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Film / End of Days

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End of Days is a 1999 supernatural Action Horror film directed by Peter Hyams and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger plays Jericho Cane, a retired police officer who suffers from depression because his wife and daughter were killed while he was on duty one day. He gets a job protecting a Wall Street banker (Gabriel Byrne). Unbeknownst to him, the Wall Street banker is possessed by Satan, who plans to unleash chaos by having sex with Christine York (Robin Tunney), The Chosen One to bear his child. Now Jericho has to protect her from Satan in order to save the world.

The film is easily the darkest in Arnold's career, containing very little cheeky dialogue and demoting Arnold to a tough but ordinary man instead of a typical Action Hero.

End of Tropes:

  • 6 Is 9: The Number of the Beast is really 999.
  • Abusive Parents: When Christine tries to escape, her stepmother Mabel physically restraints her and then launches into an emotionally abusive rant, accusing Christine of being "ungrateful" when she refuses to join the satanic cultists to bring about the end of days.
  • The Ahnold: The writer pitched the film's script on how great it would be to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger say "I want you to go to Hell!" to the Devil. But when pitching End of Days to the Schwarzenegger himself, he suddenly realized that "I can't 'do Arnie' to Arnie!" Fortunately, Schwarzenegger said the line himself, thus avoiding any embarrassment.
  • The Alcoholic: Jericho drinks heavily due to the death of his wife and child. Thomas Aquinas, possibly as well.
  • Alien Blood: Satan's urine is pitch black, which is also incredibly flammable.
  • Anti Anti Christ: Christine was raised from birth by Satanists to be Satan's bride. Unfortunately for them, they didn't drill this into her head from day one, instead raising her as a normal upper middle-class American girl. When the wedding day approaches, she understandably rejects the proposition.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Christine is necessary to cause the Apocalypse by giving birth to The Antichrist.
  • Archangel Michael: Jericho, currently possessed by Satan, impales himself on a sword held by a statue of Michael to stop Satan from raping Christine.
  • Artistic License – History: The priest explains that the Number of the Beast comes from the writer of the Book of Revelation seeing the number 999 upside down in a vision. This ignores the fact that at the time it was written (no later than 2nd century AD), no system of numeric notation existed where this mix-up could have happened. The entire point hinges on using the kind of Arabic numberals we are familiar with, and the earliest known use of those is from the ninth century. Also, Satan's number is actually 616, not 999 upside down (666).
  • Artistic License – Religion: The priest explains that 1999 was the year Satan returned because it was the Number of the Beast upside down! It's the 999 that matters. The Beast will attempt to return at every 999 (999, 1999, 2999, etc.) on the last day of that year. And because his number is actually 616, it wouldn't make sense for Satan to even return.
  • Badass Longcoat: Satan wears a sleek black longcoat in his human host and is very fond of it. He himself is virtually indestructible to begin with, so he hires a protection squad specifically to prevent the coat from getting damaged by Christian warriors. Jericho shooting holes in the coat is a Berserk Button for the Devil.
  • Badass Normal: In an inversion of Arnold's regular roles in action films, Jericho is pretty badass, but unfortunately can be overwhelmed and kicked the crap out of, and he has absolutely no prayer against something like The Devil in a fair fight.
  • Bad Boss: Satan literally fires employees that leave his employment and casually abuses the rest, plain decapitating one for a minor inconvenience.
  • Barefoot Captives: Christine loses both her shoes after being abducted by Satanists in the movie's final act, and spends the entire ending running around through New York's subways, the streets, and into a church barefoot.
  • Berserk Button: The Devil is very fond of his dark longcoat, so damaging it is the most surefire way to piss him off royally. The first time a human does that, he crucifies the man to the ceiling. When Jericho later shoots holes through it during an attack, the Devil grabs him by the neck and threatens to throw him down several stories.
    Satan: Don't fuck up the coat!
  • Big Applesauce: The film's basic premise is that the apocalypse would come at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve in the year 1999... but only after the ball drops in Times Square. It even gets a Lampshade Hanging:
    "So, the Prince of Darkness wants to conquer the Earth, but has to wait until an hour before midnight on New Year's Eve? Is this Eastern time?"
