Grizzly (1976)

GRIZZLY (1976)
Article 1848 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-6-2006
Posting Date: 9-3-2006
Directed by William Girdler
Featuring Christopher George, Andrew Prine, Richard Jaeckel

A killer grizzly is on the loose at a state park, and it is a park ranger’s job to apprehend it.

Director William Girdler is perhaps best known for ABBY, a rip-off of THE EXORCIST that was blatant enough to bring down the wrath of Warner Brothers, who sued American-International over the movie and kept it out of circulation for years. Who better to film this one, a rip-off of JAWS with a killer bear instead of a killer shark. Not that the movie is particularly good; the acting is quite uneven, the dialogue is embarrassing at times, and the music is a far cry from the classic John Williams score for JAWS. Still, it’s watchable enough, largely due to the appeal of the three leads, who manage to be likable and interesting even when struggling with some very bad dialogue. Nonetheless, the movie doesn’t really end up being very convincing. The worst problem is that we never get a good comparison shot between the bear and the humans; most of the good shots of the bear are of him alone, and his scenes with the humans usually only feature his claw or a close-up of his furry hide. As a result, we never get the sense of real danger, and the generous amounts of gore don’t quite compensate for it. Still, the movie is efficient, and has a few scares; for this sort of thing, it could have been a lot worse.

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