The Chosen

1977

Horror

0
IMDb Rating 5.4 10 1322

nuclear power plant armageddon nuclear holocaust

Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
July 30, 2022 at 11:56 PM

Top cast

Kirk Douglas as Robert Caine
Denis Lawson as 2nd Journalist
Caroline Langrishe as Girlfriend
720p.BLU
938.46 MB
1280*550
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 42 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Woodyanders 8 / 10

Cool variant on "The Omen"

Amiable and determined wealthy agnostic industrialist Robert Caine (an excellent performance by Kirk Douglas) and his shrewd and ambitious son Angel (well played by Simon Ward) plan on building a nuclear power plant in the Holy Land. When various people associated with the project start meeting gruesome untimely ends, Roger realizes that he might be involved in an ancient biblical prophecy about the Anti-Christ and the end of the world. Director Alberto De Martino, who also co-wrote the ingenious and intriguing script with Stan Donati, whips up a very clever and inspired supernatural horror chiller that brilliantly realizes Old Testament prophecies through modern technology. Moreover, De Martino maintains a steady pace throughout, does a sound job of creating a tense and ominous atmosphere which becomes more increasingly spooky and unsettling as the story unfolds, and stages the gory murder set pieces with tremendous fluid style and flair (a memorably grisly decapitation by helicopter blade rates as the definite splatter highlight). In addition, we also get a wonderfully trippy apocalyptic nightmare sequence with a naked Douglas running on a beach and being warned by a crazed fanatic (a superbly intense portrayal by Massimo Foschi) about Armegeddon. Douglas holds the whole film together with his strong and commanding presence; he receives sturdy support from the gorgeous Agostina Belli as sweet and helpful reporter Sara Golan, Romolo Valli as helpful priest Charrier, Anthony Quayle as the pragmatic Professor Griffith, Alexander Knox as the respected Professor Ernst Meyer, and Spiros Focas as formidable adversary Harbin. Popping up in nifty bit parts are Virginnia McKenna as Robert's disapproving wife Eva, Adolfo Celli as asylum head Dr. Kerouac, and Geoffrey Keen as a sinister gynecologist. Erico Menczer's slick cinematography gives the picture an impressively polished and expansive look. Ennio Morricone's lush, moody, and shuddery full-scale orchestral score hits the shivery shot. Well worth seeing.

Reviewed by Coventry 7 / 10

The Biblical Apocalypse! … Proudly sponsored by thermo-nuclear energy!

Undoubtedly one of the most ambitious Italian exploitation/rip-off efforts of the 1970's, "Holocaust 2000" shows the courage (or stupidity?) to amalgamate TWO contemporary popular themes of Sci-Fi horror. Back in the glorious decade of the 70's, the end of the world could either be inflicted by humanity's own damn fault (ecological disasters or scientific revolutions) or biblical prophecies (the birth of the Antichrist, etc). This film, directed by the tremendously underrated Alberto De Martino; king of Italian rip-offs, features a mixture of both themes and the script really isn't as imbecile as it sounds! Superficially, this film looks like a straight imitation of "The Omen" in which a prominent American industrialist replaces the position of the prominent American ambassador, but the difference is that the industrialist's work is also relevant – crucial, even – to the development of the plot. Unfortunately, but almost inevitably, the film's strength is also its main weakness… Blending religious & ecological themes quickly results in a lot of complexity, confusion and especially a whole lot of skepticism. Even though the script is surprisingly well elaborated and quite intelligent, you can't help thinking it's overly grotesque and far-fetched. Kirk Douglas, charismatic and reliable as ever, stars as the millionaire industrialist Robert Caine, whose lifework involves the large-scaled construction of a thermo-nuclear power plant in the Middle Eastern region. This gigantic project, with its seven turbines and its ten-headed output-system could provide powerful energy for the entire Third World; only the safety precautions are unstable and questionable. Caine and his lovely young girlfriend Sara also discover that the plant's design suspiciously bears a lot of resemblance with the biblical beast that is believed to unleash an apocalyptic fire that burns down the entire planet. The more reluctant Robert gets to carry on with his project, the more his adult son Angel insists on continuing and he even takes control. Meanwhile, Sara is pregnant and Robert is overcome with fear of his unborn baby being the Antichrist whose birth would complete the apocalypse.

