They continue on and examine Yigaelís wall. It shows Damienís face. Suddenly the cave begins to collapse on them. Carl dies quoting from the book of Revelations.

Chicago, 7 years later, Damien and his cousin, Mark, are about to leave for military academy.

At dinner, Richard Thorn and his wife, Ann, are entertaining Aunt Marion and Dr. Charles Warren. Marion threatens to leave Richard out of her will if he doesnít separate Damien from Mark and claims that Damien is a bad influence. A large family fight breaks out. Marion claims that Damienís father tried to kill him before leaving.

Ann pitches a fit wanting Marion out of the house the next morning. Richard is finally able to calm her down.

Marion opens her glass doors to the balcony before going to bed.

Dr. Warren shows various slides of the archeological dig where the Whore of Babylon was uncovered. The meaning of the 10 horns is discussed representing 10 kings. Warren mentions a friend of his Joan Hart, a reporter, wants to interview Richard.

Marion awakens in the middle of the night and finds a crow on the foot of her bed. CREEPY LATIN CHANTING ENSUES. Marion grasps her heart and dies. The crow flies off.

At the military academy, the cadets march to inspection. Sergeant Neff (LANCE HENRIKSEN) inspects the cadets.

At the office, Richard talks with Bill about Paulís project. Bill is convinced it is a bad idea, and the government would get involved.

Ann discovers Marion dead on the floor.

Business fu ensues. Paul is positive the company should move into combating famine. Ocean farming is the future. The big plan is to buy farmland in 3rd world countries and start implementing modern advanced farming techniques. He wants to get a stranglehold on food production. Richard leaves when he learns that Marion died.

As the cadets meet with Sergeant Neff, wise guy cadet is mocking the Thorns for having money. Damien goes in to meet with Neff.

Mark fights with the wise guy.

Neff offers to help Damien day or night before Damien leaves.

Wise guy and Mark are still fighting. He is about to slug Damien when CREEPY LATIN CHANTING ensues. Somehow, wise guy falls on the floor and freaks out. Neff pops out and breaks everything up.

Mark and Damien discuss what just happened. The future world devastator is unsure of what he did.

Richard talks with Paul. He agrees with Bill to hold back on the farming project.

As Richard heads to his car, Joan Hart catches up with him. She has to talk to him immediately. Joan mentions Carl Bugehagenís body was just found. Richard cuts her off when she discusses his brother. She tries to warn him of the danger his family is in as the limo driver drags her out of the car.

At the Thorn Museum, Dr. Warren tells Ann about Yigael. He was a monk and exorcist who had visions of the antichrist. Joan pops up. She talks with Ann for a couple of minutes but leaves after learning that Richard called Dr. Warren about what just happened.

Joan drives to a football practice. Watching, she is totally shocked by her first glimpse of Damien.


What unholy demon approved Paully Shore and Carrot Top starring in Not Another Teen Movie 2?

Creepy Latin Chanting ensues while Joan drives down the road. She is reciting Scripture before her car breaks down. Checking under the hood, suddenly a (non Brandon Lee) crow appears. It pecks her eyes out. Yes, a 10 pound bird can permanently blind a grown woman.

Joan is blinded and laying on the side of the road. She gets up and is promptly run over by a semi. I guess that disproves the notion that senses are enhanced when blinded. The crow flies off to cause more mischief.

Snowmobile fun ensues for Mark, Damien, and Robert. They have a snowball fight, too. Oh, the wonderful bonding of a family. .

Richard and Ann are having a birthday party for Mark. Paul talks with Damien. He knows Sergeant Neff. Damien should know everything about Thorn Industries. Everyone else watches as the fireworks starts. Paul talks about manhood initiations. Damien should be by 13. He must face what he is. Damien has a feeling of destiny.

Ice skating on the frozen lake begins. This is where Dr. Warren, a minor character, acknowledges the death of Joan. A crow is watching the activities from a nearby tree.

