John Frankenheimer wanted to make a difference with this picture. He didn't want this to go down as just any other horror movie. Prophecy from '79 is a PG rated piece highlighting the horrors of logging and pollution. However, it couldn't stay far from it's horror movie roots.
Released during the infamous "Summer of Fear" This movie had some really stiff competition. Alien, Amityville Horror, Phantasm, Driller Killer, were all playing at the time. It was a great time to be a fan. That really shines through in all of those movies. Each had a cheapness that was ironic and now, nostalgic.
The film stars Robert Foxworth, Talia Shire, Armand Assante, and Richard Dysart trying to survive, deep in the woods, against a vicious titanic mutated bear. Disfigured and transformed by the chemicals from a near-by logging operation.
The story focuses on the struggle between a local native-american tribe and this evil corporate logging camp. Doctor Robert Verne shows up and starts investigating strange brutal murders. He goes to bat on a number of occasions for the tribe and cites numerous eco-violations that the logging company has made.
Meanwhile, that crazy bear is still running around killing people. In pretty ridiculous fashion I might add. These are the scenes that really make this movie shine. Frankenheimer did a great job of softening the gore but making it passable. It's actually pretty great. The cheapness of it all really drives the whole thing home. It makes for an awesome cult film and will hold a special place with me. While not amazing. I definitely recommend it!
- 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 hundreds 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".
- Fourth of four consecutive horror movies for actor Robert Foxworth whose previous three features had been Death Moon (1978), Damien: Omen II (1978) and Ants (1977).