Megiddo: The Omega Code 2

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Megiddo: The Omega Code 2

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Megiddo: The Omega Code 2

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Building on the widespread popularity of apocalypse-themed literature, 1999's The Omega Code brought overtly fundamentalist Christian values to Hollywood-style entertainment through the tale of a brilliant Bible-code expert (Casper Van Dien) who does battle with flamboyant antichrist Michael York. The result was a surprising commercial success, as well as a wonderfully demented exercise in Christian über-camp that suggested a disreputable James Bond knock-off hijacked by The 700 Club. Crucial to the film's appeal was the scenery-devouring performance of York, who portrayed the antichrist as an effete, dandified Shakespearean heavy. Megiddo, The Omega Code's Van Dien-free prequel, traces the auspicious origins of York's antichrist, from his formative days as a Li'l Lucifer in Satanic short pants up to his reign as the New World Order-promoting Antichrist Superstar. As the all-American antithesis to York's preening villain, Michael Biehn replaces Van Dien, playing York's fiercely patriotic American politician brother, whose rise to power parallels York's own. Biehn remains inherently suspicious of his brother's intentions, and when York's one-world government forces the U.S. to submit, Biehn uses his status as the new president of the former United States to form an axis of non-evil with "The Latins" and China. In keeping with the genre's overt anti-internationalism, the rest of the world is only too happy to give in to York—particularly the Russian president, who, in a bit of leftover Cold War paranoia, gingerly tells him that he's ordered the mass slaughter of all dissidents and their families. Biehn's relatively stiff lead pales in comparison to Van Dien's over-the-top performance, but York overacts enough for a thousand films, and he's supported by a cast filled with such Overacting All-Stars as Udo Kier, Franco Nero, and R. Lee Ermey (as Biehn's presidential predecessor). Like The Omega Code, Megiddo sketches its exponentially larger-than-life tale of the battle between good and evil in the broadest terms imaginable. But as with that film, the devil is in the details, from the Satanic forces' jaunty, beret-equipped cardinal outfits to the swarm of computer-animated bees York vomits forth upon humanity, an act that doesn't suggest a biblical apocalypse so much as it suggests Wu-Tang Clan's "Triumph" video. Delirious, top-notch camp for viewers of all faiths and denominations, Megiddo: Omega Code 2 offers so much goofy fun, it's sinful.

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