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Damien: The Omen II (1978)

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MONEY    Monstrometer3
LONELINESS    Monstrometer2
BOREDOM    Monstrometer1
FEAR    Monstrometer2
TIME    Monstrometer1


Thorne in my side

After a popular The Omen featured a spooky child and some memorable death scenes, including the possibly best decapitation ever filmed, a captivated audience wanted to know what kind of a teenager Damien, now an orphan, would become. The answer was not the one they expected: the Devil’s son had become KD Lang. With Dumbo ears.

The beginning, a cartoonish jeep ride hysterically scored by a Jerry Goldsmith searching for the face of Jesus and manically played by an Ernest Hemingway wannabe, sets the tone for the rest of the movie. A priceless statue of the Whore of Babylon is discovered in some architectural digging site, along with a fresco depicting Damien, conveniently painted at the age he is now. The archaelogists are promptly dispatched and we can meet the Beast.

Damien (KD Lang), now living in his uncle’s (William Holden) estate, is quite the rascal, and a douche. Aunt Marion (Sylvia Sidney) dislikes him and wants him separated from his cousin Mike. This causes a feud at the diner table, after which it’s time for The Super Duper Whore of Babylon Slide Show, during which the evil eye of a raven stops Aunt Marion’s heart in her upstairs room.

Uncle Richard is president of Thorne Industries, a vague yet powerful conglomerate which apparently owns an agricultural compound in New York City. The firm’s new executive director wants to rule the world through seeds, which confirms than Monsanto IS the devil. This is established after another ridiculous ride, this one on a golf cart. So we have the demon, we have seed, let’s spawn!

Enter Joan Hart (Elizabeth Shepherd), in flamboyant scarlet red, and one gasps. The “young woman” announced during the slide show must be well in her forties. She’s a good looking lady, but calling her a “young woman” is pushing the envelope a bit, underlining how geriatric the cast mostly is. The lady in red cranks hysteria up to 11 as soon as she appears, yelling “You are in danger!” to Uncle Richard. But she is unable to be more specific. She goes to Damien’s football practice (hey, why not?), recognizes the face of Evil and flies to her prompt demise, a ludicrous raven attack during which Jerry Goldsmith, all barrels blazing, manages to overscore himself.

One would thinks that after such a blast we would all have a moment. No such luck. Let’s go jet-ski and have a snowball fight turned epic battle by Jerry in a trance! This is Damien’s birthday, see, and no expense has been spared. There is the most hideous cake ever, a Polaroid with flash and even a firework which everyone watches in awe, sporting brightly coloured Aran sweaters. “Suspicion of destiny. We all have them”, sagaciously observes one of the evil guys. The Thorne residence is full of random woodwork, delirious curtain arrangements and atrocious antiques. The most hideous family room ever doubles as a movie theater.

People on the East Coast do love their sports; it’s now time for an ice hockey match on the estate’s frozen lake. Another good guy, who is clearly too old for this kind of activity, drowns when the ice breaks. Uncle Richard is devastated, his very bright yellow cap somehow undermining his grief.

Back to military school, Damien is even more a douche then before. His sargeant (Lance Henriksen, always a good sign), wisely advise him to read the Book of Revelations to understand who he is. True to its name, the read, a bit like a user manual, allows Damien to locate the exact spot where the number of the Beast is tattooed on the skin of his skull. Accompanied by the 666 horns of The Goldsmith Fanfare, Damien runs through the woods, to the end of a pontoon where he screams “WHY ME???” to the dark heaven. Oh God. Why, indeed?

A school visit is ludicrously set to take place during a very delicate checking process at the Thorne plant, now a chemical facility. Toxic compounds are released, killing another good guy. Damien has not been affected by the leak and a doctor runs some tests to understand why. His lab is for some reason full of bubbling red alembics you would expect in a witch lair, but not in a modern research facility.

After discovering Damien has jackal blood (what, not hooves?), the good doctor is offed in an attempt to equal the surprise decapitation of the first movie. No raven this time, only the filmed evidence that the butter-cutting wire is a demonic invention.

Uncle Richard starts having his doubts about Damien. Well, it only took him five violent deaths in his immediate entourage to get there. He nevertheless remains in denial when the curator of the Met brings him a letter of Revelations and a box. What’s in the box? What’s in the box? WHAT’S IN THE BOX?!?!? The Megiddo daggers, the only weapons able to destroy Damien. These, as the Whore of Babylon statue, will remain loose ends.

Cousin Mike (remember him?) is troubled. He follows Damien out in the snow, where he has his head telepathically crushed. A huge funeral ensues, with mountains of flowers, a motorcade and more Goldsmith that it is humanly possible to endure.

The Met curator is killed by nothing less than a locomotive, in true Final Destination fashion. A incongruous boogie-woogie cotillion happens for Graduation Day. Uncle Richard unsuccesfully attempts to kill Damien and is shot by his wife, screaming “DAAAAAAMIEEEEEN!”

Should one mentions that the end credits roll on a bombastic “Ave Satani Versus Jesus” choir? Jerry, calm down. There is still one movie to be scored. There is no card indicating how many horn players were harmed during the recording of the soundtrack. Oh, and in case you did not believe the casting:

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