Release: June 15, 1979

This schlock horror classic from the 1970s is a product of the career ebb experienced by director John Frankenheimer. Robert Foxworth stars as Dr. Robert Verne, an inner-city physician renowned for his compassion and fairness. So he's asked by the EPA to mediate a dispute between Native American tribes and a polluting paper mill in isolated northern Maine. Accompanied by his pregnant wife Maggie, a classical musician, Robert journeys to the deep woods, where he meets the tribal leader, John Hawks and a representative of the mill, Mr. Isley. It turns out that the mill is indeed poisoning the local water supply with mercury, causing illness among tribe members and some mutated local wildlife. The Native Americans and the paper mill point fingers at each other for a rash of recent disappearances in the area, but Robert believes that something more ominous is responsible when he observes a huge salmon eat a duck. He's proved right when he encounters an enormous, mutated grizzly bear with a taste for human flesh. Unfortunately for Robert and Maggie, he has taken one of the creature's cubs back to camp, leading an angry mother bear to his tent flap.

Robert Verne: "Can these people help us?"
John Hawks: "They can send someone from the village."
Robert Verne: "Send them. Tell them to get people here. I want people to see this. Is there a newspaper in town?"
John Hawks: "Yes."
Robert Verne: "Get them here with a camera...and people from that paper mill...and that sheriff."
John Hawks: "Not that sheriff. I can't do that."
Robert Verne: "Hawks! He'll see the truth here and you have more here at stake in this truth than I have."
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Robert Verne: "What's going on here?"
Bethel Isley: "There were more killings in the forest last night. We're not waiting for any more."
Robert Verne: "Who was killed?"
Bethel Isley: "(referring to the dismembered campers) A family up at Mary's Bend."
Robert Verne: "(referring to John Hawks and the people of the Indian village) What makes you think these people had anything to do with it?"
Bethel Isley: "They're guilty as hell, Vern."
Sheriff Pilgrim: "(speaking through his megaphone) I want the following people to step forward as their names are read! John Hawks!"
Robert Verne: "Where's the evidence?"
Bethel Isley: "The evidence is at the hospital! It's in baskets!"
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Robert Verne: "A developing fetus goes through certain distinct phases. Each phase represents a specific stage of evolution. A human fetus, for instance. At one stage, it's a fish. It looks like a fish; it's got fins and gills. At another, it's amphibian—webbed hands; at another, reptilian; at another, it's feline—developing upward in the distinct shapes and phases of the evolutionary scale. If this chemical, methylmercury, adheres to the DNA—DNA's a chromosomal fixative—it could freeze certain parts at one ev"
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Maggie Verne: "Jumps the placental barrier. What does that mean?"
Robert Verne: "(referring to methylmercury) It's a mutagen."
Maggie Verne: "A mutagen. What is that?"
Robert Verne: "Freakism! Freakism! That's what's been going on out there. That's why there's a goddamn salmon five feet long, and a tadpole the size of what a bullfrog should be! And stillbirths."
Maggie Verne: "What?"
Robert Verne: "That's what that Indian woman said. And deformed children. And God knows what else has been going on out there."
Maggie Verne: "So if a pregnant animal ate some fish, it could—"
Robert Verne: "Yes. My God. Is it possible?"
Maggie Verne: "Yes."
Robert Verne: "The size of a dragon."
Maggie Verne: "What?"
Robert Verne: "The size of a dragon. Isn't that what Isley said at the airport? And something about eyes, cat's eyes. And the old man, the Indian. Didn't he describe that creature as being a...part of everything in God's creation? Isn't that what he said?"
Maggie Verne: "Yes."
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Robert Verne: "(from the tape recorder) Described as the most potent neurotoxin of the post-World War II age. Used from 1948 to 1956 in pulping processes as a cheap and effective caustic agent that prevents algae from forming on waterlogged timber. It is also known for its mutagenic properties, concentrating in the bodies of fish and plankton-eating crustacea, affecting the fetal development of everything that ingests it. The ratio of toxin to blood level is 30% higher in the developing fetus than in the host."
