The Prophecy (film series)

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The Prophecy film series
Prophecyposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster of the first film of the series
Directed by Gregory Widen
Greg Spence
Patrick Lussier
Joel Soisson
Produced by Bob Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
Gregory Widen
Robert Little
Matt Greenberg
Joel Soisson
W.K. Border
Written by Gregory Widen
Matt Greenberg
Greg Spence
Carl V. Dupré
Joel Soisson
John Sullivan
Starring Christopher Walken
Elias Koteas
Virginia Madsen
Viggo Mortensen
Jennifer Beals
Brittany Murphy
Eric Roberts
Vincent Spano
Kari Wuhrer
John Light
Sean Pertwee
Doug Bradley
Jason Scott Lee
Tony Todd
Distributed by Buena Vista Home Video
Dimension Films
Release date(s) 1995–2005
Country United States
Language English

The Prophecy is an American fantasy horror-thriller film franchise which focuses on Angels fighting each other to protect the survival of the human race on Earth. Produced by Dimension Film, the series was established in 1995 with eponymous first installment, The Prophecy, which has since been followed by four sequels. In 2005, its latest sequel The Prophecy: Forsaken was released on DVD.

Films[edit]

The Prophecy (1995)[edit]

The first of what became a series of films, The Prophecy was directed and written by Gregory Widen. The Archangel Gabriel (Christopher Walken) searches for an evil soul on Earth, while another angel named Simon (Eric Stoltz) warns Detective Thomas Dagget (Elias Koteas) of coming events, before disappearing. Gabriel’s second-in-command, Uziel (Jeff Cadiente), tracks Simon down and attempts to kill him, but Simon kills him instead.

Investigating the disturbance, Thomas goes to Simon's apartment and finds an obituary for a recently deceased Korean War veteran, Colonel Arnold Hawthorne, clipped from a newspaper in Chimney Rock, Arizona. More puzzling, Thomas finds a copy of a theology text that he himself wrote years ago. In Chimney Rock, Simon, who is badly wounded after his fight with Uziel, finds the veteran and removes the soul from the body, and in desperation to hide, he passes it on to a small schoolgirl, Mary (Moriah Shining Dove Snyder) whom he befriends. Mary immediately falls ill, and is cared for by her teacher, Katherine (Virginia Madsen).

Gabriel later finds Simon and kills him by ripping his heart out, after discovering that he does not have the soul. The police detective and the teacher unknowingly become caught in the middle of an angelic war. As the film progresses, Katherine is confronted by Lucifer (Viggo Mortensen), who tells her that since the creation of man, no soul has been allowed to enter Heaven due to the war waged by Gabriel. He knows that if Gabriel wins, Heaven will ultimately devolve into another Hell, and that doesn't sit well with him because it is "one Hell too many". The next day, Lucifer appears to Thomas, telling him about the nature of Hell, and then advises him to use Gabriel's lack of faith as a weapon against him. When Gabriel arrives, Thomas questions him about his true motives for starting the war. Gabriel reveals that God no longer speaks to him. The angel attempts to disrupt the Native American ritual, but is stopped by Thomas, who runs over Gabriel with a truck, then beats him with a tire iron.

As the ritual continues, Lucifer appears and approaches Gabriel. He tells him the war is based on arrogance, which is evil, making it Lucifer's territory. Lucifer rips out Gabriel's heart while Hawthorne's soul is expelled from Mary and destroyed, seemingly by God. Lucifer consumes Gabriel's heart, and with blood dripping off his mouth, he asks Thomas and Katherine to "come home" with him, but they refuse. The film ends with Thomas commenting on the nature of faith and what it means to be human.

The Prophecy II (1998)[edit]

The Prophecy II directed by Greg Spence, written by Matt Greenberg and Greg Spence. Gabriel (reprised by Christopher Walken) returns from hell to Earth to prevent the birth of a child, a nephilim, the offspring of one of his kind and one of God's "monkeys" (i.e., humans). The coming of this child, said to precede reconciliation between the warring factions in heaven, has been prophesied by a monk, Thomas Daggett (Bruce Abbott) —the former detective from the first film in the series. The child's conception takes place when Valerie (Jennifer Beals), a nurse, is seduced by an attractive stranger, the angel Danyael (Russell Wong), whom she hit with her car. She finds a few days later that she is in advanced pregnancy.

