End of Days

USA 1999

Reviewed by Mark Kermode


Our synopses give away the plot in full, including surprise twists.

New York, 1979. Christine York is born and secretly anointed by a satanic cult. December 1999, renegade priest Thomas Aquinas' assassination attempt on a Wall Street banker is foiled by bodyguard Jericho Cane. Aquinas rants about the "end of days" before he dies, but when his body is discovered to lack a tongue, Cane suspects he's gone mad himself. However, he learns of a Vatican conspiracy to prevent the birth of the Antichrist. Cane and his partner Chicago trace the now-grown Christine York who is being pursued by both a priestly hit squad and by Cane's Wall Street client, who is possessed by Satan. The prince of darkness wishes to impregnate Christine with his child on the eve of the new millennium thereby bringing about the "end of days" foretold in the Book of Revelations.

Overcoming a horde of attackers, including Christine's nanny Mabel, Cane persuades Father Kovak and his band of priests not to kill Christine but to protect her in their church. Having failed to tempt Cane with the return of his deceased wife and child, Satan enters Kovak's church and attempts to deflower Christine while engaging in a violent battle with Cane. Satan is defeated finally by Cane, who sacrifices himself to save Christine. The world is saved.


"I've seen a lot," says Arnold Schwarzenegger in the middle of this abysmally lumpen cross between The Omen (1976) and Lethal Weapon, "but nothing that would make me cut out my tongue!" End of Days is dreadful enough to make most viewers consider gouging out their eyes in order to avoid seeing a second time the spectacle of the world's most wooden actor pretending to undergo a spiritual crisis. Idiotic beyond the point of redemption, this sinfully stupid farrago manages to insult audiences and critics, Christians and Satanists alike, reducing 2000 years of fertile mythology to the level of an incoherent pop video.

The problems with End of Days are legion. From Andrew W. Marlowe's stunningly illiterate script (which manages to make The Omen's author David Seltzer's work read like the sublime visions of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin) to jobbing journeyman Peter Hyams' nuts-and-bolts direction (he was brought on board to join the dots when feature first-timer Marcus Nispel was passed over), the entire film looks and feels like nothing more than a cynical salvaging exercise. The special effects are fabulously unspecial, the plot twists extravagantly straightforward, and the character development retarded beyond redemption. Worse still, the apocryphal source material, from which even the most talentless storyteller could spin a passable yarn, is made to sound boring.

The performances are also uniformly terrible. It's easy to laugh at Rod Steiger as the huffy priest who doesn't think there's anything funny about a man called Thomas Aquinas attempting to stop the devil getting laid, while boggle-eyed Udo Kier has never been anything less than hilarious. But we should expect more from Gabriel Byrne and Kevin Pollak, whose pairing constantly reminds us how good they both were in The Usual Suspects. Sadly, all we get here is a lazy turn from Pollak, and scenery chewing from Byrne, who outdoes his randy priest role in the equally abominable Stigmata and prances around like a man possessed by a fit of the vapours.

Bad acting honours, however, are reserved ultimately for Arnie himself, who moves like the ice-demon in the lowest ring of Dante's Inferno, with about as much human warmth and slightly less facial expression. Called upon to cry over the loss of his wife and child, he can do nothing more than wince like a constipated man with conjunctivitis. Equally, when asked to throw down his weapon before the altar and call upon God for help, Arnie's unique Austro-American lilt becomes more impenetrable than usual. Will God hear him? And if he does, will he be able to understand him? At the time of writing, End of Days had already flopped in the US, and by the time of publication, its dated millennial tag will doubtless have made it as appealing to punters as cold leftover turkey. All of which may prove that in the end Schwarzenegger was indeed a 20th-century phenomenon, and is now merely a man out of time.