  • Big Bad: Satan, who intends to conceive The Antichrist on New Year's Eve.
  • Big Good: The Pope, who oversees the attempt to stop Satan and urges faith when things look their worst.
  • Big "NO!": Christine, several times including witnessing Jericho's Heroic Sacrifice. Once from Jericho right before he is forced to relive his wife and daughter's murder.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The people in Christine's life, her adoptive stepmother Mabel and her psychiatrist Dr. Abel, whom she trusted and believed to have had the best interests for her, turn out to be evil satanic cult members just gaslighting her and preparing to wed her to Satan.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the end, The End of the World as We Know It was averted, but Jericho sacrifices himself to do it, although this also means that Jericho can finally be with his family again.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Satan and his followers leave Jericho alive after savagely beating him. It ultimately results in Satan's plan failing.
  • The Cameo: Bodybuilder Sven-Ole Thorsen appears as a thug breaking into Jericho's apartment.
  • Cannot Kill Their Loved Ones: Jericho's partner Chicago, despite having become Satan's henchman, is unable to directly kill his old friend when it comes down to it, even when the alternative is his master burning him alive.
  • Car Cushion: Jericho throws Satan out of a window, and he lands on a parked car. Justified, seeing as how he's Satan...
  • Cat Scare: When Jericho is looking over the apartment of the priest that tried to snipe Satan, he opens the refrigerator and a cat that happens to be inside gets startled.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: Happens twice. The first time when Marge and a fellow Satanist cop arrive and open fire on Jericho when he thinks they are there to help him, ordering him to give them Christine. He manages to gun them both down and escape with Christine just in time. The second time he is betrayed by his friend Bobby, who seemingly arrived to save him and Christine from a mob of Satanists. Instead he kidnaps Christine and leaves Jericho to be beaten and crucified by the Satanists and Satan himself.
  • Christianity is Catholic: On New Year's Eve, the only people left in Manhattan are militant Catholics and equally militant Satanists, but it's more the way Hollywood views both. The theological issues with this movie could fill encyclopedias.
  • Comet of Doom: The appearance of a comet above the full moon is known as "the Eye of God" by Vatican astronomers, and it's the sign of the prophesied birth of the woman that will give birth to the anti-Christ.
  • Complete Immortality: Satan mocks Jericho for thinking he can beat him, since "you are just a man, and FOREVER."
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: When a man is found crucified against a ceiling with hospital scalpels, one police officer suggests that he did it himself. Jericho asks how he got the last scalpel in which is...certainly a problem with this theory.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: In the final raid Jericho grabs three shells for his Grenade Launcher, two yellow and one red. Based on what we see much later when all hell breaks loose, the yellow ones detonates instantly when hitting a target, while the red one (which took down Satan momentarily in the subway chase) is timed and explodes several seconds after finding it's mark.
  • Cruel Mercy: After Satan successfully acquires the girl whom he needs to sire his child and dispatches Jericho, he leaves him alive and crucifies him to a building solely so he can lament his failure and personally witness The End of the World as We Know It.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: After a brief chase and a shootout on a rooftop, Jericho and his team apprehend a crazy homeless person shooter trying to kill him and the client he was hired to protect (actually Satan). Only for Jericho to discover that the shooter is actually a priest trying to stop Satan and prevent the end of days from happening.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Jericho is brutally beaten by a large mob of Satanists in a bleak aversion of Schwarzenegger's usual One-Man Army routine. Unsurprisingly, he's also completely outclassed by Satan himself, and spends most of the movie trying to hold off, trick or evade him.
  • Cult Soundtrack: It features B-sides and remixes by Rob Zombie, Powerman5000, Everlast, Eminem, Sonic Youth, Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Guns N' Roses.
  • Cross-Melting Aura: When Satan enters a church, the entire building shakes like it's in the middle of an earthquake, and candles within flare up violently.
