December 26, 2010

Attack of the 50-Foot Santa!


Thank you for reading the blog! There will be more twisted goodness to come in 2011, assuming that reading this blog hasn't driven you mad already. (Though we're arguably all kind of nuts to begin with.)

A special thanks to Bob, Anita and Stephen for giving me the awesome figurines in the picture above. These figurines are not just plain old B-Movie Victims--they're HORRIFIED B-Movie Victims!

Note that they included the scantily clad bimbo (third from left). WIN!
Back of the package. Clearly this company is staffed by brilliant people.

December 11, 2010

Thor, Hammer of the Gods

Longhouse Improvement Season 3, Episode 11

15-year-old Thor (Zachary Ty Bryan) wants to impress a shieldmaiden who won't give him the time of day. He enlists the help of younger brothers Loki (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) and Baldur (Taran Noah Smith) in forging a larger hammer with more bling. But parents Odin (Tim Allen) and Freya (Patricia Richardson) disapprove of Thor's love interest. Can the boys forge the hammer without the parents finding out, or burning the longhouse to the ground? 
Sadly, the real Thor, Hammer of the Gods is not nearly as interesting as the fake synopsis above. The movie's major claim to fame consists of featuring the baby-faced Zachary Ty Bryan in the title role. Yes, seriously, Brad from "Home Improvement" plays Thor.

The Real Plot Summary

Baldur and Thor (mortal men, not the gods) lead their band to a mysterious land at the ends of the earth. The two brothers claim the land as their new kingdom, but it quickly becomes clear that something is very wrong. Wolfmen start hunting the Vikings. At the same time, Thor begins to see cheesy CGI visions of his namesake. Thor discovers that Loki is behind the nefarious happenings, and that only by finding the Hammer of the Gods (HOG) can he defeat Loki.

Nutrition Facts

Vitamin B-Acting: 70%

Zachary Ty Bryan's Thor comes off as a Southern California dude who got very lost while paddling on his surfboard. The baby face doesn't exactly lend credence to Thor's toughness, either.

The Vikings were known for their liberal use of hair gel, too.

Most of the B-acting credit has to go to Daz Crawford, who plays Ulfrich, the movie's baddie. He's the kind of villain you identify instantly, due to the following characteristics:

1) He has a huge scar, and it's not a "cosmetic cute" scar.
2) He's bald. In an evil way.
3) He always scowls and sneers and never smiles, unless it's an evil smile. 

Crawford easily shows the most life in an otherwise listless cast. I almost wanted to root for him because the others were so deathly boring.

Vitamin B-SFX: 70%

The opening credits are set against drawings of Thor and other Norse-ish scenes. You can judge the art quality for yourself here:

The Thor vision scenes contain painfully obvious CGI, often to hilarious effect. If you ever watch this movie for some nutty reason, look out for the sea beast scene. That's the best example of cheesy CGI.

The camera never lingers long on the wolfmen, for an obvious reason--to hide the fakeness of the costumes. The wolfmen basically consist of regular guys wearing wolf heads.

By contrast, we get a good chunk of time to admire the Fenris wolf (Loki in disguise). This allows us to see the obvious puppetry, and how badly synchronized its speech and mouth movements are.

Vitamin Fun: 20%

This is a boring, boring movie. At least 75% of the "action" onscreen consists of marching, waiting for an attack, or introspective moments.

Sugar: 5%

Ulfrich's girlfriend really loves Zach--I mean, Thor. I actually felt kind of sorry for Ulfrich at this point. His gal leaves him for Brad from Home Improvement. How sad is that?

Plot Fiber: 40%

The basic plot is fine by mythology standards, though the pacing severely cripples the story. But the casting of Zachary Ty Bryan as Thor is what really destroyed whatever credibility this movie had.

"I have a big, shiny hammer..."

December 4, 2010

Triassic Attack

What better than to start the month of December with a movie featuring skeletal dinos running amok? Nothing more Christmassy than that! 

