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PROPHECY - 2 Slimes
Rated R
Copyright 1979 Paramount Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Rob - Medical doctor called in to investigate claims of pollution. He does not want children.
  • Maggie - Talia Shire! (Adrian from all the Rocky movies.) Rob's wife who managed to get pregnant.
  • John Hawks - Armand Assante! Indian leader who is fighting to save their land, bear swats him for a home run.
  • Ramona - Hawk's wife who rarely talks and usually looks like a scared rabbit. Yet everyone comments on her bravery.
  • Mr. Isley - Spokesman for the papermill, eaten by the bear.
  • M'Rai - Ramona's grandfather who is senile (due to Mercury poisoning). Tries to pet the pretty bear, becomes chew toy, goes on to a better place.
  • Helicopter Pilot - Bear eats his head.
  • Campers - Food for bear, one of which is the famous "exploding sleeping bag."
  • Kataden - A huge grizzly bear mutated by Mercury poisoning.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Amazing what one or two improbable death scenes can do for a movie isn't it? I was dead certain this one would get one slime when the "exploding sleeping bag" scene arrived. Knocked it right up to a two.

Rob is a inner city doctor, treating all sorts of ailments in the slums. Here comes a management type, "We need you to go investigate a dispute in the wilderness of Maine, it's between a papermill and the indian tribes." Rob looked at the guy dumbfounded. I looked at the guy dumbfounded. It was in the script so we had no choice; that, my friends, is how you get an inner city doctor into backwoods Maine.

The indians do not want the forest cut down, arguing that the paper mill already damages the environment. The lumberjacks are certain the rash of disappearences have been caused by the Native Americans. What is happening defies logic: a huge mutated grizzly bear is loose! (In Maine - only black bears live there, check

Tempers are near boiling when our hero arrives. He figures out that something is wrong after seeing a duck eaten by a fish. Finding the partially drowned cubs of Kataden helps convince everyone else. So what does he do with it? Oh, he takes it back to camp... ...terrific idea brainiac. When momma bear comes looking for her offspring a whole bunch of people die. Rob kills the bear by STABBING it with an arrow!

Not many actors in this film deserved their title, especially Maggie. They broke the mold when they made her, to make sure there weren't any more.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Bloodhounds are related to lemmings.
  • A scene involving three mutilated corpses and a dead dog does not go well with soothing music.
  • Lumberjacks are better at planting forests than God.
  • Raccoons stick to boat oars like glue.
  • A fetus follows Darwin's Theory of Evolution during development.
  • You can hear a woman sobbing above the racket of a serious storm.
  • It's always the fat guy who gets hurt and needs to be carried ten miles through the wilderness.
  • Bearded men are resistant to crushing.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 7 mins - Yo! Adrian! (Hehehehe!)
  • 16 mins - Why is that helicopter carrying a dog in a sling?
  • 24 mins - Chainsaw versus axe fight!
  • 37 mins - What terrific acting...
  • 44 mins - That is going to be a darn big frog.
  • 55 mins - Look at her dummy. Why is your wife acting so funny? Hint: She's pregnant you daft bastard.
  • 70 mins - Getting the idea that your wife is knocked up yet? No? Okay, you are a rock...
  • 93 mins - Little nipply out here, huh Ramona?
  • 98 mins - Why is Rob using pro wrestling moves against this bear?


  • Mr. Isley: "People start disappearing, the indians spread the word that they were taken by Kataden. That's one of their legends, they call it Kataden. He he he..."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note prophecy1.wav Hawks: "And which supreme court is that Mr. Isley?"
Mr Isely: "The Supreme Court of the United States."
Hawks: "Yes we've tried that supreme court, now we're going to one that's higher."
Green Music Note prophecy2.wav Mr. Isley: "Go on! Go test the water; we got nothing to hide!"
Green Music Note prophecy3.wav Rob: "Freakism! That's what's been going on out there, that's why there's a God damned salmon five feet long and a tadpole the size of what a bullfrog should be!"
Green Music Note prophecy4.wav Maggie: "It's not a nightmare that's going to end. It's just beginning because it's inside me."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipprophecy1.mpg - 1.7m
The one single reason you must watch this movie:

57 mins - The "exploding sleeping bag."