  • Cruel Mercy: After Satan successfully acquires Christine and dispatches Jericho, he leaves him alive and crucifies him to a building solely so he can lament his failure and personally witness The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: The deaths of Jericho's wife and daughter before the film begins.
    Father Kovak: Do you believe in God?
    Jericho Cane: Maybe once, not anymore.
    Father Kovak: What happened?
    Jericho Cane: We had a difference of opinion. I thought my wife and daughter should live. He felt otherwise.
  • Damsel in Distress: Christine is chased and/or captured several times in this story because she's a MacGuffin Super-Person. The Satanists want her for their Evil Plan and some of the Catholics want to kill her to prevent this from happening.
  • Darker and Edgier: Along with Collateral Damage, when compared to other Arnold movies.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Jericho's sacrifice allows him to reunite with his late family in heaven
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Satan tries to make an arrangement with Jericho to return his dead wife and child to him in exchange for leading him to Christine, whom Satan needs to impregnate to complete his plan, but Jericho refuses the offer.
    • Chicago makes a deal with Satan to serve him if he would spare his life after Satan set him on fire. When Chicago refuses to kill Jericho, Satan terminates the contract and burns him alive.
  • Demonic Possession: By Satan himself to the Wall Street banker and later to Jericho in the end.
  • Destination Defenestration: Jericho flings Satan out of a window after rejecting his We Can Rule Together deal.
  • The Determinator: Jericho survives being crucified. And the first thing he does after regaining consciousness is resume his mission to protect Christine.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?:
    • Jericho to Satan at one point:
      Jericho: You want to fuck with me? You think you know bad, huh? You're a fucking CHOIR BOY compared to me! A CHOIR BOY!
    • Also the kid with the "Satan Rules" t-shirt. He didn't know that he was dealing with Satan, and thought he was just being a sarcastic prick. Of course, Flipping the Bird at the Devil proves not to be good for your health...
  • Dirty Cop: It appears the entire NYPD are secretly Satanists.
  • Divine Intervention: In the end, nothing Jericho can do can beat the bad guy, and asking for God's help is the only way to save the world.
  • Driven to Suicide: Jericho contemplates suicide every Christmas because his wife and daughter were killed while doing his job; his debut scene sees him holding a gun to his head before Chicago knocks on his door.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Satan's true form in the end. See One-Winged Angel.
  • Event Title: End of Days.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Including a subway. They all explode.
  • Evil Stole My Faith: Jericho Cane stopped believing in God after contract killers murdered both his wife and their daughter.
  • Evil Wears Black: After taking a Tall, Dark, and Handsome host, Satan walks around in a black longcoat and later appears in a Black Cloak during the Satanic bedding ceremony.
  • Expy: Many have noted that Gabriel Byrne's portrayal of Satan is remarkably similar to Al Pacino's Satan in The Devil's Advocate.
  • Fan Disservice: Satan's threesome with Dr. Abel's wife and daughter, where the two women somehow fuse together during their incestuous act.
  • Fanservice:
    • Christine has a quick topless scene as she's changing clothes that serves absolutely nothing to the plot.
    • Satan french-kissing a married woman in the restaurant and fondling the woman's breast. Along with a brief shot of her exposed nipple.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Everyone who is a Satanist gaslighting Christine, over-medicating her and acting loving and genuinely nice to her. Everyone on Jericho's police force as they too are revealed to be satanists. Christine's adoptive stepmother Mabel seems like a concerned loving parent to her but then shows her true colors as an angry manipulative satanist when Christine tries to leave.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Invoked by the Devil when Jericho tries to shoot him.
    Satan: Don't fuck up the coat!
  • Fight Off the Kryptonite: The Devil says "I can stand the pain of being in church."
  • Finger-Twitching Revival: Subverted. After Satan is bisected in a subway explosion, he moves his fingers to indicate he's still alive. With his host useless, however, his incorporeal winged form leaves it to possess Jericho himself.