"Holocaust 2000" is wrongfully accused of simply being another uninspired Italian clone of "The Omen", but I certainly beg to differ! Admittedly some of the basic aspects are blatantly copied from Richard Donner's milestone, like the social setting and particularly the circumstances surrounding the death sequences, but Alberto De Martino's film contains a lot more ingeniousness and originality than everybody thinks! Multiple sub plots are even downright marvelous and suspenseful, most notably the scenes inside the psychiatric clinic and Caine's nightmare visions. The first hour is terrific, with a constant spitfire of clever dialogs and an overall macabre ambiance, but I do admit the last 45 minutes are a little tedious and repetitive. Particularly the ineffective "mystery" of the Antichrist's identity is quite foolish, because it's more than obvious since the start of the film already. De Martino had a decent budget to work with for a change, and this is clearly illustrated through the convincing set pieces and professional photography. The music is courtesy of Ennio Morricone, so you can blindly accept it is brilliant, and Kirk Douglas' performance is more than impeccable to guide you through the mediocre moments. Vastly underrated film, ripe for re-discovery! And even if you don't care for this type of storyline, at least you got to love the awesome helicopter-decapitation moment! I rewind that scene each and every time!

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 6 / 10

HOLOCAUST 2000 (Alberto De Martino, 1977) **1/2

There's no question about it: Italian film-makers used to make the most enjoyable crap – and this one is a prime example. Whenever a Hollywood movie became a runaway box office success, the Italians would waste no time in making their own carbon copy of it and, in this field, director Alberto De Martino was one of the top "go to" guys in the country; having recently made his own "pasta" versions of THE GODFATHER (1972) and THE EXORCIST (1973) – in THE COUNSELLOR (1973) and THE ANTICHRIST (1974) respectively – it was natural for him to be entrusted with concocting an Italianized clone of THE OMEN (1976). As it happens, this was an Italo-British co-production (as that impressively star-studded cast can attest) and the end result is, as I said, far more enjoyable than a half-arsed imitation has any right to be.

The film's ageing American star, Kirk Douglas (in the first of 4 horror/sci-fi outings he did in quick succession – the others being Brian De Palma's disappointing THE FURY [1978], the maligned-but-fair SATURN 3 [1980] and THE FINAL COUNTDOWN [1980], which I haven't watched in ages), does have one up on Gregory Peck from THE OMEN in that he gets to share a nude love scene with leading lady Agostina Belli! The rest of the cast, unsurprisingly, is a mix of established Brits and Italians: Geoffrey Keen, Alexander Knox (as the requisite professor who unravels the diabolical scheme and who's given a memorably subtle death scene), Virginia McKenna (like in the subsequent BLOOD LINK [1982], also from De Martino, she's killed off during the opening scenes!), Anthony Quayle, Simon Ward (effectively cast as a cold-blooded Antichrist), as well as Adolfo Celi and Romolo Valli (playing the equally indispensable and ill-fated priest).

The plot comes up with an ingenious modernization of the Apocalypse prophecies, illustrating a plausible analogy between mythical and modern monsters. Among the film's most notable sequences is Douglas' surreal nightmare (in which he's stranded stark naked in the desert, witnesses the demons rising from the sea and is haunted by the presence of a religious fanatic in a Diabolik-like outfit!) and one where a Middle Eastern political leader – opposed to industrial progress – gets the top of his head chopped off by a helicopter blade (thus anticipating the more celebrated moment in George A. Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD [1978]). Once again, Ennio Morricone's score may sound overly-familiar (given that he composed THE ANTICHRIST and also EXORCIST II – THE HERETIC [1977])…but there's no denying that it serves the taut proceedings admirably.

Ultimately, though, the film results in not being at all scary: for one thing, the Antichrist has no direct relation to the 'accidental' deaths of those who stand in his way; also, he's left pretty much to his own devices (with no diabolical helpers as in THE OMEN), yet, nobody ever seems to question his decisions. Besides, there's no explanation as to just how Ward became "the chosen" (one of the titles by which the film's also known, as seen in an alternate opening sequence included on the DivX copy I watched) – in THE OMEN, at least, it was a case of babies exchanged at birth! Other narrative flaws: why is the Agostina Belli character afraid of entering a church – considering that the child she's carrying turns out not to be the Antichrist after all (as Douglas himself had feared)?; the second scene in the psycho ward (with the religious fanatic going berserk and inciting his fellow inmates to kill Douglas) is baffling and somewhat redundant – since the latter has, by this time, become aware of Ward's true intentions!

The film concludes rather abruptly with the fairly ludicrous – and pretentious – suggestion of a new 'Holy Family'; I much preferred the alternate ending also found on the (once again) problematic DivX copy I have, after missing out on this title more than I care to remember on Italian TV over the years: while admittedly conventional, at least, we're shown Douglas willing to keep up the fight the only way he knows how – through violence. Finally, I have to wonder what's holding up the film's release on DVD; it doesn't seem to be available in any region and, while no classic, it's eminently watchable – apart from being, definitely, a commercially viable item (especially for fans of "Euro-Cult")...

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