Gabriel attempts to find the whereabouts of the child from Daggett, but kills him when he refuses to help. Desperate for assistance after Danyael kills members of his army of angels, Gabriel employs the assistance of a deceased teenage girl, Izzy (Brittany Murphy), who has just committed suicide. The Angel of Death is keeping her alive because despite his powers as an angel, he is completely naive about technology therefore he needs Izzy to use her computer and driving skills to assist him on his search for Valerie.

Gabriel's war against Danyael and the other angels climaxes in a battle in Eden, now an industrial wasteland. Danyael is killed, but Valerie defeats Gabriel by seizing him and jumping from a building, confident that God will protect her as He told her He would (she reveals that Gabriel is unable to hear His voice as he simply doesn't listen); she is indeed unharmed, but Gabriel is impaled on a spike. As punishment, Gabriel is turned into a human by Archangel Michael (Eric Roberts). Valerie raises the child by herself, accepting the risk that the angels may come for her. The film ends with Gabriel as a derelict; a face in the sky and ominous clouds show that the war in heaven is not over.

The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000)[edit]

The Prophecy 3: The Ascent directed by Patrick Lussier, written by Carl Dupré and Joel Soisson. In the third installment of the series, the Angel Gabriel (reprised by Christopher Walken) has taken up residence on Earth and has been watching over the Rosales family for years as a human being. One night, he witnesses the neighbors of the Rosales forming a mob and setting their house on fire with Molotov cocktails. Sadly, Valerie Rosales (not reprised by Jennifer Beals) perishes in the flames; however, Gabriel is able to save her boy, Danyael.

Eighteen years later; Danyael (Dave Buzzotta), as an adult, is a heretic preacher with a storefront church who tells his flock that God doesn't care much for the people who tend the Earth. Suddenly, a blind man Brad Dourif - who claims to hear the voice of God - shoots Danyael several times in the chest; however, several hours after he's pronounced dead, Danyael rises from his slab at the morgue and heads out into the street. It appears that Danyael is a Nephilim - born of an Angel and a woman– with the abilities of superhuman agility, regeneration, and can only die if his heart is removed. Furthermore, it is revealed that his destiny is to prevent Pyriel (Scott Cleverdon), the Angel of Genocide, from overthrowing God and destroying all mankind. In addition, Danyael learns from Gabriel that the two previous attempts on his life – the burning of his childhood home which resulted in the death of his mother and the later assassination at the church – were the workings of Pyriel. As Gabriel further explains, the Angel of Genocide has the ability to plague the minds of humans - such as the neighbors of the Rosales family and the blind assassin - with the thoughts of hatred in order for them to accomplish his dirty work.

Maggie (Kayren Butler), his understandably upset girlfriend, is then approached by Zophael (Vincent Spano), a fallen angel who seeks to prevent Danyael from fulfilling his destiny. He manages to convince her that Danyael is the only one in danger, and enlists her help in tracking him down. Meanwhile, Danyael’s journey leads him to a Native American reservation where he briefly meets Mary (reprised by Moriah 'Shining Dove' Snyder) - a character first introduced as a child in the first film - who informs him that she dreamed of his coming, and that she believes Danyael will be victorious against Pyriel. After parting from Mary, Zophael purposely crashes the vehicle in an attempt to run down Danyael which badly injures Maggie as a result of the crash. Zophael is killed in the ensuing fight, but now Danyael must confront Pyriel while weakened by his wounds from the previous battle.

Danyael heads off to face Pyriel armed with Zophael's weapon – a staff that has an extendable blade that expands out as a three-pronged hook designed to rip out the victim’s heart – while Gabriel watches over Maggie. He confronts Pyriel, but the Nephlim is no match for him, although he succeeds in impaling him with the specially designed weapon. Suddenly, when it appears that Pyriel is going to be victorious, God seemingly sends down a lightning bolt, electrocuting the weapon and, through it, Pyriel, as a result, weakening him. Danyael then extends the blade into its prongs form and removes Pyriel's heart, killing him and apparently ending the war in Heaven. He returns to Maggie who is on the verge of death as she lies in the arms of Gabriel. With the war in Heaven apparently over (for the time being), Gabriel has redeemed himself and is once again an Archangel and with magical abilities saves Maggie before ascending.

