Last October, Arrow in the Head presented a column called UNSEEN HALLOWEEN, in which the staff recommended movies that are by and large very obscure. This yeah, UNSEEN HALLOWEEN RETURNS! But with a twist! Each writer is now tackling a very popular horror movie that has somehow eluded them throughout the years. Yeah, we expect to hear it from you guys, but so what! It's Halloween time, baby!
PLOT: Stop me if you’ve heard this one; a bitter Archangel named Gabriel (Walken) searches for the most “evil” soul on earth. Why? Something to do with winning some battle in heaven… I think. It’s up to Elias Koteas and Virginia Madsen to nix him out! You didn't stop me, I guess you never heard it either...
REVIEW: I had never seen the 1995 jamboree THE PROPHECY from top to bottom...ever. Sure I’ve caught glimpses of it here and there on TV but never the whole she-bang, hence I perceived this opportunity (our Unseen Horror Reviews) as the time to FINALLY give the flick the whirl I have been told many o times that it deserves. So how did it hold up? Ummm... yeah... odd little f*cking movie.
Written and directed by HIGHLANDER scribe Gregory Widen, THE PROPHECY did sport some similarities to Widen’s aforementioned classic. Think about it; weird dudes from another place (in this case heaven as opposed to immortals from a different time period) duke it out on earth, with the fate of our existence at stakes. Exactly! What made THE PROPHECY interesting though, to me that is, is that it took lots of its elements from The Book of Revelation (found in The Bible), spun them on their heads and even went as far as inventing its own chapter. Nifty! Furthermore, the picture went on to embrace the bleak and the ugly while wearing its horror vibes proudly on its collar. The result was a compelling contrast, "good" (Angels are supposed to be on our side... no?) played evil if you will, and that kept my sorry ass watching. NOTE: The Supernatural TV show owes a lot to this movie when it comes to the handling of angels and demons. END OF NOTE
The stellar cast on display was also a big plus! Am talking solid names here: Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Amanda Plummer and Eric Stoltz! Shite, even Viggo Mortensen (and his glorious beard) showed up to play Lucifer himself. But the show-stealer was definitely Christopher Walken as the Archangel Gabriel.The latter’s "otherworldly" looks and his unique way of moving/speaking was ideal for the role of a vengeful being from another plane. Straight up, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen every time Walken surfaced. Dude was owning that scenery and obviously having lots of fun with the role. One hasn't lived IMO until they've witnessed the awesomeness of Chris Walken perched up on a chair back-rest like a bird. Mesmerizing :)The often-striking imagery (all about the shadow of an angel falling on a wall), the messy gore bits, the random clever lines, the atmospheric cinematography and the eerie score came in to add to the movie's edge too.
On the flipside, I did feel that the flick was way too sluggish. Some tightening up here and there in terms of pacing would have been swell. The budget also didn’t always measure up to the story’s ambition with the “angel battle aftermath” being the prime example of that ailment. That scene should have floored me, but it was too low rent for it to do so. Finally, I can’t say the story was very... ummm… clear. But then again, should a film apologize for me being an idiot? I think not. PS: That lion (or was it a tiger) roar they tagged to Mortensen’s Lucifer was tacky as heck and had me laughing out loud. Bad idea.
On the whole THE PROPHECY made for a curious watch. I now understand WHY it became a cult classic! With that, although I’m in a tizzy that I finally go to see the entire thing, I can’t say that I will be running towards them 3 sequels anytime soon. A re-watch of LEGION on the other hand... ummm. Maybe!
BEST GORE BIT: I guess it would have to be that uber mangled and gored up "Angel" corpse that kept resurfacing. Dude took a beating!
HALLOWEEN DRINKING GAME: Take a shot or drink every time:
- Christopher Walken does the "wild eyed" thing.
- Viggo Mortensen roars... yes roars.
- Elias Koteas looks constipated.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT?: You can find the film on disk and on VOD! Just click the links below!