Lt. Commander Finchhaven, a ghostly relic from the First World War, he had fallen down dead drunk on his first assignment and been consigned from the great beyond to sail the seas until a ... See full summary »
In the poor, desolate northern provinces of the mountainous feudal Sunni kingdom of Afghanistan (before the Soviet-engineered republican revolutions), the status of the proud men and their ... See full summary »
Henry Tawes is the sheriff in a small town in Tennessee. A man of strong moral fibre he is always quick to judge others and follows the law zealously. Then he meets Alma, a young beautiful ... See full summary »
Ralph and Annabell Willart are a feuding couple who are constantly bickering over their worthless, good-for nothing son Berry-Berry. When Berry-Berry begins yet another meaningless love ... See full summary »
Eva Marie Saint,
Harry is a married writer who has an affair with a woman whose husband knows that she is unfaithful. As a result of his work, Harry has trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality ... See full summary »
Though predominantly set in the woods of the state of Maine in the USA the picture was not filmed there with Crofton, North Cowichan in British Columbia, Canada portraying the region. See more »
Obviously stuffed bear to represent dead monster-bear floating in the lake. See more »
All that's left is in baskets.
[the bodies of the campers were dismembered and Isley and his workers come to the Indian village going after John Hawks thinking he had something to do with it]
See more »
Released by Paramount in 1979, Prophecy, along with Alien, Phantasm and George Romero's Dawn of the Dead formed an unholy quartet of horror movies that assaulted the hearts, minds and stomachs of cinema-goers during that infamous 'summer of fear'. Of these four films probably the most neglected, and deservedly so, is John Frankenheimer's ecological horror film starring Robert Foxworth, Talia Shire, Armand Assante, Richard Dysart and a carnivorous, drooling fifteen foot mutant bear.
Working from a ludicrous script by David Seltzer, author of The Omen (1976 & 2006), the film makes a plaintive plea about the dangers of a contaminating industry on the natural environment and how it could spawn obscene freaks of nature that may one day bite back. Seltzer specialises in films that explore the end of the world as exemplified in both incarnations of The Omen as well as his bug-movie The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971). Needless to say, Prophecy is equally dour in its predictions.
Tagged with the subtitle 'the monster movie', it has its moments of genuine suspense, especially in the impressive opening sequence where several mountaineers descend into a gloomy, Lovecraftian-like pit where the titular monster decimates them in the darkness. Unfortunately, there are not enough scenes of this kind and most other shocks in the film are not so cleverly engineered by the director. This is a shame.
The performances by Foxworth and Shire are heartfelt and everybody else tries hard but the material is so ridiculous that the results are sometimes painful to watch. The special effects by Tom Burman are not up to the standards of his work on Philip Kauffman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) or Paul Schrader's remake of Cat People (1982) and at times look distinctly fake and rubbery.
Now forget all my previously negative comments and go rent or buy this film immediately. Prophecy is the kind of z-grade, messy, misguided, big-studio trash that is so bad its simply quite brilliant. On the positive side, the film does build nicely towards its climax, wringing quite a few moments of suspense along the way. This isn't the Frankenheimer of The Manchurian Candidate (1962) or Seconds (1966) but Prophecy, though not an entirely successful synthesis of its themes and ideas, is a joy to behold.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?