Of all the things the devil’s done, I wonder exactly how he was able to get Kirk Douglas — KIRK DOUGLAS! — to be in an Alberto De Martino ripoff of The Omen? I mean, this is the same director who made The Antichrist and Miami Golem! What horrifying secrets does the First of the Fallen have to make one of the lead actors of Hollywood’s Golden Age appear in this burst of Satanic majesty?
Holocaust 2000 (AKA the Chosen and Rain of Fire) was written by De Martino, Michael Robson and Sergio Donati, who wrote some of the script for Once Upon a Time In the West and Duck, You Sucker! as well as Orca, early Arnold vehicle Raw Deal and the original version of Man On Fire.
You gotta hand it to Robert Caine (Douglas). No matter how many people protest, no matter the fact that his wife was stabbed in front of him at a party or the killer went nuts in a mental institution and sliced his own wrists in front of him, he’s not giving up his plan to build a nuclear power plant near a sacred cave in the Middle East.
He soon learns that he has bigger problems. His son Angel (Simon Ward, The Monster Club) is the Antichrist and the plant he wants to build looks just like the evil beast that the Whore of Babylon will ride at the end of the world.
Seriously, after a bit of crumpet, Caine falls asleep next to his way too young new girlfriend (Agostina Belliand, who was in the original Scent of a Woman) watches the nuclear plant rise from the sea, with multiple heads rising from the currents.
An Italian and UK co-production, this movie also features Ivo Garrani (Bava’s Black Sabbath) as The Prime Minister, Alexander Knox (who nearly won an Oscar for 1944’s Wilson before his liberal views got him chased out of Hollywood during the McCarthy era), Adolfo Celi (who wasn’t just Emilio Largo in Thunderball, he was also the Captain in Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man and the villainous Ralph Valmount in Danger: Diabolik), Geoffrey Keen (Minister of Defence Frederick Gray in six James Bond movies and one of the three noblemen using Dracula in Taste the Blood of Dracula), Peter Cellier (Sir Frank Gordon from yes, Prime Minister), Denis Lawson (Wedge Antilles!) and Tony Clarkin, who played a stormtrooper in the second and sixth Star Wars movies, as well as appearances in The Monster Club as a vampire and Outland.
In Europe, this movie ends with Caine living in exile with his newborn child, as Angel begins developing the plant intended to cause Armageddon. But in the U.S., Douglas returns to his company and blows everybody up real good.
I’ve wanted to see this movie since I saw its trailer on Trailer Trauma. You can still get that collection from Diabolik DVD and get fired up about finding some strange movies yourself.
You can get this on blu ray from Shout! Factory.