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I really enjoyed THE PROPHECY and thought that it was an original and really cool little horror movie, plus it had the added bonus of Christopher Walken overplaying the film's resident heavy. While sequels rarely live up to the promise of the movies that spawned them, THE PROPHECY II ($30) actually turns out to be rather good, with Christopher Walken delivering another beautifully over-the-top performance. For those who have never seen THE PROPHECY, let me recap the crucial plot points. The rebellious angel Gabriel (Walken) and his followers have never been able to reconcile themselves with the fact that mankind has displaced the angels as God's most favored creations. Of course, Gabriel will stop at nothing to get rid of the talking monkeys (as he refers to humankind), so that the angels may reclaim their place in heaven. Opposing Gabriel and his followers are the angels that remain obedient to the will of God. Because of Gabriel's misguided attempt to regain God's favor, the two factions of angels have waged a war in heaven for countless ages.

As THE PROPHECY II opens, Gabriel is kicked out of hell by the only angel more rebellious than he is. This couldn't come at a more inopportune time, since those angels still obedient to God have found the human woman who will fulfill prophecy- thus saving humanity and ending the war in heaven. Of course, Gabriel intends to do everything in his power to find the woman and prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled. THE PROPHECY II also stars Jennifer Beals as Valerie, the woman whose unborn child is the key to ending the war in heaven. Russell Wong portrays the angel Danyael, whose mission is to protect Valerie from Gabriel and do his part to help her to fulfill the prophecy. The cast of THE PROPHECY II also features Brittany Murphy, William Prael, Glenn Danzig and Eric Roberts as the angel Michael. Co-writer/director Greg Spence does a really good job with the material, making this low-budget feature stand out amongst similar direct-to-video horror offerings. THE PROPHECY II is fast paced and atmospheric, plus the movie is enjoyable just for the opportunity it affords one to watch Christopher Walken work.

THE PROPHECY II has released on DVD by Dimension Home Video, and as you might expect from a Buena Vista distributed title, this Letterboxed movie lacks the 16:9 enhancement for playback on wide screen monitors. Despite the lack of the enhancement, the transfer reproduces the film in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and looks great when played back on a 4:3 display. The image is very sharp and nicely detailed; even the level of shadow detail is better than one would expect for a low budget offering. Colors are well saturated and flesh tones appear quite healthy. Blacks are ebony black and the image has good contrast. Neither chroma noise or compression artifacts degrade the image in any way.

The Dolby Digital 2.0 channel soundtrack decodes to standard surround with excellent results, proving that there is still life in the old format, for those who know how to take advantage of it. There is good channel separation across the forward soundstage, plus dialogue reproduction is clean and clear. The surround channels are very active, providing sound effects, ambience and musical fill. Bass is relatively strong and the mix offers good musical reproduction. Subtitles are available on the DVD in English.

The interactive menus are very basic, delivering only the standard scene selection and setup features.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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