Imagine if you will that you’re an apparently ordinary woman working in your neighborhood church. One day the priest drops dead and by his side you find a bible – not just any bible, but a very special one named the Lexicon in which the end of Revelations has begun to write itself. In addition, a strange man named Simon, whom you can’t see but can hear inside your head, tells you that as the keeper of the Lexicon, you now hold the fate of humanity in your hands. Meanwhile, out in the streets a seasoned detective and a young Interpol agent have teamed up to track down a serial killer with a nasty habit of ripping out his victims’ hearts.
What do these two storylines have to do with each other? In the newest installment of the Prophecy series, The Prophecy: Uprising, they intersect in a way we’ve all seen a million times before; yet, somehow director Joel Soisson and his talented cast manage to pull it off in a manner that both entertained and intrigued me for the film’s full 88-minute run time.
Allison, the young woman in question, is ably played by Kari Wuhrer, who is making quite a name for herself in direct-to-video films that have a great deal more going for them than a lot of what is winding up in theatres these days. Her predominantly male supporting cast is nicely rounded out by Sean Pertwee, one of my favorite actors working in the genre today (despite his over-emoting in a couple of early scenes), as the gruff detective; John Light as the Interpol agent whose agenda turns out to be more than meets the eye; and Doug Bradley, who gets to leave his makeup behind and turns in a terrific performance that showcases his acting chops for a change rather than just his monologue delivery abilities (although he is granted one such shining moment toward the end of the film).
At this point I should probably confess that I’m a big fan of the original Prophecy but have yet to see its first two sequels. I loved the whole good angel vs. bad angel scenario, Gabriel’s contempt for us “monkeys” (a recurring theme in this installment as well), and its outstanding cast. Uprising continues the tale of warring angels with a few new twists and turns, and setting the film in Romania (a “breeding ground for Armageddon” as Soisson calls it in the making-of featurette) is a nice touch. It gives it that dark, dirty, Euro flavor sadly lacking in so many of the squeaky clean America-based horror films being released today. The angels themselves are just as immoral as you’d want them to be and still move easily among the various shades of gray they employ to justify their actions. And hat’s off to the producer and casting director for hiring actual adults instead of the typical flavor-of-the-week, don’t-hate-me-because-I’m-beautiful young people we’re subjected to more and more nowadays by the Hollywood machine.
The editing by Kirk M. Morri is also noteworthy. He artfully blends ghostly flashbacks with the current action in a way not typically seen in a low- to medium-budget DTV offering, while Gary Tunnicliffe and his crew provide their usual high quality makeup effects work to the project. However, there is one anomaly I would be remiss for not mentioning: During one of the scenes in which the angel Belial is about to give an unwitting victim a taste of the other world, out of the blue appears a very brief effects shot from Hellraiser: Deader. (See if you can find it using the slo-mo on your dvd player.) I had just seen Deader, which had basically the same people working on it, so it was fresh in my mind. It was a bit “unusual” to say the least.
The disc comes with a commentary by Soisson, Wuhrer, and Tunnicliffe among others and an ample assortment of extras. In the making-of featurette Soisson describes how an unexpected snowstorm figured into the plot and added a bit of texture and atmosphere to certain scenes and locations. Serendipity at its best!
The Prophecy: Forsaken, the follow-up to Uprising, is already in the can with a projected September, 2005 release date. Soisson, Wuhrer, and Light are all back with the addition of Tony Todd and Jason Scott Lee. (Actually, the IMDB lists Lee in the cast of Uprising as well, but he was nowhere to be seen, so I guess we’ll see if he makes it into Forsaken after all.) I definitely look forward to finding out how things wind up for our intrepid heroine; those pesky angels; and the latest incarnation of Lucifer, who is quite possibly Allison’s only hope — and mankind’s as well, as always seems to be the case in this saga.
The Prophecy: Uprising (2005)
(Dimension Home Video)
Directed by Joel Soisson
Starring Kari Wuhrer, Sean Pertwee, John Light, Doug Bradley
Making The Prophecy: Uprising
Commentary track with director, cast, and crew
The Prophecy slide show
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