Underrated Horror: End of Days (1999)

Do you remember Y2K? The impending millennium or were you a fetus back then? It was a big deal, between the digital crisis that could happen when the year 2000 struck and well, the rapture and the “end of days”, 1999 and the final months were interesting to say the least. I remember driving home December 31, 1 am and there was a blood moon, it was also the biggest I’ve ever seen the Moon in my entire life. If felt like something big was a going to happen.

It didn’t. Nothing happened. 2000 came like another day, I woke up next to my girlfriend and said, “I’d really like a loaded omelet biscuit from Hardee’s”. That was how the new millennium began for me, well we had sexual entercourse before we went to sleep, so really the ball dropped and we, did it.

One of my most fond memories of the final year of the 1900s, was the Horror films and films in general. 1999 turned in some real bangers, The Blair Witch Project, Stir of Echoes, Stigmata , Ravenous, The Sixth Sense, Idle Hands, Sleepy Hollow and more. But I wanted some Satanic Panic to go with my millennium, enter Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was not one to make a horror film and End of Days is not 100% a horror film. It’s in a class almost of its own, “action horror”. Leave to Arnold to take a Satanic Panic film and make it his own.

Synopsis:

At the end of the century, Satan visits New York in search of a bride. It’s up to an ex-cop who now runs an elite security outfit to stop him

Satan visits New York in search of a bride. Ok. That isn’t exactly what the movie is about. No, it opens in 1979 where a baby is born and has the mark to give birth to Satan’s spawn. So, visiting New York, sure, to find a bride, not so much. No, Satan has come to the Big Apple to fucking impregnat some 20 year old girl.

We get so much classic Arnold in this film, we almost forget it’s Arnold vs the Devil. Arnold is always appropriately named, “Jericho” because of the battle in the Bible where the Israelites attacked the city under Joshua after crossing the river of Jordan. The “Lord” himself told them this was the “promised land” and they must destroy the city. Well…that’s a fucked up God. Oh well. But, he is a down and out ex-cop who is suicidal. He has given up on humanity, but still manages to make it through the day.

The real standout is Gabriel Byrne as Satan, he Prince of Darkness himself. He was terrificly cast. He had this no nonsense attitude about him and didn’t care one ounce for those who protected Christine York, you know, the woman he must put his seed in. The scene after he is possessed, he walks out casually and grabs a woman by her breast and kisses her passionately and when her husband gets angry, she shoots a look at him. Satan was good enough to cover her breast before walking away and making the restaurant explode. My biggest issues with his role, why didn’t he just take her. He is all powerful and can do anything. Oh, because plot.

Jericho lost his wife and daughter years prior and gave up on life. Now he does some wild shit to protect investment bankers or Satan. Another situation that makes zero sense. Why does Satan need a body guard?

Robin Tunney is a favorite of mine. She starred in the Craft three years prior and even before that caught my eye in Empire Records as suicidal Deb. In this movie, she is taking meds that make her see such bizarre things, people turn to porcelain and fall to the ground and break into pieces and continue to tell her, Satan is gonna fuck her. Her apple looks like a hot spot for an orgy. Then, there are these priests who want to kill her. The God from this movie is a righteous God.

The movie progresses and there is a kind of weak showdown and Arnold who is now possessed literally falls on the sword for the humanity he gave up on.

For its faults, it’s fun. Action packed, Arnold vs The Devil and Kevin Pollack, under fucking rated actor. He is great in this, another film with Gabriel Byrne, see Usual Suspects if you can make it past being a Brian Singer film.

End of Days is not a good movie. But it is totally underrated. 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, but fuck them. Critics are usually up their own asses. Our horror community rated End of Days at 76%. That seems fair.

Overall fun. Check End of Days out on Netflix today or go buy a fucking copy.

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About Ray Marek III 697 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)