A rousing game of ice hockey has started. Creepy Latin Chanting resumes. Bill accidentally skates past the safe line and falls into the lake. Richard goes to the rescue. Everyone joins in the efforts to save Bill to no avail.

Later in the week, Paul is about to head back to the company. Richard will leave Paul as president of the company while he and Ann go on a vacation.

In the city, Paul gets a visit from Richard who isnít happy about Paul starting the land buy for farmland without his authorization.

At the military academy, Damien is passed a picture of the teacher who takes umbrage. He begins to quiz Damien who knows all the answers.

Neff calls Damien out of the class. Damien is told to keep a low profile for now. Neff tells him to read Revelations 13 to learn moreÖ

In his dorm room, Damien begins reading how it keeps mentioning the beast and the dragon. Later, Damien is able to see that hidden by his hair is his birthmark which resembles 666: the number of the beast.

Upon seeing this, he runs out of the academy as Creepy Latin Chanting resumes. On a nearby dock, Damien is questioning why him.

At revelry that night, Mark tries asking Damien what is wrong. However, Damien is fine now.

At the airport, Pasarian returns. He canít get an answer from Richard Thorn and then calls Paul. Apparently, a number of the landowners in the 3rd world countries have been murdered.

The military academy has a field trip to one of Thornís factories.

Pasarian is furiously working on a problem at the factory.

Hard hat fu ensues. The kids are told about how new pesticides will help improve farming.

Elsewhere, Paul is telling the executive board about how the indigenous people must not think theyíre being exploited.

Back at the factory, Pasarian is working to repair a machine. The kids are on a nearby catwalk. The machine vent spews chemicals and starts filling the room with gas. The overrides arenít able to stop it. The kids get away. However, Pasarian isnít so lucky.

Angry Richard wants a report. Dr Kane tells him the children will all be fine. However, the blood work turned some strange results on Damien. The gas didnít affect him at all. The good doctor wants to run some more tests on Damien. The snotty brat pitches a fit along with hateful Ann. Theyíll bring him back in next week.

That night, Dr. Kane is using a microscope in the lab. He canít believe what heís seeing. The results show it is the blood of a jackal. He calls a friend and takes the sample with him. CREEPY LATIN CHANTING ensues.

He gets in the elevator that doesnít seem to be working right. Pressing down, it goes up. Suddenly it drops to almost the bottom of the shaft. The impact knocks Dr. Kane to his floor of elevator. The cables at the top of the shaft fall accelerating before breaking through the cart and bisecting the good and very dead doctor.

The Thorns see the newspaper article about Kaneís death. Richard only knows that Damienís cell structure is different.

At the museum, Dr. Warren gets to his office and opens a package of 7 daggers, scrolls, among other things like newspaper clippings. A letter seems to terrify him the most. He hides the daggers and only takes a crucifix and the letter with him. CREEPY LATIN CHANTING ensues.

The Thorns are watching a movie on a projector.

Dr. Warren drives to the Thorn mansion. He has to see Richard immediately. Warren asks about Richardís brother. Richard is told of Bugenhagenís box and how the daggers were given to his brother by Bugenhagen. The letter was written 7 years earlier and claims that Damien is the antichrist. Mark is in the next room and overhears all of this. Richard thinks all of this ďevidenceĒ is insane. Apparently, Yigaelís wall will arrive tomorrow. Warren will go and inspect it.

Richard looks at the letter again before going to bed.

In the morning, Mark and Damien separately go into the woods.

Richard shows the letter to Ann. He is thinking about going to see the wall himself. Ann gets hysterical again. She makes Richard promise not to treat Damien any differently.

In the woods, Mark is staying away from Damien. Mark tells him about how he is thought to be the antichrist. Damienís father tried to kill him because he knew. Mark storms away. Damien claims that Mark is his brother and wants him to join him. CREEPY LATIN CHANTING ensues. Mark continues to walk off when Damien does the Sith cutting oxygen off to his brain trick. Mark collapses. Damien screams which brings Richard and Ann who find him cradling his ďbrotherĒ.

At the funeral, several of the cadets along with Sergeant Neff are present A voiceover explains to Richard and Ann that Mark probably had a medical problem all along.

