The Seventh Sign (1988) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The Seventh Sign is one of those "end of the world" movies filled with a hodge-podge of myth, fiction, mumbo-jumbo, and biblical literalism. What do you call movies in this genre? Theological thrillers? Occult mysteries?

The signs from the Book of Revelation have started to occur one by one, and the impossible is happening throughout the world. The rivers are turning crimson with blood, the desert is covered with ice in the very spot where Sodom once stood, birds sing out of tune, rain clouds hide the moon, movie reviewers quote Bobby Rydell songs, and Gigli has been re-released to glowing reviews and record box office receipts. The final sign of the Apocalypse will occur when a baby is born with no soul. Demi Moore is carrying that baby. She's kinda disappointed about that whole end of days thing because she is really counting on the future. In fact she's having that baby in 1988 specifically so she will have a playmate for Ashton Kutcher in 2004.

The soulless baby birth and end of the world event will happen on February 29th because, you know, God really cares about the technical calendar peculiarities of one group of people on one tiny planet in the middle of the vast universe.

But there is a catch. Like all women in supernatural stories, Demi has lived many lives in the past. In one of those lives, she was in the court of Pontius Pilate, and was offered a chance to die in place of Christ. She declined. Now she has a second chance. If she is willing to die in childbirth so that her baby might live, the baby gets a soul, and mankind gets off the hook scot-free.

That's a pretty generous deal from God, and one that will force Him to create a second apocalypse at some time in the future, using the same old signs, in order that the prophecies may eventually be fulfilled. There is just nothing more bothersome than a Judgment Day with a false start. For one thing, who's going to believe Him next time if he says, "just kidding" this time?


Demi Moore shows all the goodies from the side-front, but she was heavy with child.

There are some other forces at play in the plot, because - well, because they had to pad this sucker out to feature length. There is one of Pontius Pilate's soldiers, who is still alive and cursed to wander the earth for all eternity, so he would kinda like that Judgment Day to hurry up a bit. And then there is a retarded kid who is about to be executed for killing his abusive parents because God told him to. Finally there is an angel who is watching over Demi. This part is played by Jurgen Prochnow. Talk about "signs"! That was a bad one for the movie. As I have written elsewhere, Prochnow's picture on a DVD box has precisely the same meaning as a cow skull next to a water hole.

DVD info from Amazon

  • no features, but there are two version of the film. The widescreen one looks pretty good. The full screen one is not the full frame, but one of those weak pan-n-scans that seems to be nothing but face shots.

I honestly can't give you a single reason to watch this movie. When it isn't relying on cheesy faux-apocalyptic nonsense to pad out the running time, it plays out like a Sunday morning religious TV drama about the power of faith. (Demi was not a religious person when the film began, and she saved the world by finding faith in Jesus!)

The Critics Vote ...

  • Super-panel consensus: two stars. Roger Ebert 2/4, BBC 3/5

The People Vote ...

  • The film grossed $18 million in the USA
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a D. I can't give you a single reason to watch this movie.

Return to the Movie House home page