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Ultra HD : Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $64.99 Last Price: $69.98 Buy now! 3rd Party 64.99 In Stock
Release Date: January 30th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 1995

The Prophecy I -II-III - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

Christopher Walken’s religious horror trilogy keeps the faith on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with Vinegar Syndrome’s The Prophecy I - II - III four-disc collection. Giving the classic creepy original and its two respectable made-for-video sequels the 4K HDR treatment, this stylish horror series looks and sounds fantastic while following the A/V footsteps with a disciple of new informative bonus features wrapped up in some stylish packaging that even Lucifer would be envious of - Highly Recommended
Order From Vinegar Syndrome

One of the best, though least discussed, late 20th century horror franchises, Vinegar Syndrome is proud to present the 4K UHD debuts of THE PROPHECY 1-3, housed in a custom built diagonal split magnetic box set (similar to our A BLADE IN THE DARK box).

In Gregory Widen’s landmark of indie horror, THE PROPHECY (1995), Christopher Walken and Eric Stoltz star as angels Gabriel (evil) and Simon (good); each determined to claim a tortured and violent soul, thus setting in motion - or preventing - the end times. In Greg Spence’s thrilling sequel, THE PROPHECY II (1998), dark angel Gabriel returns from Hell so that he can try to kill and claim the soul of a nurse who, unbeknownst to her, is pregnant with an angel. In Patrick Lussier’s THE PROPHECY III (2000), a murdered half angel/half human realizes his post mortem supernatural potential, only to be swayed by a set of demons to turn to the dark side…but Gabriel has other plans.

All three films have been newly and exclusively restored by Vinegar Syndrome specifically for this release and come loaded with all new and exclusive bonus features including director, cast, and crew interviews, providing the ultimate foray into good vs evil.

directed by: Gregory Widen, Greg Spence, Patrick Lussier
starring: Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, Viggo Mortensen, Amanda Plummer, Adam Goldberg, Steve Hytner, Russell Wong, Jennifer Beals, Brittany Murphy, Eric Roberts, Glenn Danzig, Vincent Spano, Brad Dourif, Davino Buzzotta
1995-2000 / 100 min / 2.35:1 + 1.85:1 / English 5.1 Surround

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Multi-disc Set: 4K Ultra HDs & Region A Blu-rays
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p/HEVC HDR
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.85:1
Audio Formats:
English 5.1 Surround
Release Date:
January 30th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Part of this review was previously published in our The Prophecy 5-Film Collection Review 

Some films spawned weird franchises back in the 90s. When the rental market was still thriving feeding those Blockbuster and Hollywood Video shelves was an important priority for studios - even prestige ones like Miramax. Writer/Director Gregory Widen cut his teeth working on genre flicks like Highlander, thrillers like Backdraft, and a little TV series called Tales from the Crypt (seriously where’s the Blu-ray of that show?). With his 1995 film The Prophecy, he helped reinvigorate the sagging Religious Horror sub-genre and let Christopher Walken dial in the entertainingly mean and diabolical fallen angel Gabriel. With Virginia Madsen and Elias Koteas running support and Amanda Plummer dropping by for a quick piece, the film was a modest success and lived well on rental shelves. Moody atmosphere, gnarly makeup effects, Eric Stolts, and Viggo Mortensen as Lucifer round out a grim, creepy horror thriller made in the guise of a police procedural. 

A sequel sounded like a good idea, but the decision-makers apparently felt a lower-budget direct-to-video feature made more cents. Nickel and dimed into existence, the aptly titled The Prophecy II saw Walken’s Gabriel crawl his way out of hell to continue his fallen angelic quest to rid the world of humans and prevent the birth of a child. Russell Wong, Jennifer Beals, Brittany Murphy, and best of all Eric Roberts as Archangel Michael take over this interesting but anemic sequel. In a particularly fun bit, we get to watch Walken go full Walken on Re-Animator’s Bruce Abbott standing in for Elias Koteas with an amazing wig and friar frock. To its credit, it’s better than average for direct-to-video sequel material, and perhaps with a better budget, it could have been a proper albeit still unnecessary sequel. 

