5.5/10
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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:

Out there is a mindless, merciless creature of destruction. 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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

Talia Shire's involvement in this film meant that Sylvester Stallone had to rewrite the final scenes in Rocky II (1979). 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

Dr. Robert Verne: What's going on here?
Isley: There were more killings in the forest last night. We're not waiting for any more.
Dr. Robert Verne: Who was killed?
Isley: [referring to the dismembered campers] A family up at Mary's Bend.
Dr. Robert Verne: [referring to John Hawks and the people of the Indian village] What makes you think these people had anything to do with it?
Isley: They're guilty as hell, Vern.
Sheriff: [speaking through his megaphone] I want the following people to step forward as their names are read! John Hawks!
Dr. Robert Verne: Where's the evidence?
Isley: The evidence is at the ...
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

Featured in The Riff Brothers (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Chanson Triste
(uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Arranged by Carmine Coppola
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Decent "Nature-Runs-Amok" Flick (Mutated Nature No Less)
11 March 2014 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

"Prophecy" was released at the same general time as the popular "Alien" back in 1979. "Alien" was a fair hit at the box office (with a far better monster) while "Prophecy" didn't do very well, causing director John Frankenheimer to plummet into a depression.

I first saw the film as a kid because I was intrigued by the 15-foot grotesque monster. As it turned out, I thought the film was merely okay. I decided to see the picture again in the mid-90s and, I don't know if it was nostalgia, but I thoroughly enjoyed "Prophecy" as an adult. I've seen it a few times since then and enjoyed it every time. As far as comparing it to "Alien," I fully admit that "Alien" is technically a much better film and way more innovative & influential, but through the years I've seen "Prophecy" about twice as often as "Alien." This proves, if nothing else, that "Prophecy" has re-watchable merit.

THE STORY: There are problems in Maine (although the film was actually filmed in the Great Northwest) between the paper mill and the local Indians. The Natives argue that they are somehow being contaminated by the industry. Robert Foxworth and his pregnant mate Talia Shire fly up to investigate and discover that mercury poisoning from the mill is the problem. They witness a handful of loony, overgrown or hideously mutated animals that verify their findings, most notably a mutated grizzly bear that looks like it's been turned inside out (speaking of which, I didn't realize they had grizzly bears in Maine; although I suppose it could be a mutated overgrown black bear).

The tone of the story is completely serious so don't expect any camp like in the similar "Lake Placid." Robert Foxworth is excellent as the protagonist; I'm surprised he didn't have a more stellar career. Talia Shire ("Rocky"), the sister of Francis Ford Coppola, is meek and likable. Armand Assante ("Odyssey") is robust and determined as the Native protagonist and Victoria Racimo is fabulous as his wife (squaw?).

There are quite a few memorable scenes, like when the Natives block a forest road culminating in an intense stand-off with the paper mill personnel, chain saw and all. Another potent sequence is when Foxworth investigates the paper mill and has an intense discussion/argument with the mill boss. The manager powerfully points out that the mill simply provides what the consumers demand and that Foxworth's actual report is going to use up thousands of sheets of paper; hence, he shares responsibility.

BOTTOM LINE: For the first hour and 15 minutes or so "Prophecy" expertly unveils the mystery while capturing the viewers attention with mounting interest. It's the last 25 minutes where the film partially stumbles. The mutated creature is fully revealed and chases the group through the forests. There's a lot of running & screaming and many die. This should be a powerful pay-off but for some reason it's not. It's merely okay, and almost boring. Still, there are some memorable visuals, like the moonlit chase through the fog-laden lake.

"Prophecy" may not be great like "Jaws" or "Alien," but it's quite a bit better than flicks like "Grizzly."


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