Monster of the Day #91

Requested by Jabootu’s own Liz. I find waiting to see you and Charles at B-Fest un-bear-able. (Do you see what I did there? Man, I still got it.)

  • It’s the ursine Harvey Dent from the Berenstain Bears/Batman crossover!

  • Bob: I would totally buy that comic!

  • The Rev.

    Ah, Katahadin/Katadin.

    My favorite part of this critter, even more than her meltiness, even more than her constant walking around on her hind legs (and being able to outrun people whilst doing so), even more than her sleeping bad swat or her dock dive transformation, is her changing size. Is she six feet? Ten feet? Fifteen or so? She’s all those, and more!

    Having recently rewatced this, I’d forgotten she bites a guy’s head off (probably because I mostly saw it on cable, which cut that out). Amazing what you could get away with and still snag a PG back then. Why’d things have to change?

  • Ericb

    Sure didn’t live up to what they promised in the movie poster:

    Granted the poster portrayed an embryo and could have developed into the adult we were eventually given but come on, what cheat.

  • my biggest problem with Prophecy is that it really doesn’t do anything that a normal bear couldn’t have carried out. Yeah it’s bigger, but a grizzly could have pwned a bunch of campers just as hard.

    But that’s only my biggest problem with a movie that I overall enjoy.

  • GalaxyJane

    I’m one of those types who just spends the whole movie going “but, but, that’s not how mercury poisoning works!?!” Yet I’m perfectly willing to accept that nuclear radiation makes everything all gianty, so there you are. I think that it’s that, in my mind, radiation=magic, but medicine’s medicine, damnit!

    It’s probably telling that the thing that kept bothering me the whole time I was watching “The Brainiac” wasn’t the incredibly silly suit, the photographic backgrounds or the !flamethrowers!, but the fact that the brains stayed so pristine in the chalice days after being removed from a body. I can vouch that, even in a properly preserved cadaver, the brains are usually nothing but mush, having already broken down in the period before embalming. You have to get ’em out and into fixative tout de suite if you’re gonna keep ’em around as anatomy models.

    So, um, yeah, just a tad pedantic, me.

  • David Fullam

    Bout time we got to Momma Katadin, Prophecy f*ckin rules!

  • Elizabeth




  • I love how when the giant fish appears it takes you a while to figure out its supposed to be big, because you just assume it’s meant to be close to the camera. That’s some fine filmmaking there.

  • Gamera

    Have to agree with Jane, I kept thinking that um gee mercury poisoning wrecks the central nervous system. If it were affected by that it would be staggering around barely able to walk let along catch anyone. Well that’s movie reality for you.

    And yeah it doesn’t do anything a real kodiak couldn’t do but since it’s all raw and icky it’s more scary right? Right?

  • Rock Baker

    Somehow I can buy the Mercury Mutation here because of variables in the wild. I’m not saying its a good plot device or anything, but easier to swallow than the premise of On The Beach (whatching that one is like listening to someone ramble on about how the Grand Canyon was dug by a guy with a shovel and then the storyteller leaving before you a chance to answer back).

    At least we’ll always have Bill Girdler’s Grizzly. Probably the best Jaws knock-off there ever was (probably because they copied it so closely), and fitting proof that a bear doesn’t have to be half melted to be a monster. (I have to say, the mutant bear looks a lot better in the photo than I remeber it looking in the movie.)

    My most fond memory of this flick is that it used to turn up on TNT way back when. They had clips in a commercial for a marathon of eco-horror flicks coming up, in which Prophecy was a headliner, and they used the Sleeping Bag scene. When the bag hit the rock and expolded, they dubbed in a chicken cluck. For some reason, that still makes me laugh….

  • John Campbell

    I saw this when I was 10 or 11.

    Scared the bejesus outta me!

    God I love this movie!

    Thank you Liz for suggesting it and to Ken for manning up and giving in to Liz’s feminine charms!

  • GalaxyJane

    Rock, I am SO completely with you about “On the Beach”. That whole book (nope, never bothered to watch any of the movie versions) crapped all over science for the sake of politics. Even in high school, I knew enough about nuclear fallout to know that the whole story that I was supposed to be finding so poignant and tragic and oh gosh we gotta get rid of the bomb now before this happens to us, was a load of horse hockey disguised as propaganda.

    Sorry, I just really, really HATE that book. Much preferred “Alas, Babylon”, which was still required reading back then.

  • Rock Baker

    What makes On The Beach even more infuriating is that it was released in 1959 (the film version at least), when any gradeschooler knew the ins and outs of how atomic bombs work. The movie also wastes a gargantuan amount of talent to tell its story. (If they’d replaced the fallout issue with some super-virus or something it might’ve worked, but as you noted it was all about the politics.)

    I’m more of a Fail-Safe! man myself. (I’ll also place Panic in Year Zero up against the juggernauts of Atomic Film at any time!)

  • What about the awesome anti=nuke message of that great movie Doomsday Machine, which Ken and I watched last weekend?