Plot Summary 

In Mill City, Stayton University is about to open a huge new research compound. Unfortunately for the locals, building the compound means tearing down things like the Cowichan Indian Museum, run by Dakota (Raul Trujillo). Dakota calls upon the Great Spirit to teach the university a thing or two, but the Spirit takes up residence in the skeletons of a T-Rex, a raptor (the movie-sized kind), and a pteranodon. The dinos escape and start preying on the citizens of Mill Lake. The town sheriff, Jake (Steven Brand), must team up with his estranged wife Emma (Kirsty Mitchell) to save his daughter and the town from the rampaging skeletons.

Vitamin B-Acting: 30%

Everybody puts in average acting--nothing special in the way of hamminess or a spectacular lack of acting. Except for Lincoln Frager, who plays up all the negative frat stereotypes as much as he can.

Come to think of it, Wyatt (Gabriel Womack) injected a nice big dose of idiosyncrasy into the story. It also doesn't hurt that Wyatt is the owner of the movie's token dog, an adorable pug. (Of course the pug lives.) Anyway, Wyatt gives other characters helpful advice, like telling them to roll in cow poop because the dinos hate the smell.

But women LOVE L'Eau de Merde.
Vitamin B-SFX: 100% 



They snarl and roar despite a distinct lack of vocal chords, lungs or anything else besides bone. Whenever the skeletons get blown apart, they magically reform. The crowning moment occurs when the T-Rex and pteranodon skeletons recombine to form a Ptyrannodon Rex. A flying T-Rex--most awesome, Syfy!

Hey, they have bad breath too!

Vitamin Fun: 70%

The dinos are great fun, but as usual for Syfy movies, the dino-less scenes tend to drag. I found Frat Boy's death quite gratifying, but sadly the movie's version of the Evil Businessman (a university president) gets redeemed instead of eaten. Ptyrannodon Rex must not have gotten the memo from the Great Spirit to kill ALL the sexist jerks. Bad P-Rex! Bad!

Sugar: 40%

Will Jake and Emma rediscover their love for each other? Will Jake make peace with his brother Dakota? Can the quirky locals of Mill City and the university learn to coexist in a mutually beneficial way? In other words, will Mill City's tourist traps survive?

Plot Fiber: 0%

Really, what other rating can I give this movie's Plot Fiber? I did have fun remembering how I used to imagine the skeletons at the Field Museum coming to life when I was a kid, though. Unfortunately, it just doesn't happen even if a bunch of Indian artifacts and 100,000 volts of electricity are at hand.

Pseudoscience Pill--NA

Political Pill: 70%

Dakota sums up this movie's political tensions perfectly in this line:

"If you side with the elite, you side with EVIL!"

"Elite" covers all the various, stereotyped political and social threads that make an appearance--Indians vs. whites, old ways vs. new ways and locals vs. big business. I know it's a university and not a big business like Wal-Mart, but honestly, the movie treats it exactly the same as it would an evil oil company or a greedy biotech company.

November 21, 2010

Village of the Giants

I was in the mood for an anti-establishment movie, and I didn't feel like sitting through an endless movie like Billy Jack (though it holds a dear place in my B-movie heart).  So I decided to try a movie I'd never seen before. Let's just say that the image of a tiny man clinging to a woman's bikini top really tells you everything you need to know about this film's sophistication and grooviness.

Plot Summary

Genius (Ron Howard), a science wunderkind, accidentally invents “goo,” which turns anything that eats it into a giant. Fred (Beau Bridges) and his Groovy Crew of teenagers hear of the goo. They steal it and eat it, turn into giants, and proceed to take over tiny Hainesville. The Groovy Crew punishes the adults for their establishment, anti-hip ways. In the end, Genius discovers the antidote, the Groovy Crew flees, and Hainesville is happy and establishment once again.

