There might be a minor spoiler or two for The Omen, which is nearly 40 years old, but you know someone would complain.

§ September 7th, 2012 § Filed under doctor who, mad magazine, misfit toys, retailing § 18 Comments

So the other night I saw that The Omen was on Netflix Watch Instantly, and I realized a couple of things. One, it had been years since I’ve seen it…in fact, I probably wasn’t any more than about 10 years old, and I probably only saw parts of it on whatever local pay-cable channel we had as a precursor to HBO at the time. Two, my memories of the movie were primarily of the Mad Magazine parody from issue #189 (March 1977):

Actually, that’s not the panel burned into my head, but the ones specifically concerned with the fate of David Warner’s character, which might be a bit much to hit you with without any warning, so I picked that panel above as being a little more representative of the parody as a whole.

I wonder how many more movies and TV shows with which I have passing familiarity mostly because of the Mad parodies, versus actually seeing the darned things. I keep meaning to get around to watching A Clockwork Orange, which, yeah, I know, I haven’t seen it yet, I’m a bad person, but I’ll tell you I still have images from the George Woodbridge-illustrated Mad parody stuck in my brain. And since it seems like I’ll never get around to actually watching Blade Runner, I should find its Mad parody and just settle for that.

Anyway, speaking of what happens to David Warner’s character, I thought I’d be a smart guy and post this to the Twitter the other night:

I thought I’d just remembered the images from the Mad parody involving this scene, but apparently I remembered the joke, too, since I apparently just up and stole it. (Not the “pageboy haircut is adorable” part, but the “losing your head” part. Though David Warner is adorable in this movie.)

Another thing I hadn’t remembered about the film is that Patrick Troughton, Doctor Who‘s Second Doctor, has a significant part:

…Which of course caused me to make Yet Another Obvious Twitter Joke™:

Yes, I think I’m hilarious.

…And this has been another installment of “What Mike Does in His Spare Time.”

• • •

A couple of you had more questions from the other day, re: Spawn and related merchandise:

Heli asks

“…Have you covered the ‘party Angela’ phenomenon?”

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, I’m going to strip away your innocence forever: McFarlane Toys produced an action figure of Spawn supporting character Angela (the warrior angel character created by Neil Gaiman), but, alas, lacked the paint job beneath the figure’s loin-armor or whatever that is to give her warrior angel-appropriate undergarments. Thus, this figure, and, according to my brief-but-probably-getting-me-on-watch-lists Googling, other figures that have similarly gone commando are referred to as “party” figures. And in case you’re wondering, that term does seem more appalling the more you think about it. …I remember a brief hubbub about it at the time, but it seemed to die down once people realized they were getting overly excited about a toy not having paint-panties, and hopefully that nipped it in the bud. Well, except on eBay, where no bud is ever nipped.

Tim O’Neil asks

“What about modern sales of Spawn? Has the series picked up new readers since it entered its 20 year anniversary with all the variant covers and such?”

I haven’t seen any real boost in sales, no…I think we may have gained a new reader or two on the series, but otherwise sales have been very consistent as a low-to-mid range seller. During 2010, when only four issues were released, that may have…well, “put the nail in the coffin” is a bit strong. Maybe “pushed it down the stairs” is more like it.

• • •

COMING NEXT WEEK: Yes, I’ll probably talk about Swamp Thing #0, don’t nag me. Also, more comic book talk! Maybe! And not so much about the pogs!


Special thanks to Bully the Little Stuffed Bull for providing the Mad image.

18 Responses to “There might be a minor spoiler or two for The Omen, which is nearly 40 years old, but you know someone would complain.”

  • I remember when the Twilight Zone tragedy occurred quipping, “How did they know that Vic Morrow had dandruff? They found his head and shoulders in the bushes.”
    (ps. please correct “where released”, big pet peeve of mine.)

  • Snark Shark says:

    “And since it seems like I’ll never get around to actually watching Blade Runner, I should find its Mad parody and just settle for that.”

    Probably a good timesaver!

    “Patrick Troughton”

    HE’S IN IT??? well, now i actually want to SEE the movie.

  • John Platt says:

    The Mad parodies of Alien, The Godfather, Serpico and a few others — all of which I read before I was 10 — are burned so deeply into my head that I can’t watch the original movies as adults. Damn you, Mort Drucker!

  • Anonymous says:

    COMING NEXT WEEK: Yes, I’ll probably talk about Swamp Thing #0, don’t nag me.

    Nag. Nag. Nag.



    Life sure is boring without a SWAMP THING forum these days…

  • Mikester says:

    Michael-Sensei: Typo fixed.

    Anon. – Honestly…don’t. That makes me NOT want to talk about it.

  • Robert in New Orleans says:

    Since I don’t know much about Spawn and his mythos, I guess that Party Angela is a figure based on the story(ies) that are a part of the long running lawsuit between McFarlane and Gaiman. I wonder if there are any upskirt shots of her in those issues?

  • swamp mark says:

    Mike,thanx for the speedy e-mail and thanx anyway for wanting to help.Amazes me that they still try to protect us from obscene printed material when this box in front of me right now is full of it!
    You gotta see Clockwork Orange.In my opinion,one of the few movies that are better than the book.
    Take your time on Swampy #0.I’m still kinda in shock,too.I understand Mr. Handley’s objections a little better now.Kinda weird when you find out the answer to the question “What are they keeping from the past” is nothing.

  • Bear says:

    … I’ve never seen Clockwork Orange either.

  • Sallyp says:

    Oh thank goodness! I thought I was the only person who got their movie plots from reading Mad! And yes, I’ve read the Clockwork Orange one, and Poseidon Adventure and tons and tons more.

  • ExistentialMan says:

    You know what would really suck? Being named Damien circa 1964.

  • Teresa says:

    I’ve had the experience of seeing the movie many years after reading the Mad parody and then laughing out loud at the movie because I finally get the Mad joke.

  • White Lantern Alec Holland says:

    “Kinda weird when you find out the answer to the question “What are they keeping from the past” is nothing.”

    No surprise there. It’s what I’ve been telling you all along. The only DC title left with any remaining continuity is Hellblazer…

  • swamp mark says:

    Yup.I guess I just didn’t want to believe it.Now that it’s actually happened though,I still want to see where Snyder takes it after the Rotworld cross-over.My love of the character seems to be unconditional.

  • White Lantern Alec Holland says:

    Swamp Mark,

    One More Day was The End of the Marvel Universe.

    Flashpoint was The End of the DC Universe. (except for Hellblazer)

    Now both of the old universes are being ignored in favor of their “Brand New Day” and “New 52” alternate timeline counterparts. And Marvel’s even about do it yet again to make it official, with a line-wide relaunch. An alternate timeline of an alternate timeline. How redundant…

    I can’t explain it any better than that.

  • White Lantern Alec Holland says:

    “My love of the character seems to be unconditional.”

    I agree! LOL! :)

  • Scott Phillips says:

    “His mother was MARMADUKE!”

  • JRC says:

    The Second Doctor will always be ‘my Doctor’.
    that is all.

  • Rob S. says:

    The Cracked parody of “Alien” is the one that sticks out in my head — it was structured as a guide to tell viewers when to look away because things would be too gross to watch. It loomed pretty large in my head during my first viewing.