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Pages: (2) [1] 2  ( Go to first unread post )

 Holocaust 2000 (DVD release)
Tim Rogerson
Posted: Sep 16 2008, 03:20 AM


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Alberto de Martino's Omen rip-off Holocaust 2000 is coming out on 28th October from Lion's Gate.

It's title for the DVD release is Rain of Fire. The Amazon.com specs promise a widescreen release. Hopefully, it will be uncut.

Not a title I'm familar with for this film which was also known as The Chosen.

This 'classic' stars Kirk Douglas as a mega industrialist and Simon Ward as his son. Lots of gory murders, nudity and an excellent Ennio Morricone score. It's ages since I saw it but it is a typical Italian cheesefest although the ending makes no sense.

This post has been edited by Tim Rogerson on Sep 16 2008, 03:24 AM
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Steve Guariento
Posted: Sep 16 2008, 07:27 AM


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"Its title for the DVD release is Rain of Fire ... Not a title I'm familar with for this film which was also known as The Chosen."

The RAIN OF FIRE retitling apparently first appeared on the Dutch VHS tape, which was uncut for violence but doesn't contain several of the additional dialogue scenes found in the recent Italian DVD (which loses the gore).
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Mark Tinta
Posted: Oct 28 2008, 07:30 PM


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I picked this up today. It looks pretty good...some grain and it's not the right aspect ratio (it was shot 2.35:1, and the DVD is the usual Lionsgate 1.78 job), but I have no real gripes about how it looks. The title on the film is RAIN OF FIRE, and it's thankfully not one of those ridiculous burned-in alternate titles. I've seen running times for this ranging from 96 to 106 mins. Lionsgate's DVD runs 102 mins.

SPOILERS (Seriously...MASSIVE SPOILERS)



The Lionsgate RAIN OF FIRE print has a different ending than the US theatrical HOLOCAUST 2000 (or was it THE CHOSEN in theaters?) that was on Vestron VHS and aired in prime-time on CBS in the early 1980s. HOLOCAUST 2000 ends with Douglas suicide-bombing the Caine Enterprises building, thwarting evil Ward's plans of world destruction. RAIN OF FIRE has the alternate ending where Ward assumes control of the company and Douglas is off far away, alive and well with Belli and their baby daughter as he hears that ubiquitious, annoying "What do our children/Want to be/When they grow up?/ALIVE!" chant.

The RAIN OF FIRE ending has a more spiritual/religious angle (Evil wins, but is the daughter the second coming?), but I kinda like HOLOCAUST 2000's "Kirk blows everyone up" ending, perhaps because that's the version I've always known. I've always been a fan of this Italy/UK OMEN ripoff, even though it can be quite silly at times, and watching it again after many years, Douglas is a bit inconsistent throughout. At times, he's the intense, teeth-gritting Kirk we know and love, and other times, he's inappropriately almost nonchalantly glib (notice his non-reaction to Belli turning up in his car, or the way he just casually drops the bomb on Ward that he had a twin who died at birth). I was impressed that Douglas did some of his own stuntwork (watch how Massimo Foschi dumps the 61-year-old Kirk off the gurney; that's Kirk taking that fall), and he, along with an unusually distinguished supporting cast for an Alberto De Martino-directed and Edmondo Amati-produced outing (Romolo Valli, Alexander Knox, Anthony Quayle, Virginia McKenna, Ivo Garrani, and Adolfo Celi) give this a lot more class than it should have.

I remember reading an interview once with De Martino, where he said that Douglas told him he was his favorite among all the directors with whom he'd worked. While I find that a tad hard to swallow, De Martino must've charmed Douglas to some extent...it's surprising enough to find someone of Kirk's stature in an Italian OMEN ripoff, but De Martino somehow convinced him to engage in an extended nude dream sequence where we even get a brief glimpse of The Full Kirk.

I wish it had the original ending (or at least had it as a deleted scene) or any extras of note (just trailers for Lionsgate's Meridian DVD releases of THE RED VIOLIN and DIVA, and, for some reason, the wretched BELPHEGOR: PHANTOM OF THE LOUVRE). I can't imagine Kirk would want to sit down for interview about this one (what's Simon Ward doing these days?) , but at $11.99, I'm glad I picked it up.

This post has been edited by Mark Tinta on Oct 28 2008, 07:32 PM


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Marty McKee
Posted: Oct 28 2008, 10:02 PM


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QUOTE (Mark Tinta @ Oct 28 2008, 08:30 PM)
(it was shot 2.35:1, and the DVD is the usual Lionsgate 1.78 job)

FWIW, Lionsgate's recent SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT is presented at 2.35.


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Steve Guariento
Posted: Oct 29 2008, 02:52 AM


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QUOTE (Mark Tinta @ Oct 28 2008, 07:30 PM)
RAIN OF FIRE has the alternate ending where Ward assumes control of the company and Douglas is off far away, alive and well with Belli and their baby daughter as he hears that ubiquitious, annoying "What do our children/Want to be/When they grow up?/ALIVE!" chant.

