Whose idea was this Mess? NOW YOU'VE DONE IT!
Fox has canceled some of the best TV Shows in the History of Broadcasting, yet they aired this nut wrinkle. Now, I'm not completely unsympathetic here! I respect the fact that Fox was shooting for the Franchise Angle, and that this is the one Franchise they actually owned. But dudes, chicks, since when is a straight-to-Friday-Night, Commercial-Interrupted Corn-A-Thon a viable re-launch? Worse, dammit, The Final Conflict was a fine, upbeat and positive last chapter in the saga of The Omen. What was it, like "Reagan's out of Office, let's fuck it all up now!" or WHAT?
Of course, this could all be written off as a decent cash cow... if the movie hadn't sucked like an industrial strength shop vac. Omen IV feels like a joke in most places, being so melodramatic, it seems to be played for laughs. Producer Harvey Bernhard (who ought to know better, man) was smart enough to reuse the The Omen and Omen III scores by Jerry Goldsmith, and they still pack a pretty powerful punch when used right. However, new music by Composer Jonathan Sheffer sounds like it was written for a comedy movie... or maybe a porno. It's especially hilarious to witness an over-the-top scene of cheesy acting, inane dialogue and super-silly directing, coupled with a score that sounds like it should accompany the New Adventures of the Snorks.
Shall I adjourn to the accursed "plot" of this brown tobacco wad in the cheek of Televised Cinema? Okay, but don't forget to spit and rinse! Damien Thorn is as dead as Paisley Ties, thanks to Our Lord Jesus Christ (and some particularly corn-pop acting). Now, Satan's Waitin' to strike again and add a six to the six to the six.
He comes up short.
Soon a new child is born, and a couple of Catholic Nuns help get her adopted to a good Catholic family. The Baptism goes poorly (she freaks out during the blessing) and soon she gets weirder and weirder, until she's finally taken under the wing of a big, nasty Rottweiler and a creepy, ill-fated nanny. By the time "Delia York" reaches school age (and is played by young Asia Vieira), she's in full-on devil kid mode, causing all kinds of anguish and death to everyone around her.
While her mommy, Karen (Faye Grant, from V and The Greatest American Hero) is slow to recognize these goofy things, Daddy Gene (a congressman, who may be on his way to the Presidency and played by Michael Woods) is completely oblivious in every way. Oh, wait... he's perfect for the presidency.
Anyway, if this doesn't sound familiar to you, then you haven't seen any of the other Omen flicks. The only real question here is whether Delia herself is the Reincarnation of The Antichrist or if she is merely the herald of a Damien to come.
What is of almost no question whatsoever is whether or not you'll care. Omen IV skates on the thinning ice of ineptitude throughout its length. I'll admit that some of the ideas are relatively intriguing, but these are mere peaks that don't rise above sea level, seeing as how the whole shebang is firmly pressed into a Valley somewhere in hell.
Worse, Omen IV doesn't simply retread its predecessors in the series when padding out the... maybe three original ideas it had. No, The Awakening plays like a dream sequence that recaps almost every similar film out there. There's more than a smattering of Rosemary's Baby kneaded into the moldy loaf that this booger is, along with The Exorcist and The Bad Seed. Hell, it even calls out Carrie by name.
Brian Taggert's Teleplay, based on his story with Bernhard and David Seltzer's characters is bad enough to begin with (surprisingly, as he also wrote V and Poltergeist III, which wasn't this bad). But the directing and budget pretty well beat senseless any potential it had. If the direction of Dominique Othenin-Girard wasn't already pushing into Three Stooges territory, the fact that home-dude quit to be replaced by Jorge Montesi makes this movie one of the most hackneyed experiments in the history of horror. Once we get to the half way mark (that feels like it took about seven years to get to) the second half (detailing Michael Lerner as a Private Investigator on the trail of THE TRUTH) barely resembles the first part. I half-way felt like shouting "MEANWHILE IN ANOTHER MOVIE!"
Oh, wait... who is that I see there, playing that LAWYER? Is that William B. Davis? Oh, great... it is! See, that's why this so crazy, Satan wasn't behind all this... Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files is behind all this! Delia is an Alien! That still doesn't explain how the story ended up so silly!
But how silly is this flick? Well, it makes Bay Coven look cinematic and classic by comparison. Poor little Vieira, who is a cute kid and handles that EVIL EYE pretty well, is put in such silly situations (along with every other forlorn face) that I just wanted to give her a little sympathy hug. My favorite of the melodramatic moments surrounds Sister Yvonne, one of the nuns who helped Delia get into the one place no Catholic Nun would want her to be. When she realizes what she's done she rips off her Habit to reveal a head of luxurious blonde hair, a beautiful face and a fantastic body in a sexy muscle-shirt. Man, just when I got over my sinful fascination with Nuns... Damn you, Harvey Bernhard! Later, the same actress (Megan Leitch, no relation to Donovan) has become a Faith Healer named Felicity only to give us a silly symphony of Snake Attacks. I'd have paid real money if Sammy Jackson had popped in to scream "I've had it with these MOTHER FUCKIN' SNAKES on this MOTHER FUCKIN' PROPHET!"
I guess it's good that the experiment failed. Can you imagine if other venerable franchises were revamped on the small screen? Gone with the Wind sequels for the Televis- oh, wait, that happened. Good thing that the first Star Wars sequel wasn't made for CBS or anyth- Oh, crap, that happened too. House of the Dead? Okay, while that sequel WAS made for TV, the original sucked too, so I'll no more on't.
Omen IV! I'm so PISSED! Damn it, this sucked! The worst part was that these goobers have completely ruined a good trilogy, leaving us on a really shitty note, and because this movie ate miles of ass, there will be no more Omen sequels. The 2006 The Omen remake was almost as bad, so I guess we're done, man. Sigh.
Damien, born of a Jackal... Delia, born of the fledgling Fox Network's scrambling for profit. Omen IV: The Awakening gets a Dog! Really, it gets a JACKAL! A sick, nasty Jackal! No, not even that... A LAUGHING HYENA. Screw this! I'm done, I give up, I surrender. Bad movies will haunt my sleep forever. Way to go, J.C.! Way to end the Summer of Horror. Yeah, yeah, yeah. BIG DELIA! See you in the next Six Hundred and Sixty Six Reels.
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