Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Sound of The Omen

Dear Reader,

So, whilst watching the horror classic The Omen (1976, not the remake), my mind was strangely drawn to another movie, The Sound Of Music. Two films that are not exactly on the same page with regards to audience, content or theme. Two films that are hardly on the same page within our own house-hold either. The Omen scores highly, whilst the Sound Of Music is something that comes on at Christmas, that I grumble through with a grudging acceptance of it's genius whilst Smiffy, my wife and tireless editor would probably be happy to watch on loop endlessly whilst I serve her liquid food intravenously.

Sickly Sweet Nanny

The More Demonic Variety

If you are unaware of either (or both) of these celluloid classics then some background may be required. Let's start with The Omen, which, like The Exorcist and  Carrie were truly shocking, scary movies, that challenged  the boundaries of what was acceptable at the time. Censorship took an extended lunch, it seemed. The Omen's most important character is Damien, the son of the devil, who, (rather incomprehensibly), happens to land in the lap of an American diplomat and his wife.

The Sound of Music however, is from a different decade and different camp (pun intended) of movie entirely. This, along with Mary Poppins were the the truly great sugar-candy soaked musicals of the sixties. Suffice to say that although I appreciate how good these films are, poking me in the eye regularly at Christmas time with cocktail sticks would be light relief from watching these screen gems on loop. The Sound Of Music is all about a bunch of brats in pre-WWII Austria struggling to be lovely under the iron-gauntlet of their father until Julie Andrews comes along, and tells them that doh is in fact a deer, a female deer, Ray is a ray of golden sun (not my recent builder) etc etc and all is well again.

Where the hell is this going, I hear you ask? Rightly so, onward, and to the point... a long time coming though it may have been.

Whilst musing during The Omen I identified a clear connection between itself and The Sound Of Music... strong female nanny characters... bear with me. Granted the nanny character in the Omen was a sour-faced matron touting Devil Dog fiends from the denizens from hell, whilst Julie Andrews was more about puppet shows, singing and generally being nice, the point is they are both strong characters that looked after and influenced children. The children in question should also be considered in this rather pained analogy; Julie has to look after seven gifted entertainers who wouldn't harm a flea, whilst the nanny character from The Omen has to deal with the son of the devil, who was a bit of a handful, what with hospitalising his mother and attempting to take over the world and all... Can you imagine Supernanny trying to put him in timeout? Anyhoo...

Having made this extremely tenuous (some would say non-existent) connection between these two great movies where the fuck am I going with this?  Well for me the title of this posts explains my thoughts rather aptly. It seems that Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ben Elton and Co can make a musical about almost anything these days so here's the pitches...

Pitch 1:

Sour-faced denizen from Hell nanny complete with collection of rabid Rottweilers is delivered to a romantic location in pre-WWII Austria where her task will be to turn her deeply irritating collection of seven brats who have occasionally been known to throw stones into a vocal harmony singing group. Imagine her journey from devil-worshiper to competent nanny, complete with the Rotties giving birth to seven Rottie puppies who turn out to be a singing group themselves.

Pitch 2:

Julie Andrews (or more to the point the modern equivalent, who will be chosen in the new BBC talent search "Who Wants to Sing the Sound Of  the Omen"), will be placed in a fractured household of a diplomat (constantly hounded by mad priests and equally mad journalists) to replace the previously deceased (hanged) nanny and will by the virtue of song and puppet shows put Damien on the straight and narrow. The song "Why Am I Not The Same", a solo featuring the nanny cradling the young Damien in her arms, discovering the 666 tattoo on his forehead and telling him everything will be OK is destined to become a classic.

For me either would make a musical I might go and see.

Watch out for The Sound Of Omen coming to a theatre near you. Andrew, are you listening?

If you have not seen The Omen or The Sound Of Music none of this will make any sense whatsoever. Having read this back, it may well be the case that if you have seen both of these movies this will post will still make no sense whatsoever. Oh well, publish and be damned.

More soon dear reader xxx

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