Vitamin B-Acting: 70%

The actors don’t take this movie seriously--like that would even be possible. Even the little Ron Howard is in on the joke. This adds a nice easy feeling to the movie. I’ll freely admit that Genius was my favorite character—nerdy redheads with glasses rule!
If only I could spout random chemical formulas as easily as Genius does...

"Aw, it was nothing! You just need some H2ONaClAuHeNAlCW."

The other highlight of the movie is watching a 24-year-old Beau Bridges strut around in a bright red toga and diaper. That alone makes the movie totally worth an hour and 20 minutes of anybody’s time. 
Of course they had giant sewing kits on hand. (Beau Bridges is at the left)

Vitamin B-SFX: 100%

A giant orange cat.
Giant ducks grooving to the Beau Brummels' "Woman."

Need I say any more?

Okay, okay, there is more. It goes without saying that nowadays the SFX in this movie is extremely dated--the movie came out in 1965. The moviemakers obviously superimposed “giant” beings onto the movie, and the effect is hilarious every single time.

The “capture” of Fred by the townspeople epitomizes the cheesiness of the special effects. The townspeople lure Fred out onto the streets. Then they zip around him in hot rods and muscle cars—my favorite was a neon yellow banana-shaped car with a surfboard. Meanwhile, someone offset feebly lobs ropes at Fred, who obliges by wrapping a few ropes around his body. The camera switches back and forth between a shot of Fred’s upper body and the cars zipping around, probably so they could avoid trying to edit the giant Fred into the overall scene. The best of all is that Fred could easily just stomp on the cars and people, but he doesn’t—he literally lies down and lets them “rope” him.

Vitamin Fun: 90%

It’s SO GROOVY, man! Between the far-out SFX and the corny 60s music, you’ll have a ball. (Though I could have done without listening to all of “Woman” two times.)

Groovy Near Eastern-type statues included.
Sugar: 0%

There is no sugar—only GOO, magnificent GOO!

Plot Fiber: 0%

There are so many ways to rip apart the plot holes in this movie, but I’m not going to bother this time. The movie doesn’t give a fig about science or logic. It just wants to make a “statement” about how dictatorial The Man is…in theory. I’m positive, though, that its primary reasons for existence were to provide a cheap vehicle (or hot rod, as the case may be) for sexual entendres, and to give teens a chance to make out at the drive-in.

November 14, 2010

"The Lord of the Rings"

Relax, it's the 1978 Ralph Bakshi version, not the Peter Jackson trilogy. (And in case you're wondering, the DVD cover for the Bakshi version really did put quotation marks around the title. I think it's quite fitting, personally.) 

Overcompensating much, Gandalf?

Since the last Harry Potter movie is coming out next weekend (well, the first part anyway), I thought I'd mark the occasion by reviewing an "epic" movie for this post.   

Since this is an animated film, I've substituted the "Vitamin B-SFX" category with "Strangimation."

Plot Summary

Have you really not heard of Lord of the Rings by now? 

Okay, here's the plot: Frodo the Hobbit comes into possession of an all-powerful, evil Ring. The Dark Lord Sauron wants the Ring back so he can take over Middle Earth. Frodo must travel to Sauron's land, Mordor, and destroy the Ring by throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom. Frodo has only a small company of Hobbits, Elves and Men to help him through the journey. 

Nutrition Facts

Strangimation: 100%

Bakshi relied on Rotoscoping, a method of drawing animation over live-action film. The combination of light and heavy Rotoscoping was an intriguing premise, but it did not serve Lord of the Rings well. It’s not just that the animation method LOOKS strange, but Bakshi made a lot of stylistic decisions that were just plain odd.

For instance, the animation of the main characters switches back and forth between light and heavy Rotoscoping. There’s no good reason for the switcheroos. It’s also more confusing, because when the characters are in heavy Rotoscope form, it’s much harder to tell them apart and they melt into the background. 

