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Film: Prophecy

It is not an offspring of witchcraft or Satan. It was created by man. It will grow to be 15 feet tall. It will have huge eyes, webbed hands, hooked claws. It will walk upright. And it will mindlessly, mercilessly, kill every living thing it meets.

Prophecy is an ecological horror film from the year 1979. It was directed by John Frankenheimer and it stars Robert Foxworth, Talia Shire and Armand Assante.

It is a story of a medical doctor Rob Verne who is sent to Maine to ivestigate a dispute between Native Americans and the local papermill. Taking his wife with him, he discovers that the area is heavily contaminated by methylmercury and encounters the mutations it has caused.

Especially one certain bear...

If you were looking for the Christopher Walken movie, go see The Prophecy.

This film contains the examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Isley. He's genuinely nice and helpful to Rob and Maggie early on, only showing his nastier side when encountering the Indians. He seems to have turned a blind eye to pollution rather than explicitly ordered it, resulting in a last act Heel-Face Turn.
  • Anvilicious: Possibly the preachiest monster movie ever made. Not only the Green Aesop about pollution but abortion, urban squalor, Indian rights and corporate greed are all invoked at various points.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: This bear doesn't give a shit about your "walls" and "roofs".
  • Bears Are Bad News: Did we mention the giant mutant bear?
  • Chainsaw Good: John is threatened with a chainsaw inches from his face.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Isley. Though he sees the folly of his ways when he is shown what the pollution has done to the local wildlife.
  • Don't Go in the Woods
  • Horrible Camping Trip: Small subplot deals with a family who ventures into the woods and never returns.
  • Infant Immortality: Inverted in the film's funniest moment.
  • Informed Attribute: Ramona's bravery.
  • Jump Scare: As the cast make their way through dark woods, tension is built up until the bear finally appears.
  • Lowered Monster Difficulty: Roger Ebert called it the "Hero's Death Battle Exemption" and cited this movie in particular.
  • Mama Bear: The literal one.
  • Mighty Whitey: At the end of the movie, heroic white doctor Rob Verne is able to kill the mutant bear with a bow and arrow... after John used it repeatedly to utterly no avail.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Maine actually don't have any grizzly bears in it.
  • Moment Killer: Tender moment between Rob and Maggie is interrupted by a crazed raccoon.
  • Mutants: Some animals, due to pollution.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: There's a subplot consisting Maggie's sudden pregnancy and her attempts to tell Rob about it, especially when it becomes clear that her fetus has probably been affected by the pollution too.
  • Off with His Head!: Two people get their heads bitten off.
  • One-Word Title
  • The End... Or Is It?: The final shot of the film has a rather obvious Sequel Hook, suggesting that there are many more adult mutant bears in the woods. But nothing ever came of it.
  • Scenery Porn: New Columbia (standing in for Maine) sure has nice forests.
  • Scream Discretion Shot
  • Space Whale Aesop: Don't let paper mills pollute nature, because that will create killer mutant bears that will come after you.
  • The Stoic: John Hawks.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Justified, they have her cubs.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: When the bear is finally taken down, Verne goes for its throat to just make sure it's dead.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The decision to take the bear cubs to M'rai's camp. Even if they were mutated, anyone with common sense should know that the mother bear will set out to look for them.
    • The rescue team at the beginning. One of their dogs goes over a cliff, hanging by its leash. Something yanks hard on the leash, to the point that it just snaps off. Two of the three rescue workers rappel down to check on the dog. Not a genius move, but maybe understandable. The third guy hears bloodcurdling screams from down below as whatever grabbed the dog massacres his coworkers. He rappels down after them.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Trailers (and the poster above) give an impression that the monster is a Mix-and-Match Critters -kind of thing, which it was set about to be early on. Frankenheimer decided to go with a mutated bear instead.
  • Two-Faced: The bear.
  • Wet Sari Scene: Provided by Ramona when the gang escape the bear through a river.

PhantasmFilms of the 1970sQuadrophenia
Prom Night (2008)Horror FilmsThe Prophecy

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