Peter Hyams
Armyan Bernstein
Bill Borden
Andrew W. Marlowe
Director of Photography
Peter Hyams
Steven Kemper
Jeff Gullo
Production Designer
Richard Holland
John Debney
©Beacon Communications, LLC
Production Company
A Beacon Pictures presentation
Executive Producers
Marc Abraham
Thomas A. Bliss
Paul Deason
Andrew W. Marlowe
Executive in Charge of Production
Nancy Rae Stone
Production Supervisor
Angela Heald
Production Office Co-ordinator
Robert West
Production Co-ordinator
NY Crew:
Mark Christian Subias
Beacon Production Co-ordinator
Richard Devinki
Unit Production Managers
Paul Deason
NY Crew:
Denise Pinckley
Supervising Location Manager
Kokayi Ampah
Location Managers
Michael A. Haro
NY Crew:
Heidi Topper
Post-production Supervisor
Bradley M. Goodman
Assistant Directors
William M. Elvin
David A. Ticotin
Jack Steinberg
Elaine R. Wood
Mark S. Constance
Joe Lotito
Andrew Ward
Kristina M. Peterson
NY Crew:
Stacy Beneville
Script Supervisors
Tricia Ronten
NY Crew:
Sheila Paige
Jackie Burch
ADR Voice:
Barbara Harris
Camera Operators
Stephen Campanelli
Mike Scott
Michael Ferris
Michael St. Hilaire
NY Crew Additional:
George Patterson
Alec Hirschfeld
Steadicam Operator
Stephen Campanelli
Wescam Operators
Peter Hyams
NY Crew:
David Norris
Visual Effects Producer
Kurt Williams
Visual Effects Supervisor
Eric Durst
Visual Effects Art Director
Ian Hunter
Visual Effects Editor
Pamela Choules
Visual Effects Co-ordinator
Garv Thorp
Visual Effects Post-production Co-ordinator
R. Scott Shields
Visual Effects Camera Operator
Thomas Shaughnessy
Visual Effects Illustrator
Jamie Rama
Visual Effects Photography
The Chandler Group
Visual Effects Supervisor:
Don Baker
Visual Effects Director of Photography:
Timothy Angulo
Bob Shepherd
Production Manager:
Scott Pourroy
Production Co-ordinator:
David Sanger
Director of Photography:
Anna Foerster
Motion Control Camera Operator:
Rob Menapace
Digital Video Technicians:
Mike Uguccioni
Dempsey Tillman
Visual Effects Engineer:
Keith Claridge
Subway Train Miniature Sequence/Church Pyrotechnic Effects
Stirber Visual Network Inc
John K. Stirber
Train Crew Chief:
Jeff S. Pyle
Subway Crew Chief:
Duke Dixon
Model Makers:
Ed Lawton
Michelle Weaver
Henry Gonzalez
David Freund
Tony Moffett
Mike Delaney
Mechanical Crew Chief:
Charles Cook
Electronics Chief:
Steve Humphrey
Painter Foreman:
Richard Ewan
Pyro Crew Chief:
Roy Downey
Pyro Crew:
Roy Goode
Donn Markel
Paul Vigel
Maureen O'Connor
Visual Effects and Digital Creature
Rhythm and Hues
Visual Effects Supervisor:
John 'D.J.' Desjardin
Visual Effects Producer:
Gary Nolin
Digital Effects Producer:
Bryan Hirota
Compositing Supervisors:
Hoiyue Harry Lam
Cheryl Budgett
Edwin Rivera
R&D Supervisor:
Bill Dietrich
Visual Effects Production Manager:
Sara DeCesare
Digital Production Manager:
Julie Fischer
Inferno Artists:
John Heller
Cesar Romero
2D Digital Artists:
Kenneth Au
Chris Bergman
Colin Campbell
Gregory Elwood
Kelly Fischer
David Gutman
Laura Hanigan
Jennifer Ann Howard
Christopher Ivins
Matt Kelly
Lance Laspina
James Doyoung lee
Sean Hyun-In Lee
Sean McPherson
Lisa L. Pollard
John Garrison Rauh
Jonathan Robinson
Marcus M. Rubone
Rick Sander
David Santiago
Hudson Shock
Cybele Sierra
Jeff Sutherland
Julius Yang
Serkan Cihangir Zelzele
Lead Character Animator:
Erik Lee
3D Animators:
Gary Abrahamian
Todd Wilbur
Anders Ericson
3D Digital Animators:
Ivan DeWolf
Dan Kaufman
Scott Giegler
Stu Mintz
3D Digital Artists:
Geoff Harvey
John Jude Wissler
Caleb Howard
Jonathan Wood
Modelling Supervisor:
Jelena Erceg
Modelling Artist:
Dottie Starling
Digital Texture Supervisor:
Diana Miao
Digital Art Director:
Alison Yerxa
