No not that fallen angel thing with Christopher Walken. Tonight we're going deep into the VHS bag for the real Prophecy - TV movie of the week Prophecy from back in the days when Native Americans were still played by Italian guys and the end credits might include "black woman" and "Indians". The evil lumber plant is polluting the Indians' lake with stuff that causes mutations in the animal life, which includes angry bears. That guy from Falcon Crest starts poking around asking questions. It's nine o'clock guys, turn on the mooovieee!

hey cool
Great monster, jaw-dropping child kill
but YUCK
TV drama, animal doping

Everyone who's seen this movie has had the following shared experience:

"Wait was that a d...what the hell are they doing with that dog?".

Yeah this one's definitely not PETA approved. Pretty sure they gave cocaine to that raccoon.

I actually saw this on TV, all those years ago. It wouldn't have been its premier airing, but they used to drag 'em back out every year or two. I remember being a bit shocked at how hardcore this was for TV back then. So I got me a hankerin', but apparently you can't buy this anymore. I'll tell you what shipmates, you see some disturbing shit when you search for "prophecy" in the VHS section on ebay. Lot of fine product there offered by god's special gifted. But, after much searching and making of yuck faces I found a two dollar former rental copy of what I sought, and jerky and dark as midnight it be.

So, tonight's movie concerns the Native Italian legend of the Katadin, a guardian of nature that is made up of all god's creatures combined. Mostly though it's made up of huge ferocious bears, and I have to say, for a cheap old TV movie this is a damn fine monster. Big 'ol slimy grizzly thing crashing through the woods at night. The shot of it mangling that old Indian silhouetted in the fog was just beautifully chilling.

Whew, it must have finally went away, see how quiet everything is now? We're safe.


Movie absolutely loves that gag! Sometimes twice or more in a row. If you're scared of sudden bears you're gonna have PTSD after this.

And now we have to talk for a minute about a certain young man and his mummy sleeping bag who hopped his way into legend. See he couldn't get out of the bag when the bear (suddenly - GRAAAR) appeared and was forced to try and make his erstwhile escape while still tightly zipped inside his sleeping arrangement, and...I love you Prophecy bear monster thing.

I want to play it in a loop right here for you, but no, you need to see it in the movie and be stunned and awed and happy. It's an absolute spit take of pure monster movie joy, but what makes it perfect is it's actually pretty horrible too. That poor kid really loved camping and wasn't the usual movie brat whining and playing his gameboy the whole time. Earlier in the movie he practically wet himself with excitement telling complete strangers all the fun stuff they were going to do on their camping trip, and for it to end like that.

I don't know if you'll find its TV movie baggage charming, but there's a lot and it did start to grind on me a bit. Much heavy subtext here about The Man - rich white males with their slum tenements and toxic factories and dangling helicopter dogs. Much worse though is the most medieval abuse ever of the ol' she's pregnant and worried about telling the guy plot turd. Every split second she's onscreen for the whole movie this woman has a look of absolute constipated angst, like "should I tell him now? No he's asleep. Now? No he's fighting a raccoon...".

Then they start to have their soul-searing discussion about the morality of bringing babies into a republican ravaged world gone mad, but luckily just as they're getting caught in an endless loop of saying "I love you" to each other, HE'S ATTACKED BY A RACCOON!. Which he kills with a shovel and inexplicably tosses into the fireplace so they can enjoy the sight and smell of burning dead raccoon in an enclosed space. And ah, while they didn't actually kill a real raccoon there, not nearly enough of that sequence was fake.

He learns from the raccoon tests that deadly mercury poisoning is behind it all, and it's coming from runoff from the lumber plant getting into the lake. Now I need to explain something to y'all right here. Sit down, this is important. Right before that horrible thing with the raccoon the movie clearly shows him catching a fish - from the lake - and then shows us in no uncertain terms that it was breaded, fried and eaten by both of them. He later uses his tape recorder to record himself detailing the effects of mercury poisoning, making special mention that it "jumps the placental barrier". Remember what she's been trying to tell him since the start of the movie? Do you understand where we're going here?

I don't think you do. I wanted to do this the easy way but you're just not getting it. I'm going to have to let the movie's goons hold you down while it beats the plot into you with heavy blows to the body until you're tasting your spleen.

Maybe you need her to overhear when he plays the tape back again a couple times {whump}.

"Mercury poisoning? And the Indians have been eating mercury from the fish in the lake?" {thud}

"It explains the deformities, the stillbirths!" {thump}

{plays the tape again} "what does it mean it jumps the placental barrier?" {crump}

"Adheres to the fetal DNA" {whuff}

"So if a pregnant animal were to ingest the fish..." {thud}

"Freakism!" {whump}

"How much fish..." {crack}

"Corrupts the fetus to the point where it gives birth to a monster" {thump}

"A human fetus for instance, at one stage it looks like a fish" {thud}

"Chromosomal fixative" {whump}"

"displaying all the stages of evolution" {whump, thud}

"feline" {whuff}

"reptilian" {cuff}

"Pregnant {thump} animal {thud} neurotoxin {whump} developing fetus {crump}.

Man if you thought she looked like she was in a Mexican soap opera before.

But oh no we're not even done yet. I still don't think you quite get the picture here, so the katadin frequently deposits horrible screaming mutant baby bears, 'cause the placental barrier has been jumped you know, and they find a couple of them to carry around and the poor woman's eyes are glued to them in a look of stupefied horror for the rest of the movie.

{Spoiler alert} I'm beginning to get the impression the movie might be trying to gently imply that she's concerned about having possibly eaten fish with mercury in it, which could cause her baby to suffer birth defects.

'Cause it's a known mutagen {thwack}

Banned since the fifties {whump}

And she's pregnant {smack}

But things sure do seem suddenly okay at the end, in the way only TV movies can, with Fantasy Island music playing and a plane heading home under sunny skies. Oddly though after traumatising us with the baby subplot for an hour we're never told if she gives birth to a gill man. I guess we're just meant to assume that a TV movie would never end that way and the fish was fine and the plant was closed and they finally let that dog down and everything's back to normal.