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Blu-ray Review: Prophecy (1979)

Something has been ripping loggers a new asshole up in the mountains of Maine… a situation made worse by the local native population… well worse for the paper mill that is running the logging gig and fuckin’ up the land of the tribes of the region, as they try and protest every step of the operation.

Enter Dr. Robert Verne (Robert Foxworth) who excepts a job from the EPA to write a report on the woodsy static going down. Once there, Rob notices a few things; the logging company are kind of complete assholes, the raccoons of the are are not to be fucked with, and the spokesperson for the tribes, John Hawks (played by Armand Assante of all people) is convinced a legendary monster roams the woods… which would surprise no one due to the amount of pollution that mill is a-churnin’ out! Also, it actually is… and it looks like the giant fuckin’ bear equivalent of Two-Face (played by The Predator himself, Kevin Peter Hall as well as Tom McLoughlin… who directed Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives). And it had babies (although who took one for the team there remains unspecified… or does it? Dum, dum, dum!). Good luck buying your way out of that one Big Paper…

The ’70s were a time where filmmakers were obsessed with ecological mishaps and nature-run-amok pics; so it would only seem natural to get that peanut butter all mixed-up in that jelly; and hence the world’s greatest fright flick about a mutated bear facing of against an Italian Native American chief and Rocky’s wife (yes, Talia Shire is in the hizz-ouse youth of America!) was born… and the world rejoiced! Well, I did, because I love this fright flick with a purple passion!

Prophecy is the type of film where everyone plays their roles with utmost gravitas while a wobbly and cumbersome (yet always Grade-A fuckin’ awesome) titanic grizzly suit (practical effects all the way!) smashes into shit with the force of a jackhammer to your nuts (or whatever ya got hiding under there)… the same way the film’s environmental concerns are presented as well, I might add.

The whole shebang is presented with such earnestness and aplomb that it ends up being a frothing bowl of delicious camp… but goddamn if it’s heart isn’t in the right place, and the suspense and pacing are tight as a drum (no surprise as the flick was helmed by legendary filmmaker John Frankenheimer who directed such hot-shit pics as The Manchurian Candidate and French Connection II, and pure-shit pics like 1996’s The Island of Dr. Moreau… okay, I love that one too)… plus did I mention how much I love that fuckin’ bear monster?

As for extras on this Scream Factory Blu-ray release we kick things off with interviews from Shire, Foxworth, screenwriter David Seltzer (who holds nothing back in his disdain for the film), special make-up effects designer Tom Burman, make-up artist Allan Apone (lots of facts and anecdotes in this one), and McLoughlin. Following all that we get a selection of radio spots, the film’s theatrical trailer, and a still gallery.

If you are looking for that heady blend of ’70s high minded cinema mixed with a giant bear smashing people to pieces in their sleeping bags, Prophecy is the way to go; it’s big budget creature-feature excitement in the way you demand… or didn’t know you needed… look, just buy the damn film, it’s good!

 

 

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