Then we come to The Prophecy 3: The Ascent. All trilogies have to come to an end sometime and seeing our series villain return as a hero is probably the only way to get the job done. Walken is still very Walken here as the fallen angel Gabriel, but now in human form, he’s basically going full Kyle Reece. Protecting a half-human/half-angel “Nephilim,” played by Dave Bozzotta, Walken’s Gabriel is on the path of redemption in the eyes of God by helping end the war on earth. Working in this film’s favor is Director Patrick Lussier but as the second direct-to-video sequel the smell of cheap wafts through virtually every scene. Not terrible, certainly watchable and entertaining, but the franchise should have stopped here. But it didn't.

  • The Prophecy - 4/5 
  • The Prophecy II - 3/5 
  • The Prophecy 3: The Ascent - 3/5 

Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Standing to challenge for one of the slickest and most stylish multi-film box sets of the year, Vinegar Syndrome unleashes The Prophecy I - II - III for a new 4K UHD + Blu-ray set. The First film enjoys a solo BD-66 and BD-50 for its 4K HDR and 1080p presentations. The Prophecy II & III split a BD-100 and BD-50 respectively. All four discs are housed in a multi-disc case without stacking discs. Exclusive from Vinegar Syndrome, the case features reversible insert art, a slipcover, housed in a hard stock cardboard diagonally opening slipcase - which is a work of art unto itself. Each disc opens to an animated main menu with standard navigation options.

Video Review

Ranking:

A mainstay of home video since the bright cheery days of VHS,  The Prophecy I - II - III finally sees a true and fittingly beautiful 4K HDR10 transfer for each film. These films have been around the block over the years, mostly confined to some pretty terrible over-stuffed multi-film releases that left them looking and sounding like crap. Most recently Australia’s Via Vision did their best to give this series some extra room to breathe and it was an earnest effort. Now, thanks to Vinegar Syndrome and a new 4K restoration of their respective 35mm interpositives - all three films look terrific, easily cursing those early Echobridge Blu-rays to the depths of hell. 

Given that it doesn’t share a disc, The Prophecy easily takes the cake looking the best of the bunch. The biggest most immediate improvement is just how clean it looks. Fine lines and textures are present but without obvious ugly signs of edge enhancement. Likewise, film grain is maintained with an appreciable cinematic appeal without looking too thick and noisy nor does it look like a smoothed-out wax museum piece. The film always had very stylish photography so any number of filters, diffusion, and/or post-production color tinkering was employed to give the film a dusky, rusty orange veneer. That hasn’t changed but it’s nice to actually see clean details on top of vastly improved image depth. HDR gives the colors the appropriate care and attention without blowing out primaries. Black levels are black as pitch and give rise to some stunning shadows for all of the creepy parts (of which there are many). One of my favorite 90s horror films, this is the best I’ve seen on home video (my lone theatrical viewing was over 30 years ago, so I’m not banking on that memory).

The Prophecy II and The Prophecy III: The Ascent share a disc and thankfully don’t appear to suffer from their 4K living arrangements. Since both films clock in under 85 minutes, they’re not held back by an overuse of compression. Bitrates for both films remained better than average even compared to a major studio release from the likes of Warner Bros or The House of Mouse. It helps we’ve never seen these films look this good! All past discs have been pretty much crap, looking flat and lifeless with way too much edge enhancement and just an overall ugly appearance. Now we can actually appreciate some true well-rendered facial features, clean fine lines, and textures. While these films were low-budget and made-for-video productions, they didn’t look cheap. They look big and stylish, and now their video presentations finally bear that out. You&rsquo'll love the details in Walken’s hair in the third film! 

The HDR10 grading also works wonders for this film maintaining that hot sun-baked golden tone while letting key primaries flourish with healthy skin tones for our cast. Likewise, the extra attention to black levels gives the image for both films a great sense of depth and dimension absent from any previous release. Whites are wonderfully crisp. Some of the iffy CGI shots certainly stand out, a cheap effect is a cheap effect and can’t be helped, but with all the added clarity and detail, I felt like I was actually getting to truly see these films and maybe even appreciate them a little more.