The Prophecy: Uprising (2005)[edit]

The Prophecy: Uprising directed by Joel Soisson and written by John Sullivan. The movie begins with the story of a woman named Allison (Kari Wührer) who has come into possession of The Lexicon, a mysterious book of prophecies that writes itself. This book contains a 23rd chapter of the Bible, which is still not complete. The last chapter depicts the end of the war of angels. One of the angels who fell with Satan, Belial (Doug Bradley), now a demon wants this book.

While searching for Allison and the book, and to avoid detection, Belial keeps on murdering people and taking their form. Meanwhile, Lucifer (John Light) seeks the help of a cop, Dani Simionescu (Sean Pertwee), who has a dark secret; as a child he reported his parents to secret police, and then they were brought to police headquarters to be tortured in front of him and his baby sister. Afterward, his baby sister gets hurt and then given up for adoption. She is given the name Allison. Satan brings the cop to the same house which witnessed inhumane tortures, making it his domain. Allison, with guidance of the voices in her head, reaches the same place, followed by Belial. It is the only place where Belial cannot hurt Allison. It is a place of evil, which makes it Satan's area, and he offers Allison and her brother protection. Here, the cop confesses his sins and seeks forgiveness but is rebuked by his sister. It is here that real motives are revealed. Belial, who was loyal to Satan, now wants to get some advantage from the war of angels. He is frustrated by the inertness of Satan and now wants an aggressive hell. Satan, who had initially opposed God for his love for humans, helps humans to fight Belial. He does not want another hell, believing that only one hell is enough for the world. He helps the cop and Allison to kill Belial and then he absorbs Belial's soul. The movie concludes at the dawn, when Satan tells Allison that for the present the war of angels is over, but will not be for long. Showing her glimpses of her future, he advises her to keep the book safe.

The Prophecy: Forsaken (2005)[edit]

The Prophecy: Forsaken directed by Joel Soisson, written by John Sullivan. Following the events of the previous film, Allison (reprised by Kari Wührer) is still protecting the Lexicon, an ancient book that will foretell the name of the coming Antichrist, from renegade angels called Thrones who are led by a sinister character called Stark (Tony Todd). Allison is assisted by Dylan (Jason Scott Lee), a contract killer, who was actually hired to kill Allison but after an epiphany decides to help her instead. Allison also seeks help from Lucifer (reprised by John Light) who explains that the Lexicon is going to name the anti-Christ in a matter of hours.

The angels later capture Allison and bring her before Stark; he tells her that he is against the whole messy idea of Armageddon and if they can find the name of the anti-Christ, they would kill the child before apocalypse happen - as a result save humanity. Allison denies Strark’s offer because neither man or angel should go against God’s will and argues that is why she is still alive. Enraged, Stark threatens to kill Allison if he has to; however, he decides on letting her leave for now. As Allison leaves, Lucifer appears in the park to inform her about the motives of why Stark and other seraphim want to prevent Armageddon. If Armageddon happens, billion of human beings will die causing Heaven as well as Hell to be flooded with human souls. Envy for God’s attention, Stark and the others want to prevent Armageddon so that Heaven will not be over populated with human souls as well as prove to God that they - the seraphim - are his victors. Lucifer, on the other hand, is keen on the idea of Armageddon because every corrupt soul that is reject by God will appear at his doorstep in the billions and join his army.

Allison then runs to the abandoned house that contains the Lexicon and climbs the stairs to the top of the building as Stark is in hot pursuit. Meantime, the Lexicon produces the name of the anti Christ — Mykael Paun, and he shall bear four distinct marks on his face. Stark corners her on the roof and claims that the child is there in Bucharest. As Stark tries to reason with Allison, he asks her if she wonders why she was chosen and how she's been able to keep the Lexicon from creatures more powerful than herself. He states that she is a "nephalim" - a half-breed between an angel named "Simon" (a character from the first film) and a human - bred specifically to protect the Lexicon therefore Allison is nothing more than a tool. Dylan, who is feeling the effects of death more than ever, staggers to the roof; he is caught between them. Allison pleads with him to accept God's will on faith, but Stark is telling him to complete his task so he can be done with this miserable existence. Dylan is torn; he goes back and forth between them before shooting Allison repeatedly in the chest. Nevertheless, there was method in his madness; as Allison falls over the precipice, the pages of the Lexicon scatter everywhere. The winds carry them throughout the streets of Bucharest, and Allison survives due to her "nephalim" healing powers. Now, Stark has no way of tracking all the pages of Lexicon. The final page, the one Stark was looking for, falls at the feet of a young boy named Mykael Paun.