  • Rock Baker

    Doomsday Machine is peversly facinating for the rather incredible cast assembled for a movie so low budgeted that the producers couldn’t continue to afford to pay SAG rates and had to abandon the unfinished production. Who knows, if they’d been able to finish and release it in the 60s it might’ve come out a bit better (or at least not as troubled as the disjointed mess we’ve come to know and love). Odds are, however, that it would still be painfully obscure.

    And say what you will, I love the line “Those chopstick jockies couldn’t whip up a planet-buster, could they?” It takes me back to a gloriously un-PC world I knew before the ninth grade.

  • Petoht

    Does this mean the next monster will be the angels from the other Prophecy movie(s)?

  • fish eye no miko

    Sandy Petersen said: “it really doesn’t do anything that a normal bear couldn’t have carried out.”

    Hey, you’re right! What the hell, man? They could’ve at least, say, given it poisonous claws so that even a light scratch would do horrible things to you or something. That also would have had implications for the female character who decides to drag one around the forest with her…

    BTW, am I the only one who, at first glance, thought this was from John Carpenter’s version of The Thing?

  • The Rev.

    A real bear can’t change size at random, people. Or constantly run around on its hind legs and still catch people. Or be killed by Robert Foxworth and an arrow. That’s why.

    I dunno if a real bear could knock over that contraption they’re driving around at one point, either; it seems pretty big and heavy.

    Rock: I haven’t seen Grizzly, but I get the feeling from what I’ve read that it’s not as good as Alligator or Piranha; one of those two would be best Jaws knock-off, surely?

  • Rock Baker

    Well, Grizzly was a fairly high profile production, and like Jaws was more an adventure movie than a monster movie. I’d say Alligator and Piranha are firmly more into the Horror listing than either Jaws or Grizzly would be. I suppose you could argue that the two films you bring up were the best Jaws-knock-off/Horror films (I can’t really say, since its been quite few years since I’ve seen either one), but I’m going to have to stick with Grizzly. A Man’s Adventure Movie, grounded a little more in the real world, very clear Brody, Hooper, and Quint replacements (contrary to what I think I’ve read on this very site, Andrew Prine’s Vietnam vet chopper pilot is not a psycho like many of the other mock-Quints), and a menace not too far removed from its real life counterpart, Grizzly huggs the Jaws template close enough to be a good movie despite the obviousness of what its doing. I think it has a better cast than most of the other knock-off as well. If you get a chance, I recommend giving it a view (a simply great two-disc edition was released a while back, I got my copy in a box set that included Day of the Animals and Devil Dog: Hound of Hell).

  • zombiewhacker

    Pirahna and Alligator were tongue-in-cheek. Grizzly wasn’t.

    Put another way: you weren’t supposed to be laughing at Grizzly.

  • The Rev.

    Piranha, sure, I’d say it was tongue-in-cheek. I’m not sure about Alligator, though. I recall it being pretty straight-forward and serious, and occasionally rather mean-spirited. There’s never much sense of over-the-top outrageousness in the latter (particularly that rather nasty scene with the kid getting dumped in the pool).

    I definitely want to see Grizzly some day, though, as well as its inferior knock-off, Claws.

  • Rock Baker

    You know I’ve heard that Piranha was camp/spoofy/tongue-in-cheeck, but I really didn’t get that the last time I saw it (which I admit was a long while back). It seemed to be pretty straight-forward. And pretty nasty as I recall.

  • David Fullam

    Alligator has it’s humor. Some of it overt, some of it restrained. It included the hero’s banter with the forensics guy, the hero’s problems with hair loss, the Great White Hunter who goes into the hood to recruit native bearers (after encountering a big pile of gator shit), and this random old lady with a walker near the climax. But the action is played totally straight.

  • The Rev.

    I admit it’s been a while since I saw Alligator. Piranha, too, for that matter. I recall both being fairly serious, but the latter being more t-i-c than the latter, just a sense of over-the-top insanity even as it was played straight.

    I don’t think I’m making sense here, dash it all.

  • fish eye no miko

    The Rev. said: “particularly that rather nasty scene with the kid getting dumped in the pool”

    Oh God, that scene! I haven’t watch Alligator in ages, but that scene is seared into my brain… )-:

  • Yes, I believe I’ve spoken on this before, how killing a child can be pulled off (Jaws does it), but if you get even a whiff of exploitation off it, it’s just appalling. Alligator (which I otherwise like), Grizzly, Tentacles–notice again the heavy hand of Jaws on each of these films.

    The Children kills a whole bunch of kids, but is so thoroughly inept it somehow doesn’t rise to offensive. I think what gets people about Alligator (or me, anyway) is the film sets up the death rather cruelly–the kid see the gator and struggles not to be pushed in the pool and killed–yet is ultimately played as if for laughs.

  • Rock Baker

    That’s one more element I like about Grizzly, is at least the kid being mauled in that was played as a horrible, horrible tragedy. (What freaked me out was a fan interview on the disk where the guy said he was looking forward to the DVD so he could pause/slow-mo the scene and really enjoy it. That’s just sick.)

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