I always figured the Prophecy bear was just a guy in a rubber suit, but I’m shocked at just how short the suit was. What they saved on latex, I’m sure they spent in the cost of building miniature sets and props.
Frankenheimer admitted in later years he’d made Prophecy during a booze bender that lasted 5 years or so, and that his film-making judgment during that period wasn’t exactly on point.
The movie wound up a minor hit ($18 million, the equivalent of $62 million in 2017 dollars, over 7 million tickets sold), but was trashed by critics.
For many different reasons– the wonderful score, the atmospheric cinematography, the, um, interesting special FX– Prophecy remains one of my all-time favorite bad movies.