Review: The Prophecy (1995)

Horror Movie Mini-Review by Zeus | 2013-08-28

Christopher Walken as Gabriel in The Prophecy
(Image credit: DoBlu.)

The Prophecy is one of those 90s movies I vaguely remembered but never felt like rewatching. Until now! Christopher Walken plays Gabriel, a real Old Testament pillar of salt kind of Archangel, whose powers of pyrokinesis bring a whole new meaning to "Touched by an Angel." Jealous that God lifted "talking monkeys" -- that's us -- into His Grace, Gabriel started a war in Heaven that has been at a stalemate since basically forever. (It's like that episode of Friends, where Chandler and Ross are either equally strong, or equally weak.) But Gabriel has discovered something that can tip the scales: the dark soul of a cannibalistic Korean War criminal, which he intends to recruit and, I guess, put his army of Jealous Angels through basic training.

The Prophecy's villains are as campy and over the top as the good guys are boring. Even Elias Koteas (Casey Jones from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) plays it straight as Thomas Dagget, a Priest turned Detective after God "showed him too much." He teams up with a bland school teacher and even a bland Angel, played by Eric Stoltz, who at one point shares an excruciatingly uncomfortable open-mouth kiss with a child actress, making me wonder if this movie was intended as a prequel to The Butterfly Effect.

The Prophecy was written and directed by Gregory Widen, who also wrote the screenplay to The Highlander. As far as I know, this was the last high concept genre film he wrote. Which is weird, because even though The Prophecy bombed, it gained enough of a cult following to spawn four sequels. The movie reminds me a bit of Preacher. It's dark and weird, perhaps at times for the sake of being dark and weird, but it's an interesting ride, pocked with neat ideas and performances. This is the kind of movie where Viggo Mortensen shows up as the Devil and advises the hero to tempt Gabriel to doubt his own faith, and then the hero ditches that plan, runs said Angel over with a Jeep and bashes its head in with a shovel. Makes no sense, but has a little something for everyone, including those compiling video evidence to prove why Eric Stoltz shouldn't be allowed around children.

Review Score: 4/5 Stars.

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