5.4/10
3,564
78 user 59 critic

Prophecy (1979)

A log company's waste mutates the environment, creating a giant killer bear-monster.

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writer:

David Seltzer
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Talia Shire ... Maggie
Robert Foxworth ... Rob
Armand Assante ... John Hawks
Richard Dysart ... Isely
Victoria Racimo ... Ramona
George Clutesi George Clutesi ... M'Rai
Tom McFadden Tom McFadden ... Pilot
Evans Evans Evans Evans ... Cellist
Burke Byrnes ... Father
Mia Bendixsen Mia Bendixsen ... Girl
Johnny Timko Johnny Timko ... Boy
Everett Creach Everett Creach ... Kelso (as Everett L. Creach)
Charles H. Gray ... Sheriff
Lyvingston Holmes Lyvingston Holmes ... Black Woman (as Lyvingston Holms)
Graham Jarvis ... Shusette
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Storyline

A Savage beast, grown to monstrous size and driven mad by toxic wastes that are poisoning the waters, spreads terror and death on a Maine countryside. Written by <kdj@ozemail.com.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She Lives. Don't Move. Don't Breathe. She Will Find You. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 August 1979 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Prophecy: The Monster Movie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$18,389,402
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director John Frankenheimer, during post-production, the studio demanded that the film be cut from an R rating down to a PG. Frankenheimer felt this damaged the film, destroying the scariness it had created. See more »

Goofs

Obvious dummy for M'Rai when he is killed and thrown by the bear. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Robert Verne: Can these people help us?
[Dr. Verne after saving a dieing mutant cub and treating it in a tent at the Indian site referring to some Indian men who are with Hawks]
John Hawks: They can send someone from the village.
Dr. Robert Verne: Send them. Tell them to get people here. I want people to see this. Is there a newspaper in town?
John Hawks: Yes.
Dr. Robert Verne: Get them here with a camera... and people from that paper mill... and that sheriff.
John Hawks: Not that sheriff. I can't do that.
Dr. Robert Verne: Hawkes! He'll see the truth here and you have more here at stake in this ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and video versions received 8 secs of mandatory cuts by the BBFC to remove the shots of the raccoon writhing on the floor outside the cabin before the attack scene (the animal had been genuinely poisoned). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mockingbird Lane (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Ride
by Lionel Job and Delwin Gillman
Performed by Southroad Connection
Courtesy of Fourth World Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

 
So Bad Its Brilliant!
25 April 2007 | by liveronastickSee all my reviews

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.


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