OMEN III: THE FINAL CONFLICT (1981) Reviews and overview

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‘The power of evil is no longer in the hands of a child’
The Final Conflict aka Omen III: The Final Conflict is a 1981 British-American supernatural horror feature film directed by Graham Baker (Alien Nation; Impulse) from a screenplay written by Andrew Birkin (The Name of the Rose; The Pied Piper), based on characters created by author David Seltzer.

The Twentieth Century Fox production stars Sam Neill, Rossano Brazzi, Don Gordon, Lisa Harrow and Barnaby Holm.

As with the first two instalments, the notable soundtrack score was composed by Jerry Goldsmith.

Antichrist Damien Thorn (Sam Neill) is now a successful thirty-two-year-old industrialist ready to fulfil his destiny. As Damien is appointed American ambassador to the UK, priests led by Father DeCarlo (Rossano Brazzi) try to kill him.

While Damien prepares for the return of Jesus Christ (the Nazarene), he takes advantage of his relationship with Kate Reynolds (Lisa Harrow) to recruit her son, Peter (Barnaby Holm), as his follower…

“Like Damien, the film does not paint a very persuasive picture of how the forces of Satan might practically set about subverting the world order, and this shortcoming is compounded by the script’s gestures towards a serious consideration of the theological issues involved – something the melodramatic terms of reference can hardly accommodate.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

“Neill does a good job with this, but he doesn’t have much help from the rest of the cast who really don’t stand out. The Omen films were always known for their crazy deaths and the Omen III really doesn’t have that going for it.” Basement Rejects

” …it’s uninspired and painfully bland, despite the best efforts of a melodramatic soundtrack and the presence of several biblical quotes. The mystery and the sense of drama of the original is long gone, the death scenes (the highlights of the original movie) are fairly mundane.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

The Final Conflict has a few memorable scenes for sure–I mean, one of Damien’s schemes involves wiping out any baby that could possibly be the second coming of Christ–but these scenes are too few and too far between the copious minutes spent with either Good or Evil as they fret. Surprisingly, the obvious political allegory is left to wither on the vine.” Final Girl

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” …the representatives of good seem a bunch of complete no-hopers […] The script gives Sam Neill some magnificent soliloquies on the power and purity of evil, which come across with a disturbing sympathy.”  Moria

“Beyond Neill’s performance the only other thing worth mentioning is that once in a while a stunt manages to grab your eyes such as when a man caught up in cabling falls from some gantry and swings in to a plastic sheet which is on fire […] sadly most of the time it comes up visually short of being attention grabbing or impressive.” The Movie Waffler

” …it just seems to have trouble maintaining an intensity and interest throughout the entire narrative. It has an excellent (and even unnerving) setup that should have been absolutely epic. Unfortunately, the film falls short because it ends up feeling too intimate.” Oh, the Horror!

” …the sum total of the movie’s dysfunctional parts results in a dull, silly and often unpleasant movie that’s unworthy of its predecessors.” Pop Culture Thoughts

” …a growing disappointment, as we realize that the apocalyptic confrontation between the forces of good and evil is being reduced to a bunch of guys with Italian accents running around trying to stab Damien in the back.” Roger Ebert

“Rather than the gripping climax to the Omen series it should be, The Final Conflict is a bit of a damp squib. It’s not a terrible film by any means but it’s so devoid of anything truly gripping or memorable that it’s ultimately a bit of an underwhelming end to an otherwise great trilogy.” That Was a Bit Mental

Cast and characters:
Sam Neill … Damien Thorn
Rossano Brazzi … DeCarlo
Don Gordon … Harvey Dean
Lisa Harrow … Kate Reynolds
Barnaby Holm … Peter Reynolds
Mason Adams … President
Robert Arden … American Ambassador
Leueen Willoughby … Barbara Dean
Marc Boyle … Brother Benito
Milos Kirek … Brother Martin
Tommy Duggan … Brother Mattius
Louis Mahoney … Brother Paulo
Richard Oldfield … Brother Simeon
Tony Vogel … Brother Antonio
Arwen Holm … Carol
Hugh Moxey … Manservant
William Fox … Diplomat
John Baskcomb … Diplomat
Norman Bird … Dr Philmore
Marc Smith … Press Officer
Arnold Diamond … Astronomer
Eric Richard … Astronomer’s Technician
Richard Williams … Vicar
Stephen Turner … Stigwell
Al Matthews … Workman
Larry Martyn … Orator
Frank Coda … Orator
Harry Littlewood … Orator
Harvey Bernhard … US Embassy employee (uncredited)
Jeremy Bulloch … News reporter (uncredited)
Adrienne Burgess … Woman (uncredited)
Hazel Court … Champagne Woman At Hunt (uncredited)
Glen Cunningham … Peter (uncredited)
Walter Henry … Auction Attendee (uncredited)
Barrie Holland … Reporter (uncredited)
Guy Standeven … Auction Attendee (uncredited)
Ruby Wax … US Ambassador’s secretary (uncredited)

Technical details:
108 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

The film was released in theatres on March 20th 1981.


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