End of Days (1999)
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- I saw this in theatres back in 1999 and I can’t remember a thing about it. I’m not even sure if it’s a horror or an action movie. All I remember is seeing this with my friends and as soon as it was done, racing home to get ready for my first date with the woman who is now my lovely wife. We then went to dinner and saw Being John Malkovich. Which is an infinitely far superior movie. I wish I was watching that instead.
- So far the credits of this film have more satanic imagery than all the other movies I’ve reviewed this month in total.
- We know that the Vatican City is in Rome nitwits.
- DING! The Pope is played by none other than Hector Salamanca from Breaking Bad!
- There’s a prophetic sign in the sky and the cardinals and the pope are discussing finding a girl that will be born on this day in 1979. The Pope charges them to go to every city in the world to find the girl. What a task!
- You know what this movie needs? Udo Kier. My Schlocktoberfest isn’t complete without a movie featuring Udo Kier.
- So the girl of the prophecy has a birth mark shaped like a horseshoe. That really narrows it down for the priests and agents of the pope tasked with finding her.
- I forgot that this movie used Y2K as a plot point. What a bunch of paranoid bullshit that turned out to be right?
- A literal dragon-like demon with cloaking abilities like the Predator causes a little earthquake in a NYC sewer and flies out of some flames.
- Enter uber-sauve Gabriel Byrne coming off his career defining role in Smilla’s Sense of Snow.
- The invisible demon basically rapes Bryne in the men’s rest room of a posh restaurant and possesses him. He then goes back to his table and passionately kisses the wife of his friend. Because that’s the first thing Satan would do when he becomes a human.
- He then makes the restaurant explodes. Again, because that’s what Satan would do.
- Going back to the possession scene, the demon went into the rest room not knowing who was in there or if he was in there alone. Why it went to that particular restaurant and to the bathroom is cause for debate. But as it turns out, the demon got lucky and snagged Gabriel Bryne, fresh off his career defining role in Polish Wedding.
- If I had to be so bold, this was, to me, Ahnuld’s first real shitty action movie (I don’t even count Batman & Robin as a movie) and I never cared for any of his movies since.
- So Ahnuld is a cop or something and he’s suicidal and depressed or something. His straight, normal every-man partner is Kevin Pollak, fresh off his career defining role in House Arrest. I wonder if Ahnuld really wanted Tom Arnold again but he was unavailable.
- Ahnuld gets shot by the same sniper he witnessed on the roof while protecting Byrne’s character. We still don’t know who Bryne was before he was possessed by Satan but obviously he was a high-ranking or important fellow. Which would making Satan possessing him a poor choice. You would think someone without a death threat would make for a better, safer choice?
- No Ahnuld action flick wouldn’t be complete without him chasing the sniper in a CHOPPAH!
- This music is really effing close to the Terminator theme.
- You would think someone who’s suicidal wouldn’t give a hot shit and going through so much trouble apprehending a sniper. I know he wants to die and all and this is an easy way to do it but I’m saying the motivation and enthusiasm for his actual job should be lowered.
- Twist! The sniper was a priest!
- Ahnuld takes evidence from the sniper. Again, why does he care if he was that very morning, putting a gun to his head.
- Ahnuld’s character name is Jericho Cane. uuuugh.
- Wonderful character-actor CCH Pounder! Do you know what they call CCH Pounder in France? A CCH Royale.
- TWIST! The sniper had no tongue! But he spoke of the end of days to Ahnuld before Ahnuld put him down with bullets to the leg.
- Of course the sniper priest lived in a dilapidated basement dwelling. Because when you know the prophecy of the end of days, you can’t reasonably live in a decent place with clean water and electricity.
- Ahnuld finds a jar with the priest’s tongue in it and bloody pruning shears. Ahnuld comes to the conclusion that he cut out his own tongue to keep himself from talking. That makes sense.
- Did the priest want Gabriel Byrne dead because of who Byrne was before he became Satan or did the priest know that he was possessed by Satan? And how exactly would he know that?!?!
