"Some people lose their faith because Heaven shows them too little," says Thomas Daggett. "But how many people lose their faith because Heaven showed them too much?" Daggett nearly became a priest; now he's a cop. He may want to put religion behind him, but one morning a weird, eyeless, hermaphroditic corpse turns up. Suddenly he is on a path that will put him right in the middle of a war in Heaven. And once again, Heaven will show him too much: gore, blood, charred flesh, living corpses and much worse. Even more central to the heavenly war effort is a young girl. This American Indian child has something Gabriel wants. And Gabriel is willing to kill her and anyone in his path - or even reanimate a corpse or two - to get it. Written by
Colonel Arnold Hawthorne is played by Patrick McAllister. Due to the nature of his role and the long gap after It's Alive (1974), McAllister is not credited, but he appears as "special thanks" for his collaboration in the movie, credited as Patrick Kerlee McAllister. See more »
After Lucifer bites into Gabriel's heart, there is blood all over his upper lip and face. In the next shot, the blood on his face looks completely different. See more »
I remember the First War, the way the sky burned, the faces of angels destroyed. I saw a third of Heaven's legion banished and the creation of Hell. I stood with my brothers and watched Lucifer Fall. But now my brothers are not brothers, and we have come here where we are mortal to steal the Dark Soul, not yet Lucifer's, to serve our cause. I have always obeyed, but I never thought the War would happen again.
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The 23rd chapter of the St John's revelations........
.......and there rose a second war in heaven.
Gabriel is a rogue angel intent on capturing the black soul of a recently deceased war criminal general. Standing in his way is the good angel Simon, who hides the soul in a child, a couple of honest citizens, and Lucifer himself, who has his own vested interest in proceedings.
Largely ignored on release, and badly marketed as a horror film, The Prophecy, in this day and age of torture porn and slasher overkill, is crying out to be seen more by a jaded horror audience. For it be a film that has an interesting theological heart, that matches its daring and deeply provocative ideas. Here is a film that adds another chapter to the bible, the result being a battle for a soul on Earth that will have major repercussions for both heaven and hell. Gabriel (Christopher Walken) is even (poignantly some might say) using would-be-suicides as his unwilling helpers, their paths to peace blocked by Gabriel in his cunningly crafted intentions-yes this is pretty tight stuff indeed.
Flecked with the odd bit of humour (zip code wise cracks for heaven and hell), Gregory Widen's film perhaps is guilty of not fully realising end of the world promise. But this is a minor itch come the finale, because really the picture should be judged as one complete and intelligent whole. Cast wise you will search in vain for a weak link, because there simply isn't one. Walken is suitably gargoyle like, slick black hair and pasty faced, he induces fear whilst simultaneously charming the beejesus out of the humans, re: talking monkeys. Elias Koteas (a candidate for most undervalued actor of his generation), Virginia Madsen, Adam Goldberg (suicide Jerry), Amanda Plummer (suicide Rachael), Eric Stoltz (Simon) and Viggo Mortensen (Lucifer), all deliver top line performances to ensure the piece lives up to its billing as one of the best acted cult films from the 90s.
It had enough support to warrant a direct to video franchise, with mixed results following each subsequent sequel. But it's here where it matters, a fine film that deserves far better than the bad reputation it gets from those who expected a straight out horror film. I urge anyone who hasn't seen it to give it a go, open your mind and hope Gabriel doesn't come a wandering in. 8/10
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