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  • preppy-38 April 2004
    Rip-off of "Jaws". A giant grizzly bear is (inexplicably) attacking humans in a forest. It's up to Christopher George and friends to track him down.

    I saw this in a theatre when I was 14 and never forgot it. At the time it (sort of) scared me. The bear itself I thought looked kind of cuddly--even when it was growling and showing its fangs. The attacks were (for a PG movie) pretty bloody and had me actually cringing in my seat! The show stoppers were when a little boy is attacked (we don't actually SEE it, but we do see half his leg torn off) and when, with a swipe of its claw, the grizzly decapitates a horse! Silly...but effective! Also there's some really beautiful scenery here (if you see it letterboxed) and a really great score.

    So, this is a good gross-out movie for kids--there is a lot of blood but you don't take it seriously. As for the rest of it--the acting and characterizations are strictly by the numbers but I thought George and Andrew Prine were lots of fun. Also the dialogue is terrible and I got a good laugh out of the guy who doesn't want close the park despite the fact that people are being killed! Talk about ripping off "Jaws"! Good example of a 1970s exploitation film.
  • Grizzly is directed by William Girdler, written by Harvey Flaxman & David Sheldon and stars Christopher George, Andrew Prine & Richard Jaeckel. Story sees a giant Grizzly Bear terrorise campers and hikers at a state park. The head park ranger sets about capturing and killing the beast but he's met with resistance from his superior and troubled by the number of glory hunting hunters who descend upon the park.

    If you pardon the pun, Grizzly was a "monster" surprise hit of 1976. Made for a paltry $750,000, it went on to make over $39 million Worldwide. It may well be a "Jaws" coat tail hugging copycat (and it unashamedly is), but credit where credit is due, William Girdler & David Sheldon spotted an opening in the market and got in there in a blaze of blood, grue and roaring ferocity. It was also one of the first of a number of "Jaws" knock offs, and while it's silly at times, and beset with bad acting, it is, however, one of the most popular and fun cult horrors of the 1970s. Filmed on location in Clayton, Georgia, Girdler's movie knows exactly what it's about. Keeping it relatively free of extraneous and expositional filler, Girdler knows (and so does the cast) that the bear is the star of the show - well more to the point, that the bear shredding and chomping down on humans is the star of the show. And so it goes, the humans - except for our hero protagonist (George) & wise sage naturalist (Jaeckel) - are annoying and lining up to be either bear lunch or to be badly proved wrong. And what fun it is. It's the sort of film that scared us to death as kids, and now makes us smile as adults.

    The film has proved popular enough over the years to warrant a double disc DVD release. A release that wouldn't be out of place for some critical Oscar winning darling I might add! Now available in a quite lovely anamorphic widescreen presentation (2.35:1), Girdler's (and cinematographer William Asman) shooting around Clayton is very pleasing on the eye. Sure some of the inexperience of the editing and lighting departments exists, and the budget restrictions are now even more evident (check out the blood), but Grizzly actually does look rather nice. The extra disc is chock full of goodies, with the "Jaws With Claws" featurette enjoyable and showing the makers to be very tongue in cheek about the whole thing. So, a must for B movie creature feature fans who don't mind a bit of camp on their cheese sandwich then. Those looking for an "Alien" or "Gorilla's In The Midst" obviously need not apply, so lets mark it as 6.5/10 for the film, and 7/10 for Shriek Show's smart 2 disc DVD package.
  • Okay, I think everyone going in knows that this is another one of those "nature-runs-amok" flicks. If you're a fan of these types of movies you'll enjoy "Grizzly;" you won't be blown away or anything, but it's a nice little time-waster.

    "Grizzly" was made one year after the hugely-successful "Jaws." It's obvious that the creators wanted to profit from that film's popularity because the plot is basically the same, albeit with a different animal, land instead of ocean, etc. The main difference, however, is that "Jaws" was a first-rate film, whereas "Grizzly" is strictly Grade B.

