Essays · Movies

31 Days of Horror: Prophecy (1979)

By  · Published on October 23rd, 2012

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge, so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy!


The Maine woods are under attack from corporate profiteers, but when people start showing up dead the suspects range from rogue bears to radical environmentalists to ornery Injuns. Dr. Rob (Robert Foxworth) and his wife (Talia Shire) head to the area to investigate a local lumber company accused of polluting the nearby rivers, and they find a connection between man’s disregard of the environment, some strange aberrations amidst the wildlife and the vicious mutilation deaths.

Killer Scene:

A father and his two children hike into the woods to camp under the stars, but as they settle in for a well deserved night’s sleep the 15 foot-tall ManBearPig shambles into their campsite. The boy, already zipped up to his temple in a sleeping bag tries frantically hopping away, but the creature backhands him into a nearby rock where the bag explodes in a flurry of feathers. I miss horror movies (PG-rated no less!) like this where kids were just as likely to bite it as the adults.

Kill Sheet


Shire’s character is pregnant when the film begins so we can assume she had the sex with her husband sometime before the cameras started rolling. Other than that? Nada.


At first we only get to see the aftermath, but the third act in particular displays a lot of the red stuff as the monster attacks a bunch of folks chillin’ around some teepees leading to an extended chase through the woods. They’re tossed left and right, people catch on fire, heads are discombobulated and bit off, and the Native American elder? ManBearPig disrespects the old Indian big time. There’s also some man on man violence involving a chainsaw and a crowbar as well as a wild raccoon attack.


There are a few jump scares along with a few tense moments where the beast stalks its prey, but most of the scares here come from the idea that mankind’s laziness and willful ignorance has a profound effect on the world around us. The third act is essentially one long, scary chase though with the monster popping up and picking off folks one by one.

Final Thoughts

Prophecy isn’t a necessarily well respected horror film, and thanks to some fairly laughable special effects it’s easy to see why. The monster is clearly a guy in a suit on more than one occasion and being moved on a cart on at least one other. But John Frankenheimer’s direction brings an assured hand to David Seltzer’s script that mashes environmental concerns with the monster movie. It moves slow at times between the first couple attacks, but the third act is a lot of fun. Frankenheimer shoots some exciting action sequences and isn’t afraid to toss kids, elderly Indians and decapitated heads around like bloody toys.

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.