Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Horrors of October - Grizzly

Grizzly (1976)

Terror strikes a popular forest resort when a 15-foot tall grizzly bear comes down from the high country, mauling and eating whatever prey comes into its path of destruction. Only a park ranger, an animal researcher and a willing hunter with an appropriate vehicle can stand up to the carnivorous creature. Sounds a bit familiar? Why yes, GRIZZLY is a total rip-off of JAWS, to the point where it was famously summarized as "Jaws With Paws". Everything is stolen wholesale: the policing protagonist, the animal POV shots, the owner who refuses to close down his tourist attraction, a vicious attack of a child, a spooky nighttime story about ruthless animals, and the final third of the film having only a trio doing battle in an open environment with the predator. Plot elements it brings to the table such as the growing media obsession and a timid romance between the ranger and a photographer are barely developed, making the whole plagiarism even more apparent to spot. Despite all of this clear evidence to boo this movie, none of it really stops it from being a fun "when animals attack" romp. It is a very 70s action horror flick, with tough men who smoke and drink and get the job down and where the PG rating means that there will be plenty of blood and gore but not a significant amount to earn a R. Plus, Spielberg really dropped the ball with his animal take because the makers here wisely know that the climax should have the usage of a bazooka. A perfectly cheesy movie to burn an afternoon with.


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