PROPHECY BLU RAY REVIEW

John Frankenheimer was that sort of film maker that made cineaste weep for joy. He had a vast body of work. Often consistent and even more often extraordinary. Many will know of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE or SECONDS, both masterpieces and then some. A more choice few will have seen RONIN, BLACK SUNDAY or DR MOREAU, these are less solid and messy in areas. But in truth only completists will have probably seen his end period films. Films like 52 PICK UP for instance, released a few years back from Arrow. That is a gritty, action thriller and a better film than often credited. Another PROPHECY, is released by Eureka.

An EPA research professor Dr Robbie Verne (Robert Foxworth) is called to Maine. A lumber company is causing a major political problem. They are deforesting at a rapid rate and the local Indian community are suffering. His wife, Maggie (Talia Shire) goes with him. She is pregnant and has kept it quiet from Robert. He seems to care more about work and less about their future. When on the ground, the lumber company challenge everything. Claiming capitalism needs room and chemicals need to be used to help the process. As hostility has destroyed the relationship between the two groups, things spike. Monsters, murder and mayhem will break out in terrible vengeance.

I wont indulge the comments on ecological harm and connect it to our own over heating planet and its problems of denial and profiteering. Instead I will speak of cinema and my delight in its very salient truths. One is this. It is an old adage. One that holds up well today in horror cinema. It goes like this, ‘Never show the monster’. The masterpiece about film making from Vincente Minnelli  THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, tells us that the audience are more frightened by not seeing. The imagination fills the gap and that worse then showing them the evil in its less glorious, material form. Sadly the producers did not see fit to do the same in PROPHECY. Exposing in act 2 the ecological demonic beast and killing the dread built over the course of a very solid first act and lead part of the second act. The problems are not just the realisation of the beast but its reveal, undermines everything and that makes the film drift into a third act that is frankly ludicrous.

DISC

The good news is that 1080 p takes a very good graded print and keeps it in check. No complaints in all areas (well bar a little light loss in the night scenes).

EXTRAS

I would probably buy this for Lee Gambin & Emma Westwood commentary. Funny enough to keep the attention, the best parts are equally to a data dump of detail. The booklet is also a worthy extra. Craig Ian Mann essay on the films impact is light in tone but rich in thought. However I loved the interview from the past. It marks an interesting director, understanding that films need to be made and not delayed. So to speak.

SPECIAL BLU-RAY EDITION CONTAINS 

 

  • Limited Edition O-Card Slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling [First Print Run of 2000 copies only] 
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a High Definition transfer
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • New feature length audio commentary by Richard Harland Smith
  • New feature length audio commentary by film writers Lee Gambin & Emma Westwood
  • New interview with screenwriter David Seltzer
  • New interview with mime artist Tom McLoughlin
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • PLUS: A LIMITED EDITION Collector’s Booklet featuring new writing by Craig Ian Mann; and an archival interview [First Print Run of 2000 copies only] 

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