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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Prophecy (1979)



There were two popular subjects in movies during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Animals running wild killing people and the dangers of pollution. Prophecy is a little bit of both! Seems like a perfect choice to review here at the blog.

Before we meet our main characters, things get rolling with a group of men and dogs in the woods tracking someone or something. We later find out that they are a search and rescue team looking for some missing loggers. The dogs catch scent of something and almost pull them off a cliff. When they go to investigate all we hear is a roar and a horrible scream. That didn’t go well for them at all.

We then meet our main characters, Rob and his wife Maggie. Rob is sent to Maine to conduct an environmental study of a lumber mill operation. There is a dispute between a logging company and the local Indian population, though it has nothing to do with the environment. The loggers have an agreement with the government to work some land that the Indians claim to own. No one wants to make a decision on that argument so the powers that be hope the study can give a reason to decide one way or the other. What no one expected was that the mercury being dumped into the water supply would cause all sorts of mutations in both the human and animal population. This includes one very angry and aggressive bear! It’s about to get real.

Prophecy is a fun watch. The story plays out in a very predictable but comfortably enjoyable way. Company does something bad in the pursuit of wealth, locals pay the price, nature is corrupted and fights back, and finally those responsible get their comeuppance. If you have seen a ’70s or ‘80s monster movie you should recognize the plot. What I didn’t expect was the amount of innocent people that get killed. The bear wipes an entire family out, including a couple of kids! It also kills the kindly Indian Grandfather, which I did not expect at all. The movie isn’t pulling any punches in an effort to get the audience’s attention. I appreciate that. 

That is one pissed off mutant bear!
I’ve talked about all these kills but I must warn you that the movie is only rated PG. This isn’t the gory bloodbath that it could be. The kills are all tame and you don’t see that much blood. As a frame of reference, I’d say that Jaws has way more gore in it than Prophecy does. The design of the creature is decent, but they clearly have an issue when it has to move. Much of this is covered up with long distance shots and quick cuts when the bear is attacking or running after them. If you notice though the bear runs on two legs… I guess that could be a mutation from the mercury.

Finally, I have to ask the one big question that the movie never answers. Rob doesn’t know it but Maggie is pregnant and has been eating the fish contaminated by the mercury. They never deal with that after she tells him. So, is her baby a mutant? Not in an X-Men kind of way but like a CHUD. I need to know! I doubt we will ever find out. Prophecy is a fun and easy to find. Check it out if you get the chance.



© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer

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