Final Conflict, The

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Final Conflict, The: The Omen III (1981)
Cast: Sam Neill, Rossano Brazzi, Don Gordon, Lisa Harrow
Director: Graham Baker
Nutshell: Damien rises through the ranks and hopes to topple God in a coup d’etat

“a return of sorts to the stylishness of The Omen” Time Out
“compelling” Creature Features
“some good shock scenes” Blockbuster Video
“for genre addicts only” Maltin’s

More Satanic silliness as a snarling Damien goes about his business preparing to topple the almighty in one, swift coup d’état.

This time Damien is in a position where he calls the shots to the president of the United States and has himself appointed as the ambassador to the United Kingdom (which according to him is the “angel’s Island” from where the Nazarene shall rise again…. or some such claptrap). He is also appointed as the president of the United Nations Youth Wing (does such a thing exist?) so that he can enlighten the youth of the world about the virtues of a godless life. There are the usual babbling priests who “know” the truth and they happen by some good fortune to come across the seven daggers that are the only means by which Damien’s gargantuan power can be destroyed. Even an atomic bomb wouldn’t do the trick!

The moronic priests go around bumbling the plot and falling prey to all sorts of Satanically induced accidents. A rather friendly looking Doberman is in fact a satanic messenger and like the dog that ravaged the Son of Sam, he too carries messages forcing his subjects to commit horrible ungodly acts. The thrust of the plot in this third instalment of The Omen series is that the Nazarene (good guy) is to be reborn in Britain somewhere and therefore in order to clear his path of future obstructions Damien must find and destroy him. This involves hunting down every single male child that was born on a certain day in Britain and killing it, therefore leaving the path clear for the devil spawn to assume his throne.

Children are footballed to death, steam-ironed by over enthusiastic mothers, suffocated by overzealous priests as dastardly Damien’s army of devotees attempt to make sure that the Nazarene is crushed for ever. Meanwhile Damien takes a fancy to this two-bit reporter and seems to have a soft corner for her retarded son who clearly needs a rather figure in his life. Actually, the scheming reporter views Damien as a fast ticket to fame and dreams of being Mrs. Thorn, wife of Ambassador and aspiring First Lady. She uses her own child in her scheme to snag Damien for herself but gets more than she bargained for as Damien’s bedroom antics turn decidedly kinky. She also discovers that her potential husband has a propensity for lecturing statues for long periods of time, raving on and on about the Nazarene and so on. He also snarls a lot and tends to disrobe and sleep at the feet of his carving of Jesus Christ. Not the type of behaviour that you would look for in potential mate.

Finally, the most persistent of the priests and one with the thickest of Italian accents persuades the reporter to check out the birthmark that is the ultimate giveaway and lo and behold it takes her precisely three seconds to discover the dreaded “mark of the beast”. It takes her even less time to dispose of a slobbering Damien which comes as a slight disappointment considering who he was. After three movies of satanic mayhem, one would have thought the mighty Damien would have gone with more of a fight, but it was not to be. All it took was a poke with one of those trusty biblical daggers and poof, he was gone and the world was safe! What a dumb movie this is and no wonder it flopped resoundingly considering it is neither scary nor gruesome, nor funny, nor bad enough to be really entertaining. A truly feeble horror film, boring and aimless with an awful script, terribly acting and do-it-yourself special effects. The only memorably things about it is its ineptitude and also the great accent of Father Di Carlo.