"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."
Horror / Sci-Fi / Thriller
Horror / Sci-Fi / Thriller
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.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 31, 2020 at 07:13 PM