Scream at the Devil starts with some beautiful locations in Venice and the promise of Tony Todd, but features lo-res crummy looking credits which always gets me worried..
Miriam, separated from her husband over heels, wanders city, taking photographs… Painting… Escaping her grief over the marriage, and also trying to out run her desire to have a child. She’s drawn to Church, perhaps trying to find solace,. Instead, it evokes lashes and images and visions.
On the other side of the credits, we see her and her husband moving into a new home, having somehow reconciled. There’s still tension, but there’s also moments of camaraderie. In the house they seem happy, but Miriam sees things… Visions of CGI faces, that stick out like a sore thumb against the beautiful soft lighting and warm colors of the house.
Suddenly, the husbands car is destroyed… Even though they’re miles away from it. Also Miriam is talking to imaginary children. It’s hard to figure out who to be rooting for here. The enraged husband, angered by the destruction of his car… A car, or a wife who reacts with equal venom and may just be going a tad crazy. So far we’ve got lots of shouting, but I was personally hoping for more devil.
The husband’s dispatched shortly, (didn’t really even last long enough for me to remember his name!) or was he? Miriam’s car is missing and there’s no trace of a body. To be fair, I’d probably run to if I were living with a crazy wife and surrounded by creepy neighbors and demonic deliveryman.
Miriam has visions and sleeps in the tub a lot. Occasionally she has evil visitors Who try and compel her to invite them in.
It’s a bizarre head trip – and while I don’t mind such movies (Many of the late series Hellraisers veered in this direction under the supervision of Rick Bota), you still have to have a story and a place to go. This doesn’t We’re never entirely sure what’s going on and whether or not Miriam is mad. The ambiguous ending leaves me suspicious that the filmmakers don’t know either. The film lacks any real direction in favor of drifting from set piece to set piece and ultimately fails to satisfy.
Black and white greasepaint
Bad CGI (common, afterFX, same old blood packs)
Bad fonts (common, pixelated)
Cover misrepresents the movie
Shower/bath Scene (Bonus for no nudity)
Stock DVD cover (Exorcism style)
Horror con star cameo
The first thing I noticed about prophecy five is that the runtime is only about 75 minutes – and they waste the first three of those with flashbacks from the previous film. Still, I noticed that Tony Todd will be in this one, so I’m hoping it’ll be cool.
It looks like he’s an Angel this time, hiring a hitman to go after Kari Whurer, the current guardian of the prophet’s lexicon. The long black angel cloak gives him a very candyman vibe – which I have no doubt is intentional. Because he’s an angel, Todd, can’t get his hands dirty, but his assassin, Dylan, for him, the dirtier, the better. Angel John is back at the beginning here as well, delivering Wuhrer a message through a dead girl.
Our hitman Dylan is quite intense, loading his guns and prepping his gear, he obviously doesn’t want to work for Todd, even committing suicide to try and escape. But the angel bring some back, and now, with a vision of hell in his mind, the hitman is more bound to the angel than ever. We cut to Kari’s apartment, where Dylan has very suddenly arrived, threatening her as he searches for the Prophet’s Lexicon. Wuhrer assures him that he won’t find it if she’s dead.
His hitman turns on him, and he whisks Kari away. it’s an attack of conscience that transformed him into her protector. In the meantime, Todd’s Angel finds her apartment and searches for the book – he finds the hiding place almost immediately, hidden behind a layer of drywall, but the book stash there is merely a dummy copy, and the chase is onin the warm orange tones of Bucharest.
Everyone drives such small cars!
Dylan makes a quick stop to find iron pills that will alter the smell of Kari’s blood (making it harder for the Angels to hunt her), and a new dress, complete with a wig to throw everyone else off. (better to look like a cheap hooker I guess then be angel fodder). He explains that there’s a chance he can still denfend her and hurt the angels stalking them if he can squeeze off a good kill shot… Right through the third eye.
“The one you use to see God.”
It’s interesting to turn this into something more like a road film, along with a dash of paranoia – we are constantly looking around to try and figure out if the people on the street are angels or not. We get a cameo appearance from the angel from the previous installment, as Kari goes to investigate what the Prophet’s Lexicon actually is. Even disguised, The other angels are onto her, Curiously enough, they don’t seem to have the supernatural speed that I’m used to seeing from the first three installments- More evidence to me that this is a completely separate tangent.
It doesn’t stop them from being creepy and intimidating. Tony Todd in particular is perfect for this sort of role, and every time he’s on screen he elevates the film with that deep, true voice of his. He truly exudes the sense of superiority that has always been insinuated with these creatures.
Wuhrer heads back to the mansion from the previous film, looking for more information. There she finds Angel John lurking in the darkness. He explains some of the theory (such as Angels being bound by rules) as well as some of the plot in case you may have missed the previous film… all while devouring a Twinkie.
“I have a weakness for these.”
“Maybe it’s the angel food cake?”
Well Kari hides in a funeral procession, Todd tortures Dylan, attempting to drive him back to his cause. He’s valuable because Wuhrer trusts him now and he can get close to her. A storm rages outside the small church Wuhrer has taken shelter in. Lightning flashes, thunder rumbles, wind blows out the candles and then… there’s the dead girl. Standing before her. She tells Wuhrer that she died for her, so that she could use her funeral to escape the angels but now she has to wait in the cold ground, because the bad angels won’t let her into heaven. She implores Wuhrer not to give them the book… even if they tear her apart. Once again, I feel more Hellraiser vibes off of this than I do The Prophecy, not that I’m complaining. As soon as the ghost vanishes, Assassin Dylan arrives. Outside, the angel start to gather, and Dylan betrays her, leading her out and into their clutches. Wuhrer is now face-to-face with angel Todd, while Dylan goes off to try and drink his guilt away.
The problem is, the rules come in to play. Todd can’t kill Kari, and he can’t drive the information out of her, so he lets her go…
Wuhrer just sort of wanders into the next scene, it’s a clunky transition to a park where she spends some time talking to Angel John. Kari is conflicted – because Todd’s Angel wants to prevent Armageddon, where as Angel John wants to start it. It’s hard for her to pick a side and that internal conflict takes center stage in this installment. She makes a decision to head off and retrieve the profits lexicon from its hiding place, but Angel Todd and assassin Dylan are right on her heels.
I’ve got to admit, the film has an ending that I did not see coming – and yet it’s completely satisfying. Four and five together make a really fun narrative and create their own little series within a series – it’s very strange, but I dig it. Again I feel the need to mention this doesn’t feel like the first Prophecy, it doesn’t feel like that first trilogy – it shares some of the same DNA but it’s definitely it’s own thing… and that thing isn’t bad. I’m probably more likely to watch four and five again then I am to ever crack out one through three.
Tony Todd has been such a prolific actor it’s unbelievable, but he’s so often overlooked in these strange character roles he does. I choose a Candyman photo for him because to me it’s the most famous of his monsters (I’m not a fan of the final destination series), but he’s also the star of my favorite episode of Star Trek DS9 as well!