Thursday, January 16, 2014

Horror Classics: I Drink and Live-Blog The Omen

On Christmas Eve, Isaac and I gathered our stuffed animal surrogate children, I poured some booze, and we watched the 1976 classic film The Omen. Open on: creepy choral chanting.

Rome, June 6, 6 p.m. A guy in a car whispering about a child. Gregory Peck is now talking to a priest about some lady wanting "her own" child, I think. A nun holds a baby.  The foreign priest says it's totally cool to replace a dead? baby with this other one. The priest says it looks like their son and they just shouldn't tell his wife. The biological mom died and there are supposedly no other relatives. Gregory has to be talked into it, but he's just going to take the baby boy and pass it off as his own. Like you do. He brings the baby in to his wife, who looks a decent bit younger than him. They kiss. The baby cries. This plan is flawless.

G.Peck, in a nice three-piece pinstriped number, comes home. He tells his wife, with the now-toddler, that they're moving to London because he's now the Ambassador to Great Britain. They check out their new mansion, and the lady jokes about Peck becoming President one day. They have a sweet gigantic library. He shuts the shutters so the nanny and kid outside don't see them make out. The family walks around on a hill. The lady is pulling a plastic dog with wheels. At some point they've lost track of the kid. They start calling to Damien, afraid he fell in the river. But he's okay! Family pictures montage. The best of '70s fashion.

Awesome image from here.
Cut to Damien's fifth birthday. A huge crowd of children and press have gathered for the occasion. Everybody loves Damien's dad Robert. The wife snatches Damien away from the nanny so she can be photographed with him. Holly, the nanny, spots a black dog and there's creepy music and a zoom in on her dead eyes. There are some awesome toys and rides at this party. Holly starts yelling to Damien that she loves him. She's on the roof of the house with a noose around her neck. She steps off the edge and her body breaks a second floor window as it falls. All the kids are traumatized. Thank goodness the press is there to get some tasteful shots. From his mother's arms, Damien also spots the dog and waves to it.

A majestic eagle statue adorns the U.S. Embassy. The press harasses Robert, asking if the nanny was on drugs. He accidentally runs into a photographer, the sleazy one from the party who was taking shots of the dad nanny. Robert offers to replace his broken camera, but the photog says he just "owes him" now. A priest from Rome shows up at the office and Robert pretends not to know him. The priest says Robert's got to accept Christ as his savior right now and take communion. The devil is going to just keep killing. He keeps saying he should drink Christ's blood. This priest was at the hospital when his biological son died. The priest says he knows everything. Is this blackmail? Robert asks. Father claims his son's real mother was... security bursts in. Actually he says, "Its mother was a--". That is upsetting. The sleazy photographer is outside and gets a shot of the priest as he's escorted out of the building. In his dark room, we see that he has multiple pics of the priest. Does he know him?

Back at the mansion, the new governess shows up. She's a little older and claims young nannies get homesick and have boyfriend problems, and then kill themselves, I guess? Mrs. Bailer? is the new nanny. She insists on meeting Damien alone. Neither of the parents were the ones who hired her. Mrs. Baylock claims the agency sent her over and gives them her references. The mom says she's going to call the agency to confirm. Mrs. Baylock goes into find Damien and says, "Have no fear, little one, I am here to protect thee." He's just drawing next to a roaring fire, like you do.

Next thing you know, Robert in his tails is waiting for his wife, who's wearing a fashion turban. The Mrs. and the nanny disagree over whether Damien should go with them to the church for a wedding. He's wearing his dad's top hat in the car and it's adorbs. Damien looks a little freaked out as they approach the building. Probs because he's the devil already or whatever. Okay, Damien is now actually freaking out, shaking and shit. He's scared of an angel statue. He starts screaming "no" and pulling his mom's hair so he doesn't have to go into the church. All of the guests outside the church watch as they decide to drive away.