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7
Reply #33. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by john thompson
 i remember when the full page add appeared in rolling stone when i was a kid. that summmer while traveling with my dad, i begged him into taking me to a drive-in somewhere in arizona to see it. since then i have thought about it often and have considered buying it online. last night while at walmart i was shocked to see the dvd in the impulse buyer section. i couldn't believe it still existed let alone in walmart. i bought it without even checking the price.
Reply #34. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Kataden
   I just bought PROPHECY and I Loved it. They used the same fetus/evolution thing in the original Island of Dr. Marowe so that must have bin a 70's thing. The scene with the exploding sleeping bag was almost as funny as the giant plastic BLUE salmon jumping out of the lake. The Mutant bears were scary in that they were so vicious and so hard to look at without gaging. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who loves horror/sci-fi movies like Friday the 13th and so forth . It did have ultra bad acting and I did find it to be slow but the part with the mutant bear attack surly revives the plot.

Why did they keep the mutant cubs?

Why was there constant national geographic nostalgia instead of death scenes?

How dose a little arrow kill an 18 foot bipedal bear mutant when a bullet fails?

If they know there are mutant monsters why donít they have gunís?

It is obvious the writers wrote themselves into many corners. Regardless it is still a good movie in a cheesy way. Still love it myself. All I know is Im never going camping without a shotgun or something.
Re: Prophecy
Reply #35. Posted on May 20, 2007, 01:54:56 PM by Kooshmeister

Why did they keep the mutant cubs?

If they know there are mutant monsters why donít they have gunís?

I haven't seen the film but I did read David Seltzer's novelization of it, and I answer both of those questions, at least within the confines of the story as told in the book:

1. They kept the cubs for evidence of the mercury poisoning. Their reasoning seemed to be that mutated bears would provoke a much stronger reaction than mutated fish or frogs. (And, in that same vein, Rob keeps the one cub alive because he figures a living mutated bear cub is not something the lumber company can cover up, or, as he puts it, "just stick in a jar of formaldahyde and forget about." He also wanted to dissect the dead one.)

2. By the time they learn of the existence of the monster(s), they're already stranded due to the helicopter being unable to take off. All Rob wanted to do was investigate the site where the Nelson family got killed, after all. (Now that answers the question of why they lacked guns to begin with. I'm unsure about the film, but in the novel, they do gets guns eventually because Sheriff Pilgrim and some deputies show up at M'Rai's campsite just before "Katahdin" attacks; when they're killed, Rob and the others get their guns, but the guns wind up not being very useful.)

EDIT: I just noticed how old that post was....  Bluesad

In any event, as long as we're talking about the novelization, I've noticed a lot of different reviews of the movie can't seem to make up their minds just how "Katahdin" is spelled. But considering the novelization was written by the same guy who wrote the script for the film, methinks that its spelling (Katahdin) should be considered the "official" one.
Re: Prophecy
Reply #36. Posted on May 28, 2007, 01:09:54 PM by Kooshmeister
Welp, my copy of this on DVD finally came in the mail the day before yesterday and I got around to watching it. Talk about wasted potential! The movie starts out relatively strong but as soon as it gets to Rob's bulls**t explanation about how the human fetus goes through "different evolutionary stages" it all falls apart and just goes downhill from there. What p**sed me off the most was the ending, or should I say the non-ending. After all the character development and the buildup with Maggie's pregnancy, the movie just stops as soon as Rob kills the monster and they're flying home all hunky-dory. WTF?

The novelization at least had an epilogue wherein Victor Shusette (Rob's EPA friend from the beginning of the movie) comes and sees Rob and Maggie at the hospital in Portland and there's some more about whether or not Maggie's baby will be all right, and the revelation of there being another mutated bear is also handled better, too.