At the airport, Richard rushes to New York. Ann and Damien are left alone.

Back at New York City, Richard stops at a church where Charles Warren seems to be about 2 steps over the insanity ledge. The wall has been loaded. They go to the train yard to find the car the wall is inside.

Richard goes inside leaving Charles in the open. CREEPY LATIN CHANTING ensues. A train starts to move. Richard is trying to uncover the wall. The tracks switch. The engine picks up sped and crushes Charles between it and the other side of the car. Richard checks on Charles and finds the body.

Graduation day at the military academy, Damien is the top cadet. Ann leaves to pick up Richard from the airport. He wants Damien brought to the museum.

Damien is at the swinging cotillion. All the girls are drawn to him.

At the museum, Richard is trying to convince Ann about Damien.

Damien gets the message and leaves the dance.

Richard explains how others have been trying to help Damien. Ann thinks he is insane. They go to Warrenís office. He searches for the daggers.

Damien arrives at the museum. CREEPY LATIN CHANTING ensues.

Richard can find the daggers when Ann grabs two of them and stabs him in the stomach.

The nearby boiler room explodes par-broiling Ann.

Damien walks out of the museum as the police arrive.


What I say:

Rogue Reviewers Roundtable

Could it be time for another roundtable review? Indeed it is. This time, we by myself and other voices in my head are focusing on movies involving Old Scratch, Lucifer, the Prince of Lies, or any of his other aliases. G-Men From Hell with Robert Goulet as the Devil would have been an excellent choice had it not already been done. Nothing really struck me as a good choice. DVD bargain bin diving snared me a copy of Damien: Omen II.

I haven't seen the Omen before. It had a fairly strong cast with Gregory Peck and Lee Remmick. Well, William Holden was asked to star in it but turned it down. After the success of it, he was asked to star in the sequel.

The late 70s were desperately trying to milk as much cash off the Exorcist bandwagon as they could. Well, the Omen was one of the most memorable movies of the 70s mainstream horror movies. It is superior to the far more exploitive and sleazy ripoffs. Why have a girl possessed by a demon? When, we could have the antichrist who will destroy the world. Just imagine the crossover potential if Regan married Damien. Ok, that is a silly idea but no sillier than Freddy Vs Jason.

William Holden is not an actor I know much about other than him co-starring in the Horse Soldiers with John Wayne. Holden doesn't seem to really enjoy himself and seems uncomfortable in this movie. Whether this is his attitude about the movie or he is acting so uncomfortable is what I'm not sure.

Ann doesn't really react to anything. She doesn't seem distraught or show any emotion upon discovering Marion's body. Most people would at least regret getting into a screaming fight just before someone dies. Is this to show that Ann is empty? For the most part she seems to be fairly vacuous. Well, I'll get back to her in another paragraph from now.

Sylvia Sidney seemed vaguely familiar to me. Do you remember the recent dead counselor from Beetlejuice? The old lady who smoked and was trying to get the couple to scare the family out of their house.

I was surprised by Lance Henriksen in this movie. He doesn't quite have the grizzled "I bring intensity to a potato chip commercial" vibe you get from anything he's done since the mid-80s like in Near Dark. Still, the man has quite a presence even if not combatting killer flying piranhas like in Pirahna 2: the Spawning.

Why didn't we get some idea of this apparently huge conspiracy to bring Damien to authority? OK, Paul is working on the desert farmland. Neff knows Damien is destined for greatness and just is pointing him to his destinty. The possibility of more people involved is implied in the movie and included with some of my paranoid ramblings.

Creepy chanting in Latin just sounds malevolent. I don't want to offend any Romans out there. I'm sure you'd think Barry Manilow sounds malevolent. Of course, I would definitely agree with that opinion.

How exactly did anyone not realize where Carl was. His jeep was at the dig site. Did the archeolgists not pay attention to that jeep for 7 years? Let's say the statue of the Whore of Babylon was found before Carl's body was. Wouldn't they keep going until they uncovered Yigael's wall again?

