Grizzly (1976)

grizzly poster 1976 movie
2.0 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 2/10
Visuals: 2/10
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Grizzly

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  May 21, 1976

MPAA Rating:  PG

grizzly-1976-grizzly-bear

I’m lookin’ for a loverly pic-a-nic basket

Two campers are killed in a brutal attack by what appears to be a bear. Now three men (Andrew Prine, Christopher George, Richard Jaeckel) are out to stop what appears to be a random grizzly bear which has staked claim to the woods. The bear is now a man-eater…massive and strong…and it is hungry.

Directed by William Girdler, Grizzly came out after the whole Jaws boom of animals attacking. The movie was met with so-so reviews and a lot of criticisms with comparisons to Jaws. It also featured a great poster illustrated by comic artist Neal Adams.

grizzly-1976-dead-kid

Not even a kid can escape…a grizzly!!!

The titular Grizzly was portrayed by the mother of the famous Bart the Bear (who appeared in tons of ’80s and ’90s movies…including The Bear and The Edge).  This bear also also appeared in Girdler’s follow-up film (that some consider a sequel) Day of the Animals, but here she is mostly brought in for her roars and some scenes near the end where she attacks the rangers’ tower and the helicopter.  The people attacks all appear to be a dummy bear that swats and takes off arms, legs, and horse heads (my favorite part).

grizzly-1976-bear-vs-helicopter

Seriously…just turn the helicopter back on…end of movie

The movie is a complete Jaws rip-off…it is so blatant that it isn’t even funny. You have the naturalist Arthur Scott who is the equivalent of Richard Dreyfuss’ character that wants the bear saved (and his attempts lead to his death…what happened to the character in the novel Jaws). You have park ranger Michael Kelly who is Roy Scheider’s character and even has the concerned “wife” (here just a girlfriend) in Joan McCall who he’s involved with. The Quint character is Stober who gives this tale of bears attacking his people…just like the sharks and the U.S.S. Indianapolis. One of the grizzly’s victims is the shark’s first victim actress Susan Backlinie (who the director also killed in Day of the Animals) The movie even has the whole “we should close the park” battle that parallels the close the beaches argument in Jaws.

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Time to whip out that bazooka!

The movie is relatively short, but has a very unsatisfying end battle with “the grizzly” in which Stober and Kelly face off against the bear…Stober (like Quint) is killed by the animal he hates and then, for God knows why, Kelly has a bazooka that he pulls out and blows up the grizzly bear. Really!?!  I realize the bear is a killer, but they could have just shot it from the air or something…but a bazooka? It is almost as bad as the shark randomly blowing up at the end of Jaws: The Revenge.

Grizzly is a typical when-animals-attack type of film. The movie is bad…better than Day of the Animals, but still bad. The movie had a very famous unreleased sequel that was shot but never put out. Grizzly II: The Predator had John Rhys-Davies hunting a bear in a park that ends up attacking a rock concert in the park (and gave Charlie Sheen and George Clooney early roles)…as bad as Grizzly was, I’d love to see the sequel.

 

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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