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Film / Holocaust 2000

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The world will be destroyed in a rain of fire. It is written.

Holocaust 2000 (also known as Rain of Fire and The Chosen) is a 1977 Italian Religious Horror movie directed by Alberto De Martino and starring Kirk Douglas. The soundtrack was composed by Ennio Morricone.

Robert Caine (Kirk Douglas) is a true believer in nuclear energy. As a wealthy and powerful industrialist and engineer, he plans to build power plants to make nuclear power commonplace all over the world. Naturally, he is unconvinced by protests in the Middle East over his controversial decision to build one such plant near a sacred cave.

However, just as he is about to reap the benefits of his hard work and retire on a comfortable nest egg, turning over his corporations to his son Angel (Simon Ward), he starts having disturbing dreams, visions of the Apocalypse as described in the Book of Revelations. And his son is starting to show signs that he might be the cause of it...

This movie contains examples of:

  • Ambiguously Human: Angel Caine is The Antichrist, though he was spawned by two (apparently) human parents. It's not clear exactly what he is, as some of the things he orchestrates appear to be outright supernatural.
  • The Antichrist: Robert starts to believe that he may have spawned the Antichrist after noticing several symbols showing up in different places and dreaming about the end of the world. Since he had just hooked up with a younger woman who quickly became pregnant, he's convinced that he needs to abort their child to save mankind. In fact, his older son Angel is the actual Antichrist.
  • Arc Number: The Number of The Antichrist, 30.397368 = 2√231, which looks like "IESVS" spelled upside-down.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In the European version's ending, there's nothing left stopping Angel Caine from unleashing the apocalypse upon mankind.
    • The U.S. version has another ending where Robert returns to his company's offices incognito and kills Angel by blowing up himself, his "son" and Angel's 21 apostles with a bomb.
  • Beard of Evil: The religious fanatic who attempts to kill Robert twice has a sinister beard.
  • Beast of the Apocalypse: Played with. Robert has an apocalyptic nightmare featuring the seven-headed Beast from the Sea from the Book of Revelation. However, this actually symbolizes the seven-towered nuclear power plant he is working on.
  • Cain and Abel: Turns out that Angel murdered his twin brother with his own umbilical cord while they were still in the womb. This trope would also explain why the forces of darkness also have it in for Sara's child.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: After having sex with Sara, Robert has a nightmare where he sees the world being destroyed at the hands of the Antichrist that he helped spawn.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Angel Caine is a suave English gentleman whose boyish good looks hide the fact that he's actually a chilling sociopath and The Antichrist himself.
  • Go Among Mad People: Robert gets committed to an asylum after trying to kill Angel upon him confirming that he's the Antichrist.
  • Going Critical: Robert's company is working on building a new type of nuclear power plant in the Middle East that could provide energy for the entire Third World. The project garners masses of protestors because it could end up causing a meltdown that would result in nuclear stockpiles all over the world blowing up (exactly how this would work is never addressed).
  • Helicopter Blender: The new Israeli prime minister is killed when he gets off a plane to hold a press conference by a spinning helicopter blade.
  • Ironic Name: The Antichrist has the given name "Angel".
  • Knight Templar: Robert is attacked by a religious madman who is convinced that he will bring about the end of the world. He kills Robert's wife instead when his son Angel intervenes to swerve the assassin's knife out of the way.
  • Mama Bear: Sara, upon realizing Robert plans to have an abortion forced on her (thinking that their baby is the Antichrist) grabs a scalpel and cuts him before fleeing from the clinic.
  • May–December Romance: After his wife is killed, the near-retirement Robert Caine (Kirk Douglas) starts a romance with a much younger Israeli woman named Sara Golan and later has a child with her. He didn't tell his adult son Angel initially because he's a bit embarrassed about the age gap, but Angel approves nonetheless.
  • Multiple Endings: The original U.S. release had an alternate ending that continues after Robert has fled with Sara and his newborn child to escape his diabolical son Angel where Robert shows up at an airport several months later. It's implied that he returned to plant a bomb at Angel's corporate meeting in Geneva to stop him from destroying the world. The original is a straight-up The Bad Guy Wins ending.
  • Name of Cain: Subverted by Robert Caine, who merely unknowingly fathered The Antichrist, but played straight by his diabolical son Angel Caine.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Herod: The final act of the forces of darkness is an attempt to slay Sara's newborn daughter by causing a nurse to accidentally put a "For External Use Only" substance in the hospital nursery's formula (rather than vitamin drops) just before a feeding. Luckily, Sara decides not to take her to the nursery; unluckily, all of the other babies die. Oddly, this trope is invoked not so much because the child in question is a threat to the villain but because he's just that self-centered and determined to be an only child!
  • Non-Indicative Name: The movie doesn't take place in the year 2000, and the plot is not related to the Holocaust (it's only briefly mentioned when the villain explains his plans for a nuclear holocaust). Instead, it's a Religious Horror film about The Antichrist set in the 1970s.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Robert (Kirk Douglas) is an industrialist who is nearing retirement. The Antichrist is his own son Angel, a good thirty years younger than him.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Angel Caine is plotting to destroy the world in nuclear fire, which he refers to as a "cleansing holocaust to purge humanity".
  • Religious Horror: The plot revolves around The Antichrist being born at the end of the second millennium and utilizing nuclear technology to bring about the apocalypse.
  • Revealing Hug: While Sara is staying at Angel's apartment, there's a moment where he embraces her in a hug and rather sinisterly looks away.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: The original ending can be seen as this, since Robert and Sara's daughter is the only one who may be able to stop Angel.
  • Screaming Birth: Sara gives birth to her and Robert's child while screaming, an event for which Robert himself is absent because he's convinced that his newborn is The Antichrist and tried to have it aborted against Sara's will before.
  • Sibling Murder: It turns out Angel had strangled his twin brother in the womb with his umbilical cord. On purpose, as he's the Antichirst. He freely admits his intent to also kill his new baby sister as well.
  • The Sociopath: Angel is The Antichrist in his most icy-cold persona which plans to bring the Apocalypse to the world and in doing so he has several people gruesomly killed. He's even ready to kill infants, his half-sister included as he proudly confess.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: When Robert finally confronts Angel about his desire for global genocide, the latter keeps gloating about his evil plans until Robert eventually flies into a rage and tries to strangle him, which just makes him seem like a crazy person to the rest of his staff.