Friday, October 30, 2015

Horror Reviews #28-29: Prophecy 3 and 4.

Continuing the Prophecy Series of movies I began reviewing yesterday.  I know these movies are about angels, and I ask myself (because I have no one else to talk to about these things), why are these movies considered horror?  Well, let me tell you, or me, or whatever these voices in my head are.  As Gabriel (Christopher Walken) himself said it, in the first Prophecy movie.  Whenever God needs someone killed, he sends an angel.  Sure, we have this Catholic/Christian image of angels of mercy, beautiful, glowing winged servants of the lord coming down to aid us in our time of need.  But really, what did the angels always do in the bible?  They brought plagues.  They sacrificed the firstborns of families.  Were they anything more than winged assassins?  Some of the best horror movies feature demons, perhaps rising from the bodies of those they've possessed.  But if Angels are the heavenly counterpart to demons, shouldn't they be at least as powerful, and capable of similar acts?  If, like Lucifer, all demons were once angels, doesn't that make them as capable of great evil, simply by choosing to work against god, instead of for him?  And doesn't that make them just as terrifying, and just as worthy to be the subjects of horror films?

Prophecy 3: The Ascension (2000) picks up where Prophecy 2 left off.  Gabriel is human now, wandering the streets, a homeless bum.  Danyael has returned, this time as the offspring of Valerie Rosales (played by Jennifer Beals in the last movie).  Danyael is Nephilim now, half-human, half-angel, but he's become something of a prophet.  Preaching to a crowd of poor and hungry folks, Danyael says that god does not care about the earth, that there is no plan.  And Danyael is promptly shot, several times, in the chest, by a blind man.  And if Danyael weren't Nephilim, that would be the end of the movie.  But Nephilim, as the Coroner relates later, are notoriously hard to kill...

Prophecy 3 marks the last time Christopher Walken reprises his role as Gabriel.  The rest of the cast is mostly unknown, but interestingly, there are several returning characters.  The coroner from the first movie, who was such good friends with Thomas (the cop/ex-priest from the first movie) returns for a third time (the coroner also popped up in the second movie).  Also, the waitress from the diner that Gabriel and Rachel stopped in (in the first movie), returns for a cameo.  Mary, the little possessed girl from the first movie (also played by the same actress, now older), also returns for a brief cameo.  None of them have much effect on the movie as a whole, really, but they do sort of tie the whole series together.  Vincent Spano plays Zophael, a new angel for this movie.  Brad Dourif plays the blind guy who shoots Danyael.  Danyael's love interest, named Maggie (the actress I have never heard of, before or since), is a cute addition to the cast, and has a rockin' body, as they used to say back in the 80's.

Obviously, the actors you've heard of do a reasonably decent job in their roles, but this movie isn't as good as the first one.  Maybe it's on par with the second one, but it feels a bit shorter.  In any case, there's a fair bit of combat in this one, and Vincent Spano carries around a wicked looking dagger, so there's always the usual hand-to-hand combat/melee fun of angels trying to rip out each other's hearts.  Still, this movie wraps up Gabriel's plot-line, so I'd suggest watching 3 before starting into the last 2 Prophecy movies, as they seem to revolve around a different aspect of the second (or first) war of angels.

Prophecy: Uprising (2005) marks the fourth entry into the Prophecy series.  This time, the Angels (and demons) are now looking for a book.  The book is the one true copy of the Bible, as it were, in that it acts as a cosmic secretary, scribbling down God's word as if it were taking dictation directly from him.  Word on the street is that, whoever possesses the Lexicon (as this unfinished bible is called), has an insurmountable advantage over either side in the second war of the angels, or even the first war, because the Lexicon transcribes the word of god as it is spoken, thus predicting the future as god creates it, or something to that effect.  Obviously, this book would be a game-changer in the hands of any demon, angel, devil, or whatnot.  The problem is, the Priest who possessed it has passed on, and the book has been stolen!  :-o

Prophecy: Uprising introduces one of my favorite actresses of all time into the series, Kari Wuhrer (or Salin, whatever name she's using at the moment).  Kari is an actress with B-list acting talent, but A-list looks and perseverance.  Probably her best shot at fame was the movie Eight-Legged Freaks, in which she acted beside a young Scarlett Johansen (playing her incredibly hot mom, of all things) and David Arquette.  Unfortunately, that movie neither spawned a series of sequels, nor garnered Kari the fame and fortune it should have.  In any case, Kari plays Allison in this movie, the unfortunate recipient of the Lexicon, and the focus of much of the ire of the rest of the cast.  Sean Pertwee plays a cop with a pivotal connection to the book, who is recruited by an interpol agent named John Riegert (who you just know isn't quite everything he appears to be).

At this point in the Prophecy series, it's getting hard to tell who's an angel, who's a demon, who's following god's plan, and who isn't, and that's all part of the fun, I guess.  Hopefully things are going to get all cleared up in the final entry in the prophecy series, but it's too late to start watching it now, so I'll have to hold off til tomorrow.  Both these movies, and the final one in the series, are all available on Netflix if you want to watch them.

Ugh, Halloween.  So much to do, so little time.  Still got to carve out my pumpkin and I don't think I'm going to catch all my favorite Halloween-season movies this year.  Oh well, there's always next year.  Maybe next October I'll do a month-long series of my favorite horror movies of all time, or maybe I'll shoot for doing all-new movies that I haven't seen yet.  Hmmm.  Oh well, we'll see what happens!

Just a reminder to Grimm fans, the new season kicks off tomorrow night on NBC, I believe.  Also, Ash vs the Evil Dead premieres on Starz! on Halloween night.  You know I'll be watching both of those, so don't miss either of them if you're a fan!  Or, you know, DVR them if you have Halloween parties to go to.  Til tomorrow, Horror movie lovers!

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