View Full Version : Prophecy (1979)

04-13-2003, 01:27 PM
"What's the only liquid in the world that isn't wet?"

Grizzly eat your heart out? After a intense and bloody opening Prophecy gears down a notch for a bit of character introduction. There you have Robert Foxworth playing the fair and goodhearted but burnt out inner-city physician Dr. Robert Verne, who gets asked to mediate a dispute between a native American tribe and a "supposely" polluting paper mill in isolated northern Maine. Taking along his wife Maggie (Talia Shire) - a classical musician bringing along her cello and holding back a little secret she ain't ready to share yet: she's pregnant - with the chance to patch up their somewhat shaky relationship. Arriving in Maine they are welcomed by Mr. Isley (Richard Dysart), a representative of the paper mill who sets them up in a remote cabin. After witnessing a clash between the Indians (led by Armand Assante) and the paper mill guys Dr. Verne soon finds out that the factory is indeed responsible for polluting the area ...


Critics weren't kind when John Frankenheimer's mutated killer bear on the loose flick hit theaters back in 1979. Dunno why though. I always thought Prophecy was pretty decent and more vicious than Grizzly. Ok, this flick is not without its corny moments 'cause the bear isn't always convincing - there are few shots revealing the obvious guy in a suit - but in close-ups the "inside-out" bear looks freaky cool and very impressive. The acting is solid and the action delivers the goods: the nerve-shattering tunnel sequence (a classic moment in horror cinema), the infamous sleeping bag sequence and a kick ass ending (which is kinda abrupt). You'll also witness a few bloody special effects that are way too gory for a PG rated movie.
In fact, this must be one of the bloodiest PG rated movies ever made. That's worth something :)

More stuff to expect:

1 giant Salmon
1 giant Tadpole
1 Racoon attack
1 kick in the balls
1 punch to the nose
1 jump through a window
1 exploding car
1 flying dog
1 dead dog
multiple mutilated dead bodies
Chainsaw Vs. Axe fight
Gratuitous Wildlife footage
Gratuitous Paper Mill footage
Gratuitous Disco Muzak


Paramount's DVD is as barebones as it can get.
Not even one Trailer. I'm surprised they even cared to include chapter stops ...
The 16:9 enhanced 2.35:1 Widescreen transfer shows it's age but ain't bad looking.
The 2.0 Surround sound is ok and I'm all for original soundmixes but I think a nicely done 5.1 upmix option would have been a nice touch, would've give this movie a little more "oomph!"

hell ya!
04-13-2003, 03:24 PM
Good review, i somewhat remember watching this movie as a kid, all i really remembver was that Rocky's wife was in it and there was some deformed bear thing after her. Ahhh memories :banana:

04-13-2003, 05:59 PM
I really enjoy Prophecy when I watched it, could of been great. Still its a good rental anyway

Midnight Buddha
04-13-2003, 06:42 PM
Got the uk vhs release off ebay a couple of years ago, very entertaining little monster movie. I`ll hold off on the dvd untill it maybe gets a better release from paramount :rolleyes:

04-14-2003, 03:36 AM
I am proud to own this one. It is worth it for the "sleeping bag scene" alone. Anyone who has ever seen it will know exactly what I'm talking about and start laughing right....now! :lol:

It's too bad they didn't include the trailer. I remember it from when I was a kid (about 7). It showed the embryo on the cover growing with an ominous voice-over saying, "She is growing...to be ten feet tall!" I also remember the novelization.

04-18-2003, 09:39 PM
At least Paramount had the balls to use (most of) the right poster art on the DVD cover...and Armand Assante's "death swat" almost equals the infamous sleeping bag scene!

04-18-2003, 09:50 PM
I'll definetly be checking this out, I feel like I seen this when I was little. It sounds really familiar.

04-18-2003, 09:53 PM
I have never seen this and it sure sounds like fun.