In fact, here's a list of all the differences in the novelization that I did for Wikipedia's entry for the film:

1. There is an epilogue, set during the winter, in which an ordinary bear is stalking a deer but is ultimately itself attacked and killed by the mutant one. The deer, injured by the regular bear, later reappears in the story too and is seen by Rob and Maggie.

2. The scene involving the three men out searching for the lumberjacks actually occurs as the third chapter after the prologue, rather than the opener. The party members also die differently than they do in the movie: rather than rappelling down to retrieve the fallen bloodhound, they are all yanked off the cliff at once by the unseen monster at the opposite end of the leash.

3. Instead of being introduced at the orchestra and discussing being pregnant with her friend, Maggie is introduced going to see gynocologist Peter Hamlisch, a character who does not appear in the film.

4. The tenament woman is very hostile towards Rob, rather than grateful, and instead of running into Victor Shusette outside the slum as in the movie, Rob rides with the sick infant to the hospital, where it ultimately succumbs to its fever and dies. Shusette then arrives and they have their conversation about Rob needing to find a new line of work there in the hospital hallway.

5. Shusette does not suggest Rob take Maggie with him to Maine. Rather, he and Maggie make this decision by themselves at their apartment prior to Rob leaving. Maggie comes because she hopes the calm country setting will make it easier for her to tell her husband about her pregnancy.

6. The Nelson family out camping also includes Jeannine Nelson, wife of Travis and mother of Paul and Kathleen, unlike in the film where it's only the father and two children. It is also revealed that Travis is employed as a history teacher.

7. Sheriff Pilgrim dies differently. Instead of surviving Katahdin's attack long enough to make it into the underground tunnels with the others, and perishing later, he is killed during the initial attack when Katahdin steps on his head. (Also, Rob and the others collect the guns of Pilgrim and his deputy after the attack, and use them against the monster later, to no effect.)

8. Katahdin's attack on the carrier vehicle is longer and more drawn out. She pursues the truck for some length before finally tipping it over. Hawks falls behind not because he tries to assist Huntoon, the pilot, but because he becomes trapped in the cab of the truck, but manages to get away while Huntoon is being killed. (This works better in my opinion, as I disliked the way Hawks just gives up trying to untie him and runs away leaving him to die.)

9. M'Rai dies differently, and his reason for remaining behind to confront Katahdin is actually given. He is crushed instead of picked up and thrown, and the reason he remains behind is because he believes he can reason with what he believes to be his people's protector.

10. The revelation of another monster bear is revealed through the eyes of an alcoholic forest ranger, suffering the effects of mercury poisoning just as M'Rai had been (this character was introduced earlier in the novel shortly after the incident with the raccoon). The second bear is also described as having more cubs.

We also learn a lot more about the various main characters, especially John Hawks, who is half-white, and lived as a white man for several years, in fact, after the Pitneys (the founders of the lumber company) paid for him to have an education. He returned to assist his people in their struggle against the lumber company after several years abroad. Also Ramona ("Romona" in the book) is given the last name of Peters and is an old girlfriend of John Hawks', rather than his wife or even his sister (as some reviews for the film have suggested).

Now, as I mentioned in my previous post, the novelization was done by David Seltzer who also wrote the script for the film, so a few of the problems (like Rob's idiotic explanation for the Katahdin thing) remain, but a lot of the other problems in the movie are fixed. It's also worth noting that despite being a novelization written after the release of the film, the actual movie is not mentioned anywhere in the book or on it. So I have this amusing theory that Seltzer disliked what Frankenheimer did with his script and so stuck it to him by turning the script into a book (which reads like an actual original novel as opposed to just a film novelization, btw) and avoid mentioning the movie anywhere.