Digital Effects Painters:
Chris Consani
Meg Harders
Marian Rudnyk
Felix Ojeda III
Software Supervisor:
Douglas Harsch
Film Editorial Manager:
Joshua Margolies
Visual Effects Editor:
Zeke Morales
Scan/Record Supervisor:
Megan Bryant
Production Co-ordinator:
Chad Hellmuth
Chief Technologist:
Mark A. Brown
Systems Department:
Steve Linn
Lance Kimes
Greg Bradner
Fred Simon
Walid Harmoush
Executive Producer:
Lee Berger
Additional Digital Visual Effects/Computer-Generated Imagery
Centropolis Effects
Digital Effects Supervisors:
Conny Fauser-Ruemelin
Mitchel Drain
Digital Producers:
Drew McKeen
Steven Puri
Mark Franco
Head of Production:
Aaron Dem
Production Co-ordinator:
James D. Tittle
Nelson Sepulveda
Mario Peixoto
Abra Grupp
Kevin Souls
Cristin Pescosolido
Paint Supervisor:
Robert Cribbett
Digital Artists:
Brian Wolf
Jennifer Bourne
Jon Doyle
Ozzie Carmona
Digital Effects Editor:
Kosta Saric
Additional Digital Visual Effects/Computer-Generated Imagery by
Todd-AO/Hollywood Digital-West
Digital Effects Supervisor:
Peter Koczera
Effects Producer:
Cindy Jones
Inferno Artists:
Anita Razzano
Eroc Moralis
Data Management:
Kit Young
Systems Administrator:
Robb Cadzow
Scanning/Recording Services
3D Body Scans
Cyber F/X Inc
Special Effects
Thomas L. Fisher
Scott R. Fisher
NY Crew Co-ordinators:
Jeff Brink
Connie Brink
Andrew J. Miller
Gang Bosses:
John J. Downey
Ronald D. Goldstein
Jay 'Bee' King
William W. Schepler
Ron Epstein
Robert L. Slater
Paula D. Fisher
NY Crew:
Wayne Miller
Harold McConnell
Model Maker
Jason Mahakian
Church Miniatures/Effects
Hunter/Gratzner Industries Inc
Ian Hunter
Matthew Gratzner
Shannon Blake Gans
Miniature Effects Supervisor:
Matthew Gratzner
Model Crew Chief:
Forest P. Fischer
Mechanical Crew Chief:
Scott Beverly
Lead Model Maker:
Paul Clemente
Model Makers:
Greg M. Boettcher
Jeffrey Cupernell
Seth Curlin
Lulie Diorio
Val Favela
Lars W. Hagen
Patrick Hinkle
Brian Marn
Michelle Morgan
Logan Payne
James Peterson
Brian Ripley
Gary Rhodaback
Brandon W. Seifert
James Waterhouse
Tamara D. Waters
Kirk M. Yamashita
Mechanical Effects:
Brian Kelly Hahn
Pete Gerard
Mike Woolaway
Michael R. Padilla
Brian Jaecker
David Collier
Jennifer Hawk
Leigh-Alexander Jacob
Shelly McKnight
Catherine Burns
Dan Brodzik
Video/Computer Graphics Consultant
Liz Radley
Computer Animation
David Watkinson
John Rosengrant
Richard Haugen
Matthew Heimlich
Trevor Hensley
Joey Orosco
Robert Ramsdell
Timothy Ralston
Jeffrey Charles Edwards
Art Directors
Charlie Daboub
NY Crew:
Teresa Carriker-Thayer
Set Designers
Al Hobbs
Mike Stassi
Maya Shimoguchi
Julia Levine
Greg Berry
Set Decorator
Gary Fettis
Mauro Borelli
Phil Shearer
Mariano Diaz
Senior Production Illustrator
Nikita Knatz
Storyboard Artists
Collin Grant
Kevin MacCarthy
James Doe
Costume Designer
Bobbie Mannix
Costume Supervisors
Carlane Passman Little
NY Crew:
Gail Fitzgibbons
Department Head:
Jeff Dawn
Louis Lazzara
Dayne Johnson
Creature Design/Creation
Stan Winston Studio
Effects Supervisors:
Stan Winston
John Rosengrant
Concept Designer:
Mark 'Crash' McCreery
Lead Key Artist:
Joey Orosco
Key Artists:
Trevor Hensley
Rob Ramsdell
Jason Matthews
Bill Basso
Greg Figiel
Make-up Application:
Richie Alonzo
Key Animatronic Design:
Jeff Edwards
Rich Haugen
Matt Heimlich
J. Alan Scott
Art/Mold Technical Deptartment Supervisor:
Tony McCray
Key Art/Mold Technicians:
Joe Reader
Eric Ostroff
Art/Mold Technical Department:
Keith Marbory
Rob Phillips
Lou Diaz
Darin Bouyssou
Alon Dori
Dave Beneke
Grady Holder
Carey Jones
Mark Jurinko
Lindsay MacGowan
Gary Yee
Foam Technician:
Mark Viniello
Key Fabrication:
Connie Cadwell
Key Hair:
Michael Ornelaz
