Thursday, February 3, 2011

Prophecy: Bears and Indians Are a Serious Threat to the Environment

There comes a time in every person's life when he or she must face the inevitable and realize that it's time to watch a movie about a mutant bear monster. For me this time was yesterday, when I was laying in my bed with a monstrous cold and gazing out the window at the apparent "Snow-pocolypse". For you it could be today, tomorrow or 20 years from now when you realize that the empty feeling in your heart could in fact be filled by the presence of---a mutant bear monster. Prophecy is responsible for filling this void--and although it does not involve the word "The" or Christopher Walken, it still involves as I've mentioned, a mutant bear monster--so therefore, it wins.

Taking place in Maine or as I chose to believe the forest moon of Endor, Prophecy is about Dr. Robert Verne and his wife Maggie. Robert is offered a job by the EPA to write a report on the logging industry in Maine. Once there, the pair discovers there have been a string of recent disappearances and that the mean white people who run the logging industry are blaming the American Indians (Native Americans) (But seriously, I'm calling them Indians I don't care). Apparently the Indians are angry that the logging industry is ruining the environment and their homes, and they keep talking about some weird prophecy involving some crazy monster eating people. Sounds nutty, until Robert discovers that the paper mill factory is pumping out copious amounts of mercury into the water! Resulting in the creation of mutant animals and more importantly a giant mutant bear!

I'll be honest, as I was writing that "summary" I couldn't help but notice how little of it really makes sense. Sure, it kind of makes sense but if you actually sit down and watch the film, you'll notice a few strange things. Like for instance, why exactly the EPA would randomly hire a doctor for this job, or why there aren't more mutant animals other than bears. At one point, Robert catches a giant salmon and the two encounter a scary raccoon that bites--but these aren't mutant animals these are just big and rabid animals. I guess I just would like to know why on earth the bear turned into this.....

while the salmon and the raccoon just got feisty. Hmmmph.

In any case, Prophecy is one of those bad movies that actually becomes kind of a joy to watch. It's definitely a bit too slow at times, but the hilarity factor is often through the roof. Here are the finer points in Prophecy...

1. The Indians appear to be different races which according to me, makes their argument kind of pathetic. Original People? Yeah right. YOU clearly came over on the boat....Armand Assante, because you are clearly Italian.

I may have also spotted some Asian people and a few Mexicans, but we won't get into that.

2. The best scene in the history of the world happens in this film. I speak of course about that time when the mutant bear attacks a campsite. Unfortunately, the small boy made a bad decision and zipped himself up too tightly in his sleeping bag.

Due to this, he was unable to run from the bear and got badly swatted into a rock. In case you don't know--when a giant mutant bear swats you and you are inside of a sleeping bag---you turn into feathers. It's true, watch this.

See? Amazing. Really, this is the best thing I have seen in a very, very long time.

3. Indians in Maine still live in teepee's! And yet, they proudly wear hearing aids...

4. Mutant bear cubs!

5. Shoddy effects! There was one point when Maggie got out of the helicopter during a raging storm that I became distracted by this blowing string in the wind. I kept saying to myself, "What on earth is that string doing there". And then suddenly Maggie reached into her pocket and pulled out a hanky--which was very clearly attached to the string. Yes, the string was what we like to call "Movie magic" because no sooner had she taken it out of her pocket, than it flew away in the breeze.

There are clearly many more points that make Prophecy a joy to experience, but I'll let you discover those on your own. For now we'll just say that there needs to be more horror movies that feature bears.

Also, I should point out that if this review makes little or no sense, it's because I am still sick and a bit lightheaded.

Ummm where was I? Oh yes, I would put Prophecy in the middle of the good bad movies spectrum. As delightful as it is in some spots, it still develops a nasty habit of becoming a bit too boring. There's just a lot of questionable decisions going on that I don't entirely understand. Like, why allow the helicopter pilot to stay alive and act like it's a big deal that we need to save his life? Who cares about the helicopter pilot? Do we even know his name? They make such a big deal out of trying to get him to safety and trying to save his life, and then about 20 minutes later he is killed by the bear. Sorry should I have put a spoiler alert there? Ah well.

Also questionable is the talk about Maggie being pregnant and her concern surrounding the fact that she ate salmon coated with mercury. The concern is of course that the baby growing inside her stomach will come out somewhat resembling the mutant bear. This is kind of awesome--however it's kind of forgotten about after it's brought up. I expected the last shot to be of her touching her stomach or having like a mutant baby hand coming out of her crotch or something but nope, nothing. Guess that threat isn't as worrisome as we all thought.

And finally, in much the same way that they make a big deal about saving the helicopter pilot, they also make a big deal out of saving one of the mutant baby bears. They bundle it up with them, put an IV into his arm and what not-because Robert insists they need the bear alive to prove to people that the paper mill is doing bad things. And yet--later after the mutant bear bites off a chunk of Maggie's neck, Robert just kind of throws it in the lake and that's that. At least I think he did...............maybe I was too distracted to notice they kept it alive....hmmm. Maybe someone can help me out here, do they end up saving the baby bear? Or tossing it away?

In any case--the biggest problem of them all is centered around the fact that there just needs to be more B.T.--- BEAR TIME.

Face it, the mutant bear is the coolest thing in the world, but it needs more screen time. All the ecological stuff and stuff about Indians is nice and all but to be honest, it's just kind of boring. We get it, white people stink. Italian Indians rule.

So if you're in the mood for something a little different, for some ecological horror and for some bear action---get yourself a copy of Prophecy. It has its moments, and the sleeping bag scene will rock anyone's socks off.


Verdant Earl said...

I was in junior high when this film came out (yeah, yeah, yeah...I'm old), and I remember one of my best friends covered all his text books that year with the newspaper ads from this movie. With the mutant bear embryo/egg thing that's on some of the DVD covers now. He was an odd duck.

Andre Dumas said...

An odd duck or just amazing. I would kill to have my text books covered in that : )

It's actually a pretty cool little image. Apparently the main bear was supposed to look more like that but they wanted it to look more like a bear instead. Hmmph.

Thomas Duke said...

I only saw this recently, and when that sleeping bag death scene came on, I rewatched it like five times. My brain couldn't process it. I thought I was going insane.

lazlo azavaar said...

I remember the part me and my friends all liked was the injured guy getting his head crunched off!

kindertrauma said...

I believe the unsung star of this movie is the kooky ninja raccoon! Best man vs. Raccoon fight ever!-Unk

Andre Dumas said...

Oooh Unk, I tried so hard to get a screengrab of that awesome-ness but there was too much movement going on! I was saddened. But yes, raccoon in the fire. Genius!

matango said...

I'm a big fan of the "giant" fish effect.

Unknown said...

I love this movie! Oh, I'd like to answer your question of why only the bear became a mutant thing with three simple words; because it's awesome.

You're welcome.