  • Fingore: At one point, Jericho hangs from a broken window, the glass cutting into his hand.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: After the Devil possesses Jericho, the camera focuses on the broken statue of St. Michael with a sword as Jericho thinks how to stop himself, from his Demonic Possession, from raping Christine.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Gabriel Byrne plays Satan, and the female extras were very, very comfortable with this.
  • For the Evulz: Chicago suggests to Jericho that they cast their lot with Satan under the reasoning that their long careers as mercenaries meant they had no chance of "going upstairs" anyway, so they might as well have fun while alive. Chicago having been set on fire and being offered a way out of getting burned to a crisp from the Devil was also fairly persuasive.
  • Foreshadowing: When Jericho tells Marge that he saw with his own two eyes Thomas Aquinas speak full sentences to him despite the priest no longer having a tongue, Marge dismisses Jericho and asks if he's been drinking again. She is actually one of the corrupt satanists and this was all an manipulative act of hers, trying to sway Jericho away from learning about the end of days.
  • Fun T-Shirt: Satan runs into a teenager with a "Satan Rules" t-shirt and compliments it. The teen tells him "screw you" and wasn't a true Satanist in any case, so the Devil causes him to get hit by a bus.
  • God Is Good: Jericho prays for help at the end. Afterward, he's reunited him with his dead family.
  • Good Shepherd: Father Kovak explains the situation to Christine, agrees to protect her from both the Satanists and Vatican knights, and later rescues Jericho after Satanists beat the shit out of him.
  • Healing Factor: Satan quickly heals his host's wounds after Jericho shoots him. Near the end, he suffers so much damage that he doesn't even bother repairing it anymore and starts looking for a new body because he's running out of time to complete his plan.
  • Hell on Earth: Satan tries to use a specifically-chosen woman to help him sire The Antichrist. This will then somehow allow him to permanently open a portal to Hell and turn the world into a fiery hellscape.
  • Hellevator: In the opening, a sinister nurse takes a newborn Christine to an elevator down to the morgue where a satanic cult await to mark her as the chosen one for Satan. Coincidentally, the elevator button for going down is red. Possibly referring to Hell or at least the satanists who raised Christine.
  • The Hero Dies: Jericho Caine throws himself on a sword to banish Satan back to Hell.
  • Heroic Suicide: Jericho's death in the end is the only way to stop the end of the world.
  • Historical Rap Sheet: In the Novelization Satan claims credit for the Holocaust, Cambodian Killing Fields, and the atrocities committed by Christians during the Balkan Wars.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Jericho starts out as one of these, but by the end of the film, he finds himself asking God for help against Satan.
  • Hollywood Satanism: The cult that serves Satan while he is in human form.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The movie follows the attempts to prevent Satan from conceiving the Antichrist before the year 2000.
  • Hot as Hell: Gabriel Byrne as Satan.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Satan is in human form (and speaks English) for most of the story, then manifests himself as a malevolent shock wave in the big cathedral showdown.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Subverted for the ending, wherein Jericho is possessed by Satan himself, but before he's forced to rape the girl he tried to protect during the movie, regains control long enough to jump straight on a sword held by a statue of the Archangel Michael, killing himself and banishing Satan just as the year 2000 rolls in.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Jericho to Chicago, and Christine to Jericho after they are possessed by demons.
  • Immune to Bullets: Downplayed. Guns only mildly inconvenience the Devil but forces him to repair his host body, and machine gun fire does put him down, albeit temporarily. Being caught in a gas main explosion and then run over by a subway train in quick succession is enough to mess him up quite a bit, and being blown up by a grenade launcher in this state leaves him in enough pieces that he's forced to vacate his possessed body and look for a new one.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Jericho himself jumps on the sword of a statue of the Archangel Michael to stop his possession.
  • Implacable Man: Gabriel Byrne's Satan possesses the body of an investment banker, who proves impervious to bullets and other blunt trauma. He's eventually worn down by repeated explosive blasts and being mowed down by a subway train. When he can no longer walk, he simply leaves the broker's body and possesses a new one: Jericho. In the end, Satan isn't beaten, only outlasted as the New Year rings in, and he's forced to retreat for another 1,000 years.