- Hey Robin Tunney! Fresh off her career defining role in Montana.
- Ahnuld is perplexed by what the priest has said about “1000 years” and is about to investigate by reading a bible but gets distracted what I assume is his dead daughters ballerina jewelry box. Next scene he’s reading the Book of Revelations, which is probably the most absurd thing Ahnuld has ever done in a movie.
- Udo Kier is still keeping tabs on Robin Tunney. Apparently he was a surgeon 20 years ago but is now a therapist? And happens to be her therapist.
- Ahnuld enters a church and Rod Steiger says “We’re closed.” Hahaha church’s don’t have business hours.
- Now we’re being treated with random shots of Gabriel Byrne walking NYC streets following satanic symbols painted on the streets. Apparently this Satan isn’t as clued-in on what he’s supposed to do or supposed to go. He ends up at Udo Kier’s house, who knows him despite Satan being Gabriel Byrne, star of Frankie Starlight, for just a day.
- Wasn’t expecting bewbs in this movie. And it’s Gabriel Byrne in a threesome. “Gabriel Byrne in a threesome” is probably one of the unexpected sentences I’ve ever wrote for this site.
- Kevin Pollak says that they don’t know how much information they can get from the priest because he has no tongue. Ahnuld says, “He can write!” And Pollak is a cop?! Doesn’t matter since they find the priest crucified on the ceiling.
- Looking at imdb, I just noticed that Kevin Pollak’s name is Bobby Chicago. Seriously?
- Satan kills a rude skateboarder by distracting him in traffic and he gets hit by a bus. Oh Satan, you’re such a prankster.
- This medical doctor can read latin. Latin that is written, no cut, into the torso of the priest?
- The Doctor reads something that he thinks is “Christ in New York.” But Ahnuld thinks it means Christine in York or Christine York. Moments later they check NYC driver’s license database and find Robin Tunney whose name is Christine York. Yes, Ahnuld is that brilliant in this movie.
- Extraneous Robin Tunney bewbage. There was zero reason to show her taking her top off in her bedroom as she walked to the bathroom. But hey, whatever.
- Christine is being attacked by two priest assassins tasked in killing her because of her prophecy. Lucky again, Ahnuld and Pollak happens to swing by to question her and stop the assassins.
- How is it that with all the “right-place-right-times” that Anhuld has been in, CCH Pounder, a police captain, isn’t getting suspicious by now?
- So Ahnuld and Pollak found Christine before Satan did?
- Cool death blow by Satan as he punches a hole right through Udo Kier’s face. But this is an Ahnuld movie and he should’ve said a great pun after he did it. Like “Time for you to punch-out!” or “How about a knuckle-sandwich?”
- Wait? Ahnuld isn’t a cop? Then what is he and Pollak exactly? And how is it they are allowed to be at these crime scenes and what not? I had to have missed something in the beginning. Don’t know how I would’ve though seeing as I was so enthralled by this movie.
- Robin Tunney was basically Kristen Stewart of the 90s.
- Gabriel Byrne pisses in the street (with no one seeing him) so much that it flows to the van that Pollak was sitting in. He then throws a cigarette into the puddle and it ignites like gasoline and blows up half the street and killing Pollak. Hey, remember earlier in the film when he simply willed a restaurant to explode? Why did he have to piss gasoline now for?
- Christine’s foster mother, who also is in cahoots with Satan, waits until after the explosions to attack Ahnuld and Christine, when the element of surprise is totally ruined.
- Now CCH Pounder (with cheese) is trying to kill Ahnuld. But Ahnuld kills her without explaining her ultimate role in this plot, so it makes zero difference.
- Well anyway, Satan resurrects CCH Pounder (hold the pickles) for something else to do.
- Christine explains to Ahnuld that she’s been seeing visions of Gabriel Byrne her whole life and that he’s always making love to her. So since she’s been 5 she’s been haunted by rape visions by the star of Cool World?!
