Prophecy (1980)
Directed by John Frankenheimer

Starring Armand Assante Robert Foxworth Talia Shire

Obviously veteran political filmmaker Frankenheimer ("Seven Days in May," "The Manchurian Candidate") wasn't the best at making horror movies, as this film can demonstrate. It's a bad one.

He seemed to have an affinity to make films about mutant animals, as he also directed a decent 1996 remake of "The Island of Doctor Moreau" with Marlon Brando.

For this film, about a mutant bear, "Omen" scribe David Seltzer was recrutied to write. Talia Shire, who had been in the "Rocky" movies, was paid well to show up for this turkey. The plays the wife of an Environmental Protection Agency scientist played by Robert Foxworth, whom fans might remember from "Damien: Omen II." Foxworth's scientist goes on an EPA-related trek in the wilderness with his wife. They run into giant fish and a bullfrog-sized tadpole. Things get more interesting when they hear reports of a killer mutant bear.

The best scene in the movie features the bear attacking some campers, one of whom tries, without any luck, to get away by bouning away in a sleeping bag.

Way too much time in the movie is spent making environmental investigations into the causes of the mutations -- and not enough showing the mutant bear doing what it does best: killing campers.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore


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