The Prophecy: Uprising (September 28/05)
The Prophecy: Uprising is actually the fourth installment in the ongoing horror series, though it is the first not to feature Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel. As such, the movie has virtually nothing to do with the previous three - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, really. Sean Pertwee stars as Dani Simionescu, a grizzled Romanian cop who finds himself at the center of an ongoing conflict between warring angels. As it turns out, his long-lost sister (played by Kari Wuhrer) is the only person who can resolve this battle - an ironic twist that angers the evil spirit Belial to no end. Given that straight-to-video horror sequels are generally horrible and thoroughly needless - ie Hellraiser: Hellworld, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, etc - it comes as a real surprise to discover that The Prophecy: Uprising isn't half bad. Pertwee delivers an actual, honest-to-god performance - a rare thing indeed in a film of this sort - while writer/director Joel Soisson does a nice job of imbuing the movie with sporadic instances of style. The exceedingly busy storyline often threatens to become convoluted and confusing, though the movie generally remains easy enough to follow. And while Soisson goes a little flashback-crazy towards the end, The Prophecy: Uprising contains enough positives to warrant a mild recommendation (if only for Pertwee's unusually strong performance).
The Prophecy: Forsaken (September 29/05)
If there was ever a redundant sequel, this is it. Essentially a 75-minute rehash of its predecessor, The Prophecy: Forsaken follows chosen one Allison (Kari Wuhrer) as she attempts to decide what to do with the Lexicon - an ancient religious text that is still writing itself and will eventually name the Anti-Christ. There are two men battling for possession of the book: The Devil (John Light) and a demonic angel named Stark (Tony Todd). Assisting Allison is Dylan (Jason Scott Lee), a conflicted hitman who just happens to be dead (and as such, has already started decomposing). The Prophecy: Forsaken isn't even remotely as effective as Uprising (see above), primarily due to the repetitive nature of writer/director Joel Soisson's screenplay. Soisson spends far too much time explaining everything that happened in the last movie, and aside from an intriguing conclusion, there's really not much here we haven't already seen. And while the performances are uniformly effective, none of the actors quite makes the same kind of impact that Sean Pertwee did in Uprising. But we do learn that the Devil likes to eat Twinkies, so there's that at least.