- Rod Steiger’s church basement has an End of Days headquarters that earlier we saw had an old woman in pain from stigmata wounds. Now she’s healed but Steiger says she’s a Polish peasant. So how did a Polish peasant with stigmata wounds come to be in New York City?
- Rod Steiger corrects Tunney that the number of the beast isn’t 666 but because in dreams and visions sometimes words and numbers could be reverse or upside-down making 666, 999 as in 1999. I think Bruce Dickinson will have trouble swallowing this theory.
- And why didn’t this sort of cataclysmic event happen in the year 999 then?
- Ahnuld makes the best atheist argument by saying “If the devil does exist then why doesn’t your God do anything about it?” Steiger says basically that we must save ourselves. That’s one lousy fucking answer.
- “Satan’s greatest trick was convincing man that he didn’t exist.” That rings a bell, I must’ve heard it in another Kevin Pollak movie. Or was it another Gabriel Byrne movie? Oh well.
- So Satan can magically appear in Ahnuld’s house but earlier he needed Udo Kier and the foster mother to bring Tunney to him. I’m seeing a lot of inconsistencies in Satan’s powers in this movie. Next he tempts Ahnuld with being able to bring his family back if he tells Satan where Christine is. Why can’t Satan find this girl?!
- Ahnuld knows that Satan is in his home and he still unnecessarily politely asks him to leave.
- Just a few years before this, Al Pacino was in a much better Satan as man movie, The Devil’s Advocate and that too, had a monologue about how God is a weak and meager way of faith or father-figure to humankind. Point is, I wish I was watching The Devil’s Advocate.
- Ahnuld tricked Satan (I KNOW!) and managed to throw him out of a window and Satan never thinks of using any powers to stop himself from falling onto a parked car on the street. I’m really struggling with Satan’s powers in this movie.
- Kevin Pollak says he survived the blast and happened to wake up in the gutter. This is pure comedy gold!
- I sure hope this scene when the assassin group of priests attacking Christine progresses by Ahnuld shooting up a gaggle of catholic priests.
- So while Satan is walking in the church, the camera is in complete shaky-cam and it’s annoying as fuck.
- Not to criticize our dear lord of darkness but you would think he would try harder to make or convert or gather minions for his cause. Especially supernatural ones like other demons or something.
- Here’s like a dozen or so human-like minions fighting Ahnuld with pipes and baseball bats and basically fighting him one-by-one. This is so stupid.
- Instead of killing Ahnuld immediately, Satan just toys with him like a common Bond-villain. He then crucifies him on a building but not in a harmful enough way like impaling his hands; he just ties his arms on the wood. He then leaves him hanging overnight alone. Like a Jesus Schwarzenegger.
- A Cardinal then informs the pope that Satan has Christine and the Pope says we must have faith. So basically this movie’s outcome is faith, not in God, but in Ahnuld defeating Satan. This is so absurd even without me being pious.
- Now there’s a scene of Ahnuld suiting up for the final battle like he’s in Commando. Like guns are going to kill the Lord of Darkness. Try the bazooka Arnie!
- Ahnuld types in a license plate number and the computer finds the car. How is this even remotely possibly even today, much less 1999?
- There’s still a half-hour left in this?!
- A blind-man with his eye-lids sewn shut is guarding the entrance to Satan’s lair where he’s performing the black mass. He allows Ahnuld in because he senses much anger and vengeance in his heart. Still more efficient that the TSA.
- As well as the satanic chanting, there’s also heavy metal music playing at this ceremony. Brilliant.
- It just dawned on me that they never explained why Satan needs to rape Christine for? Does he need an antichrist child? Satan is already human on Earth, because he is able to possess people and have powers, so why does he need heirs? I thought he only had to kill her? And seeing as he already has female followers, like CCH Pounder (hold the onions), why can’t they make a magical sandwich together? I completely forgot the point of Robin Tunney’s character or prophecy is what I’m saying.
- So Pollak is a minion of Satan because while he was engulfed in flames from the explosion he made a deal with Satan to survive. Ridiculous.