    How can one tell? Well, First rate films like "Jaws," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or "The Bridge on the River Kwai" stand the test of time -- although you can tell they're older films for obvious reasons, they're so well done on all levels that you hardly even notice. Grade B films like "Grizzly," however, do not pulsate with creative originality, they lack that certain pizazz to set them apart.

    This is not to say that "Grizzly" isn't entertaining; it is, as long as you understand going in that you're seeing a Grade B Jaws-on-land type flick. We're not talking "Apocalypse Now" here.

    WHAT WORKS: The Northern Georgia location -- Black Rock Mountain State Park -- is a pleasant surprise. If you enjoy deep forest adventure type movies, then this film's for you.

    The scene wherein the bruin destroys a fire outlook post is good.

    WHAT DOESN'T WORK: aside from the obvious "Jaws" rip-off and Grade B film problems mentioned above, the grizzly in the picture doesn't look as big as they say it is. In the movie the bear is supposed to be a prehistoric survivor, some 15 feet tall or so. Don't get me wrong here, the thought of running into a grizzly is frightening enough, ask my wife who had a nervous breakdown on a trail in Glacier National Park, Montana (one of only two areas where grizzlies still dwell in the lower 48). It's just that the bear doesn't look as big as they SAY it is in the film.

    Also, as with most Grade B fare, the score is substandard and dated.

    FINAL ANALYSIS: Think rip-off, think Grade B, think "Paws" or "Claws," and you won't be disappointed.

    GRADE: C+
  • Unjustifiably criticized as a "Jaws" rip-off at the time of it's release "Grizzly" is a really good "Monster on the loose" movie. The film is about a 18 foot grizzly bear terrorizing campers in a national park with Christopher George, the Park Ranger, Andrew Prine, the Helicopter Pilot, and Richard Jaeckel, the Naturalist, teaming up together to bring the "Big Bad Bear's" rampage to an end. "Grizzly" has a storyline and flaming ending very similar to "Jaws".

    There's really nothing that bad about the movie to criticize. It was made as a B-type Monster/Horror film and no one expected it to win any Academy Awards. It makes you wonder why most of it's critics put it down? Was it its lack of originality artistry and imagination?

    There's a series of killings in a national park where it's found out that a giant grizzly is responsible for them. The manager of the park wants it all kept quite since the news and publicity would hurt the parks revenue and his promotion to a post in Washington D.C.

    The film follows the usual "Monster on the loose" movie plot. Just when it looks like that there's no stopping the indestructible bruin, after killing some dozen people including one of the leading stars of the film. The bear is even more then a match for an armed helicopter which he brings down with one swat of his paw.The hero park ranger later, after when all seems lost, finds an ingenious way of bringing the bear down and the park is then opened for camping and hiking without anymore fear or danger of the killer bear.

    That's a brief synopsis of the story and that's what most, if not all, of the people who went to see the movie expected. The acting by the top stars in the film George, Prine and Jaeckel was much better then you would expect from a B-Monster/Horror movie. I don't think people going to see "Grizzly" expected to see "Streetcar Named Desire". The photography was breathtaking at times with the script and music score was more then adequate for a B-Movie. Most of all the killer bear was truly frightening. In short, going to see "Grizzly" you not only got what you paid for but a lot more then you expected.

    Like I said in the beginning of the article about "Grizzly" that it's most vocal critics were those who accused it of ripping-off "Jaws". With the rare exception of movies like "Pi" and "Momento" how many movies can we say are truly original? There were a lot of movies with a "Jaws" storyline for the writers and director of "Jaws" to learn or, as the critics of "Grizzly" would say, rip-off from.

    And one last word: The biggest ripper-offer from "Jaws" was none other then "Jaws" itself. With three sequels over ten years and each one worse then the previous one and the last, "Jaws IV", being so bad and unwatchable that it wasn't even released in the theaters.
  • Generally after a movie comes out is when people , critics or whoever, begin making comparisons between it and other films.

    If there happen to be any similarities at all then the film is labeled a rip-off and then sent off to the wonderful land of the back room shelf. This is one that I am glad stayed off the back room shelf, if anything, for nostalgic reasons.

