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Prophecy: The Monster Movie

3.9 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews

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(Jan 08, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A doctor investigating the environmental impact of the logging industry find a mutant which is responsible for a series of bizarre deaths.
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Media Type: DVD
Street Release Date: 01/08/2002

John Frankenheimer updates the mutant-monster films of the 1950s with a modern environmental twist in this well-meaning but cliché-ridden late-'70s horror film. Robert Foxworth is so earnest it hurts as a rabble-rousing ghetto doctor who packs up his pregnant wife (Talia Shire) and heads out to the Maine woods to investigate claims of environmental pollution. That's the least of his concerns when a gooey mutant grizzly goes on the rampage and he joins forces with Native American activist Armand Assante (wearing his humorless resolve like war paint) to get out of the woods. Frankenheimer is a good director saddled with a bad, blunt script, and like a pro he delivers the requisite gore and even racks up the tension in a terrific opening chase. But even he can't overcome the clumsiest collection of deformed woodland creatures to claw their way through a monster movie. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Talia Shire, Robert Foxworth, Armand Assante, Richard Dysart, Victoria Racimo
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer
  • Writers: David Seltzer
  • Producers: Robert L. Rosen
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2002
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005RDAI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,092 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Prophecy: The Monster Movie" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I first saw Prophecy as a 10 year old in 1979 and it scared the ** out of me and caused nightmares for a few months. Looking back after seeing it again today, the shambling mutant bear doesn't pack quite the same punch effects wise; but this is still a decent horror flick. The Mambo King plays an Indian and Adrian is the weak pregnant wife along for the ride as a inner-city class conscious doctor attempts to study the environment in Maine and gets wrapped up in a tribal dispute with the local paper mill who has been logging near the village and yes, dumping mercury into the water supply for the last 20 years. This of course has an adverse affect on the flora and fauna, not the least of which is the 12 foot bear that is now chomping down on would be hikers. The exploding sleeping bag w/ feathers floating down is still an image that stays with you, as is the bear slowly sinking across the foggy water trudging towards its victims. The woodland setting is beautiful and Dysart makes a nice company man villain. A nice afternoon time killer.
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Format: DVD
1979's "Prophecy" (not to be confused with the "The Prophecy" series that started in the mid-90s) is an 'envirornmental destruction'-based horror movie that does a fine job of being both an 'issues film' and a great horror stories. It's set against the backdrop of deep forest territory where a logging company and the land's traditional Native American inhabitants are at odds over who really owns the land, and where tensions are fast mounting towards violence. A husband-and-wife team sent in to do an envirornmental assesment - more as an effort on the part of the authorities to stall and give things a chance to cool down than because they want any more studies - serve as the main point-of-view characters. Severely heightening the stress are a couple of unsolved disappearances in the woods over the last couple of months, which the company is openly accusing the natives of being responsible for.

It's readily apparent that something more than a couple of renegade protesters is behind the disappearances, but "Prophecy" doesn't rush right into it, letting its story and characters play out in other directions for a while before bringing in the more frightful elements when the time is right. Some would probably say the portrayal of the tribe is stereotypical; I really don't think it was. If it moves a tad in the direction of generalizations once or twice, it can be overlooked because its intentions are clearly in the right place.
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Format: DVD
I saw this several times when it came out in the theater and I recently bought it on DVD. I don't understand how monster movie fans could not like this film. The monster looks pretty cool, even though it is shown too much towards the end. And how can people have reviewed it and complained that it spared too many characters? I can think of several who come to particularly nasty endings! This has always been one of my favorite movies and I think people who claim it is heavy-handed and tries to sell a "message" are over-reacting and trying to display a dismaying "i'm too hip to do anything but mock the 70's" attitude towards the supposedly far-fetched basis for the monstrosities at loose in the woods; on the contrary I always thought PROPHECY posited a rather plausible explanation for the deformities seen in the monsters. I have seen photos of the same kind of genetic damage from Minamata, Japan, caused by the same kind of industrial pollution. And I grew up in the Pacific Northwest in a definite logging industry environment and that has always made this movie resonate with me. So count me as one of the defiant few who not only sees nothing wrong with this movie--across the board--the acting is all first rate--especially Robert Foxworth, who gives a truly committed performance--but thinks it is a classic! To me, this is the ultimate monster movie from the 1970's.
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Format: DVD
"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 looney, 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.
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