Trivia[edit]

In a bit of truly inspired foreshadowing, in 1993, two years before The Prophecy (1995) release, Christopher Walken played an eerily similar role to that of his portrayal of the Archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy series. In the Madonna video for the song "Bad Girl" (from her album "Erotica"), Walken plays the Angel of Death who silently follows a woman (Madonna) as she is being destroyed by her lifestyle. Though there is no speaking part, his mannerisms and look are strikingly similar to his later depiction of Gabriel - even down to his slicked back hair, pale complexion and mostly black wardrobe.[1]

Christopher Walken was robbed at the airport in Venice and his The Prophecy II script, glasses, keys, drivers license, and $100 were stolen. All items were later found (including the script) except for the money.[2]

The Prophecy 3: The Ascent marked the directorial debut of Patrick Lussier, who has often worked as an editor for horror director Wes Craven.[3]

The Prophecy: Uprising and The Prophecy: Forsaken were filmed simultaneously.[4] Furthermore, these films are the first of the saga without Christopher Walken and Steve Hytner reprise their roles as the Archangel Gabriel and the coroner Joseph, respectively.[5]

Reception[edit]

The first film of the series,The Prophecy, received mostly positive reviews: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette claimed that the film was “Chilling!” New York Post glorifies the film for its “Top –Notch Cast!” Chicago Tribune professes the film as “Entertaining!”

In 1998, The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror films rated the first sequel of the saga, The Prophecy II, as “The Year’s Most Suspenseful Thriller” and Cinefantastique praises the film for being “Intense…Action Packed! [Christopher] Walken Steals the Show!”

Home video[edit]

The sequel films ofThe Prophecy were released direct-to-DVD without a theatrical release

Characters[edit]

List indicator(s)

* A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film.
Angel
Characters Film
The Prophecy
(1995)
The Prophecy II
(1998)
The Prophecy 3: The Ascent
(2000)
The Prophecy: Uprising
(2005)
The Prophecy: Forsaken
(2005)
Danyael (Sr.) Russell Wong
Gabriel (Archangel) Christopher Walken
Lucifer (aka Satan) Viggo Mortensen Guri Weinberg (The Shape/Voice) John Light (as John Riegert/Satan)
Michael (Archangel) Eric Roberts
Pyriel (Angel of Genocide) Scott Cleverdon
Raphael (Archangel) William Prael
Simon (Archangel) Eric Stoltz Jason London (Voice)
Stark Tony Todd
Usiel Jeff Cadiente
Zophael Vincent Spano
Human
Characters Film Setting of the film (by Country)
The Prophecy
(1995)
The Prophecy II
(1998)
The Prophecy 3: The Ascent
(2000)
The Prophecy: Uprising
(2005)
The Prophecy: Forsaken
(2005)
Allison Kari Wuhrer / Smaranda Popesu (as Young Allison) Romania
Danyael (Jr.) Michael Raimi (as Danyael Jr.) Dave Buzzotta/ Drew Swaine (as Young Danyael) USA
Dylan Jason Scott Lee Romania
Dani Simionescu Sean Pertwee Romania
Izzy Brittany Murphy USA
Jerry Adam Goldberg USA
Joseph Steve Hytner "Joseph_1995" (Internet Chat) USA
Katherine Virginia Madsen USA
Laurel Doug Bradley Romania
Madge (waitress at dinner) Sandra Ellis Lafferty Sandra Ellis Lafferty USA
Mary Moriah 'Shining Dove' Snyder Moriah 'Shining Dove' Snyder USA
Thomas Daggett Elias Koteas Bruce Abbott USA
Valerie Rosales Jennifer Beals Uncredited Actress USA

References[edit]