The film’s lead, Robert Foxworth, was pretty much pigeon-holed as a TV actor. His greatest success, from a commercial standpoint, was as the vanilla hero of the 1980s prime-time soap Falcon Crest. However, he was much better as an super-intelligent android in the underrated TV movie The Questor Tapes (an unsold pilot, I think). He also starred in several TV movies with Elizabeth Montgomery—they were a real-life couple for many years, until her death.
Unfortunately, there’s no Elizabeth Montgomery in Prophecy, only a bland Talia Shire as a pregnant cellist named Maggie. That leaves Foxworth to carry the load as Maggie’s intense physician husband Robert. After years of caring for poor inner-city patients, Robert gets an opportunity to resolve an environmental dispute between a paper mill and the local Indians in upper Maine. (A friend says he can easily explain to Robert—who’s a physician, not a government intermediary—what to do.)
|Talia wonders: "Where's Rocky |
when you need him?"
I suspect this all sounds very hokey, but the setting (actually Canada) works well and there are several memorable scenes. The best is Katahdin's second major attack, in which our protagonists huddle in an underground tunnel and are forced to hear Katahdin brutally slaughter helpless victims. There’s also a surprisingly cruel scene in which a young boy in a banana-shaped sleeping bag tries to hop away from the lumbering beast. Surely, we think, a child will be spared. That’s about the time that Katahdin swats the kid against a tree and sends feathers from the sleeping bag scattering into the night.
|Foxworth: "Sinatra gets a Frankenheimer|
classic...I get Katahdin!"
I first saw Prophecy in a Bloomington, Indiana theatre that was showing second-run movies for $1. I liked it then, but enjoyed even more when I saw it on cable in the 1990s. I eventually bought the tape and watched it with my nephew. He said he liked it. That’s two of us, at least.