Omen II: Damien (Don Taylor 1978)

The dark soap opera of the Thorn family in The Omen makes way for the high camp of an episode of Dynasty or Dallas in this inferior sequel.

 Damien now 13, is a highflying military cadet under the charge of his uncle William Holden, the ageing Hollywood legend drafted in to give this hokum respectability and weight. However he is up against inferior direction, a crass script, and over acting as well as the anti-Christ. Too much even for the man who played Pike in The Wild Bunch.

 The film has some truly hilarious death scenes, most notably the bird attack on the Alexis Carrington look-alike journalist, and death by ham acting of the decrepit aunt accompanied by Jerry Goldsmith’s thunderous score.

 Yet Damien is an intriguing character and his discovery of his own nefarious purpose keeps the audience’s interest all the way to the shocking climax. In fact Don Taylor seems to hit his stride in the final act and casts aside the high camp of the rest of the movie. It’s a shame he couldn’t achieve this earlier.