Wednesday, October 30, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 30 - Movie 1

An EPA inspector and his wife travel to the remote Maine wilderness to try and settle a dispute between a local Native American population and a lumber company by investigating the mills impact on the environment. Enormous salmon and tadpoles are nothing compared to the political tension between the rival groups heated further by a series of grisly murders, which turn out to be the work of an enormous mutant bear.

Prophecy (1979) belongs to that popular subgenre of horror from the 1970s, the environmental horror movie. There's nothing wrong with using horror as a springboard for cautionary tales about the negative effects on the environment that humans are responsible, but Prophecy really beats the audience over the head with its message, with characters going on about it in almost every scene. Further driving home the point, for those who may still not have caught on, are repeated scenes of the wife worrying about what the effects will be on her own unborn child after she's eaten contaminated fish from this polluted ecosystem. The mutant bear and her cubs are pretty unsettling looking, and the plaintive cries of the the cubs is really harsh, but the scenes of the bear in action diminish any effectiveness that the visual of the suit might have. There's a scene of a kid in a sleeping bag being slapped across the camp site by the bear which is unintentionally very funny. Robert Foxworth as the investigating scientist gives a very angry performance of such volume that he overwhelms the rest of the cast who are trying to give subtle performances.

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