One of the most ambitious evangelical films of the 00’s, although
that doesn't mean it's any better than its fellows. MEGIDDO is in fact a
royal crap fest, and inexcusably shitty even by traditional evangelical
THE OMEGA CODE, a thoroughly mediocre glorified TV
movie, was a surprise success on the
Evangelical movie circuit in 1999. A
sequel was inevitable, and MEGIDDO: THE OMEGA CODE 2 turned up in 2001.
It had a $22 million budget, a princely sum for an evangelical
production, and opened in the US a week after the September 11 terrorist
attacks. Producer Matthew Crouch (the son of televangelist Paul Crouch,
who bankrolled the film) stated to the Los Angeles Times that
MEGIDDO’S release was part of God's plan--"He positioned this film to be
the answer for a question we didn't even know would be asked"--and
invoked the cinema of Cecil B. DeMille (an interesting comparison, as
DeMille was notorious in his day for churning out exploitive biblical
themed dramas). MEGIDDO'S box office, however, topped out at around $6
million, a sorry take for a supposedly divinely-ordained flick.
MEGIDDO did, at least, spawn an enjoyable
by its star Michael York, which is far preferable to the film itself.
We meet the suave English accented Stone Alexander,
a.k.a. the devil. An extended flashback shows how Stone grew up in a
military academy, where his media mogul father consigned Stone after he
tried to immolate his infant brother David. Years later Stone kills his
father by pushing him off a balcony.
Cut to the present, where Stone has ordained himself
the leader of the "World Union." Opposing him is the president of the
United States, together with his loyal vice president, who happens to be
Stone's little bro David. When the president turns down an invitation to
join the World Union Stone telepathically induces a fatal heart attack.
This makes David the president, and as such he continues to resist his
This doesn't stop Stone from carrying out his evil
plans, getting the world’s leaders to rally behind him by inducing mass
destruction throughout the planet. David is forced out of the presidency
by an informal coup d'etat, staged by outraged congressmen who
want to join Stone's crusade.
David retaliates by spearheading a bombing raid on
Stone's headquarters, but the raid fails. A worldwide manhunt is
launched for David, who becomes a messiah for those who don't want to
follow Stone. It all comes down to a final showdown in Megiddo, where
Stone reveals his true guise and the Big G finally gets into the act.
MEGIDDO’S cast is a cult movie lover's wet dream: in
addition to Michael York, a returnee from THE OMEGA CODE, there's THE
TERMINATOR'S Michael Biehn, FULL METAL JACKET'S R. Lee Ermey, Udo Kier
and Franco Nero, while the credited director is Australia's Brian
Trenchard-Smith (who was replaced by Paul J. Lombardi), of the cult
classics THE MAN FROM HONG KONG, ESCAPE 2000 and DEAD-END DRIVE-IN. All
were admittedly at low points in their careers, and only York makes any
real impression as Stone/Satan--and that impression is not a positive
The idea of making Satan the film’s protagonist is
audacious, albeit not without precedent. John Milton did the same thing
in PARADISE LOST back in 1667, and this film suffers from the same
overall problem that plagued that tome: we find ourselves rooting for
this evil character in spite of ourselves. Of course, MEGIDDO has plenty
of problems that didn't plague Milton, including poor special effects,
indifferent performances and an overall air of TV movie crappiness.
In common with most evangelical movies, MEGIDDO is
stodgy and uninspired from a cinematic standpoint, with religious
convictions that are shallow and simplistic. The same can be said for
the overall narrative, and also the special effects, which over-rely on
substandard CGI. Even the concluding wrath-of-god sequence is
substandard, being evidently “inspired” by the climax of RAIDERS OF THE
LOST ARK, which was and remains far more impressive than what we see
I will at least say this about MEGIDDO: cosmically
asinine though it is, it's still better than THE OMEGA CODE.
MEGIDDO: THE OMEGA CODE 2
Directors: Brian Trenchard-Smith, Paul J. Lombardi
Producers: Matthew Crouch, Lawrence Mortoroff, Richard J. Cook
Screenplay: John Fasano, Stephen Blinn
Cinematography: Bert Dunk
Editing: John Lafferty
Cast: Michael York, Michael Biehn, Diane Venora, R. Lee Ermey, Jim
Meltzer, Noah Huntley, Michal Paul Chan, Udo Kier, Franco Nero, Gil
Colon, David Hedison