Oct 132019
 

I actually enjoyed Damien: Omen II ever so slightly more than the first film, but it’s not without its problems, that being some of the editing and pacing, though Jonathan Scott-Taylor actually wasn’t bad as Damien.

 

 

The Omen
(1978)

Genre(s): Horror, Thriller, Supernatural
Shout Factory | R – 107 min. – $0.00 | October 15, 2019

Date Published: 10/13/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Don Taylor
Writer(s): David Seltzer (characters); Harvey Bernhard (story), Stanley Mann and Michael Hodges (screenplay)
Cast: William Holden, Lee Grant, Jonathan Scott-Taylor, Robert Foxworth, Nicholas Pryor, Lance Henrikson, Lucas Donat


DISC INFO:
Features: Audio Commentaries, Interviews, Promotional Material, Still Gallery
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1


Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 39.58 GB
Total Bitrate: 32.87 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 3.25/5


Plot Synopsis: Since the sudden and suspicious deaths of his parents, young Damien (JONATHAN SCOTT-TAYLOR) has been in the charge of his wealthy uncle (WILLIAM HOLDEN) and aunt (LEE GRANT) and enrolled in a military school. Widely feared to be the Antichrist, Damien relentlessly plots to seize control of his uncle’s business empire – and the world. Anyone attempting to unravel the secrets of Damien’s sinister past or fiendish future meets with a swift and cruel demise.

Quick Hit Review: Damien: Omen II is a movie I actually enjoyed every-so-slightly better than its predecessor which in certain respects I found to be a little overrated. I think part of the reason I liked this a tad better is that in the first film, Damien is a 5-year-old boy who, and not to criticize too much, had limited acting abilities (not his fault, probably cast for how devious he could emote). Here, we get Jonathan Scott-Taylor who has more to work with, especially in regards to any emotions, particularly when he discovers he is the Antichrist ranging from confusion to acceptance and what it cost him.

As with the first film, they tapped a couple veteran and respected actors in William Holden and Lee Grant, both of whom do well with not a whole lot to work with, though Holden has a few nice moments and for her part, Grant is quite good with a fun little twist at the end, which was actually pretty good.

Don Taylor takes over directing duties, but not before Mike Hodges exited (fired) due to the old “creative differences” excuse, with Richard Donner declining to return being busy working on Superman. Nothing especially imaginative but at least keeps the tension even if the editing at times felt off, perhaps with the change of directors mid-production (apparently a few of Hodges’ scenes remained).

Although I did like the movie, it still couldn’t elevate beyond being a passably entertaining movie, not much more than that.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5


Audio Commentaries:

  • Special Project Consultant Scott Michael Bosco
  • Producer Harvey Bernhard

Both of the tracks are decent with Bosco’s commentary delving into the historical elements of the project while Bernhard provides a more behind-the-scenes aspects. As solo tracks go, not bad but kind of prefer multiple participants.

Interviews:

  • Damien’s Guardian (15:56) — Actress Lee Grant
  • The Devil’s CEO (16:21) — Actor Robert Foxworth
  • The Harbinger (26:34) — Actress Elizabeth Shepherd

All three of these interviews weren’t fantastic but still interesting to hear their thoughts on the film all these years later and telling stories of working with their co-stars.

Shepherd’s Scrapbook (3:36) is a featurette on the actress’s photos from the production.

Power and the Devil: The Making of Damien: Omen II (7:21) is an archival production featurette with on-location interviews with the cast and crew at the time.

Promotional material includes the Theatrical Trailer (3:03), TV Spots (1:33), Radio Spots (1:31) and an Image Gallery (6:34).

 


VIDEO – 4.25/5


Shout Factory releases Damien: Omen II onto Blu-ray presented with a 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. There’s no mention on the back cover or Shout’s site, so it doesn’t seem this got a restored transfer and Shout probably got it from Fox. Even so, this is still a fine looking transfer, detail is relatively sharp especially on close-ups before it gets a little fuzzy on the distant shots. I noticed maybe some minor ailments with some specs but nothing apparent or distracting from an otherwise great looking transfer.

AUDIO – 4.0/5


As with the first movie, you get the choice of either 5.1 or Mono DTS-HD Master Audio tracks, the latter being the default option. I tested the mono track before watching the majority of the film with the 5.1 option, but either way, these lossless tracks still sound very good, dialogue is crisp and clear and there’s some okay depth on the 5.1 track, especially when it comes to Jerry Goldsmith’s haunting/creepy song and Damien theme.

 


OVERALL – 3.5/5


I actually enjoyed Damien: Omen II ever so slightly more than the first film, but it’s not without its problems, that being some of the editing and pacing, though Jonathan Scott-Taylor actually wasn’t bad as Damien. This Shout Factory release offers up great video and audio transfers and a good selection of special features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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