A Twenty Year Look Back At ‘End of Days’ (1999)

When you look back at the turn of the century, Y2K was the crisis everyone thought would be a problem. People legitimately thought the internet would crash, all the clocks in the world would explode, dogs and cats would start living together, mass hysteria would abound. What they really should have been worried about was the End Of Days.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator 1984) plays Jericho Cane, a down on his luck security adviser mourning the loss of his family, when all hell breaks loose… literally. Religious scholars figure out that the number of the beast isn’t 666, it’s 999, meaning in 1999, Satan (Gabriel Byrne: The Usual Suspects 1995) is coming to take over the world. To do this, he must have a baby with the chosen one, Christine (Robin Tunney: The Craft 1996), by midnight on December 31, 1999.

Aiding Jericho in his battle against Satan are Bobby Chicago (Kevin Pollak: The Usual Suspects 1995), Father Thomas Aquinas (Derrick O’Conner: Deep Rising 1998) and Detective Francis (CCH Pounder: NCIS New Orleans franchise). On Satan’s side, he’s recruited Nurse Mabel (Miriam Margolyes: Harry Potter franchise) and Dr. Abel (Udo Kier: Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich 2018 – read our review here). End of Days becomes a race against time as Jericho has to protect Christine from Catholic soldiers and Satan alike, since the Vatican wants her dead as insurance to stop Satan.

“I see,” said the blind man, as he picked up a hammer and saw

Critically, End of Days, wasn’t received very well, which normally means the movie is actually good. It’s an action flick, so you can’t expect How Green Was My Valley out of Arnold fighting Satan. The special effects were pretty cool for 1999 standards and the cast was pretty solid. CCH Pounder, Kevin Pollak, Udo Kier and Derrick O’Connor put together a solid supporting cast with Gabriel Byrne delivering the goods as Satan and Robin Tunney doing a good job as the damsel in distress. Arnold is his usual wisecracking self, so expecting him to turn in a King Lear performance is unfair.

If you take the movie as is, you’re going to have a blast. End Of Days grossed $212 million, which doubled the budget of $100 million spent. Still, considering Arnold made $25 million by himself, sales were considered a disappointment. The critics had a field day blasting the movie, with Peter Hyams (2010: The Year We Made Contact 1984) being nominated by the Razzies as Worst Director. Arnold himself was quoted as not being a big fan of Hyams either, thinking he wasn’t the right man for the job. Say what you will about Arnold as an actor, but he worked for some great directors such as James Cameron and John McTiernan Jr. He would know good directing from bad.

“I’m Satan, not freakin’ Dracula!”

One of the hotly debated themes of the movie was the usual chatter from the Catholic church, especially on their portrayal as murderers in the movie. In the Bible, Christians murder people all the time in the name of God, especially in the Old Testament. The basis of humanity is severely tested: would you take the easy way out and end a life to save humanity, or take a huge chance to try and save that life while rescuing humanity at the same time?

“Where’s that damn Constantine?”

All in all, if you’re looking for an action/adventure/horror movie that’s easy to follow, take a look at End of Days.

About Kevin H

PopHorror.com's number one heel. Favorite horror movies: Insidious, Friday the 13th Part 6, Trick Or Treat (Gene Simmons version), the original King Kong, the Alien/Aliens franchise, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, I've been a writer since middle school and have been so controversial I was suspended in middle school, nearly got suspended in high school and kicked off two websites for bad language or different opinions. I can write reviews, fan fics, real fics, romance, sports writing, critiques and anything I'm challenged to do.

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