5.4/10
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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:

The Monster Movie. 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

When Maggie Verne is seen leaving the helicopter during the rain storm there is a wire visible holding her handkerchief in place so it doesn't get lost in in the winds when she purposely lets it fall out of her pocket See more »

Quotes

Maggie Verne: I believe him.
Dr. Robert Verne: Why?
Maggie Verne: Why would he have offered to let you test the water?
Dr. Robert Verne: Maybe it wasn't in the water.
Maggie Verne: Huh?
Dr. Robert Verne: Maybe it's heavier than water. That silvery stuff on your boot, is it dry?
Maggie Verne: Yes.
Dr. Robert Verne: They gave us a trick question in medical school. What's the only liquid in the world that isn't wet?
Maggie Verne: What was the answer?
Dr. Robert Verne: Mercury.
See more »

Alternate Versions

ABC edited 7 minutes from this film for its 1983 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mockingbird Lane (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 4 in D Minor
(uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
See more »

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User Reviews

THE monster movie? Maybe.
19 October 2017 | by BandSAboutMoviesSee all my reviews

The film starts with a gorgeous shot of lights bouncing off a river as a rescue team search for two lost men, only to be murdered by some unseen force. Cut to the stark light of day and we have a horrifyingly beautiful composition of their decimated corpses in the sun.

Cut to Dr. Robert Verne, working as a doctor in the tenements of the city, giving kids medical care. This scene is rife with that feeling 1979 gave you, that we were living in the end of the world. Verne feels like he isn't making any difference, especially after hearing how the rats keep biting the kids. That's why he decides to take a job with the Environmental Protection Agency (again, very 70s as is Foxworth's reddish white dude fro and full beard. Sex symbols were…different at the time), which means heading up to a logging town in Maine and solving a dispute between the loggers and Native Americans (Wow, again, this movie is just rife with issues that today's now generation is ready to tackle!).

Maggie, Verne's wife, comes along. She's pregnant but since he has no interest in kids, she is planning on just having an abortion (Do I need another parenthesis to shout out the 70s issues? Yes, I do.) and not telling him. We meet Travis, his kids Paul and Kathleen and paper mill director Bethel Isely.

Isely blames the missing rescue team and loggers on the Opies, or Original People (Native Americans). The accused have their own suspect: Katahdin, the spirit of the forest. We barely have time to process that before the Opies block our main characters path, leading to a battle between lumberjack Kelso and Opie leader John Hawks that ends with Hawks facing a chainsaw vasectomy. Cooler heads prevail, but Verne and Maggie are aghast at the violence in the woods.

What follows is a slow burn toward our big monster reveal, which was a huge secret at the time, as the film had tight security, barring even studio personnel from the set. Crew and actors had to sign NDAs that they would not reveal any elements of the story under any circumstances. A retired CIA agency supervised the whole shoot, only allow one camera for the official still photographer.

There's a giant salmon snacking on a duck. An insane raccoon that attacks Verne. A gigantic tadpole. And of course, a litany of stillbirths, birth defects and people going crazy. Verne thinks mercury is the culprit, but it's too late to save that lovely Nelson family we met earlier, who are attacked by Katahdin, who is revealed to be a female mutant bear that swats Paul into the rocks, killing him.

Read more at bandsaboutmovies.com/2017/06/30/prophecy-1979/


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