The Mrs. is all bruised up. She doesn't think they need to call a doctor about Damien. She's in denial that he's fucked up. Robert says it's weird he's never been sick before. She claims Damien just had a "bad moment." That's what they're calling it now when your son freaks out and violently attacks you. Robert's clearly thinking about the padre from before's warning. Uh-oh, Robert encounters the black dog, growling, outside the nursery. Mrs. Baylock comes out and says they found him outside and Damien loves him already. Robert's like, "WTF?" He doesn't want the dog. Another day, the Mrs. takes Damien to the zoo. They're both wearing awesome '70s suits. Damien creepily stares at the giraffes and they run away. And now here's Robert off to the Embassy. He sees the priest hanging out outside his compound form the car. Damien and his mom drive through a baboon habitat. They are cute, but they are freaked out by Damien. Lots of scrambling pink butts. Damien jumps in his mom's lap as the baboons start to attack the car, barking. Finally, she starts the car and they drive off, somehow not hitting any of the monkeys.

Whatshername claims she and Damien and both fine. Robert's wearing awesome navy blue full-length pajamas. Oh, her name is Kathy. She says she needs to see a psychiatrist because she has fears. She puts her husband in charge of finding her a doctor. She claims her fears will get her locked up in the nuthouse. Rugby game! Our photographer friend is there, creeping on Robert. Rob's wearing some dapper glasses. Isaac is admiring his amazing plaid coat. Oh, the priest shows up and says Robert's wife is going to die unless he meets him at a park tomorrow. Ruh-roh. The photog gets a bunch of shots of the priest. I finished my Vodster and now I'm drinking some Absolute Citron on the rocks because Isaac gave me some baby booze bottles in my Christmas stocking. They're so cute and delicious. Okay, in all the photog's pictures, some line shows up diagonally behind the priest's head.

Priest Kebab.
Next day, Robert shows up to the park with his trench coat collar popped to meet the priest. Father Warningpants says something about the Jews returning to Zion and people dying and armies from Revelation. Robert does not want a sermon! Padre tells Robert to seek out an old man in a town in Israel? Priesty says his wife's pregnant, the devil will kill the baby or something? He tells him to go to Magito? WTF. Robert tells him to fuck off, basically. Haha, "You'll see me in hell, Mr. Thorne. There we will serve out our sentence." For what? Switching babies? The priest gets caught in some kind of localized wind storm in the park. Isaac says it's a Sharknado. Lightning strikes a tree and a branch falls to the ground. The father runs towards a nearby church for sanctuary. The gates are locked. Climb that fence, it's only like four feet tall! Lightning strikes the gate as the priest runs through a cemetery. The church doors are locked. Lightning strikes the lightning rod on top of the church, it breaks off and falls down, stabbing the priest straight through.

Kids on tricycles are sinister as fuck. SRSLY.
Back at home, Damien yells, messing around with the pool table. Kathy says she can't handle "that sound" and yells for the nanny. Robert's like, "He's just playing, bitch." Damien glares at his mom as Mrs. Baylock takes him away. Apparently Kathy's doctor and Robert need to talk. She says she never wants to have any more children and wants to have an abortion. THE PRIEST KNEW. Is this a pro-life movie? A mysterious phone call tells Robert to look at the newspaper, where he sees a story about the priest getting impaled. The doctor says Kathy thinks the baby is both evil and not hers. The doctor's like, "She should probs not have this baby." Robert says he won't agree to an abortion. Who gives a fuck what he thinks? He's going to fight the prophecy that the pregnancy will be terminated. Robert speeds home. Damien rides around on his tricycle as Mrs. Baylock looks on, smirking creepily. Kathy, don't fucking balance the fishbowl on the railing! What an idjit. Mrs. Baylock lets Damien out of the nursery, he speeds down the hall and slams into his mom, who is standing on a chair, watering a plant. The fishbowl goes over to the first floor and Kathy's fingers slowly slip off the railing as Damien watches silently. She falls down onto her stomach. Guess she's not going to need that abortion after all.

