Prophecy 1979

A log company's waste mutates the environment, creating a giant killer bear-monster.

The Cast

Talia Shire-Maggie
Robert Foxworth-Rob
Armand Assante-John Hawks
Richard Dysart-Isely
Victoria Racimo-Ramona
George Clutesi-M'Rai
Tom McFadden-Pilot
Evans Evans-Cellist

The Director: John Frankenheimer
The Writers: David Seltzer
Music by: Leonard Rosenman
Certificate : X

Film Trivia

Horror author Stephen King is particularly fond of this film.
Talia Shire's involvement in this film meant that Sylvester Stallone had to rewrite the final scenes in Rocky II (1979).
Filmed in British Columbia in 1978, this movie marked the beginning of the "Hollywood North", the major start to the development of a massive film production business in Vancouver and other parts of the province of British Columbia, in Canada. Since then thousands of "American" movies have been filmed in the Canadian province.
According to the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Review, "David Seltzer has taken the basics of Prophecy (1979) from a real-life apocalypse - the environmental disaster in the Japanese city of Minimata, which came to light in 1958 where it was discovered that mercury waste being dumped into a nearby river from a chemical plant had caused severe mutations and neurological degenerations among the locals. The effects of this consisted of loss of muscular control, vision and hearing, followed eventually by insanity and paralysis".
The film was shot under tight security. No visitors were allowed to the sets, including studio personnel. Crew and actors had to pledge secrecy and not reveal any elements of the story under any circumstances. No still cameras were allowed except for the production's official still photographer and a retired CIA agent was hired to supervise the security.
According to director John Frankenheimer, during post-production, the studio demanded that the film be cut from an R rating down to a PG. Frankenheimer felt this damaged the film, destroying the scariness it had created.
Fourth of four consecutive horror movies for actor Robert Foxworth whose previous three features had been Deathmoon (1978), Omen II: Damien (1978) and It Happened at Lakewood Manor (1977).
Film critic Leonard Maltin described the mutant monster Katahdin as "a giant salami".
Debuted stateside in June 1979 which was the same month that Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) premiered in the USA.
According to Wikipedia, "the original concept for Katahdin was considerably more terrifying than what would eventually show up on screen. However, when director John Frankenheimer saw the concept, he suggested that it should be altered to look more 'bear-like'. Interestingly, the original concept was actually quite close to the poster art".
A novelization of the movie was first published in 1979 the same year as the film premiered. Its dust-jacket tagline was: "A Novel of Unrelenting Terror". The book was also written by the film's screenwriter David Seltzer. According to Wikipedia, the "novelization of the film contains numerous differences from the film, as well as considerable background information on all of the characters".
Even though this movie is rated PG in the US, it is rated 18A in Canada which is basically R.
Katahdin, the mutant bear-monster, is portrayed by 7"2' actor/stuntman Kevin Peter Hall, who went on to play other memorable man-in-a-suit monsters of the 80s, including the giant egg-headed alien in Without Warning (1980), the titular creature in Predator (1987) and Predator 2 (1990), and Bigfoot in Harry and the Hendersons (1989).
First of two monster movies directed by action-thriller director John Frankenheimer. The second was the 1996 remake The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) made and released about seventeen years after Prophecy (1979).
According to the Q-Network Entertainment Portal, this movie was "was part of a string of horror movies in the 1970s and early '80s in which monsters were spawned from environmental pollution and human tampering with nature".
Tom McLoughlin, who worked as a mime on this film, later went on to become a successful writer, producer and director himself. He directed Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) and wrote and produced FairyTale: A True Story (1997).
Some movie posters for this film featured a long blurb that read: "She Lives. Don't Move. Don't Breathe. There's Nowhere To Run. She Will Find You. PROPHECY. The Monster Movie".
Though predominantly set in the woods of the state of Maine in the USA the picture was not filmed there with Crofton, North Cowichan in British Columbia, Canada portraying the region.
This 1979 movie was the first film directed by John Frankenheimer in about two years, the last having been 1977's Black Sunday (1977), and the last for about three years, until 1982's The Challenge (1982).
The way that Isely (Richard Dysart) described the Katahdin monster was "larger than a dragon with the eyes of a cat".
Around three years after this picture premiered actor Richard Dysart starred in another monster movie that being John Carpenter's The Thing (1982).
One of three 1979 films starring actress Talia Shire first released in that year. The other movies were Rocky II (1979) and Old Boyfriends (1979).
Star Billing: Talia Shire (1st), Robert Foxworth (2nd), Armand Assante (3rd) and Richard Dysart (4th).
In the 1986 book "Son of Golden Turkey Awards" by Harry and Michael Medved, this movie won the award for "The Most Unbearable Bear Movie Ever Made".
A review for this film that appeared in "Time" magazine described Katahdin as "Smokey the Bear with an advanced acne condition".
Robert Foxworth played a character, Dr. Robert Verne, who had the same first name as his own.
The acronym EPA stood for the "Environmental Protection Agency".