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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 07:19 GMT 08:19 UK
666 day inspires demonic releases
By Neil Smith
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick in The Omen
Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick plays devil-child Damien in The Omen
In the entertainment world, 6 June 2006 - or 6/6/06 - is too good an opportunity to miss because of its resemblance to the "number of the beast" 666.

The most prominent of a number of diabolical tie-ins is The Omen, a remake of the 1976 horror film whose entire marketing campaign has been built around the eerie resonance of its release date.

The film hypothesises the birth of the Antichrist, the son of Satan whose true provenance is established by the discovery of three sixes etched on his scalp.

But film studio 20th Century Fox is not the only organisation to seize upon 6 June as an ideal launch pad for a demonically-themed enterprise.

Finnish metal band Lordi, who never appear without their outlandish horror costumes and make-up, release their Eurovision-winning song Hard Rock Hallelujah in the UK on Tuesday, though the group insists it has "no links whatsoever" with Satanism.

Their fellow Scandinavians, Swedish death metal group Allegiance, launch new material on the same day, as do US punk band AFI (A Fire Inside) and rock veterans Slayer.

Lordi performing at the Eurovision Song Contest
Better dig out my copy of Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast album...
Andy, York

Slayer had intended to begin their Unholy Alliance tour on Tuesday, but were forced to postpone when bass player Tom Araya required unexpected gall-bladder surgery.

Another metal act, Florida's Deicide, also saw their hopes of releasing new CD The Stench of Redemption on 6 June dashed because it was not ready.

The group, whose other records include When Satan Lives and Scars of the Crucifix, invite controversy with their allegedly Satanist beliefs.

David Lee Roth, however, has said there is no significance to Tuesday's release of Strummin' With The Devil, a bluegrass tribute to his former band Van Halen.

In the world of publishing, conservative US columnist Ann Coulter has chosen Tuesday to launch her latest book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism.

According to its publicity material, the book contentiously draws parallels between the Democratic Party and organised religion.

"It's my little tribute to liberals to have it come out on six, six, six," she is quoted as saying in USA Today.

Another publisher is releasing The Rapture, the 15th instalment in the Left Behind fantasy fiction series which takes its inspiration from the Book of Revelation's apocalyptic visions.

Ann Coulter
Coulter is well known in the US for her conservative political views

Britain by contrast seems less willing to jump on the demonic bandwagon, although Sky Cinema 2 subscribers can watch Omen remake star Mia Farrow in her iconic role as the Antichrist's mother in 1968 horror Rosemary's Baby.

The Sci-Fi Channel is also getting in on the act by showing 1997 film The Devil's Advocate, which imagines Old Nick - played by Al Pacino - as a seductive New York power broker.

Given the doom-laden connotations of Tuesday's date, BBC Two's documentary Five Disasters Waiting To Happen - part of the channel's Climate Chaos season - will no doubt strike a sombre chord.

Farrow returns to face The Omen
05 Jun 06 |  Entertainment
Lordi revel in Eurovision glory
01 Jun 06 |  Entertainment

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