Audio Review

Ranking:

As we lower our heads in reverence for our audio setups - each film comes with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 and DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio track. Now watching through these again and listening close to the mix, if these weren’t the same tracks supplied to Via Vision for their Blu-ray releases, they’re damned close - and still very good! Given my setup, I opted for the 5.1 tracks while briefly previewing the 2.0 options. The 2.0 is very good if you’re rolling a mid-range soundbar or something like that, but the 5.1 is where it's at. The first film may not be wall-to-wall action setpieces, but there’s a very creepy immersive quality to it letting the score and desert atmospheric effects play up the tension. Silence is well-used to just make the flick unnerving.

The Same goes for The Prophecy II and The Prophecy III: The Ascent. Each film has its own auditory strengths lending to effective surround experiences. Dialog is clear and easy to hear for both. Since these films were playing with less, they’re not quite as subtle as the first film’s sound design. These are a little more aggressive, maybe a bit louder, using more stingers and music cues to convey the scares or dread within any given scene. For the kind of releases they are, the soundscape is impressive, but again, doesn’t rest on nuance. However, they are active and engaging enough to keep those surround channels working without any dead air or sound like channels drop out and rely on the front/center to carry the load.

Special Features

Ranking:

Not content to recycle bonus features, Vinegar Syndrome has assembled their own selection of interesting extras. While this trilogy doesn’t carry over the interviews and archival materials we saw on the Via Vision 5-film set, we do get about 90 minutes of new retrospective making-of content about the series. Each film gets some focused examination from the main players involved with the making of the film. Justifiably, series guru producer/writer Joel Soisson takes the main stage explaining a lot of the series’ progression. After that, we’ve got three very good audio commentaries for each film. Joel Soisson is again featured through each track, but each film’s directors Gregory Widen, Greg Spence, and Patrick Lussier hold point. Lussier, in particular, is a very active and energetic presence for his run on The Prophecy III happily revisiting the film with vigor and what sounds like genuine excitement. 

The Prophecy 4K Disc

  • Audio Commentary featuring Gregory Widen and Joel Soisson

The Prophecy Blu-ray Disc

  • Audio Commentary featuring Gregory Widen and Joel Soisson
  • The War in Heaven - The Making of The Prophecy (HD 38:11)
  • The Return to Eden - The Making of The Prophecy II (HD 34:01)
  • The War on Earth - The Making of The Prophecy III: The Ascent (HD 28:45)
  • Promotional & Behind-the-Scenes Still Gallery (HD 6:46)

The Prophecy II & III 4K Disc

  • The Prophecy II Audio Commentary featuring Greg Spence and Joel Soisson
  • The Prophecy III Audio Commentary featuring Patrick Lussier and Joel Soisson

The Prophecy II & III Blu-ray Disc

  • The Prophecy II Audio Commentary featuring Greg Spence and Joel Soisson
  • The Prophecy III Audio Commentary featuring Patrick Lussier and Joel Soisson

One of the most unique horror franchises to come out of the 90s, The Prophecy is practically a cinematic time capsule for how much the industry trained in just a couple of decades. The first film was a modest hit with Walken delivering a menacing performance with a crafty grim sense of humor. A sequel wasn’t out of the realm of possibility, but to have two featuring our Oscar-winning lead that went direct-to-video to feed rental shops more content is something of an anomaly. On top of that, these sequels were actually pretty damn good! Mainstays of VHS and DVD, the franchise generally suffered on Blu-ray with piss-poor transfers and audio. The prayers of fans hoping for a quality release has been answered thanks to Vinegar Syndrome’s new 4-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release. Boasting brand-new transfers with excellent audio options and plenty of worthwhile extras, The Prophecy I - II - III is a magnificent release of the core trilogy that goes way beyond just featuring some damned cool packaging. If you’ve been on the fence for this one, it’s an easy one to call Highly Recommended