This movie was made in 1978. So, my repressed Star Wars geekiness will show through with how these scenes remind me of the original trilogy. I will call an Empire Strikes Back moment where Damien tries to get Mark to join him. A Star Wars moment has been used for when the Sith choking trick was used to kill Mark. Ok, cutting the oxygen supply to the brain is the choking trick Vader loved so much but close enough for a photon torpedo...

The Omen is known for its "money shots". The kills weren't ever shown in such a mainstream movie before. The decapitation by the plate glass has to be one of the most memorable movie kills of the 70s. Unfortunately, Damien: Omen 2 isn't really known for its kills. We have sinister crows that cause old women to have heart attacks and blind noisy reporters. An aside, I love how when mentioning Joan's death by being run over by a truck. The fact her eyes weren't pecked out wasn't mentioned at all. Joan flailing around seems far funnier than it should have been. While, the guy trapped under the frozen lake was definitely not a gory death. It didn't have a crow stare at some old woman with heart condition. To be honest, the elevator one was most gruesome.

Since I was a kid, I remember a scene from a movie where a guy gets in an elevator that acts strange going up and down awfully fast until he is killed when the top part of it cuts his legs off. OK, my memory was a hair off. It was bisecting his torso not his legs. Finally, I have the definite answer to something that has been crawling around my mind for probably 20 years.

The ending seemed awfully anti-climatic. William Holden realizes Damien is evil and searching for the daggers when Ann stabs him. Throughout the movie, we know that various people are determined to aid Damien's rise to power. Afterwards, I thought of various reasons for Ann's behavior. First, we learn that Mark isn't her child. Though, the fate of Richard Thorn's wife was never revealed. Hypothetically, Ann married Richard and would be able to look after Damien. She seemed to treat the boys the same. After Mark's death, Ann became more protective of Damien. Is it because of motherly instinct or something far more sinister?

I'm not a big fan of movies just using bits and pieces of the Bible to justify their movie. Eegah did the same thing with claiming giants once lived according to the book of Genesis. Most of the different translations don't mention giants. The Omen series is big on trying to take Biblical descriptions on the end times. However, the verses Damien reads are from various places in Revelations and Daniel. Taking various verses from different books of the Bible and adding some lines to make it appear to even be more sinister doesn't change the facts. It was done more to make Damien seem even more evil. Who would really complain about how the verses were altered? Well, the Left Behind series is probably better known nowadays for using Revelations for the Rapture. Revelations is the most difficult book of the Bible with all of the prophecy and descriptions. What is the beast to mean? Rome, etc... Every major crisis has someone claiming the current events map to Revelations. Didn't 9-11 do the same thing just a few years ago?

While, this isn't a bad movie or a good movie, it seems to be too plain. Those expecting for the kills of the first were disappointed. Damien: Omen 2 could have succeeded on a cerebral vein had it tried. Why was Paul's farming plan so hated by Bill? Revelations mentions how the deserts will be used for farmland. Symbolism is hard to base a movie off of. In fact, with so much symbolism in Revelations it is virtually impossible to follow it.

I have overanalyzed this movie more than most. Instead of trying to come up with a lame joke or snarky comment, I will end my review on a suggested reading material recommendation. Try reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett for a far more entertaining and humerous version of the Apocalypse.



3 NINJAS

Quotable Dialogue

"Damien Thorn is the AntiChrist!!"
"He was also an exorcist..."
"Why don't you go to one of the warming tents?"
"I don't think he's the voice of doom and disaster but this time he's got a point."
"You mean there's a pesticide that works on sex."
"Bugenhagen claims that Damien is the devil's son."
"I've always belonged to him."


Morals of the Story

Latin chanting is disturbing.
Satan cause car engine trouble on a regular basis.
Being evil allows you to recite dates concerning Napoleon and the date death of Thomas Aquinas.
Elevators are slightly more dangerous than a guillotine.
All professionals in museums must have an office next to the boiler room.
All teenage girls are drawn to ultimate evil.


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