“Prophecy”…Sleeping bag won’t save You from the Mutant Bear from Hell!
I was 8 years old when PROPHECY hit the theaters. I remember seeing a picture of the monster in one of my parent’s magazines and begging the adults in my life to take me to see it. Of course none of them would siting, “You’ll get nightmares!” Monster kids will note that this was the “You’ll shoot your eye out kid,” line handed to us with consistent regularity. It would be a full decade when, in my teenaged years, I’d finally be able to see the film on VHS. In my opinion, it was well worth the wait.
The film centers around Maggie (Talia Shire) and Rob (Robert Foxworth), a couple living in the city. Rob is a super liberal whose work in the inner city has shown him the darker aspects of humanity, thereby not wanting him to add to the world’s population issues by bringing another into this world. This is a bit of a dilemma to his wife, Maggie, who discovers that she’s pregnant and doesn’t quite know how to break the news to her sanctimonious hubby.
Rob’s expertise leads him to being sent from the urban jungle of New York City to the lush state of Maine where he’s asked to help settle a depute between a logging corporation and a group of Native Americans. Unbeknownst to anyone, the logging plant is causing a lot more issues than just cutting down too many trees. Their use of the chemical mercury to treat the fallen trees, while plopping them into the waterways has created all kinds of unwanted mutations in the local wildlife. This includes super-sized fish & tadpoles, a raging raccoon, and the star monster of this attraction – a towering behemoth that looks like a bear crossed with THE TOXIC AVENGER.
While the 1950′s saw a big screen world dominated by giant insects due to the Atomic-age, the 70′s was more Eco-conscious regarding their man vs nature films. Animals such as ants, bees, and spiders retained their original size while still proving formidable against man for causing pollution, habitat loss, and overall meddling. I always had a special place in my heart for this one, however, for taking that premise and giving it more of a monster embellishment. When avoiding full body shots, the beast looks pretty damn scary and even his less-than-lovable offspring will make you shudder.
The film does have some unintentional humor to it, my favorite being the scene where the beast knocks a young camper in his banana sleeping bag against a rock with enough force it explodes like a mortar, amid a sea of fuzzy down feathers! Color me morbid, but I’ve yet to watch this movie without rewinding that particular scene at least twice before continuing on.
For younger horror fans who are accustomed to CGI creatures that look like rejects from a video game, I strongly urge you to grab some friends and watch this one. Its a lot of fun and, no, I still won’t forgive my parents for preventing me from seeing it on the big screen!