  • Improperly Paranoid: It's bad enough that Arnold has to protect the devil's chosen bride against Satan himself and a New York where every third person is apparently a devil worshipper, but he also has to deal with a subset of priests who want to just kill the devil's bride to remove any chance he can bring about the end of the world with her (even if it's not a permanent measure—they simply don't care as long as it doesn't happens within their lifetimes). Even another priest calls out the wrong-headed nature of this reaction:
    Father Kovak: You can't prevent evil by doing evil!
  • In Mysterious Ways: Mocked by the Devil when he's trying to recruit Jericho to his cause.
    Satan: You're on His side? He's the one who took away your family. Let me tell you something about Him. He is the biggest underachiever of all time. He just had a good publicist, that's all. Something good happens: "It's His will." Something bad happens: "He moves in mysterious ways." You take that... that overblown press kit they call the Bible. You look for the answer in there, what do they tell you? "Shit happens."
  • Interrupted Suicide: Jericho tries to shoot himself in the opening after his wife and daughter were murdered by a bunch of thugs who invaded his home when he wasn't there. As he's about to pull the trigger, his partner Chicago walks into his apartment to pick him up for the protection assignment they have to do that day. Chicago notices the gun on the table but doesn't bring the issue up again.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Jericho is dangling from a window. Satan offers to save him in exchange for his soul. Jericho appears to agree, but when Satan reaches over to pull him up, Jericho screams "Fuck you!" and yanks Satan out the window, where he falls into the street.
  • Karma Houdini: While Satan at the end is finally defeated and sent beck to Hell, most of his followers are apparently still at large.
  • Kill the Host Body:
    • Jericho tries to kill the Devil by throwing him in front of a subway train. This proves fatal for the guy he's possessing, but the Devil leaves the body so he can possess Jericho's instead.
      Satan: How do you expect to defeat me when you are but a man, and I am FOREVER!
    • Jericho does it again when he regains enough control from Satan to throw himself onto a statue of Michael's sword, denying the Devil a host before the deadline to conceive the Antichrist passes.
  • Knight Templar: The militant Catholics who believe that the best way to foil Satan's plan is to murder Christine, who is innocent.
  • Like a Son to Me: Not explicitly stated, but little moments like Jericho observing that his daughter had a similar music-box to the one owned by Christine suggests that he sees her as a substitute for his own lost daughter.
  • Living Bodysuit: There are a couple of moments where the Devil possesses people to disguise himself...while being very indiscreet.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Satan offers Jericho a re-creation of his deceased wife and child to win him over, but Jericho rejects it because he realizes it's ultimately not real. In response, Satan turns the illusion nightmarish by forcing Jericho to relive his family's murder and be unable to stop it.
  • MacGuffin Super-Person: Christine is the key to the birth of The Antichrist and thus the end of the world.
  • Made of Iron: Toyed with as the final act begins; Jericho is crucified and left for dead by Satan, but after the better part of a day is barely hindered.
  • Masochist's Meal: Jericho is seen starting his day by mixing coffee, beer, Pepto Bismol, leftover Chinese food, and a slice of pizza dropped on the floor in a blender and then chugging the resulting concoction. Ick.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Christine York, i.e. "Christ in New York."
    • Jericho Caine: Jericho is the name of possibly the oldest continually occupied city in the world; archaeologists have indications that it's been around since 10,000 BC. In The Bible, it basically had such huge, strong walls that it took a direct act of God to take them down for the Israelites (granted, this is a lot more meaningful and symbolic when you have Arnold as the character). Cain was the first-born son of Adam and Eve, infamous as the first murderer in history; it's uncertain whether this is a reference to Jericho's guilt over the deaths of his family or a Red Herring over what happens in the end.
    • One of the priests is named Thomas Aquinas. Thomas Aquinas was one of the greatest philosophers, a 13th-century proponent of natural theology and the father of the Thomistic school of philosophy and theology.
  • Mind Rape: Satan screws with Jericho by forcing him to relive the murder of his wife and child in a home invasion he wasn't there to stop.
