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31 Days of Guilty Pleasures – ‘End of Days’

Jason McDonald

A few years ago I did a daily countdown to Halloween that featured some of my favorite scares from 31 different horror movies. This year I’m bringing back the feature, but this time we’re taking a look at some of my favorite guilty pleasures.

There’s no rhyme or reason to how these movies are being listed, so the placement on the countdown doesn’t denote any sort of ranking. Also, my definition of guilty pleasure is a movie that ranges from either being not very good to outright bad, but there’s something about it that still makes it endearing to watch.

The year was 1999 and the world was in a state of panic.  No one knew for sure what was going to happen when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve and the world entered the year 2000.  Would this be the biblical end times?  Would our computers all shut off?  Would the nukes arm themselves and go off?  The uncertainty had gripped our nation, so it was no surprise that certain movies took advantage of that mild hysteria and one of the films we got out of featured Arnold Schwarzenegger battling Satan.

“End of Days” centered on Jericho Cane (Arnold Schwarzenegger), an ex-cop with a dead family, who agrees to protect a banker (Gabriel Byrne).  However, after a failed assassination attempt Cane begins to realize that the banker may actually be Satan himself who has arrived on Earth with the intention of fathering the anti-Christ in time for the new millenium.

This movie is kind of amazing. First of all, Jerich Cane is an incredible name for a character.  And in the movie his partner is played by Kevin Pollak and his name is Bobby Chicago. I shit you not.

Gabriel Byrne makes for a decent Satan, though he spends most of the movie walking around looking cool and killing people in weird ways.  For one he kills Bobby Chicago by pissing gasoline and then using it to blow up Bobby’s van.

And then there’s that scene where Satan is having a threeway with a mother and daughter and he merges their bodies together.  It’s a super weird scene and I’d show it below, but it only exists on porn sites, so happy hunting.

Meanwhile, Arnold is playing a slightly unhinged version of his normal action hero self and he does a good job of chewing up the scenery against Satan.

One of my favorite parts of this movie was how in the trailers and promotional stuff they kept flipping the 666 imagery and turning it into 1999 like they were making some grand revelation.  And the in the movie they finally explain how the two numbers are connected.  You see, people originally saw the 666 imagery in dreams, but in dreams everything is flipped upside down so when you correct it . . . it’s 999.  Throw a one in front of it and you get 1999.  GASP!

“End of Days” is a terrible movie, but any movie where Arnold gets to go a bit crazy is more than watchable.  It’s not the kind of movie I would seek out, but if it was on I would definitely sit down and watch it.

 



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