This "alternate" ending is the one I'm familiar with from numerous UK TV screenings, under the original HOLOCAUST 2000 title; it sounds as if the US ending is the true "alternate", if as I suspect the UK got the same ending as the rest of Europe. I haven't seen the Italian DVD, but I imagine it ends this way too. Can anyone confirm?

I was on the fence with this release, and having heard that the AR is screwed up will probably give it a miss. (Unless it can be had dirt cheap.) Surely some European company can come to the rescue, a la COLOSSUS:THE FORBIN PROJECT, and give this a decent release...?
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Tim Rogerson
Posted: Oct 29 2008, 04:34 AM


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I agree with Steve G - the ending on the DVD is the one that I remember when I saw the film on UK TV many years ago.
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Brian Camp
Posted: Oct 29 2008, 08:20 AM


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I also remember the "alternate ending" from the last time I saw this on TV, but on a local New York broadcast channel. But I also remember the "Kirk blows everything up" ending. Maybe I first saw it on CBS and that was the ending on that print and then later saw the other one and somehow conflated the two in my mind. Or maybe at least something blows up in the alternate ending, while Kirk is far, far away? unsure.gif But I distinctly remember the scene of Kirk with Belli and baby, as described by Mark, from the last time I saw this on TV.

EDIT: Or maybe in the ending I saw, Kirk is on the beach (or wherever) with Belli and the baby and then goes and blows everything up. Memory is a funny thing, but I distinctly remember both things Mark describes. huh.gif

This post has been edited by Brian Camp on Oct 29 2008, 09:16 AM


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Mark Tinta
Posted: Oct 29 2008, 03:17 PM


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QUOTE (Brian Camp @ Oct 29 2008, 02:20 PM)


EDIT:  Or maybe in the ending I saw, Kirk is on the beach (or wherever) with Belli and the baby and then goes and blows everything up. Memory is a funny thing, but I distinctly remember both things Mark describes. huh.gif

THAT'S what I remember from the CBS airing and the Vestron VHS.

Kirk is with Belli and the child, then they cut to an airport and a now-bearded Kirk is walking through the terminal as voiceovers from earlier in the film play, and you hear Kirk yell something like "I will not create a seven-headed monster to destroy the world!" Then it cuts to Simon Ward at the board meeting, the door opens, and then the explosion.

On the Lionsgate DVD (and apparently, what the UK folks saw), it goes from the Ward board meeting, then BACK to Kirk, Belli, and the baby, and there's no shot of a bearded Kirk at the airport.

Here we go (the video's not so good, but you'll get the point):

CBS/Vestron Video HOLOCAUST 2000 conclusion

Lionsgate RAIN OF FIRE conclusion that the UK Mobians know (dubbed in French)



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Marc Edward Heuck
Posted: Oct 30 2008, 02:54 AM


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QUOTE (Mark Tinta @ Oct 28 2008, 07:30 PM)
It looks pretty good...some grain and it's not the right aspect ratio (it was shot 2.35:1, and the DVD is the usual Lionsgate 1.78 job)

SPOILERS (Seriously...MASSIVE SPOILERS)

The Lionsgate RAIN OF FIRE print has a different ending than the US theatrical HOLOCAUST 2000 (or was it THE CHOSEN in theaters?) that was on Vestron VHS and aired in prime-time on CBS in the early 1980s. HOLOCAUST 2000 ends with Douglas suicide-bombing the Caine Enterprises building, thwarting evil Ward's plans of world destruction. RAIN OF FIRE has the alternate ending where Ward assumes control of the company and Douglas is off far away, alive and well with Belli and their baby daughter as he hears that ubiquitious, annoying "What do our children/Want to be/When they grow up?/ALIVE!" chant.

The RAIN OF FIRE ending has a more spiritual/religious angle (Evil wins, but is the daughter the second coming?), but I kinda like HOLOCAUST 2000's "Kirk blows everyone up" ending, perhaps because that's the version I've always known.

I don't think Lionsgate can be completely held at fault for the disappointments of this release. This is one of the many titles they picked up from their new deal with StudioCanal, and as I understand it, StudioCanal pretty much prepares everything themselves and just hands over an essentially finished master to Lionsgate to release. This easily explains why there is the alternate title and the different ending. Strange that they would botch the aspect ratio - Canal+ is usally good about that kind of detail. Is the Italian DVD at the proper 2.35?

I do wish some more attention had been paid by Canal+ and Lionsgate on this though. Reportedly, MGM had prepared a nice HD master of the U.S. version before unexpectedly discovering that they no longer had the rights to it. I'm sure had StudioCanal asked, they would have turned it over. Thus it would have been easy to add it to the package as an different version, or at least present the U.S. ending as a supplement.
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Steve Guariento
Posted: Oct 30 2008, 03:26 AM


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Thanks for posting those links to the HOLOCAUST 2000 alternate endings, Mark. Interesting stuff, though the CHOSEN ending does strike me as a hastily-shot insert presumably mandated by the US distributor fearful that the original conclusion lacked punch (which it does).