Gandalf--light Rotoscoping on left, heavy Rotoscoping on the right 
Another example of heavy Rotoscoping--from left to right: Gimli, Legolas, and one of the Hobbits

The Rotoscoped characters in this film often don’t look like they’re part of the environment. There are several moments when lightly Rotoscoped characters appear to be floating in midair, as though someone just Photoshopped them onto the background.

The Ringwraiths caught in a Photoshop moment

Enough of generalities—let’s look at specific instances of heavy Rotoscoping problems.

The Orcs always appear in heavy Rotoscoped form, and always with hilarious effect. They usually have bright red eyes and fake fangs drawn on top of the Rotoscoping: 

Because the heavy Rotoscoping is so faithful to the live-action contours, you can clearly see that the actors are wearing pig and gorilla masks.

But the most priceless heavy Rotoscoping moment of all is the Balrog. It consists of a half-naked man wearing a lion’s head, flimsy Halloween bat wings, and bedroom slippers:


The heavy Rotoscoping is not to blame for all the bizarre aspects of the animation in this movie, though. The light Rotoscoping characters give us plenty to mock, as well.

Give me Viggo Mortensen any day.
In general, the characters are always moving, and their contours seem to shift constantly. I found their eyes particularly distracting--in the beginning of the film, their pupils seem to shrink and grow. The constant movement makes it feel as if you're watching a quivering mass of Jell-O blobs at times.

The Ringwraiths look like Jawas, with their brown robes and glowing red eyes. Interestingly, they also appear to be wearing slacks and leather shoes under their robes, as if they took off five minutes from work to film.

A really, really lost Jawa.

My personal favorite: Boromir the Viking, in a MINISKIRT!

"But I NEED the Ring to complete my look!"

Finally, we get treated to several light shows from the wizards and elves, including one that was apparently created by a disco ball. The wizards and elves also enjoy shooting lame sparks of colorful lightning from their hands for no reason.   

Drugs had to be involved somehow.

Vitamin Fun: 80%

Plenty of WTF to keep snarkers occupied! Good thing, too, since this movie goes on for almost 2 ½ hours.

Sugar: 0%

Plot Fiber: 20%

Bakshi tried to do the impossible—cram in material from two long, dense books (Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers). As a result, this version has a very choppy, episodic feel, especially during the last half. Character development is nonexistent. If you’ve never read the books or watched the Peter Jackson movies, you’re likely to have trouble figuring out why certain things happen or characters behave the way they do. 

I only know the story from the Peter Jackson movies--I never got beyond Fellowship of the Ring in the book series. For extensive details on the adaptation problems and the soundtrack issues, check out this review.

A Ringwraith in one of the more LSD-inspired scenes.

November 7, 2010

Omen Series Recap

Hello readers! 

The reviews will be back to normal next weekend. My work blew up this weekend (yes, I have a job--I don't just sit around watching B-movies 24/7, though I sometimes wish I could), and the Syfy movie I was thinking of reviewing turned out to be a little too competent to qualify for the blog. 

On the bright side, Syfy is having a Shark Movie Day today, including Sharktopus! If you have some time this afternoon, check it out!

Without further ado, here's a recap of the gloriously stinky Omen series...

5. The Omen (1976)
4. The Omen (2006)
3. The Omen III: The Final Conflict
2. Damien: Omen II

And the winner is...

The clowns and New Age put this one on top.


4-5. Sam Neill/Asia Vieira (tie)
3. Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
2. Harvey Stephens

And the winner is....

Jonathan Scott-Taylor, AKA "Desolate One, Jr."


