Like Amity's Mayor Vaughn in Jaws, lumber exec Bethel Isley (Richard Dysart) has got a business to protect-that's why he looks the other way when the mercury used to process pulp seeps into the water basin. The fauna in the surrounding Maine forest have been slurping those dirty waters, and now they've become fearsome, off-sized, and ugly: a sofa-sized salmon, a raccoon as big as Bullwinkle, and a bear, a suppurating, sickly steamroller-you don't want to know about the bear. Then Robert Foxworth shows up, toxic avenger from the EPA, with his pregnant wife (Talia Shire whining like there's no tomorrow) along for the noxious ride. Frankenheimer's folly, which has been described as “a cross between The China Syndrome and Bigfoot,” mixes industrial pollution, Indian rights, and some good old eco-ogres, creating a brew more lethal than the menace itself. Though not a fuzzy environmental epic, it's still big bear hugs all around.

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