Castor’s Underrated Gems – Holocaust 2000 (1977)

The Chosen (1977) - IMDb

Holocaust 2000 (a.k.a. The Chosen) is usually disregarded as an Omen rip-off but it is much more prescient about the biblical apocalypse via ripped-from-the-headlines topics like thermonuclear power, a technocracy and the United States tampering with Middle East affairs. For certain, the Ennio Morricone score poaches the Latin chants from Jerry Goldsmith. Other than those overlaps and the ironically named Angel (Simon Ward) being the hellspawn of Satan, Holocaust 2000 isn’t lockstep in formulaic imitation.

Kirk Douglas was never an actor who slummed or patronized the material. In that case, Douglas is quite tenacious about fulfilling his brainchild. Alberto De Martino shirks shock tactics but, when mishaps do occur, they are messily splanchnic (a helicopter blade beheading for instance). The chamber of computerized data introduces an arbitrary, science-fiction element to the proceedings.

It is a cleverly idyllic, antithetical notion that when industrialist tycoon Robert Caine (Douglas) retreats from society’s pneumatic pressures, he traverses to a Luddite cabin in the woods without electricity. It is a juicy doomsday prophecy that our au courant innovations that are harmful to the environment, also signal Armageddon for us.

A nightmare sequence in which the plant’s towers resemble a multiheaded hydra is unnerving (along with the sight of a sexagenarian Douglas prancing through the desert without a shred of clothes on). The paranoia around Robert is so omnipotent that he supplicates Sara (Agostina Belli) for an abortion which is a preemptive strike against the devil’s scion.

When birth control isn’t an elective, prenatal extraction is the next best alternative. By that point, Douglas is no longer an agnostic skeptic and Holocaust 2000 peruses some compellingly nihilistic avenues. Truthfully, the suavely horripilating Holocaust 2000 somersaults over the lackluster Omen sequels in terms of quality.

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