The Omen (1976): Beheaded by glass plate truck
Damien: Omen II: Sliced in half by Elevator of Doom
Omen III: The Final Conflict: The super-elaborate gun suicide setup, dreamed up by a Rottweiler
Omen IV: The Awakening: Beaned by Hell's Wrecking Ball
The Omen (2006): Death by excessive symbolism

The stupidest of all: Elevator of Doom


The Omen (1976): Rottweilers
Damien: Omen II: Raven
Omen III: The Final Conflict: Nothing in particular
Omen IV: The Awakening: Upside-down crosses
The Omen (2006): The color red

The most overused of all: Omen IV, for the upside-down crosses

"Thank you for tuning into the Omen series on Vitamin B-Movies!"

October 31, 2010

The Omen (2006 Remake)

Finally, FINALLY I’m done with the Omen series!!!

This remake closely follows the original Omen’s script, which means it still has the same gaping plot holes. (To refresh your memory on my thoughts about the original Omen, click here.) That said, out of all five movies in the series, this is the one I would most willingly watch. The remake is chock full of good actors, even if their hearts are not really in their roles. The moviemakers succeeded in making the Rottweilers scarier, though the dogs still wait for the script’s command before attacking. As you can see, I’m tacking on a lot of qualifiers because even the good bits are overshadowed by problems.

Plot Summary

Same as the original--Robert Thorn (Liev Schreiber) secretly adopts a baby boy after his son dies during childbirth. Thorn and his wife Kate (Julia Stiles) live happily in England with their son, Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick), until people they know start dying mysteriously. Rottweilers magically materialize. Thorn does some research on Damien's origins, and what he discovers horrifies him.

Nutrition Facts

Vitamin B-Acting: 20%

Let’s take a look at our new Damien, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick. I will concede that the kid is a better actor than Harvey Stephens. I particularly liked the more intimate scenes between Davey-Fitzpatrick and Julia Stiles. He pulled off the awkward creepiness pretty well in those scenes. However, his character still comes across as a homicidal jerk. Look, if you are going to insist that the Antichrist will rise out of politics, you’d better make it possible for your audience to imagine the kid going into politics rather than straight to jail or a mental hospital. 

"Don't mind us. We're just trying to inject some life into this series."
Julia Stiles and Liev Schreiber put in decent performances, though they don’t seem deeply engaged in their roles. This is true for most of the cast, which gives the movie a flat feel overall. Anyway, the only other remark I have is that Schreiber often bears a weird resemblance to an older Shia LaBeouf or Forrest Gump throughout the movie, thanks to his haircut and the lighting.

Well, we can be glad Schreiber didn't look this dorky instead.
Then we have what I call “the Harry Potter contingent”:

Michael Gambon as Bugenhagen, AKA Albus Dumbledore
David Thewlis as photographer Keith Jennings, AKA Remus Lupin
The last two notables are Pete Postlethwaite, as the doomed Father Brennan, and Mia Farrow as Mrs. Baylock. Postlethwaite gives an understated performance, and thus is more believable than his predecessor in the original movie. Still, there wasn’t much he could do to improve the material he had to work with.

Mia Farrow’s Mrs. Baylock passes for normal better than her Omen 1976 version. However, Farrow’s appearance in this movie does invite unfortunate comparisons with Rosemary’s Baby, a far superior Antichrist movie. Rosemary’s Baby understood the importance of subtlety and plot logic, unlike the makers of the Omen. Mia, you should have just stuck with Rosemary’s Baby.

Vitamin B-SFX: 70%

Although the cinematography is more sophisticated than in the original Omen, the remake suffers from overdone “artistic” touches. Some of the touches could have enhanced the movie’s atmosphere quite well, had they been a thousand times more understated.

"Pardon, signore--symbolism? What symbolism?"
I’ll use the movie’s treatment of Julia Stiles as an example of overdone symbolism. If you watch the movie, you’ll quickly notice the prevalence of red around Stiles. It appears again and again…and again, even in ways that don’t add any suspense or creepiness to the scene.

