Still Watching the Skies: Episode 89 “Prophecy”

Nat, Cody, and Robert take a trip to the Maine woods for an eco-horror monster movie about corporate pollution and conflicts with Native Americans in PROPHECY (1979).


John Frankenheimer is regarded as one of the finest directors of the 1960s with a string of acclaimed films including THE BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, THE TRAIN, and SECONDS in his resume. By the late 1970s he had reached a low point in his career, with alcohol maybe having something to do with it, and was reduced to directing something approaching a JAWS ripoff with PROPHECY. That said, PROPHECY still had one foot in the camp with 70s eco-horror thrillers and is clearly making an earnest attempt to carry a clear environmental message. PROPHECY bounces between the extremes of somewhat campy monster movie and earnest message movie without necessarily finding a middle ground.


That said, the film does have its moments for both sides of its competing nature. Talia Shire gives a sensitive, compelling performance as a woman that wants to be a mother with the expectation that it will save her marriage. On the other side of the equation, there’s an extremely campy and memorable sleeping bag kill that appears the be the main remembrance of the film in popular culture. Plus there are a few memorable suspense sequences such as a point where the survivors of an attack are camped out in underground tunnel listening to the monster bear mauling the above ground survivors, all in deep focus.


Obviously PROPHECY is not a universally acclaimed classic. But it’s also not an unwatchable bomb. John Frankenheimer was a talented director and some of that still creeps into PROPHECY.


PROPHECY is a film of highs and lows. We have a lot to say about those peaks and valleys.


You’re not going to need to journey to the Maine north woods to listen to this episode. You can also give us a play below or Download the episode. Also, feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below or Email Us at as we appreciate feedback.


Time tracks:

PROPHECY Discussion: 0:00 to 1:00:45

Next Film and Outro: 1:00:45 to End

Next month, we stick with the 1970s, but journey to the dystopian future of LOGAN’S RUN. We hope you’ll join us.

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