Holocaust 2000 (1977)
You have to hand it to those Italians, they know how to make barking mad films. And there are few films more rip-roaringly insane than Holocaust 2000, a blatant attempt to cash in on The Omen, but with unintentional comedy, more blood and less horror. You know you're onto a winner with any film that can be summed up like that...
Of course, Holocaust 2000 is half British, hence it's inclusion on the site. Despite its big-name American star and Eurotrash tendencies, much of the action takes place in Blighty and the whole shebang was part financed by companies from these shores.
Kirk Douglas is Robert Caine, a man hoping to build a new nuclear power station in the holy land, and muddling bravely on despite veiled threats about the world being brought to an end by monsters with seven heads and 10 horns (which just happens to be exactly what his power station plans look like - this is number one in the list of plot "twists" that are really obvious from the word go).
As Caine cheerily goes ahead with blowing the crap out of some holy caves, the viewers are treated to documentary footage of real famine victims (tasteful) overlaid with carvings of the word IESUS from the cave walls. This is supposed to be the way they spelled "Jesus" in the olden days - and ever noticed how it looks like the equation "2V231" as seen in a mirror? That's comedy plot "twist" number two...
But anyway, Caine is soon back in Britain and battling against pinko commie environmentalists ("What do our children want to be when they grow up? Alive!" repeat until very annoyed...) and his missus, who isn't at all keen on his latest plans either. Luckily a handy assassin pops up to off the old bag with a quick stab to the women's parts (releasing a spectacular amount of blood). This is basically what will happen every time anyone stands in the way of Douglas and his power plant activities.
Simon Ward is Douglas' son Damie... I mean, Angel (apparently it's short for Angelo, but this is never explained at any point in the film), and as the pair re-build their shattered lives in the wake of the brutal murder of their wife/mother (this takes approximately five minutes), the scene is set for much violent and gory death. Hoorah!
Highlights of this entertaining nutfest include:
Caine meeting face-to-face with the murderer of his wife (as part of the killer's treatment!) in an asylum which foregoes the usual padded cells and isolation in favour of the much more aesthetically pleasing glass box full of loonies. This touching scene ends with the killer cutting his own wrists and running full pelt at the nearest glass wall. On their subsequent meeting, Caine will stamp on the man's head, crushing it like an overripe melon.
Caine's company board meetings looking exactly the same as Michaelangelo's Last Supper, with him as Jesus. Blasphemungous.
A computer's dire warning that Satanic things are afoot, with the old "two square root of two three one is Iesus spelt backwards" chestnut ("The name of Jesus written backwards has always been used as the symbol of the antichrist!" warns a friendly Priest destined to buy it in a plane crash).
The decapitation of a Middle East leader by a helicopter blade, which has to be seen to be (not) believed.
An awesome dream sequence which sees a bare-arsed Douglas (eek!) stranded on a beach as lots of very weird things appear by the power of back projection in front of him.
Before long, Caine has discovered that his second born son is destined to become the Anti-Christ. Despite knowing that he's already had two kids (Angel and his stillborn twin brother) he still leaps to the (obviously wrong) conclusion that his new girlfriend Sarah is carrying the spawn of Satan, and whips her off to a handy abortion clinic. In the film's nastiest scene, we see the look on the poor dear's face when she realises that she's not been brought into the hospital for a routine check-up, and quite understandably takes up arms against the rest of the people in the operating room.
"We have created a monster!" remonstrates a now-bleeding Caine. "A monster that will destroy the world!"
As things rush on to a spectacularly frenzied ending (which involves a Herod-style spooky cull of all the babies in a neo-natal ward and the aforementioned head-stomping, not to mention the bizarre sight of a bloodied and bruised Kirk Douglas fighting his way into a hospital), all you can do is throw your hands up in the air, stop trying to make sense of it all and enjoy.
And here's a question to ask yourself whilst watching - surely, if you follow the logic of the rest of the plot, 12 backwards is 51, not 21?
Last updated: February 23, 2010
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