Let’s take a closer look at one particular scene—the one in which Damien knocks his mother off a third-floor landing. First it starts with Mrs. Baylock feeding Damien strawberries, so Damien has a blood red stain around his mouth. Then he gets on his scooter, which has blood red wheels. The camera kindly gives us several close-ups of these unholy wheels. The unsuspecting Julia Stiles is watering some hanging planters that house blood red flowers. Her water sprayer is blood red. Surprisingly, her high heels aren’t blood red. Damien rams his scooter into her, she falls over the banister, and as she clings to the wooden paneling for dear life, blood red petals poetically drift over her.

Death by excessive symbolism--what a way to go.
Ah, but the movie doesn’t let Julia Stiles off the hook there. She has a number of nightmare sequences in which various demons from Hell drift in and out of an ethereal bathroom.

"Hey, baby, wanna see my pitchfork?"
We only get secondary flashes of these images. This is a perfect example of a touch that could have been quite effective if the filmmakers hadn’t blown it. They piled on the images one after the other, thus resulting in a corny “haunted house” feel to the sequences.

One last gripe—purple captioning. Remember how the sound effect captioning from Wraiths of Roanoke always included the word “ominous”? There’s a similar problem with the captioning for the Omen remake’s theme music. I quickly grew irritated with the following captions, which appeared ad nauseam:

“Deep eerie growl”
“Quiet foreboding theme plays”
“Low ominous tones playing”
“Eerie screeching in distance”
“Quiet suspenseful theme”
My personal favorite: “Eerie tones and rhythms playing”

Besides the fact that it’s kind of insulting to be told how we should interpret a particular sound, there are just too many adjectives in those captions. Imagine if the “Latin choir singing” caption from the original Omen had constantly appeared as “Evil satanic choir sings hellishly.” Please, captioners, just one adjective per sound effect, if you must have any! 

Vitamin Fun: 60% 

Decent acting and a better handling of certain scenes makes this one of the more bearable Omen films to watch. The goofier elements I’ve discussed also make this movie good for mockery as well. 

Sugar: 0%

Plot Fiber: 0% 

Due to the remake’s slavish copying of the original, it’s only fair to give it the same plot fiber rating that I gave to the original. 

Coming Soon... 

Well, that concludes the blog's first special feature series! Never fear, I have other series planned for the future! But first, here's what to look for in the immediate future: 

1) A Syfy movie review in a few days
2) An Omen series recap at the end of the week

October 27, 2010


The wild ‘n’ crazy Gary Busey. A killer tiger. A little boy who insists the tiger is “misunderstood.” Sounds like a promising Syfy movie, no? If only it hadn’t been so lifeless…the possibilities were endless!

Plot Summary

A truck overturns on a rural road in “Taruga County.” (The movie was filmed in Winnipeg, but I got the distinct sense that it was supposed to be a rural Southern town, like in North Carolina.) A tiger escapes, and starts snacking on the unsuspecting townspeople. Can Sheriff Grady Barnes (Busey) stop the “misunderstood” tiger?

Nutrition Facts

Vitamin B-Acting: 80%

Gary Busey turns in a most intriguing performance. His “Saawthun” accent is a hoot, as are his ill-fitting tweed jackets. He swings back and forth between "bemused hamminess" and "zoned out." As long as you don’t blink, you’ll catch the moments when his acting talent comes out.

As for the rest of the cast, you can expect static, dull acting. Except for the mayor, who’s a total caricature of the Jaws mayor. 

Vitamin B-SFX: 10%

A few dismembered limbs and an explosion or two, but really nothing of note in B-movie terms.

The closest the movie comes to “cinematic art” occurs in the dream sequences involving the boy, Roy, and the tiger. You guessed it—they’re shot in soft, gauzy light with distorted camera angles. Sadly, we don’t witness the tiger actually talking to the boy, but it is tempting to envision them as Calvin and Hobbes.

