"I’m an angel. I kill newborns while their mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. And occasionally, when I feel like it, I tear little girls apart. And from now till kingdom come...the only thing you can count on...in your existence...is never understanding why."
Description: - Christopher Walken as the heavenly Angel Gabriel in the motion picture The Prophecy (1995).
"I remember the First War, the way the sky burned, the faces of angels destroyed. I saw a third of Heaven's legion banished and the creation of Hell. I stood with my brothers and watched Lucifer Fall. But now my brothers are not brothers, and we have come here where we are mortal to steal the Dark Soul, not yet Lucifer's, to serve our cause. I have always obeyed, but I never thought the War would happen again." - The Angel Simon
Eons ago, God raised humans above the angels and this set off a war in heaven. The war was never successfully won and the idea of man being better that angels has been a sore spot among many celestial beings. The first war saw the fall of the Angel Lucifer who along with his followers were caste out of heaven and sentenced to hell.
Enter the archangel Gabriel who comes to earth in the 20th century to find a special dark human soul that can end the stalemate in heaven and return the Angels to their former glory.
Among the opposition is the Angel Simon, (Eric Stolz) who discovers the Dark Soul in the body of Colonel Arnold Hawthorne, a deceased West Point graduate. Recovering the Dark Soul from the man's body, Simon attempts to keep it from Gabriel and others who want to use the evil soul as a terrible weapon to their own ends.
"Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel?" - Thomas Dagget
Initially, an enemy angel named Uziel (Jeff Cadiente) attempts to retrieve the soul from Simon, but Simon kills him (Angels can be killed while in mortal form) and drops his body out of a building window. When the body is found, L.A. police detective Thomas Dagget (Elias Koteas), a former priest, becomes intrigued in the dead body (he has no eyes) and starts to investigate the mysterious death.
Thomas never took his final vows because as he lay prostrate on the floor before the anointing Bishop, he saw visions of angels killing each other in heaven. He was lead away screaming. The strange vision inspired Thomas to write a book entitled, "A Thesis on Angels in Religious Scripture."
As Dagget looks over the evidence in the case, he finds a copy of the book he wrote, uncovers a hand-written, second-century Greek Bible containing a heretofore unknown chapter of Revelations, that tells of a second war in Heaven, and a prophecy that a "Dark Soul" will be found on Earth that can be used as a terrible weapon. Dagget also finds a newspaper which leads him to the town of Chimney Rock, Arizona where Simon traveled to procure the Colonel's Dark Soul.
|Simon:||I'm so tired of this war.|
|Gabriel:||Reject the lie Simon. Join us! Help us make it like it was before the monkeys. You remember? We cast out Lucifer's army, you and I. We threw their rebel thrones from the wall.|
|Simon:||They wanted to be gods.|
|Gabriel:||I don't wanna be a god Simon. I just wanna make it like it was, before the lie. When he loved us best.|
Meanwhile Gabriel arrives in town, goes to the morgue and sets Uziel's body on fire as it lays on the floor in a crucifixion repose. Eventually, Gabriel captures, interrogates and tortures Simon only to discover that the Dark Soul he seeks is no longer in Simon's possession. Frustrated at Simon's stubborness to reveal the location of the Dark Soul, Gabriel rips out Simon's heart and sets his body on fire. Gabriel then sets out to find his prize, which now resides inside the body a young Indian girl named Mary (Moriah Shining Dove Snyder). The evil of the Dark Soul will soon begin to possess her the girl and make her ill.
Soon Detective Dagget and Mary's teacher Katherine (Virginia Madsen) join forces to protect Gabriel from ripping the girl apart and acquiring the long-sought after Dark Soul. Even Lucifer (Viggo Mortensen) gets in to the act to stop Gabriel. He fears that if the Angels do gain power of the Dark Soul, that it will cut in to his business and potentially create another hell in the universe.
"Other angels have made this war because they hate you, you and all humans. God has put you in his grace and pushed them aside. They're desperate. They've never been able to conquer the other loyal angels, and so this war has remained in stalemate for thousands of years. And while this state of affairs endures no soul can meet its god. Your parents, and their parents, and so on from the beginning lie still in wormy earth. Of course, some of them do come to me eventually, for while heaven may be closed I am always open, even on Christmas." - Lucifer [to Dagget]
In the final confrontation, Lucifer kills Gabriel's human body, while the Dark Soul is cast out of Mary's body and destroyed with the help of a Native American exorcism. Before Lucifer leaves, he invites Dagget and Katherine to join him in hell, but they refuse. Dagget, who has now recovered his faith and contemplates his humanity.
"And in the end, I think it must be about faith, and if faith is a choice, then it can be lost - for a man, an angel, or the devil himself. And if faith means never completely understanding God's plan, then maybe understanding just a part of it - our part - is what it is to have a soul. And maybe in the end, that's what being human is, after all." - Thomas Dagget
Note: The Prophecy (1995) spawned four sequels, in two of which Christopher Walken reprised his role as the Angel Gabriel who eventually wins his way back in to the good graces of heaven in The Prophecy III.
In The Prophecy II, Gabriel returns to try to destroy the human race, with the help of a suicidal teen and the opposition of the angel Daniel. Once again, Thomas Daggett (Bruce Abbott) gets involved in the action. At the end of the film Gabriel remains human.
Gabriel: Let's understand each other. I sang the first hymn when the stars were born. Not that long ago, I announced to a young woman, Mary, who it was she was expecting. On the other hand, I've turned rivers into blood. Kings into cripples. Cities to salt. So, I don't think that I have to explain myself to you.
Rafayel: How many more worlds have to burn before you're satisfied, Gabriel?
Gabriel: Just the one. This one.
[rips Rafayel's heart out]
Gabriel: I'm not greedy.
In Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000), the conclusion to The Prophecy Trilogy Christopher Walken returns as the Arch-Angel Gabriel as the War in Heaven and on Earth rages on. Pyriel, the Angel of Genocide rises to power intending to destroy all of mankind.
Zophael Jones: You answer my question, or I'll personally see to it that you spend the next millennium chained to a damp wall, wondering just what that is that's been winding its way up through your bowels for the last 750 years.
Zophael Jones: Killing you would be so easy.
Gabriel: Fried food can kill me, a mugger can kill me. You're not so special down here, Jones!
Maggie: Do you really believe that?
Joseph: Look. I've had four gutted hermaphrodites burn to black pitch right under my nose. I've had one cop, my best friend, driven insane by the angels shrieking in his head... before somehow spontaneously combusting in a madhouse he had mistaken for a monastery. A pretty young woman, now dead, knocked up by a stranger who left her three months pregnant in only 48 hours. And just yesterday, a young man, allegedly her son, shot up six ways to sundown, crawled out of a drawer and waltzed out like Lazarus. So yeah. I'm pretty much open to a -buffet- of possibilities.