  • Millennium Bug: The Y2k bug is briefly mentioned as the people of New York prepare to welcome the new millennium.
  • Moment of Weakness: Jericho's best friend Chicago betrays him and makes a Deal with the Devil because "it's amazing what you'll agree to when you're on fire." Especially galling since the Devil was the one who set him on fire in the first place. Near the end, Chicago can't bring himself to betray Jericho a second time, and the Devil revokes their deal by setting him on fire again.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Jericho's partner Chicago gives him a cup of coffee to help get him ready for work, saying "there's enough caffeine to kill an elephant".
  • Name of Cain: The lead Jericho Cain, played by Schwarzenegger. A total Anti-Hero, and implied to be the second coming of Christ (J.C., get it?).
  • Neck Lift: Satan effortlessly lifts Jericho over his head by grabbing his neck and holds him in front of an open window to threaten him.
  • Neck Snap: Satan kills a guy by grabbing his head at twisting it 180 degrees.
  • No Holds Barred Breakdown: Jericho is betrayed by his partnernote  and was then ambushed by a large mob of cultists, who proceed to beat Jericho to an inch of his life.
  • No Name Given: We know nothing about the banker before Satan possesses him, and in the end credits, he's simply listed as "The Man".
  • Number of the Beast: Played with. Apparently, people who saw the number of the beast in their dreams/visions didn't realize it was shown upside down, so the number of the beast was 999 instead of 666. The Devil will then try to return on the last day of the year, for every year ending in 999 (999, 1999, 2999, etc). except they used Roman Numerals back then.
  • Offing the Annoyance: Satan murders a rebellious teenager after he accidentally trips the kid off his skateboard. He is pleased at the "Satan Rules" shirt he is wearing, but the teen interprets this as a condescending comment from a middle-aged businessman and tells him "Screw You". Satan then causes him to be hit by a bus.
  • One-Winged Angel: An almost literal example. After Satan's human host is damaged beyond repair, he abandons it and manifests in his true form as a gigantic, winged demon/dragon before possessing Jericho.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Jericho shoots Chicago in the arm to confirm that he's not actually Satan in disguise. When Chicago rants at him afterwards for shooting him, Jericho tells him to stop whining because it's "just a scratch."
  • Out of the Inferno: The Devil blows up a crowded restaurant in his first scene for kicks. The blast engulfs him as he walks out the door, but he then appears out of the flames with his human vessel completely unharmed.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Jericho and Christine outrun an inferno chasing them down a hallway after rescuing Christine from Satan near the end.
  • Pedo Hunt: Satan blackmails a security guard with his knowledge of the young boys the guard seduced, in order to gain access to a priest's hospital room.
  • The Penance: Thomas Aquinas cut out his own tongue to prevent himself from speaking about Christine's location.
  • Place of Protection: Hellspawn are not welcomed in the House of God and thus can't find someone hiding there. Satan himself admits that it causes him great pain to enter such a place.
  • Police Are Useless: One officer on discovering an elderly, injured man crucified to the ceiling with scalpels with no ladder or other platform in sight, suggests that he did it himself. Jericho asks how he could have got the last scalpel in to point out how ridiculous this theory is.
  • Poor Communication Kills: There's no communication at all between Jericho, the mainstream church, an extreme fringe group, and the foster system. None of them are on the same page. The Church tries to protect Christine but the fringe is trying to kill her, Jericho has no idea what's going on initially and the foster system put Christine with a Satanist, and because of that, members of the church assume she is one herself.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: After using everything possible to stop the Devil, Jericho prays to God to help him find strength in his struggle. God seems to help him resist being possessed by the Devil long enough to sacrifice himself and save the world. Jericho is then reunited with his family in the afterlife.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Chicago is a justified example. By turning away from Satan, he voided the deal he made with Satan to stay alive; thus death.
  • Religious Horror: Demons and Satanists roaming New York searching for a woman who can give birth to The Antichrist. There's lots of spiritual nastiness and temptation.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Jericho goes on one at near the end of the film, arming himself to the teeth and killing several Satanists to rescue Christine.
