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Sometime in the 1970s (I think) I saw a really awful film set in a small town by a lake. The film opened with some people camping out in the woods. One of them was zipped up in a sleeping bag. Something (as yet unidentified) moved in between the sleeping camper and the camera, and we heard a "crunch." When the creature moved off, we saw that it had bitten the head off the camper, causing a fountain of blood to spout of of the neck. Far from being shocking or gory, it was so badly done as to be laughable.

The main story was that these huge and nasty mutated creatures were coming out of the lake and eating people. A local industrial company was under suspicion for poisoning the lake, but repeated water tests showed it to be clean.

In the end, someone had the idea of testing the water at the bottom of the lake, which revealed it to be heavily poisoned with mercury. As mercury is much heavier than water, it had sunk, so the previous tests (done from a small row boat) had missed it as they only sampled the water at the surface.

They got it all sorted out eventually, and the bad guys ended up in prison.

After the credits had rolled, and you thought it was all over, another monster reared up in front of the camera and roared. I think we were supposed to go "Oh no, it's not all over!" However, the few people stupid enough not to have left by now laughed at the ridiculous sight and left, shaking their heads wondering why they had bothered!

I have a morbid fascination to see it again. Anyone have any idea what it was called?

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Kinda sounds like the movie Prophecy, to me.

Prophecy is a 1979 American science fiction horror film directed by John Frankenheimer and written by David Seltzer. It stars Robert Foxworth, Talia Shire and Armand Assante. Set in the Androscoggin River, the film follows an environmental agent and his wife filing a report on a paper mill in the river, not knowing that the paper mill's waste made a local bear mutated, having the bear turn rampant in the wilderness.

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    Yes, that's the one! You did very well to get it, given that my memory seems to be even worse than I though it was! The one thing I did get right though was that it was AWFUL!!! Thanks – Avrohom Yisroel Apr 4 '17 at 13:08
  • I was convinced from the description that the answer would be a Troma film. Good find! – Beofett Apr 4 '17 at 17:42
  • @AvrohomYisroel - I saw this movie as a kid (on HBO) in the late 70's, and didn't find it nearly as amusing as you. I guess standards are much higher now. I do distinctly remember the moral of the story being: Mercury is Very Bad. – T.E.D. Apr 4 '17 at 19:35

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