- And when he reneges on the deal by not shooting his friend Ahnuld, Satan sets him on fire again. That was a very specific deal. Burn to death or obey Satan, no grey area on the burning part.
- To escape Satan and his minions, Ahnuld and Christine commandeers a subway train. And for reasons completely unknown Satan has the power to appear in front of the train but allows the train to hit him, giving Ahnuld a moment of confusion and relief before he punches a hole in the floor of the moving train.
- Good to know that a rocket-propelled grenade can stop Satan for a little bit.
- Finally Satan wises up and leaves Gabriel Byrne’s body. Ahnuld would’ve been defeated way faster if he simply hopped from body to body, making Ahnuld never knowing who to trust and being a sitting duck with the element of surprise.
- Now Ahnuld is praying for strength while awaiting his final battle with Satan in a church. Well, it’s still better than Junior I suppose.
- Satan crashes through the church floor as a very large demonic bat and starts beating up Ahnuld. Mostly invisibly though for some reason.
- And now Satan is possessing Ahnuld to fool Christine. Which is something Satan should’ve done an hour ago!
- And instead of being cool about his possession and working hard to fool her, he immediately proves that he’s not really Ahnuld and tries to rape Christine in the church. I know he only has a few minutes until midnight (midnight Eastern Standard Time by the way, of course!) but come on.
- In a last ditch effort to control himself, Ahnuld lets Christine go and immediately throws himself on a statue with a large sword. The sword is an actual sword being held by a marble statue of an angel or something. Seems odd right?
- This sacrifice means very little for this character especially since he’s always been suicidal.
Scare Level: The scariest thing about this movie is the terrible choices of music on the soundtrack. It reads like a who’s who of the worst choices of late 90s hard rock/metal: Korn, Creed, Limp Bizkit, Guns N’ Roses (without Slash), and The Prodigy.
Gore Level: Very low. Like my will to live.
Nudity Level: There was that unexpected threesome with Gabriel Byrne (which I’m sure was the highlight of his career) as well as the unnecessary disrobing of Robin Tunney’s tunneys.
Best Line: “Remember, Sully? Remember when I said I’d kill you last? … I lied!” Wait, sorry that was from a much better Ahnuld movie. How about: “Oh, you think you’re bad, huh? You’re a fucking choir boy compared to me! A CHOIR BOY!”
Best Scene: I’m racking my brain about my experience watching this piece of crap and I cannot think of any good scenes. Which is astonishing if you think about it since this was a major Hollywood attempt at making a horror-action flick with a major mega star like Ahnuld. I mean, this was a complete and utter bore. If I had to pick a scene it would be the beginning with Anhuld chasing the sniper in the chopper and that’s a strange thing to say for a movie featuring satanic themes.
Worst Scene: They totally dropped the ball with the end battle between Ahnuld and Gabriel Byrne. I can’t say I blame them though since they were in way over their heads with a movie featuring Ahnuld fighting Satan himself.
Level of Hell: I hated this movie back in 1999 and I hate it even more now.
Overall: I really don’t know what they were thinking with this crap. I guess they wanted something to capitalize on the coming millennium (even though 2000 isn’t the official the start of the millennium) but that kinda proves my point with how weak and lame it is. I’m also assuming that they wanted a big grandiose blockbuster since this was Ahnuld’s first feature after Batman & Robin and a back injury that kept him laying low for 2 years. In my opinion his last good movie was 1994’s True Lies and everything since that has been mediocre at best and complete garbage at worst. But I can give some praise to the idea of Ahnuld trying something new at least with End of Days. A suicidal ex-cop trying to stop a biblical catastrophe and Satan. Actually scratch that, even on paper that sounds like a truly awful idea. It’s as if they tried to make Seven an action movie instead of a psychological thriller. I mean, everything that could go wrong in this movie, went wrong. Nothing really works at all and like I said, it’s a complete bore and filled with head-scratching moments of all logic and reason.
Score: 2 Flammable Pisses on the Sidewalk (out of 10)