October 9, 2000

The Omen III (1981)

(AKA Omen III: The Final Conflict)

From the IMDb: "Damien, the anti-Christ, is a thirty-something CEO of a huge multinational corporation and the new ambassador of England, but he lusts for control of the world. The Dark One's only enemies are seven monks sworn to Damien's destruction with sacred daggers forged for that one purpose. As the monks hunt Damien, he orders the systematic elimination of recently born boys, who he believes are the Second Coming of Christ. Will good or evil triumph?"

Well, I think we can guess the answer to that one! Sometimes I truly despair of the IMDb, don't you?

Anyway, I just watched this again on the Sci-Fi channel and I have to say that it wasn't quite as bad as I remembered it. It's certainly better than "Omen IV" and the appalling remake of "The Omen" last year. But... it still wasn't all that great.

Sam Neill does a really good job as a fully grown Damien and is as suitably charismatic as you'd expect the anti-christ to be. Having watched such things as "The Omega Code" which dealt with the same subject matter, I'd have to say that Sam Neill definitely has the edge over Malcolm McDowell.

For a film made in 1981 though, it isn't all that gory. There are a couple of memorable moments but the baby getting its head ironed isn't quite what I remembered it to be. It's funny how your mind plays tricks on you over the years. It appears that the woman about to iron the baby just has an image flash into her mind of what the little cherub will look like afterwards and you don't actually see her do it. I feel cheated!

The sex scene between Damien and Kate is also less erotic than I remember. It's still quite well done though and it is implied that he isn't exactly in the right hole if you know what I mean. I still wonder about that scene with Michael Douglas and Jean Tripplehorn in "Basic Instinct" too now that I think of it... but anyway...

The big problem with "Omen III" is that it isn't very scary or memorable compared to the first two parts of the trilogy. "The Omen" was a complete classic, with "Damien: Omen II" being a worthy if slightly inferior sequel. "Omen III" really goes a step too far with too much talk and not enough action plus the ending, although necessary, really does suck.

This really is the film that should have been remade rather than remaking the original "Omen". Just like "The Godfather Part 3" there are some films which are just screaming to be remade as a good version. Alas, I don't think it will ever happen.

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