Armaguedon is the first movie where director Alain Jessua used a novel for the story. He usually insisted to write his own movie, but after a series of failures, he looked for a good book to be adapted and David Lippincott's book was chosen. Jean Yanne plays Louis Carrier, a television engineer, who inherits 25 millions after his brother's death. He decides to let the world know about his existence by sending threats to kill someone important, under the name of Armageddon. The name Armageddon comes from a book called Apocalypse, from The Bible. He reads: "Armageddon. The wrath of God. The punishment. The last judgement." With his accomplice Einstein (Renato Salvatori), who is mentally retarded, Carrier sends to the police all over Europe photos which show him with important people, to show that he can kill them if he wants. In the scene where Scotland Yard receives his message, we can see a secretary reads to her boss what they got that morning: "12 letters insulting the Queen, 2 bombing blackmails, 8 criminals denounce, 3 threats to rape Princess Anne. Nothing out of ordinary." Nevertheless they go on with the Armageddon case.
Inspector Vivien (Michel Duchaussoy) who investigates the case, invites his friend Dr Michel Ambrose (Alain Delon), a psychiatrist. Dr Ambrose wants to help Carrier, but after a failed trap, Carrier becomes angry and kills 2 young people. He then demands his film to be played on European channels so that he can send his message, or a room filled with spectators of a live TV show will be bombed.
When I hear the word 'Armageddon', I think of something so destructive, like the Michael Bay movie, for example. So there is something funny in this Alain Jessua movie. Every time I see a line like "10 days to Armageddon", I wait for something horrible to happen. In the movie, Carrier 'only' kills 3 people: the young man & woman, and a character played by Michel Creton who tries to blackmail him. [I'm not sure what happens to Einstein. He carries the bomb. Does it explode in the end? If yes, that makes 4. ] In the movie the media nicknames him 'The apocalyptic killer', although at that time he hasn't killed anyone yet (Creton's body hasn't been found).
I like very much the scene inside Madame Tussaud museum in London. It is nice to be able to see what it looked like in the 70's.