Written and directed by Gregory Widen
Author of the original Highlander and Backdraft.

When Angels Cry

Certainly "The Prophecy" is one of the films I'm most proud to be associated with. It was a fresh, wholly original concept and has developed a strong, and well deserved cult following since its original release. It has also spawned two sequels to date. I was one of two DP's on the original as well as DP of the second film, "The Prophecy II.". Sadly, for me, I worked only very briefly (one day of second unit) on the third, but at least it was cool to keep a connection with it. :-)

The cast of the original was superb and luminous and I have nothing but the highest level of praise for all of them. During production the film was originally titled "God's Army" and it was released under that title in Japan. After Dimension Films acquired the property the name was changed to "The Prophecy." At the time many of us were not fond of that choice as it reminded us of the 1970's film "Prophecy" about some mutant bear, but the title change stuck and the rest (as they say) is history. Eric Stoltz as Simon

I should point out and give due credit to Director of Photography Bruce Douglas Johnson, the original DP on the project. I came in and took over when circumstances prevented him from completing the film. Our work is intercut throughout the movie, but for those who really want to know, I did all of the Los Angles based material (most of the first 20 minutes of the film) while Bruce did most of the shooting in Superior, Arizona (the large chunk in the middle). When the film moves up to the Reservation ("Old Woman Butte") that's back to my stuff, intercut with his stuff, through to the end. Honestly, even he and I aren't sure which of us shot some shots and we are (so far as I know) both okay with it. He returned to do the final color timing on the theatrical release prints while I was shooting another project in Texas, and then I returned to supervise the telecine process (the transfer of the film to a video master for all TV releases purposes), which Bruce also sat in on.

Joseph and Thomas examine a strange body I could write a book on the behind the scenes events of this movie, from shooting in "haunted" hospitals and "supernatural" encounters to some incredible "acts of God" while on location in Arizona, during which our entire Indian Village set was literally blown clean off the butte. The film was just very heavy on the strange and bizarre, which somehow just seems to make sense with this one.
The film was shot in Super 35 (that is a 2.35-to-1 aspect ratio) and I'm happy to report that it is now available in its originally intended release format thanks to the growing popularity of DVD widescreen. Prior to this you had to buy a laserdisc to see the letterbox version. Now you can rent the DVD at your nearest Blockbuster or (better yet) buy a copy. If you watch it, please DO watch it in the wide screen/letterbox format to see the originally intended compositions. (This is, of course, the cameraman talking! :-)
Christopher Walken literally set the screen on fire (as well as several other characters) in the leading role of "Gabriel" the renegade angel, in the original "The Prophecy.". He has returned to recreate the role in both "The Prophecy II" and "The Prophecy III."  Steve Hytner, who plays Joseph the Medical Examiner, is the only other actor who has appeared in all three films.  Ironically, the two of them  have never appeared in a scene together.


The time lapse camera points down at Superior, Arizona. I clicked this picture
myself as we were photographing the time lapse sunset sequence that appears
briefly in the middle of the film.


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