Executive in Charge of Operations:
Tara Meaney-Crocitto
Production Co-ordinator:
Stiles White
Special Make-up Effects
Kurtzman, Nicotero & Berger EFX Group, Inc
Shop Supervisor:
Shannon Shea
Gino Crognale
Garrett Immel
Norman Cabrera
Scott Patton
Bruce Fuller
Mark Tavares
Lab Technicians:
Brian Rae
Al Lorenzana
Rick Bongiovanni
Louis Kiss
James Hall
Justin Ditter
Karen Keener
Jason Collins
Brian Demsky
Al Tuskes
Steve Hartman
Ron Pipes
Tamara Carlson
Michael McCarty
Tim Ralston
Wayne Toth
Production Staff:
Kamar Bitar
Karrie Ralston
Chiz Hasegawa
Hair Designer
Peter Tothpal
Key Hair Stylist
Jennifer M. Bell
Main Title Design
Pacific Title/Mirage
Brad Dechter
Frank Bennett
Don Nemitz
Chris Klatman
Pete Anthony
Music Supervisor
G. Marq Roswell
Music Co-ordination
Christopher S. Parker
Music Editors
Tom Carlson
Temp Dub:
Curt Sobel
Music Scoring Mixer
Alan Myerson
Dave Marquette
Electronic Music Mixer
Michael Stern
"Little Yurt on the Prairie" by David Hoffner, Kongar-ol' Ondar, performed by Ondar; "For the Beauty of the Earth" (trad), by Conrad Kecher; "Deck the Halls" (trad), performed by Ottmar Liebert; "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (trad), performed by Bing Crosby; "Superbeast" by Rob Zombie, Charlie Clouser, Scott Humphrey, performed by Rob Zombie; "Crushed" by Fred Durst, DJ Lethal, performed by Limp Bizkit; "Slow" by Roman Marisak, Jeff Schartoff, performed by Professional Murder Music; "Camel Song" by Jonathon Davis, Reginald Arvizu, Brian Welch, James Shaffer, David Silveria, performed by Korn; "The Christmas Song" by Mel Tormé, Robert Wells, performed by Nat King Cole; "Oh My God" by Axl Rose, performed by Guns 'n' Roses; "So Long" by Danny Lohner, Eric Schrody, performed by Everlast
Production Sound Mixer
Gene S. Cantamessa
Re-recording Mixers
Michael Minkler
Frank Montaño
Additional Audio
Mark Ormandy
Kerry Carmean
Supervising Sound Editor
Mike Wilhoit
Co-supervising Sound Editor
Kelly L. Oxford
Dialogue Editors
Laura R. Harris
Lauren Stephens
Sound Design Editors
Tony Lamberti
Alan Rankin
Sound Effects Editors
Scott Sanders
Hector Gika
Chris Assells
Scott Gershin
Robert Deschaine
Michelle Pazer
Jeffrey B. Wilhoit
James Moriana
Greg Zimmerman
Nerses Gezalyan
Craig Jaeger
Aerial Co-ordinators
Chuck Tamburro
John Tamburro
NY Crew:
Al Cerullo
Stunt Co-ordinator
Steve M. Davison
Animal Trainer
Jim Brockett
Animal Suppliers
Brockett's Film Fauna
Helicopter Pilots
Charles A. Tamburro
Rick Shuster
Al Cerullo Jr
John Tamburro
Al Cerullo
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Jericho Cane
Gabriel Byrne
The Man
Kevin Pollak
Robin Tunney
Christine York
C.C.H. Pounder
Detective Marge Francis
Rod Steiger
Father Kovak
Derrick O'Connor
Thomas Aquinas
Miriam Margolyes
Udo Kier
head priest
Victor Varnado
Michael O'Hagan
Mark Margolis
David Weisenberg
Rainer Judd
Christine's mother
Luciano Miele
pope's adviser
Jack Shearer
Eve Sigall
old woman
Robert Lesser
Lloyd Garroway
Gary Anthony Williams
utility workers
John Nielson
hospital cop
Yannis Bogris
Elliot Goldwag
Thomas' doctor
Elaine Corral Kendall
Denice D. Lewis
Rebecca Renee Olstead
Matt Gallini
monk 1/intruder
Marc Lawrence
old man
Van Quattro
Satan priest
Chuck Tamburro
helicopter pilot
Lynn Marie Sager
head priest wife
Linda Pine
head priest daughter
David Franco
assistant priest
Steven Kramer
Melissa Mascara
businessman's wife
John Timothy Botka
cop at Thomas'
Walter von Huene
Father Michael Rocha
Father Mike
Buena Vista International (UK)
10,969 feet
121 minutes 53 seconds
Dolby digital/Digital DTS sound/SDDS
Colour by
Super 35 [2.35:1]
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2011