If I run across it cheap, it is MINE! :D

04-18-2003, 09:56 PM
Yep, "death swat" and "sleeping bag" are cool death scenes indeed. Also loved the tunnel sequence, a bit long but very effective.
Another creepy shot is were the old Indian gets picked up by the bear at the lake. Good stuff there.
Too bad we will probably never see the "director's cut" which was suppose to be much more violent.

07-21-2003, 07:17 AM
Jeez...I'm a Frankenheimer fan and I'd not heard of this one before now. Great review. Weird little release for Paramount.:eek2:

07-21-2003, 09:54 PM
Thanks :)
Prophecy is really a good flick. Planning on watching this again on the weekend.

07-22-2003, 04:54 AM
This movie is awsome. I love it and glad to say I own it on dvd.

Great review!:cool:

07-22-2003, 05:31 AM
I also think Prophecy was a fairly enjoyable movie. Frankenheimer did the most he could with an often goofy script, and the sleeping bag scene rivals that of anything in a Friday the 13th film. Anyway, John Frankenheimer couldn’t write a script, or at least never tried. So he had to take what he could get I guess. Seconds, Black Sunday and The Manchurian Candidate are all classics though, and he sure could film an action scene like no other.

07-22-2003, 07:02 AM
I love Prophecy! One of my favorites from when I was young. I saw it at my local theater 3 times in one week! As for being the bloodiest PG film, I think it's up there, but my vote for that is still Raiders of the Lost Ark.

07-22-2003, 04:47 PM
It's an educational flick. Things I learned while watching it:

1. Mercury is the only liquid which is not wet. (If you're ever in Med school and this "trick question" is on an exam, there's yer answer!)
2. The human embryo goes through different evolutionary phases. First, it looks like a fish. Then, like an amphibian. Then, like a reptile, then feline. Mercury poisoning can arrest the embryo along the way, causing certain body parts to...hold on, let me turn my tape recorder on! :D
3. Maine has a lot of the same flora and fauna as parts of British Columbia.
4. Never zip your yellow sleeping bag all the way up so that only your face shows.:nervous:


Jeffrey Dahmer
07-22-2003, 05:56 PM
Not too bad a movie... but really, quite under par from the director of Seconds, The Manchurian Candidate, Birdman Of Alcatraz. Once again, another director that had an amazing career in his early days but turned out quite lame with time. (for instance, he's the man behind Reindeer Games now)

07-26-2003, 10:54 AM
Besides the Ben factor I've kinda enjoyed Reindeer Games. Not his best work but still good brainless fun.

07-28-2003, 05:23 PM
Haven't ever picked this one up, but I did read the novel when I was in high school... it was good gooey stuff. I imagine the novel has some things in it that aren't in the movie... I remember an overall tone of no-holds-barred horror and buckets of grue on each page... even if it is extremely over-the-top for PG, I imagine it wouldn't be THAT bloody. I wish I still had that book so I could compare with you guys.

12-20-2003, 11:47 AM
I watched this last night with Q the Winged Serpent (which wa a disapointment). The thing is, I saw this on it's original theatrical run, but had not seen it since then. So it wasn't new, and I kept getting flashbacks as I watched it.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I'd say this one is an 8 out of 10. The ecology angle might upset some, but if you take the film at face value we have some interesting gore, some great rampaging scenes (including a scene of the mutant bear chasing the car, which was later stolen by Jurassic Park) and honest to goodness monsters.

Some scenes were brilliantly done, such as when the bear walks through the lake. It's a great illustration of how music, sound effects, and simple bubbles in the water can create high-drama.

All in all - I'd say this is a must have disc. Other than..... boy, they don't even give you a trailer! Talk about bare bones! Still, I'm glad I have this, and will no doubt watch it again.

12-20-2003, 02:10 PM
Man, I'm glad you (still) enjoyed this dwatts :)
Prophecy is indeed a great flick worth tracking down.

12-20-2003, 04:31 PM
Man, that sleeping bag scene was great. I actually stopped it and played it back a couple of times. Tied in the sleeping bag stakes with Jason :D

12-20-2003, 07:42 PM
I enjoyed Prophecy even with it's faults. John Frankenheimer films were rarely boring.

