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  Holocaust 2000 Impending Doom
Year: 1977
Director: Alberto De Martino
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Simon Ward, Agostina Belli, Anthony Quayle, Virginia McKenna, Spiros Focás, Ivo Garrani, Alexander Knox, Adolfo Celi, Romolo Valli, Massimo Foschi, Geoffrey Keen, John Carlin, Peter Cellier, Penelope Horner, Caroline Langrishe, Denis Lawson
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Industrialist Robert Caine (Kirk Douglas) is in the Middle East to announce his latest project, a huge nuclear power plant which has an innovative new use of lasers to create an enormous amount of energy that should serve an area for hundreds of miles around. The authorities there are only too happy to welcome him, as this will bring a lot of money to the country, and as Caine is congratulated he notices a photographer, Sara Golan (Agostina Belli), snapping his picture. He goes over and strikes up a conversation as she quizzes him on the repercussions of such an endeavour - but neither has any idea of what the terrifying implications will be...

Around the seventies, Kirk Douglas found, as many movie stars do later in their careers, that they were not finding roles that were keeping them on the top of the box office, so he began to appear in increasingly lurid productions to sustain his status. Many of these were somewhat absurd, and they didn't come much sillier than Holocaust 2000, an Italian-British collaboration that sought to evoke the dread of The Omen in a manner that they presumably were banking on bringing in similarly large profits. It didn't turn out that way, of course, but this does at least look a bit more glossy than many such things.

The main problem here is that we're far ahead of the characters from the start of the movie onwards, so in effect we're watching and waiting for them to catch up with us and cotton onto the fact that Satan himself is pulling their strings. Funnily enough, this wasn't such a problem with The Omen because although we were well aware what was going on, we were not so sure about how it would play itself out, whereas in the films that slavishly followed its formula, we've pretty much got the idea from the first five minutes with only the novelty deaths to sustain our interest.

Even in this film, such demises are stingily doled out as there are not that many characters available to suffer such fates, so what we're left with is over an hour and half of Kirk gritting his teeth, trying to make sense of this crazy situation and work out what his grown up son - ironically named Angel (Simon Ward) - has to do with the weird coincidences and ominous warnings he has been on the receiving end of recently. The main sign that all is not well comes when Caine's wife (Virginia McKenna, surely doing merely one day's work) is stabbed to death by an assassin at a dinner party, but even this does not turn him away from his path to nuclear doom.

This in spite of the crowds of protestors waving placards outside his office chanting "What do your children! Want to be! When they Grow Up?! Alive!", but then something happens to prompt second thoughts. Here the film's piece of resistance arrives when Caine has just bedded new girlfriend Sara and gets a terrible nightmare which features that mainstay of Kirk's later efforts, the nude scene. So we are offered the sight of a naked Kirk wandering around a salt plain, seeing his power station transform into a many-headed dragon, and emoting mightily as the word IESUS repeatedly appears. Even Caine can't ignore this, but if the film has some amusingly trashy bits, it does let you down by having the apocalypse happen sometime after the story we see has ended - if indeed it happens at all. It's more fun than director Alberto De Martino's Exorcist rip-off, but really reminds you that few of the Omen copies were any good. Music by Ennio Morricone.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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