END OF DAYS (1999)


Cinematography & Directed By: Peter Hyams
Written By: Andrew Marlowe
Editor: Jeff Gullo & Steven Kemper 

Cast: Arnold Schwartzenegger, Rod Steiger, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollak, Robin Tunney, CCH Pounder, Udo Kier, Mark Margolis, Miriam Margolyes, Renee Olstead, Gary Anthony Williams, Victor Varnado

On December 28th, 1999, the citizens of New York City are getting ready for the turn of the millennium. However, the Devil decides to crash the party by coming to the city, inhabiting a man’s body, and searching for his chosen bride, a 20-year-old woman named Christine York. [If he bears her child between 11:00 PM and midnight on New Year’s Eve], the world will end, and the only hope lies within an atheist ex-cop named Jericho Cane, who no longer believes in God because of the murder of his wife and daughter.

This was supposed to be Arnold Schwartzenegger’s comeback movie. I mean what is a better attraction then Arnold vs. the devil. It was more like Arnold racing the devil to protect a girl. Him and the devil never get a knockdown drag out physical fight. Arnold just fought off the devil’s minions and his own crisis of faith.

The film starts off ridiculously enough with Arnold having a beard. He keeps throughout to show his seedy nature. Not the happy boy scout we are used to. Kind of like bad superman in SUPERMAN 3. a rogue type of character then we are used to seeing. He packs heavy artillery.

Then all of a sudden Gabriel Byrne gets possessed by the devil all of a sudden in a restaurant bathroom why? Who knows? He then fondles and kisses his friend’s wife then leaves the restaurant which then blows up why? To keep the audience awake. And I course he is the guy who Arnold’s character is protecting through the security agency he works for.

Since this is a Arnold film I have gotten used to the rule that something usually has to blow up randomly with no real explination. It just looks cool and goes with the territory.

One of the problems here is that as the film is more of a thriller. It doesn’t have that much action and worse asks that Schwartzenegger really try and act, With horrible results and at times watching the film it can be encompassing and riveting. Unless you watch a scene out of context then you can easily realize how ridiculous the film is and is kind of hilarious with how serious it takes himself.

This film does have action though it is scaled back for Arnold to showcase his dramatic acting muscles of which he is weak in that department.

Gabriel Byrne plays the devil as a sort of lawyer or Shylock not really that menacing.

Kevin Pollak seems to be the only one who realizes how ridiculous This movie is and just has fun with his character. Where as the late great Rod Steiger has the opposite problem as he plays hosts role much too seriously going wildly over the top. Like the script was holy scripture. Which is funny since he plays a priest, but in his final role that was how he played most of them.

This film also tried to use new millennium conspiracy by not only coming out in 1999, but using it as a symbol 1666. Not only the number of devil, but a sign of the year of the devil.

Yes. The movie is as ridiculous as it sounds, but takes it all very seriously. Which is what makes the movie so bad.

It got a positive audience reaction when i saw it in theaters. The lady behind me kept saying how she hoped the nurse who kidnapped a baby was a bitch who hopefully fucking died. That was only when I saw a scene on my lunch break. Luckily there were no such audience members with the same passion when I actually got to sit down and watch the film in full.

The role of Jericho Cane was originally written for Tom Cruise, but he instead chose to work on MAGNOLIA.

The role of Christine York was initially going to be played by Kate Winslet, but she turned it down.

Liv Tyler was offered the role of Christine York but backed out over contractual issues.

Marcus Nispel was originally supposed to direct this film he went on to direct the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake and PATHFINDER. He was a hot video director at the time, but when he was hired he supposedly put out a multi-page manifesto list of demands that got him fired off the film and he seemed blackballed in Hollywood for awhile. Nispel says he left the project when budget and script problems arose.

Peter Hyams was recommended to direct the film by James Cameron. Both directors are a proponent of night shoots, something that Arnold Schwarzenegger shares.

Guillermo del Toro was offered the chance to direct, but turned it down.

Sam Raimi was offered the director’s chair on this film, but he declined in order to make FOR LOVE OF THE GAME.

I like that the film stays bleak and dark until it becomes monotonous. Even his minions must be creepy. One of whom is a cross eyed albino. Trust me this is a film you can definitely skip.

Was the last movie to be pressed in the laserdisc format in the United States.

Grade: D+

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s