Starring: Demi Moore, Jürgen Prochnow, Michael Biehn, Peter Friedman
Written by: Ellen Green and Clifford Green
Directed by: Carl Schultz
Original Year of Release: 1988
Distributor: Scream Factory (Shout! Factory)
Run Time: 1 hr, 37 minutes
There are those oddball movies with actors you have heard of, that you never knew about or never heard anything good about. The Seventh Sign is such a movie. Here we have Demi Moore (Ghost, Strip Tease) and Michael Biehn (Terminator, Aliens, and The Abyss) as a young couple waiting on the birth of their first child. Abby and Russell Quinn are two young professionals, a writer and a lawyer, who have tried for a child before but were unsuccessful. Abby is putting a lot of pressure on herself, where Russell keeps trying to relax her and prays for the best.
In the background of their lives, several strange occurrences start happening around the world. A priest, Father Lucci (Peter Friedman), is sent by the Church to investigate each. Every odd happening points to one of the signs in the Bible which foretold of the apocalypse. Privy to the audience's view is one man, David (Jürgen Prochnow), who is present at each event before it happens. David then shows up on Abby and Russell's doorstep to rent their vacant room. David is an odd tenant, with no TV or furniture. He tells them he is a professor who has just returned from aboard. Abby, curious about David, starts snooping around his things when David is gone. She quickly believes that David is there to take away her baby.
If you just said, "What?", then you too are asking the very same question that I had when Abby starts to tell Russell her theory that David’s appearance has something to do with the timing of their child's birth. This, sadly, is where The Seventh Sign comes off the rails. As the audience, watching this tale, we know full well that David's arrival, as it was when the desert froze and the river turned to blood, is part of bringing about the apocalypse. However, Abby was not present nor did she witness David do anything out of the ordinary or perform a miracle. She makes a huge leap and we are expected to follow along as if a scene was missing (which probably happened) and just go with it. The true shame, up until that moment, is that you are fascinated by the turn of events and how each of the signs comes to be. Perhaps if she had some sort of major premonition, heavy pregnancy hysteria, or moment of clarity when she attempted suicide then maybe we could have bought into her heightened sense of awareness and apprehension. Once David's true intentions are revealed to Abby, we are already out of the moment, which should have been Abby's justification for her actions.
What makes The Seventh Sign worth the one-time watch is the heavy amount of mythology and Christianity that went into it. When all is revealed, we discover that the Roman soldier who tortured Jesus Christ is still alive and was cursed to walk the Earth. Here we have a character that has been alive for nearly 2000 years. That's a story that is far more interesting, at times, than what Abby is going through. David's full story is also revealed, which also opens up the imagination as to what it would mean to the world if humanity knew who he really was. The one last bit of intriguing story which plays throughout the film is Russell's court case. He is trying to save the life of a man who killed his own parents because he believes it was God's will. It may seem crazy, but the ramifications of his actions and our enlightenment to what is going on, with the seven signs, really opens up things for a discussion.
As I said, this was a one-time viewing, but worth it for the discussion, not Abby's leap to the foregone conclusion. Demi Moore was riding high on St. Elmo's Fire (1985) and About Last Night... (1986) before this film came out. Why she picked this film above all things may be lost to the ages but it probably had something to do her name above the title. As "end of the world" films go, it is like I said, worth the one-time watch. Fans of the film will appreciate Scream Factory's transfer and Michael Biehn’s all too honest interview.
- NEW Interview With Actor Michael Biehn
- NEW Interview With Director Carl Schultz
- NEW Interview With Actor Peter Friedman
- NEW Interview With Actor John Taylor
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