In fact, it reminds me very much of the crass US ending for Boorman's HELL IN THE PACIFIC - let's overdub some sound effects of bombs falling, add a little faux-camera jiggle and BAM! cut to a miniature exploding. (Can't somebody release a decent DVD of HELL IN THE PACIFIC, by the way? With the original ending, not just slapped on the disc as an "alternate" ending? Anamorphic too much to ask in 2008? I had hopes that the recent Fremantle UK budget release might do the trick, but apparently it's a shameful P&S hatchet-job. Boorman and De Martino don't get no respect.)
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Eric Cotenas
Posted: Oct 31 2008, 06:17 AM


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I prefer the RAIN OF FIRE ending. I too have only seen this film before on US tape and TV prints under the HOLOCAUST 2000 title.


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Andrew King
Posted: Oct 31 2008, 11:53 AM


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The Greek VHS is letterboxed and sometimes goes full screen - making me wonder if this is a 1.85 camera matte and then open gate? Is it really scope - I can't tell on a brief scan just now.

***SPOILERS***

Print has Cinema title 'The Chosen' and at PAL speed runs a few seconds short of 95 minutes. The ending is as "Kirk is on the beach (or wherever) with Belli and the baby and then goes and blows everything up." seen in that link below titled CBS/Vestron.
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Eric Cotenas
Posted: Oct 31 2008, 11:54 AM


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The Dutch VHS has scope closing credits that reveal info missing from the sides on the LionsGate DVD.


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Tim Rogerson
Posted: Nov 4 2008, 02:12 PM


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Thanks for the link. I never understood the ending with the baby - is the baby meant to be the new Christ who will combat the anti-Christ?- but the alternate one is clearly something patched together in the editing room (close-up of someone's hands making explosives and then just a shot of the door opening and then the building blowing up).
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Rod Barnett
Posted: Dec 7 2008, 01:36 PM


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Are we sure that the film was shot 2.35:1? I just watched the LionsGate DVD and although I'm pretty sensitive to missing picture problems I couldn't detect any scenes that seemed tight or badly composed. 1.85 seemed about right-- but this was my first viewing of the movie. Just curious....
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Mark Tinta
Posted: Dec 7 2008, 01:53 PM


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QUOTE (Rod Barnett @ Dec 7 2008, 07:36 PM)
Are we sure that the film was shot 2.35:1? I just watched the LionsGate DVD and although I'm pretty sensitive to missing picture problems I couldn't detect any scenes that seemed tight or badly composed. 1.85 seemed about right-- but this was my first viewing of the movie. Just curious....

Well, imdb claims it was shot at 2.35, for what that's worth.


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Eric Cotenas
Posted: Dec 8 2008, 06:07 PM


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QUOTE (Rod Barnett @ Dec 7 2008, 01:36 PM)
Are we sure that the film was shot 2.35:1? I just watched the LionsGate DVD and although I'm pretty sensitive to missing picture problems I couldn't detect any scenes that seemed tight or badly composed. 1.85 seemed about right-- but this was my first viewing of the movie. Just curious....

Definitely cropped from scope. See caps here.


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Steve Guariento
Posted: Dec 9 2008, 05:34 AM


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The only moment when I really noticed the 'scope cropping was right at the end, when Kirk chalks the "2231" numeral on the blackboard - the Lionsgate DVD crops the "1" off the right of the screen. Aside from that, and a couple of instances where characters are uncomfortably crowded by the extreme edges of the frame, the reformatting certainly didn't strike me as ruinous. I imagine this is the best we can expect for some considerable time.

Hugely enjoyable film, in any case. Cropping aside, the US DVD gets a qualified thumbs up from me.
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Rod Barnett
Posted: Dec 10 2008, 12:14 AM


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QUOTE (Eric Cotenas @ Dec 8 2008, 06:07 PM)
Definitely cropped from scope. See caps here.

Thanks for the link. It does appear to have been cropped a bit and that's a shame.
The thing is- I actually enjoyed the movie. As a whacked out OMEN rip-off it plays pretty well with quite a few stand out scenes among the silly clunkers. The deer feeding scene is classic unintentional humor.
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William S. Wilson
Posted: Sep 11 2009, 10:15 PM


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Watched this tonight for the first time and definitely enjoyed it. As Mark pointed out earlier in the thread, it is pretty wild to see the 61-year-old Douglas taking his fare share of pummeling AND running nude on the beach in a dream sequence.

Sadly, I do think the film has one major flaw in the lazy screenwriting.


SPOILERS


Seriously, they couldn't form a mystery out of Douglas discovering his own son was a twin a la Gregory Peck finding out his child was murdered in THE OMEN? Nope. Instead, Douglas just blurts out "OH, you had a twin brother that died when you were born" to his son Angel (real subtle name there guys) after we've heard the prophecy about the second son being the Antichrist. Douglas doing some detective work and finding it out would have been much stronger.

And anyone who can solve a game of CLUE will know Angel is the villain. His cold demeanor and enthusiasm for the energy project didn't exactly help hide him too much as the villain.


END SPOILERS

Seeing that alternate ending is kind of wild. I think I actually prefer the explosion one because it basically shows the former exec has now filled the revolutionary protester role.


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