If you were a teenaged boy in the mid to late '70's, chances are you followed the current Hollywood trends when it came to movies. There were plenty of disaster, horror and revenge movies, but one genre seemed to be the leader.
When animals attacked.
Thanks to the success of 1975's Jaws, nature seemed to take over and man was the target of worms, ants, bats, bees and just about anything else filmmakers could use against humans. It didn't matter if the attack happened on land or sea.
In order to terrify people on land, Grizzly was released almost a year to the date and became the highest grossing independent motion picture before the release of Halloween in 1978.
While sequels were unheard of at the time, a sequel was written by Joan McCall (who played Allison Corwin in Grizzly) and husband David Sheldon, one of the writers.
It's taken over three decades for the sequel to be completed and released and was often called a very bad movie.
Had I not read a post in one of the film groups that I'm in, I would never have known that this movie had been completed and was finally available. If it's a bad movie, I wanted to be first in line to get a copy and of course, since this is the official sequel, I needed it the day before its release.
Capitalizing on their fame, George Clooney, Laura Dern and Charlie Sheen are touted as the stars of the film. The trio play campers on their way to a concert, which (we think) they're planning on crashing since it's being held in a national park.
Prior to their characters being introduced, a poacher is on the trail of grizzlies and after killing a cub, and wounding the mother, this bear is out for blood. And she doesn't care whose blood will be spilled.
The real stars here are Louise Fletcher (Eileen Draygon) the supervisor of the park who's not letting anything get in her way of holding the concert. She's told by park ranger Nick Hollister (Steve Inwood) that a man was found brutally attacked by a grizzly. Eileen wants the bear dead and gives Nick strict orders to stay away from the press.
Deborah Raffin is Samantha Owens, the director of bear management and while her expertise is ignored by mountain man Bouchard (John Rhys-Davies) he tells her that the only good thing about the bear is if it's dead.
While they search for the killer grizzly, another band of poachers is also looking for the bear since they know it'll bring in a massive amount of money. They discover that their other poacher buddy was killed.
With the concert looming, Nick's daughter, Chrissy (Deborah Foreman) gets a job backstage and falls in love with Barry (Nigel Dolman) the billed performer at the concert.
Chaos ensues as the bear makes its way to the concert venue and Eileen is grateful for a successful venture.
Actually, the movie isn't that bad. It's dated, but not bad.
The one thing that really confused me though was the timeline, since the story goes back and forth between everyone searching for the bear and the editing of the concert. There are scenes where the sun is setting and in the next scene the sun's in full afternoon mode.
For a movie that's a little over an hour long, the writing is pretty tight and the characters are developed, plus I never felt bored during the middle.
Everything came together, with the exception of the concert and really the ending. I was disappointed with how it ends, but who am I to say how it should have ended?
I think you'll enjoy this soon to be cult classic, and you really don't need to see the first movie in order to get into the story.