I'm not saying the novel is perfect. Practically every white character in the story except for Rob and Maggie is depicted as being horrifically racist, including ones who did not come across as racists in the movie (namely Sheriff Pilgrim and Huntoon the pilot). Talk about stacking the deck against the Establishment! Also, although the novel's ending is better than the movie because of the added epilogue in which we catch up with Rob and Maggie and see how they're doing after the incident, it still suffers from some pacing problems. It get the distinct feeling that Seltzer wanted to end the book as quickly as possible, so the last couple of chapters do actually read like they were copied from a screenplay, especially the attack on M'Rai's camp, with its broad and vague descriptions of carnage like "body parts flying everywhere." This last half of the book immediately prior to the epilogue in Portland really does reek of sensational Hollywood screenwriting.
Re: Prophecy
Reply #37. Posted on July 31, 2007, 10:23:43 AM by giant Claw Jr
Probibly one of the most rediclous looking monsters ever i mean if it ever saw its face ina mirror it would lught itself to death BounceGiggle
Re: Prophecy
Reply #38. Posted on August 01, 2007, 10:16:23 AM by Joe the Destroyer
Questions posed by this movie:
- Why were there grizzly bears in Maine?
- Why was Kataden / cubs the only horribly disfigured animals?
- Why did Kataden constantly run on two legs?
- Why didn't Kataden / cubs freeze in the winter? [No fur / Moist skin]
- Why was Kataden able to walk underwater?
- Why did the house / sleeping bag explode when Kataden smacked it?
- Why did Rob say that fetuses follow every stage of evolution during development?
- Why didn't the shotgun shell to the face kill Kataden?
- Why was there shameless shock value added to the end of the film in the form of another bear?

Obviously the filmmakers didn't do their homework for this movie. Grizzly bears do not live in Maine, and they do not run on their hind legs. Where they got the idea that a fetus developes into every stage of evolution while in the womb is beyond me. Also, the whole idea that something like mercury poisoning will mutate an animal into a grotesque super predator is a complete fabrication, too. Genetic deformities do not make an animal bigger, faster, and meaner. They make the animal sickly and weak, and are usually abandoned by the mother. I'll admit the idea of a melted, giant grizzly is scary, but it's ridiculous nonetheless.. and the sleeping bag scene doesn't help either. =P

To address the "evolution" issue... I actually studied this in high school.

When an fetus develops, at different stages of development it actually resembles the fetuses of different animals.  I don't remember the exact order, but I know fish and bird are both in there, as well as a couple others.  This was believed to be evidence for evolution, that all animals evolved from fish and thus would look like fish in early stages of development.   
Re: Prophecy
Reply #39. Posted on August 01, 2007, 01:30:40 PM by indianasmith
"To address the "evolution" issue... I actually studied this in high school.

When an fetus develops, at different stages of development it actually resembles the fetuses of different animals.  I don't remember the exact order, but I know fish and bird are both in there, as well as a couple others.  This was believed to be evidence for evolution, that all animals evolved from fish and thus would look like fish in early stages of development. "

The sketch used in nearly all high school and college textbooks to back this claim is derived from the works of a late 19th century evolutionist named Haeckel (sp?).  However, his claims of a fetus going through all the "evolutionary stages" in utero are grossly exaggerated.  The famous "gill slits" on the side of the neck of a mammalian fetus are, in fact, simply wrinkles in the skin caused by the downward tilt of the head in a fetal position - decades of autopsies performed on fetuses in different stages of development have yet to show actual openings in the skin of the neck, or any link to the respiratory system from these "gills" - one case where an early, convincing fraud has been allowed to persist!
Re: Prophecy
Reply #40. Posted on December 08, 2007, 12:17:00 PM by Zontar Smith
My friends and I saw The Prophecy in a theatre when it was first released.

When the infamous "sleeping bag scene" came on, it left the entire audience in stitches. The theatre was filled with laughter for a good two or three minutes afterwards.

Since "slapstick comedy" was obviously not the directors' intention, you have to wonder if they ever screened it for any test audience...

We called the monster "Meat Bear" and that became the nickname/insult of choice in my circle of friends for months.
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