Midnight Buddha
12-20-2003, 08:23 PM
Got the uk vhs release off ebay a couple of years ago, very entertaining little monster movie. I`ll hold off on the dvd untill it maybe gets a better release from paramount :rolleyes:

Eventually picked up the dvd a wee while ago, the transfer is excellent to say the least. Who cares about extras when you get this kind of quality with a 25 year old film.

Top dvd/top film


12-21-2003, 03:45 AM
They have this on VHS at my local video store... I'm gonna have to rent it. Sounds a bit like Piranha except with bears!

Wonderful review, Helly. :)

12-23-2003, 07:41 PM
The sleeping bag scene is great, but the openning sequence is a great thriller set up. When the last guy in the search party repels down after hearing the screams of his friends, and when we get a glimpse of one of the corpses as the guy's helmet light shines on it is great, as well as the look when he is about to get killed himself. As a child this sequence had me at the endge of my seat for the movie. I was dissapointed with the disc's lack of features, especially since it debuted at stores for 22 dollars!! I waited until it dropped to $10 before getting it. Overall, I think its a great film for its period, even though there is some cheese factor involved

Midnight Buddha
12-24-2003, 10:07 AM
Yes i waited untill the price dropped too.

Got it for £5 sealed.

03-04-2006, 04:53 PM
Just a little *bump* for those not familiar with this film plus I updated my review a bit after watching this again today. Still a fun & entertaining movie :)

03-04-2006, 06:59 PM
I love this movie as well. The DVD get's regular play from me. One of my favorite nature gone amok films.

03-04-2006, 07:21 PM
I remember seeing Prophecy at the drive-in as a little kid. I thought the sleeping bag scene was freaky. It seemed more violent on the big screen, but that was probably because I was pretty young. Somebody showed it a lot on television last summer I think, and it was the first time I've seen it in years. I think it might have been The Mystery Channel.

03-04-2006, 10:41 PM
I saw Prophecy when it was out in 1979. And, the sleeping bag scene is one of the best scenes in the movie, and I bought the DVD off of eBay for about $10.00 including shipping. No scratches and the case was in excellent condition. I would double dip if a special edition dvd ever came out.

03-04-2006, 11:53 PM
Decent flick but Talia Shire grated on my last nerve throughout..i think she is naturally annoying...it must be a gift.:lol:

07-25-2006, 04:47 PM
Watched this last night for the first time in over 10 years (also the first time I've seen it widescreen). I remember this scaring the shit out of me when I was a kid, and it still had a good tenseness about it now.
Execellent flick, grabbed it in a BlockBuster 4 for $20 deal and well worth it. If Paramount ever did a SE, I might bend my botcott for this one.
Talia Shire is annoying, and it was hard to accept Armand Assante as an Indian, but it held up well.

07-30-2006, 12:38 AM
You've convinced me. And since it's only about $10 right now I'd be a fool not to pick it up.

07-30-2006, 03:47 AM
I saw it when it was originally released at the theaters, and I own it on DVD. And for a PG horror flick, which back in the last 70s is equivalant to PG-13 now. It did have some gore in it, but it was still really good.

07-30-2006, 08:27 PM
Does anyone know if the character of Armand Assante's girlfriend (Victoria Racimo?) was supposed to be killed in that movie? From how I remember it, you see her get hit with some stupid board, and then you never see her again...Seemed that since she had made it through all the other crap, she could have handled a measly board...That always bugged me.

01-12-2007, 03:01 AM
I found the original novel of Prophecy in a used bookstore last summer for like $0.50. It was a great read!

01-12-2007, 06:30 AM
i liked the movie, loved the book. the book was scarier. i would love to see a sequel to the movie though.

01-12-2007, 06:13 PM
I though the book was great but ended up being a little disappointed when I finally saw the movie. That's not surprising though since in this type of situation:
1) You already know what is going to happen.
2) The film might not measure up to how you imagined it would look when reading the book.