Tuesday, February 18, 2014





It's no secret that this movie is a blatant rip off of the "Jaws" formula, so I'm gonna get the hows out of the way right off the bat.

Locale: A State forest in the West, subbing for Amity Beach, is being ravaged by an unusually aggressive Grizzly bear, and is on brink of being closed down for the busiest holiday time of the year. Needless to say, the Superintendent is not thrilled. This is damn near plagiarism so far.

Hero: The Park Ranger (Christopher George, a low rent Roy Scheider, having all the snark and none of the subtlety, blame the script) who happens to be sick of being muscled by the bureaucrats, is bent on stopping the horrific bear killings.

Grizzled Naturalist: Although, unlike Hooper of "Jaws", he's not a rich kid with lots of high-tech toys, he's (much like Hooper) a freakin' weirdo. This particular goofball lays around in strange woodland disguises trying to record information on the local wildlife.  Hello, Richard Jaeckel. 

Pilot with war stories: Andrew Prine (yes, the future nighttime soap heartthrob) plays a helicopter pilot who assists in the search for the bear.  He even spins an apparently ad-libbed campfire-side yarn about Vietnam bloodbaths, paling hugely in comparison to Robert Shaw's lengthy (and also reportedly ad-libbed) and masterful USS Indianapolis monologue in "Jaws".

There is NO attempt at a replacement for "Farewell and Adieu, my wee Spanish Ladies"

However, the exploding while rampaging creature is replaced.

The whys. To make money. "Grizzly" was the highest grossing independent film of it's year, which I believe was 1976. A surprising amount of blood for a PG-rated movie makes the movie still maintain  occasional shock value, but the FX are terrible, and some of the acting, at least from the extras, is even worse. There is lots of nice scenery though.  The location work is peerless.  Enjoy the gorgeous woodland locales while wincing about the rest of the film.

I stayed up late for this one many times. Therefore it qualifies as a true crap classic.

Incidentally, a sequel was somehow made, which finished principal photography, and a workprint even exists off and on on the interwebs. It features a young Charlie Sheen and George Clooney, and was entitled "Grizzy II: The Concert".

I wonder why it was never released with that amazing set-up.

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