Prophecy (1979)
By: Devon B. on October 24, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Paramount (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. 102 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Talia Shire, Robert Foxworth, Armand Assante, Richard Dysart, Victoria Racimo
Screenplay: David Seltzer
Country: USA
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
As I said in my review of Venom , it's very rare that I can compare a film to its source material because I'm not much of a reader. I have read the Prophecy novel , however I still don't know that I can offer a whole lot of comparison between the book and the film. I just don't remember much about the book except that in the beginning a bear hunts something in a manner more befitting of a cheetah. This moment is utterly ridiculous, but then the author is so confused about what animals can and can't do he wrote a book where a dog gave birth to a human. The other main thing I remember about the book is that the monster isn't actually a bear, but some sort of…other type thing. While I'm all for new giant monsters, I must say I prefer the idea of a giant mutant bear. I guess it may not technically be a bear in the movie either, but it sure looks like one.

In Prophecy a pregnant woman, Talia Shire, is distressed about telling her husband about their upcoming bundle of joy because he thinks it's irresponsible to have children given the current state of the world (finally a hero we can all look up to). He's a public health guy and gets sent to do an environmental report that will end a dispute between a lumber company and an Indian tribe who claim ownership of the felling land. I'm not sure what tribe it is, because Armand Assante is part of it. Anyway, the tribe also say the lumber company is involved in some foul play that's impacting the area. A few things lend credence to this claim such as a giant salmon; a vicious racoon; and, eventually, a big bear monster turning up.

This is definitely one to watch with science buffs, because it's incredibly realistic, just like an episode of Futurama. Bits of the film haven't aged well, like the score, the hair styles, or the pacing. The latter is frustrating, because it takes a good long while for our monster to turn up. Despite whatever is happening in the area turning other things huge, the bear is only a bit bigger than normal size, but then its size does fluctuate, and it seems like it would have to be massive in the opening scene. The bear may be shoddy at times, but anyone with any sense of taste should love the camp site attack. Eat your heart our Jason Vorhees, the best sleeping bag kill ever is here.

With its big monster played by a lumbering man in a rubber suit, pompous moral values and monologues, greed over sustainability message and hit you over the head environmental warnings, Prophecy may be the closest thing to a Godzilla movie the US ever produced (certainly closer than Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick). I guess that makes Prophecy a psuedo-kaiju eiga, and everyone knows we need as many of those as we can get.
Video
The film has some spots, grain, and dirt, but is pretty clean. The colours are also a bit muted. For a movie nearly 30 years old, it's looking good.
Audio
The audio is a two channel mix. It's slightly uneven, but the dialogue's clear aside from a few bits of distortion.
Extra Features
Fuck all.
The Verdict
Despite the tagline's arrogant labelling of Prophecy as "The monster movie," it isn't even close to the best monster movie ever, but it is one that should be viewed at least once. The DVD is a hard one to rate for me as the film's presentation is fine, and I don't care too much about special features anymore.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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