  • Rule of Symbolism: In the scene where Jericho and Bobby find Thomas Aquinas crucified to the ceiling above the bed, the wall behind the bed bears the image of the Cross.
  • Satan: He is trying to mate with his chosen bride while possessing a Wall Street banker played by Gabriel Byrne.
  • Save This Person, Save the World: The fate of the world depends on preventing Christine from becoming Satan's concubine.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: Jericho's superiors in the police are part of the conspiracy.
  • Sex God: Satan. All of the women he encounters are powerless against him. When he first arrives on Earth, he french kisses a woman and fondles her breast in a crowded restaurant, and she seems thrilled by it. Then he has a threesome with the wife and daughter of his priest, Dr. Abel. Even Christine, who knows that Satan wants to impregnate her with The Antichrist, feels strangely powerless to resist him.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Jericho puts a gun to Christine's head and threatens to do this in order to make Satan, who needs her alive so she can be impregnated with the Antichrist, to back off. Satan tries to call his bluff, but Jericho makes it pretty clear he's not kidding.
    Satan: You're not gonna kill her.
    Jericho: You said it yourself. I have a dark heart.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Father Kovak says to Jericho Cane that "Satan's greatest trick was convincing man he didn't exist". This quote from the French poet Charles Baudelaire also appears in The Usual Suspects (1995).
    • After Jericho runs out of the church with Christine, the alleyway they enter is the same as that used in the TV series, Angel (1999) which is supposed to take place in the same year, 1999.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • "The Man" is giving Jericho Cane his temptation speech (he is The Devil after all) and trying to convince him that a satanic apocalypse wouldn't be so bad after all.
      The Man: Just tell me what you want.
      Jericho Cane: I'll tell you what I want. I want you... to go to Hell.
      The Man: Well, you see, the problem is...
      (grabs Cane and lifts him)
      The Man: Sometimes Hell comes to YOU!
    • Later in the film:
      The Man: Now you're making me angry. You don't want to see me angry.
      Jericho Cane: Oh, you think you're bad, huh? You're a fucking choir boy compared to me! A CHOIR BOY!
  • Significant Monogram: Jericho Cane, J.C, which is the same as Jesus Christ.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work: As Jericho Cane tries to protect Christine York (the woman prophetized to help Satan create The Antichrist, a thing she definitely does not wishes to do), he discovers that there is a rogue group of Vatican priests who have decided to kill York and prevent the event from happening. It's noted that it's sinful and only will prevent Satan from doing this for another millennia, but they don't care. They are notably massacred by Satan when he comes calling while Father Novak, who was protesting this, is just knocked out.
    Father Kovak: You can't prevent evil by doing evil!
  • Sinister Minister: From both sides of the spectrum. Father Kovak is the other one who is good and doesn't want to cause no harm to Christine.
  • Sinister Subway: The Satanists' headquarters where they intend to sacrifice Christine is located in a subway.
  • 6 Is 9: The Number of the Beast is 999.
  • The Sociopath: Satan himself, who wants to destroy the world, and is perfectly willing to rape and kill anybody he needs to to achieve this goal. He's also an adept manipulator, and will use anybody's greatest desires or fears against them.
  • Suicide, Not Murder: One of the cops investigating a crime scene involving a man having been crucified to a ceiling after the Devil paid him a visit suggests with no trace of sarcasm in his voice that "maybe he did it to himself." Jericho, speaking for the audience, mocks him for it. The man is later revealed to be a Satanist.
  • Tagline: "Prepare"
  • Time Zones Do Not Exist: Lampshaded; the whole prophecy for the return of the Antichrist hinges on very specific hours, with his return being on the midnight of New Year's Eve 1999, a discovery which Jericho replies with a snarky "Eastern Standard Time?" This gets a Hand Wave by claiming the Gregorian monks calculated its time precisely centuries ago, but how exactly ancient Romans were able to land on a neat-sounding time for a time zone system invented centuries later for a then-nonexistent country on a continent they have no knowledge of, and one that would be 7 hours behind, is anyone's guess.
