LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Grizzly - Blu-ray review
By James Whittington, Sunday 22nd April 2018
The "nature-runs-amok" genre is littered with plenty of forgettable pieces but there are a few gems such as Frogs (1972), Night of the Lepus (1972) and Dogs (1976) but apart from Orca: Killer Whale (1977), Grizzly is the one that gets closest to being the most realistic, if you take it with a very large pinch of salt and swap the jaws for paws!
Starring Christopher George and directed by the exploitation master William Girdler, Grizzly traces the bloody rampage of the titular animal who is chomping, tearing and terrorising innocent campers and showcasing a case of insatiable hunger.
This movie is a lot of fun, completely old-school in its set-up and plot with a cast of heroic actors trying to pretend that they're not just jumping on the Jaws bandwagon and keeping it as serious as possible. Talking of Jaws this movie has a lot more blood and guts and when a youngster gets killed in this movie you get to see exactly what happened to him! There's another Jaws connection but will leave that one for you to discover it.
Christopher George is the hard-assed hero here ably supported by Andrew Prine and Joan McCall who all raise it above the feeling that this could easily have been a TV-movie with is garish yellow titles and the score which, at times, seems like it could have been lifted from Dynasty with lots of strings, is incredibly dramatic and at times a bit too upbeat!
The movie is a bit of a slow-burner as it introduces the various characters with lots of shots from the perspective of the bear with appropriate deep growling. It also has plenty of blood and violence from Director William Girdler, who tragically died aged 30 gave the world nine movies that tackled many horror genres, who could forget Three on a Meathook (1972), Abby (1974) and The Manitou (1977) and one could only imagine which area he would have gone onto when the video boom came around.
The transfer is very solid boasting bold colours and sharp outlines though there is some grain in the lighter shot moments. The uncompressed mono soundtrack is as good as it can be, at times a tad shrill I suspect there was nothing 88 Films could do to stop this. Dialogue and the deep bass effects of the bear are always nice and clear.
There are only a couple of extras here but worthy ones such as an interview with David Del Valle recalling actor Christopher George's life and career and an excellent essay from Callum Waddell about the genre of "nature-runs-amok" movies which is bang up to date including The Meg and Deep Blue Sea 2 both due to be released this year. There's also the original trailer and a reversible sleeve.
So once again another classic from 88 Films and for more info click here.
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