The press harasses Robert in the hospital lobby. She's lost the baby in addition to breaking her arm and getting a concussion. The doctor says "You've got a lot to be grateful for, she's still alive!" Also, she can have more babies later. THANK GOODNESS BECAUSE SHE SHOULD DEFINITELY HAVE MORE KIDS. Kathy wakes up and tells Robert not to let "him" kill her. He just strokes her head and whispers, "Kathy." She has no discernible personality. Robert goes home and is sad. He checks on Damien, and the dog is still there. He growls at Robert. Robert has to leave to go get the phone. The dog's snuggled up behind a giant stuffed snail. It's pretty sweet.

The photographer, Keith Jennings, is on the phone. He's calling about the priest's death. Oh, the line in the photos was the rod. Oh, he shows Robert a line in the photos of Holly the nanny that foretell the placement of the noose. Keith says the priest had cancer and was high on morphine. He's got the autopsy photos and the priest had a "666" birthmark on his thigh. Keith takes Robert to the priest's apartment, which is covered in pages of the bible and 47 crucifixes on the wall. Keith found a diary where he was keeping track of all of Robert's movements. There's a news article from an astrology magazine, the star of Bethlehem or a comet or something was shining on June 6 five years ago. The priest had Robert's kid's birth announcement. He was born 6/6 at 6 a.m. Robert admits his true son is dead. Keith offers to find out whose kid Damien is. Keith's latest photo shows a sharp something stabbed through his body in the mirror. Uh-oh.

Kathy, with her arm up in a big cast, is going to stay in the hospital as he goes out of town. Mrs. Horton, the housekeeper, and her husband have up and left the ambassador's house. Mrs. Baylock doesn't seem upset. She'll "manage." She says the dog is gone now. Robert's gone to Italy with Keith. Gregory Peck has what sounds like a terrible Italian accent. There's a conflict with the cab driver. The hospital where his son was born apparently burned down five years ago. A nun nurse says all the records have been destroyed. The hall of records is where the fire started. CONVENIENT. He asks about the priest. He survived the fire and went to a monastery somewhere. Keith and Rob go to find him. Keith finds the Revelation passage about the Jews returning to Zion and a comet and the birth of the devil's child, the Antichrist. They interpret the passage that the devil's child will arise from the world of politics--Robert's world. So many sheep on this mountain road. The men get out to walk. They head down to the monastery in the valley.

They enter a church, where monks are kneeling, praying. There are no pews. Knees or knothin' here! A particularly emaciated-looking Christ hangs on a cross. Robert spots the priest, who looks vaguely catatonic. Part of his face is messed up, one eye. The abbot says he has to do penance because he abandoned Christ or something. He drew a monk picture and a 666. The abbot is not cool with Robert interrogating the priest. Bells ring. With his still-working left hand, the priest draws something on the stone with charcoal. He's written "cervette." The abbot says it's an old ruined cemetery 50 miles north of Rome. Keith has such jaunty kerchiefs. They drive to the cemetery. Keith is sure to get his camera from the trunk of the car. They jump the fence and start looking around. If this were filmed during actual nighttime, they'd need a flashlight. Keith finds a headstone of interest. Maria Schiana died June 6 five years ago. We hear a dog panting in the bushes. Robert wonders if his real son is buried under the "bambino" headstone here with the potential mother. I guess they're going to dig up some bodies now. EXHUMATION, TAKE A DRINK. They pry open the tomb and it's just a dog skeleton. The other grave holds an actual baby skeleton. Robert says, "They murdered him." Not sure who "they" are. Multiple dogs surround them now, growling. The dogs do not want you to exhume the bodies.

