Cameron: Ave Satani! Hail Satan! And of course his demonic little offspring, Damien Thorn. When people think of director Richard Donner they tend to think of 1978’s Superman, but only two years before that he directed one of the greatest horror films of all time – 1976’s The Omen.
With Friday the 13th having recently passed I was planning on watching one of the Friday the 13th sequels and writing a thematically solid column, but before this could be done I found my wife had never seen The Omen. That was enough of an excuse to purchase the trilogy on Blu-ray.
This film is pure class – the sterling direction, the beautiful locations of Rome and London, Jerry Goldsmith’s soundtrack and David Seltzer’s frankly terrific screenplay. All of these elements come together in a way that makes other horror films jealous. Although even with all these other parts in place, if it weren’t for Gregory Peck’s turn as Robert Thorn it would have all been for nought.
One of the most difficult things about this film is that we’re rooting for a man who is trying to kill his child. While tiny Damien Thorn is said to be the Antichrist, he’s also just a five-year-old who barely understands the world around him. Gregory Peck has to convince the audience that not only is this five-year-old tremendously evil, but that he must die in a rather horrific manner for the good of the world. Thankfully Peck carries over a lot of the trust he built as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, and one can’t help but see him as the kindest and wisest father to ever exist. Even with knives in hand.
The Omen trilogy is transferred beautifully to Blu-ray and I highly recommend you see it if you haven’t before. Or if you have, do you really need an excuse to buy a better looking copy?
Alastair: It’s no secret that occasionally bands will go overboard when it comes to merchandise and tie-in products (I’m looking at you, Rammstein, you crazy Germans). When you’re talking about concept albums, however, things get interesting: if the concept is engaging and immersive enough, the tie-ins can work really, really well – especially if said tie-in is a comic book.
Back in 2010, My Chemical Romance put out what was to be their final studio album – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Set in the dystopian wasteland that was once California, the album’s music videos told the story of the infamous outlaws, the Killjoys, as they battled the nefarious Better Living Industries corporation. Set ten years after the Killjoys’ last stand, The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys follows the Killjoys’ young companion, the Girl, as she continues the fight against BLI and comes to terms with her new status as a saviour.
Written by MCR’s singer Gerard Way and Shaun Simon, the book is a fantastic expansion of the established Killjoys world, and a great example of alternative sci-fi. The two have crafted a Mad Max style universe where technology is enslaving the population, and death is everywhere. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of sci-fi/western dystopias, and Killjoys fits right into that niche.
What really shines about this book, however, is Becky Cloonan’s art. The colour splashed through this book is intense; even the scenes in the desert are saturated with it. In contrast, the scenes in the city are stark white, clinical and futuristic. It’s a weird, brutal world, but it works really well.
One for MCR fans and sci-fi nuts alike!
Written by Cameron Urquhart & Alastair McGibbon