Grizzly: Special Edition [Blu-ray]
(Christopher George, Andrew Pine, Richard Jaeckel, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1976) 2021 / Severin Films)
Overview: Christopher George (PIECES), Andrew Prine (BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD) and Richard Jaeckel (THE DARK) star in this bloody, sexy and immortal trash classic (Mondo Digital) about an 18-foot-tall ursus arctos horribilis on a carnivorous rampage through a state park full of campers, and the ranger, chopper pilot and naturalist who must stop it!
Grizzly now roars with a 2K scan from the internegative plus Special Features produced exclusively for this edition.
Blu-ray Verdict: Less than a year after the release of Steven Spielbergs shark blockbuster, director William Girdler (DAY OF THE ANIMALS) and infamous distributor Film Ventures International (GREAT WHITE) brazenly unleashed their own JAWS with claws sensation that would become one of the most successful independent horror films in history!
Everything is dandy for forest ranger Kelly (Christopher George) and his helicopter pilot mate Andrew Prine (Don Stober) until two girls get gorily dismembered and eaten by a giant grizzly!
In a plot point never done before in another film, the park owner does not want to shut the park down due to tourist revenue, so it is up to Kelly, Prine, and some guy who walks around pretending to be an animal to find the Grizzly and put a cap in his ass!
The bear, however, is super smart and chows down on rangers and tourists alike, killing one ranger while she rather unwisely takes a topless shower under a waterfall. In another plot point never thought before, some hunters set out to bring down the bear which just leads to more trouble.
Two scenes have stayed with me over the years. The part where the bear attacks a small child and his mother, and the bit where one of the trackers is mauled, buried alive, and gets back up again to find the bear is waiting for him.
There is something rather intimidating about a crazed, giant bear chasing people through a forest - unlike the film Grizzly rips off, which I think is Bruno Mattei and his Cruel Jaws, because we all know that once you are on land, a shark cannot chase you! But a giant bear in a forest seems like a bit more desperate situation especially as this one can tear down walls!
In truth, it is a lot gorier than I remembered, as limbs are torn off, including a child losing a leg, a horse having its head torn off, and faces being clawed. I could not believe it when after the film a notice came up saying the film was a PG! Maybe my parents should not have trusted such notices when I was a child!
If Christopher George has made a bad film, I have not seen it. Just watch Pieces, Enter the Ninja and City of the Living Dead for further examples. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs that comes with the Special Features of:
Audio Commentary with Nathaniel Thompson (Mondo Digital) and Film Writer Troy Howarth
The Grizzly Details Interview with Producer David Sheldon and Actress Joan McCall
Towering Fury Interview with Actor Tom Arcuragi
NIGHTMARE USA Author Stephen Thrower On William Girdler
Movie Making in the Wilderness Vintage Behind-the-Scenes Making Of Featurette
Jaws with Claws Archival Making Of Grizzly Featurette