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Maggie Verne: "Rob, what is it?"
Robert Verne: "It's methylmercury poisoning, that's what it is. This whole place has been contaminated."
Maggie Verne: "How do you know?"
Robert Verne: "The Indians eat the fish, and they behave like they're drunk when they haven't had a drop of liquor. That raccoon convulsing and turning vicious, its brain turned to mush. Even that old man, that Indian, you saw the burns on his fingers."
Maggie Verne: "Is that from mercury?"
Robert Verne: "It's from cigarettes; the reason he didn't feel it is from mercury. You see, it acts on the nervous system; it destroys the brain."
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Robert Verne: "Inorganic methylmercury, known as PMT, used as a desliming agent that collects algae and prevents it from forming on preprocessed timber. Its widespread use discontinued in 1956 when evidence of its fatal effects...were seen in the deaths of 100,000 people in Minamata, Japan."
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Maggie Verne: "(referring to Bethel Isley) I believe him."
Robert Verne: "Why?"
Maggie Verne: "Why would he have offered to let you test the water?"
Robert Verne: "Maybe it wasn't in the water."
Maggie Verne: "Huh?"
Robert Verne: "Maybe it's heavier than the water. That silvery stuff on your it dry?"
Maggie Verne: "Yes."
Robert Verne: "They gave us a trick question in medical school. What's the only liquid in the world that isn't wet?"
Maggie Verne: "What was the answer?"
Robert Verne: "Mercury."
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Hector M'Rai: "This camp is as the old people did it. I'm teaching these young people so that someone here will remember. There are underground tunnels beneath the frost line to store perishables. The forest provides more food than a man could possibly need. Here, everything grows big—real big."
Robert Verne: "Well, I saw a salmon that, uh, took my breath away."
Hector M'Rai: "It is the garden of Eden. I've let no one come here. You are the first to see it."
Maggie Verne: "It's magical."
John Hawks: "We were once a magical people."
Ramona Hawks: "It's true. When I was a child, every rock, every tree had a story. The whole forest was filled with legends."
Maggie Verne: "We heard about one of them."
Ramona Hawks: "Yes?"
Maggie Verne: "Uh, katydah, something."
Ramona Hawks: "Katahdin."
Hector M'Rai: "Katahdin is no legend."
Ramona Hawks: "My grandfather is the oldest person in our tribe. It's his duty to foster these beliefs."
Hector M'Rai: "I have seen him."
Maggie Verne: "And what does he look like?"
Hector M'Rai: "He is part of all things created. And he bears a mark of each of God's creatures."
Maggie Verne: "You say that with great affection."
Hector M'Rai: "He has awakened to protect us."
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John Hawks: "The environment is us. And it's being mangled. And I'm gonna make something very clear to you. My people are violently ill. They're beginning to lose their faculties. They stagger and they fall, and this has nothing to do with alcohol, as these villagers claim. My people are fishermen; their lives are clean."
Ramona Hawks: "I'm a midwife, and I've seen children born dead, born deformed."
John Hawks: "So badly, some have had to be put to death."
Ramona Hawks: "Three times we have been to the Government, and three times they've turned us away."
John Hawks: "You see, the end of this forest is the end of my people. Don't talk about the environment as though it had nothing to do with us."
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Bethel Isley: "(referring to Dr. Robert Verne and Maggie) These people are from the Environmental Protection Agency. I'd appreciate being let through."
John Hawks: "No car from the lumber company gets through here."
Bethel Isley: "This is against the law, John."
John Hawks: "The law has not brought justice."
Bethel Isley: "The Supreme Court has issued a restraining order against this blockade."
John Hawks: "And which Supreme Court is that, Mr. Isley?"
Bethel Isley: "The Supreme Court of the United States."
John Hawks: "Yes, we've tried that Supreme Court. Now we're going to one that's higher."
Added By: CardassiaPrime
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