The Prophecy

Evil never dies, especially in the movies. Box office success has done more for resurrection than the church. In horror films, you can’t keep a good serial killer down, at least not for long. You can stab them, impale them, behead them, or even blow them up at the end of a film. Doesn’t matter.


prophecy2If the film hits a nerve, you can bet that miracle workers are making everything right for the next entry. Jason Vorhees and Freddy Krueger have had more lives than Morris the Cat, and even he eventually died. Choked on a hairball, or something like that. Video has become viable market for sequels to films that did okay but hardly warrant a theatrical follow-up. Universal used video to continue their “Darkman” and “Tremors” franchises, while Walt Disney Home Video chose video for the animated sequels to “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “The Lion King,” among others. Usually the video sequels lack the high production values of their siblings, but I have seen some exceptions.

The creatures in “Tremors 2” were even more effective than those in the first film. Lower budgets also mean casting changes. When “Darkman” made the leap from big screen to video, Liam Neeson was replaced by Arnold Vosloo, who recently found big screen success in “The Mummy.” Some video sequels survive the changes, some don’t. One series that seems to flourish on video is “The Prophecy.” The original 1995 film starred Christopher Walken and Eric Stoltz as two angels fighting for the future of Heaven on Earth.

Walken returns as fallen angel Gabriel, who is resurrected from his earlier demise in order to stop angel Danyael (Russell Wong) from fulfilling prophecy and ending Gabriel’s quest for supremacy. Jennifer Beals plays Valerie, the unsuspecting nurse who becomes pregnant by Danyael. Now she’s carrying the infant who will decide the fate of the world, which is a good thing. All Valerie has to do is avoid Gabriel, who with his new found plaything Izzy (Brittany Murphy), will stop at nothing in order to win. Director Greg Spence, who co- wrote the screenplay with Matthew Greenberg, does a fine job of connecting the dots from the first film. Despite a small budget, the film never suffers visually.

Walken, back in black with that awful helmet hair from the first film, seems to have a lot of fun as he chews the scenery. Beals does fine as a woman trapped between Heaven and Hell, while Wong is a nice addition to the cast. Filled with exciting imagery and enough hard core horror elements to satisfy fans, “The Prophecy 2” leaves an open door for another direct- to-video sequel, which arrives in February of 2000.

COMPLETE CHECK-UP

VISION: [ X ] 20/20 [ ] Good [ ] Cataracts [ ] Blind

Nicely rendered widescreen digital transfer, delivered in the film’s original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio. Vivid colors with strong saturation, plus impressive flesh tones and industrial strength blacks combine to create images that are sharp. Some scenes look a little washed out, but that is how they looked on the video, so its an artistic choice rather than a transfer issue. No flecking or compression artifacts. Depth of field is good, with adequate attention to detail. Colors are especially strong, including impressive deep blues.

HEARING: [ X ] Excellent [ ] Minor Hearing Loss [ ] Needs Hearing Aid [ ] Deaf

Outstanding Dolby Digital Surround soundtrack pumps out ambitious sound streams through all of the speakers. The dialogue mix is bold, while the stereo mix is distinctive. Good use of rear speakers for crystal clear musical cues, surround effects and efficient ambient noise. Not noticeable hiss or distortion.

ORAL: [ ] Excellent [ X ] Good [ ] Poor

Closed captions in English for the hard of hearing.

COORDINATION: [ ] Excellent [ ] Good [ X ] Clumsy [ ] Weak

Main and scene access menus, plus a the usual Reel Recommendations.

PROGNOSIS: [ ] Excellent [ X ] Fit [ ] Will Live [ ] Resuscitate [ ] Terminal

As a direct-to-video sequel, “The Prophecy 2” is quite compelling.

VITALS: $24.99/Rated R/83 Minutes/Color/12 Chapter Stops/Keepcase/#17594

ATTENDING RESIDENT: John Larsen

PATIENT: THE PROPHECY 2

BIRTH DATE: 1997

HMO: Dimension Home Video



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