Sunday, September 9, 2012

Prophecy (1979) review


This just screams B-movie and every essence of it, but the message, suspense, and effects just draw it to a near-win.

PLOT:Dr. Rob (Robert Foxworth) has never been remembered for anything he's done to help people, but his chance finally comes when a close friend asks him to go to a forest that's the subject matter of a war between the original Indians that have lived there for a long time and a leading paper mill that has been using the lake and other resources for about 20 years. He flies down there with his musician wife, Maggie (Talia Shire, who's character is also "secretly" pregnant), to bring some peace to the dispute, but things start to go weird when Rob catches rumors of unexplained deaths and sees bizarre sights (such as a fish the size of a boat). The Indian people also speak of an animal they've seen combined with all the others. Through a careful investigation, Rob discovers the paper mill is polluting the lake and the effects of the pollution are turning the local animals into monsters, including an angry, mutated bear. It's a good plot executed decently.

ACTING:The acting isn't great, but it does have some good performances. Robert Foxworth and Talia Shire play a respectable part as the two lead protagonists, Rob and Maggie. They were by far the stars of the show. The other shiners would be Victoria Racimo as Ramona and Richard Dysart as Isley. I don't believe Armand Assante played a very emotional part of the Indian lead protagonist, John Hawks. I believe he had about as much emotion as Kristen Stewart, and that's bad. His is the only real bad one, I'd say.

SCORE:The score wasn't really important. It was just some new, horror score that went with the mood. It didn't repeat itself as the likes of "Creature from the Black Lagoon" did, but it didn't play a major part.

EFFECTS:The effects are cheap, to say the least, but I also believe they are pretty well-made. The movements are easily labeled as cheaply done, but the design is still pretty freaky and unnerving as it is.

CAMERAWORK:I actually appreciated the camerawork in this movie, for it was closely-cut and very tongue-in-cheek with its style. I liked it.

OTHER CONTENT:This is basically just a shlock 70s B-movie, but it isn't the worst you'll ever see. Aside from the decent leads and freaky costume design, the movie also sent a sad message and packed a lot of suspense. The message this movie sent off was to save the environment and stop pollution, and I'd say it succeeded in delivering that message through scares and tears. It's actually kind of sad when you think about it. Also, the director (John Frankenheimer) is said to be a very good suspense creator, and this movie shows it. There are a couple parts in this movie where the suspense can almost be cut with a knife, and I appreciate that. However, this movie does have a lot of cons to its few pros. The movie itself is very cheesy and almost laughable. There were a few scenes I found myself chuckling at the shlockiness of it all, but it's not the worst B-movie you'll ever see. Yes, it's still pretty bad, but it does have some positive aspects to it, if you seek to find them. I got chills.

OVERALL,an ok B-movie with a decent plot, some good performances, unimportant score, cheaply unnerving effects, closely-cut camerawork, a good message, and plenty of suspense, but it was very cheesy and very laughable; if one were to fail to find the good aspects in it, this would just be a bad movie altogether.

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