"I haven't seen Susie Derkins lately..."
Vitamin Fun: 40%

The movie starts out strong—I mean, strong in the B-movie way, with lots of cheesiness. Then it turns into the most boring movie in the second half, with a flabby ending. Darn it, little Roy doesn’t even have a serious face-off with Hobbes in which he bellows to the heavens, “How could you betray me, Hobbes? I loved you! I defended you when everybody said you were a mindless killer!”

Seriously, though, the movie’s second half gets too concerned with exploring the characters’ tragic backstories and philosophizing about man’s relationship with nature. Oh, Hobbes kills a few people, but he’s hardly the main concern of the script. This script is heavy on sugar, which brings us to the next category…

Sugar: 50%

This one piles on the tragic backstories with a big red shovel:

1) Roy lives with a super-religious mother who homeschools him using the Bible. As a result, he’s lonely (except for Hobbes).

2) Grady and his wife can’t have children. Guess who they end up adopting when Hobbes eats the super-religious mother?

3) We also meet Colonel James Livingston Graham, a British hunter who walked straight off a Masterpiece Theater production set in colonial Africa. Or India, as the case is with Graham. Anyway, once upon a time, while hunting a maneating tiger in India, Graham was sleeping in a hut with his family. The tiger crept inside and made off with his 12-year-old son. Graham was accused of messing up the hunt, and his reputation sullied. Will hunting Hobbes heal Graham’s inner wounds?

Plot Fiber: 70%

From what I’ve read of maneating tigers, it’s not at all implausible that Hobbes could evade his hunters and manage to kill a lot of people.  Of course, as per the laws of Syfy, the characters do dumb stuff like split themselves up while hunting for Hobbes. But still, Hobbes doesn’t possess any special powers—he’s not a genetically altered creature or the hideous result of a nuclear bomb. He does what tigers do best: hunt.

The movie also did a pretty good job of depicting the media and public frenzy that would go with the discovery of a maneater on the loose. (Though the websites that appear are very quaint by today’s standards.)

Graham, on the other hand…I want to know how his time travel from 1890s Africa worked. Did he have a DeLorean? Or did he arrive via a Jumanji board?

October 24, 2010

Omen IV: The Awakening

Just like the original Omen, but with a girl instead. Just as silly as the original Omen—with one exception. This one has the best “Damien” character thus far.

Have you recovered from your shock? Good. Let’s dig into the details, shall we?

Plot Summary

Karen and Gene York adopt a beautiful baby girl who they name Delia. For the first few years, they’re a happy family. Then strange things happen and people start dying. The little girl always seems to be involved somehow, and Karen begins to wonder about Delia’s real identity. 

Nutrition Facts

Vitamin B-Acting: 20%

This movie is notably different from the others in its lack of big stars. Faye Grant, Michael Woods, and Michael Lerner all acted mostly in TV, rather than movies. Their performances are low-key and decent. Only the nuns and Delia’s first nanny can fairly be accused of overacting in this installment.

Asia Vieira plays Delia, and compared with Harvey Stephens and Jonathan Scott-Taylor, she’s a pint-sized Meryl Streep. The first time I watched Omen IV a few years ago, I laughed at the movie, including Delia, without a second thought. But after watching the movies in sequence, it occurred to me that Vieira actually played her role well. She conveyed Delia’s manipulative ability more effectively than either Stephens or Scott-Taylor. 

"Anything those boys can do, I can do better!"
I could also imagine Vieira’s Delia growing into a charming, albeit sociopathic, politician much more easily than Stephens’ or Scott-Taylor’s Damiens. It helped that Asia Vieira used more than three facial expressions during the whole movie.

By the way, if the name “Asia Vieira” sounds familiar at all, she played the sidekick on the Disney Channel show “Flash Forward.”

Today, Disney. Tomorrow...THE WORLD!
In case you’re wondering if I think this is a good movie, don’t worry. I thought the rest of the movie was terrible.