  • Title Drop: Several times.
  • Together in Death: After Jericho sacrifices himself to stop the Devil from destroying the world by trying to use Jericho's body to rape Christine, he is reunited with his dead wife and child in the afterlife.
  • Three-Way Sex: The Devil beds Dr. Abel's wife and daughter at the same time. This is something that the Bible specifically mentions is a big no-no. Gets in naughty territory when the two women seem to be merged into one individual by him.
  • Tongue Trauma: After the police interrogation of the suspect, Marge tells Jericho that Thomas Aquinas has no tongue. Despite Jericho being able to see and hear the priest speak clearly. Later, Jericho and Chicago find Thomas Aquinas' severed tongue preserved in a jar among other things.
  • Unconventional Smoothie: Jericho mixes one in his apartment consisting of coffee, Pepto Bismol, Chinese food leftovers, remnant beer, a slice of pizza found on the floor, possibly more as the camera cuts away for extended periods during the process. Just before drinking it, Jericho remarks that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
  • Unflinching Walk: Naturally, Jericho does this. Even if Arnold's character isn't as tough as usual, he still has this image.
  • Visible Invisibility: Satan's true winged demonic form is invisible to the naked eye, but leaves behind visual distortions as it flies through the air.
  • Weapon Specialization: Jericho loves his 9mm Glock handguns, possibly due to a bit of Product Placement with Glock. He heavily shills them, and two of his sidearms (The Glock 34 and the Generation 3 Glock 17) were released around the time of the film's production. If that wasn't enough, he also carried a pair of Glock 26s hidden in his sleeves.
    Jericho: Between your faith and my Glock 9mm, I take my Glock.
  • We Are Everywhere: The leader of the Satanic cult contacted by the Devil claims that "Our acts go unnoticed, unquestioned. We're everywhere." Jericho gets a nasty surprise when his Friend on the Force turns out to be one of them. Whether they're all Satanic cultists or simply people the Devil can control because they are evil is not entirely clear — he's seen deterring a policeman from stopping him because he knows the policeman is a pedophile. Towards the end of the movie the Devil apparently influences a crowd to attack Jericho en masse.
  • We Can Rule Together: Satan offers Jericho to forget his mission to protect Christine from Satan and to bring back his dead wife and child in exchange and come work for him if the End of Days comes to happen. Jericho is genuinely tempted by the offer because of his grief, but he ultimately rejects it.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: After Satan impregnates his mate, The Antichrist arrives at midnight on a certain time and date. Arnie's response is: "Is that Eastern Time?" (Father Kovak goes on to state that monks worked this out in the 1600s, also coming up with the Gregorian calendar in the process...a conceit Roger Ebert royally tore apart.)
  • Who Needs Their Whole Body?: Subverted. Satan's human host is eventually reduced to a damaged torso only kept alive by Satan's influence and yells at the hero that trying to stop him is pointless since he's immortal. He needs a functioning host to sire The Antichrist, however, so he evacuates it for a better one.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Downplayed with Mabel. She has raised Christine well enough except for keeping that dark secret from her. She also has Super-Strength, probably as a result of being part of the cult.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Subverted, then played straight. Satan shows Jericho the memory of the day his family died, showing them happy and full of life. Of course, Satan allows him to see this in-order to try and get him in telling him where Christine is. Jericho, of course, doesn't tell him, and then Satan shows him the exact moments of his family's death.
  • The X of Y: End of Days.
  • You Have Failed Me: Satan murders his minions for the slightest failure or inconvenience. Most notably, after the lead Satanist doesn't convince Christine's keeper to bring her over immediately because she thinks there are militant Christians observing the house outside, Satan literally knocks his brains out with a super-powered punch because he now has to go through the trouble of walking over there.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Inverted. Satan resurrects several of his minions after Jericho kills them because they still might prove useful to him.
  • You Owe Me: Subverted.
    Jericho: I took a bullet for you! I protected you.
    The Devil: No, you didn't protect me. You protected this body.