Keith and Rob start to run. They both get knocked down by dogs and attacked. They are really going to need some tetanus shots. Rob accidentally impales his arm on the spiky fence while climbing over. Fuck. Keith manages to climb over as the dogs snap at them between the bars. Keith helps Rob off the fence and they escape in their car. Keith should probably drive. Back in the London hospital, Kathy is awakened by the phone. She has to reach across with her good arm. Robert wants Kathy to come meet him in Rome, like, NOW. A friend from the embassy is going to come to get her. I feel like this plan while not work out the way Robert wants. She's got a serious cast covering her entire right arm and up her shoulder and around her neck. Uh-oh, Mrs. Baylock has shown up, she walks slowly toward Kathy. Outside we watch as Kathy is thrown out of the hospital window and crashes through the roof of an ambulance parked below. Not going to make that flight. Robert answers the phone in his hotel. Oops, your wife is dead. He cries. Robert's life is not going very well right now. He should probs go to a hospital for that arm wound.

Keith comes back to the hotel to find Robert laying in the dark. He has news about Magito (Mageddo? Who cares?), derived from the word "armageddon," south of Jerusalem. The man they're supposed to see is Buchenhagen, apparently an exorcist that Keith's heard of before. Robert recites the impaled priest's Revelation poem and tells Keith that Kathy's dead and he wants Damien dead, too. In Israel, Rob and Keith are guided by a very short Arab man to Buchenhagen. He lives among ancient ruins, supposedly where Christianity began. Buchenhagen looks like a professor. His office is inside a cave, basically, and he wears a nice cardigan. The exorcist asks Keith to give them the room. He gets something out of a box that is wrapped in cloth. Keith wanders around some passageways.

Buchenhagen hits the table rhythmically. He says the kid must be killed on hallowed ground. Oh, there are several spikes that must be stabbed in a precise cross pattern. He assures Robert that Damien is not a human child. Rob asks for proof. Damien should have a 666 birthmark, which Robert claims isn't there. It must be under his hair. Robert will probably have to kill the nanny to get Damien. As they leave, Rob says he won't kill the kid. Keith is like, "Well then, I'm on it." But he doesn't know how to do it right. Uh-oh, while gathering up the knives Robert's thrown on the ground, a truck's brake is knocked off up the hill. It rolls down and a sheet of glass slices Keith's head off. AWESOME.

Robert appears to be the only person on this small airplane, cradling the knives. He arrives home at nighttime. He's going to have to kill Mrs. Baylock. And the dog. Robert waits for the dog in a room at the end of the hall in the dark. He manages to pretty easily trap the dog in the cellar. Well done. Robert finds himself a pair of small sewing scissors, which I'm not sure are going to be enough for this job. Just shutting the door on Mrs. Baylock is probably not enough, either. Oh, Robert's cutting his kid's hair off to look for the 666. He cries as the mark becomes clear on Damien's scalp. NOT GOOD. Suddenly the nanny, in sweet lime green PJs, jumps on Robert's back and starts hitting him. His wounded arm bleeds through his jacket. Robert throws her off and knocks her out. He grabs the kid from behind a chair and starts to carry him out of the house. Damien pulls a light fixture out of the wall and they fall down the stairs. Robert bleeds more. Baylock comes down the stairs and shoves him into the fridge. They struggle on the kitchen floor, knocking open a utensil drawer. They both have pokey items. He stabs her in the neck with some kind of serving fork and the dog howls in the basement. Robert throws his unconscious  kid in the car and drives off real fast.

The bobby on duty outside his house does not appreciate his speed and radios in his car. Robert's vision is not so clear. He holds Damien down in the passenger seat as he drives. Damien's now awake, yelling. The police follow their car with the sirens on. The cops drive a Range Rover because it's England. Robert carries Damien into a church. REFILL BREAK: White Russian with the baby Kahlua bottle Isaac gave me. Robert carries Damien up to the sanctuary. He says, "Please Daddy, no!" The cops come in and shoot just as Robert brings down the first knife. Next we see, it's a double funeral with taps and an American flag and news cameras. Two marines fold a flag. The president is here showing his respects. The First Lady is holding a child's hand. He turns around. It's Damien, of course. He smiles creepily.

That was pretty damn good.

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