Vitamin B-SFX: 0%

Vitamin Fun: 70%

The best way to enjoy this movie is to ritually mock it, like people do for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Omen IV begs for this kind of treatment, considering how often it directly rips off the original Omen’s script. I put forth these moments from Omen IV as candidates for mockery:

1) Anytime the following happens:

--Characters quoting the same biblical quotes as in The Omen
--A character explains where the Antichrist will come from (politics)
--A Rottweiler saunters into the scene
--When a Catholic nun/priest who knows the truth is about to die/go bonkers

2) The scene in which the father of one of Delia’s classmates is beheaded by the lowered back door of a truck (total rip-off from the glass plate truck scene in The Omen)

3) Delia’s first nanny dies 

4) Karen kills Delia's demonic nanny, just like Gregory Peck in the first movie

Eh, Mrs. Blaylock was much more hammy and fun to watch.
5) Demonic auras appear in photographs 

6) Woman's intuition is brushed off as pregnancy-induced hysteria 

7)  The Great Horse Freakout—the equine version of the first movie’s baboon scene. When the horses start neighing, someone in the audience should start yelling “FRAU BLUCHER!”


Here are some other moments that aren’t total ripoffs from the original, but nevertheless deserve to be incorporated into a ritual mocking:

1) The use of clowns

2) The crystals and Kirlian photographs (Next time I have a hard time persuading someone that the Antichrist is among us, I’ll just say, “But I saw it in a KIRLIAN PHOTOGRAPH!!!”)

3) The wrecking ball scene

4) Whenever yet another upside-down cross appears, no matter how forced the setup

Sugar: 0%

Plot Fiber: 3%

Bumped it up a tiny bit to Vieira’s acting, but plenty of bones to pick still.

Before going into my traditional dissection of the death scenes, there are two brief scenes I’d like to comment on.


The first is Delia’s christening. I found it absolutely laughable that the witnesses considered Delia’s crying at the baptismal font strange and unholy. Had the writers ever been to a baby’s baptism? If a baby crying during its baptism was a sign of satanic influence, the Antichrists would have overrun the world long ago.

The second scene takes place during Delia’s birthday party. One moment, we’re staring at one of the most frightening clown faces ever, then mercifully Terror Clown turns away to face the children. No one is screaming, though. Not one child. How often does this happen in the real world? Perhaps the kids were just terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought? (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of the clown.)

Now for the real fun—the deaths. The movie has two particularly stupid deaths—the glass plate truck ripoff and Michael Lerner’s death by wrecking ball.

I’ve already mentioned the truck beheading scene. An additional poetic touch helps distinguish it from the glass plate beheading in The Omen. Instead of seeing the man’s head rolling around in Omen IV, the moviemakers tastefully rolled a pink rubber ball with a clown face down the parking lot.

Michael Lerner’s death is an epic scene. First, Lerner walks down the street, looking at shop displays. He admires a toy crane in one window (foreshadowing!). A choir sings Christmas carols on the street. Lerner walks over to a nativity scene. It starts out your typical nativity scene. Then…the carols turn ominous…OMG, it’s the evil Latin chanting! The nativity Jesus turns into a zombie Jesus! Then we get the ultimate treat—we get to see the evil choir IN PERSON! 

In the off season, they work at the London Dungeon.
Trying to get away from the evil aura enveloping him, Lerner runs straight for a construction site. Naturally. Of course, the wrecking ball crane has powered up all by itself. We get to watch in extreme slo-mo as the ball smashes through a trailer and makes its way to Lerner’s noggin. Then we cut to a shot of egg yolks splattered on the floor.

One last thing. As you may have guessed from my mention of crystals and Kirlian photography, there’s a lot of New Age in this film. Delia’s first (and doomed) nanny, Jo, uses New Age to figure out that Delia is evil. Not only does the New Age feel dated, but…


I'm with Delia where New Age is concerned.
Tune in next week for my review on the final movie in the series—the 2006 Omen remake with Julia Stiles, Liev Schreiber, and Mia Farrow!