    Most film makers would tell you they were inspired by something whether it was "Spider Man" or "Black Narcissus" when they were a kid. It doesn't mean they directly ripped it off.

    The story for "Grizzly" was written before "Jaws" came out, the writers didn't know each other, and though one might be able to draw parallels as far as the story goes it is not a "Jaws" rip-off. It's just that you have blood, guts and gore and so did Jaws which came out, theatrically, a year earlier.

    One is on land and one is in the ocean...How exactly is that the same? No. The real rip-off movie of "Jaws" is the Italian movie "The Last Shark".

    "Grizzly" came out in our nation's Bi-Centennial year. "Jaws" kept me out of the water and "Grizzly" kept me out of the woods for a LONG time. Even now though,31 years later, the film is still worth a look and it has some very interesting ideas represented and some very interesting camera shots and a couple of good scares.

    Does it have a cheese factor? Of course, but overall it a pretty good low-budget flick which makes me think of guerrilla film-making and it makes the effort at trying to tell a good story..

    I put it right in the middle of the scale and worth checking out depending on your own personal perception of what a monster movie should be .
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Has there ever been a movie that spawned more imitators than Jaws? I've lost count at the number of Jaws "inspired" films I've seen over the years. Grizzly is not only one such movie but it happens to hold the distinction of being the first movie to hop on board the Jaws moneytrain. The comparisons with Jaws are almost endless. Characters, plot points, and set-pieces are almost identical. Here are a few examples:

    • Jaws – An abnormally large, man-eating shark with above average intelligence terrorizes swimmers. - Grizzly – An abnormally large, man-eating bear with above average intelligence terrorizes campers.

    • Jaws – For the first 2/3 of the movie, the shark is kept mainly off-screen with only a quick shot or two of a fin. - Grizzly – For the first 2/3 of the movie, the bear is kept mainly off-screen with only a quick shot or two of a paw.

    • Jaws – The movie features scenes of frightened swimmers literally tripping over themselves getting out of the water to escape the shark. - Grizzly – The movie features scenes of frightened campers literally tripping over themselves getting out of the woods to escape the bear.

    • Jaws - Police Chief Martin Brody argues endlessly with Mayor Larry Vaughn about the need to close the beaches. - Grizzly - Ranger Michael Kelly argues endlessly with National Park Supervisor Charley Kittridge about the need to close the campgrounds.

    • Jaws – For whatever reason, the shark attacks and destroys a wooden pier. - Grizzly – For whatever reason, the bear attacks and destroys a wooden fire tower.

    • Jaws – Three men (Police Chief Martin Brody, scientist Matt Hooper, and boat captain Quint) set out for one final showdown with the shark. - Grizzly – Three men (Ranger Michael Kelly, naturalist Arthur Scott, and helicopter pilot Don Stober) set out for one final showdown with the bear.

    • Jaws – Bait is dragged behind the boat to attract the shark. - Grizzly – Bait is dragged behind a horse to attract the bear.

    • Jaws – In the end, the shark is "blowed-up real good". - Grizzly – In the end, the bear is "blowed-up real good".

    By listing these comparisons, I don't mean to imply that Grizzly is a horrible movie or not entertaining. In fact, as far as Jaws rip-offs go, Grizzly is one of the better examples I've seen. For the most part, it's good, cheesy fun. If you're a fan of this kind of stuff, Grizzly is worth a watch. But beyond the cheese, there are some actual solid elements of the movie that should be mentioned. The cinematography, settings, and Andrew Prine's performance are very unexpectedly solid and highlights of the movie for me. Not having seen the movie in 20 or so years, I was surprised by how much blood and gore are actually seen in Grizzly. And, I can really appreciate the difficulties faced by the cast and crew of using a real, half-trained grizzly. That took some guts.

    The new 30th Anniversary 2-disc DVD set is a great, surprising treat for fans. It's loaded with a nice transfer, commentary, a couple of "making of" features, and other goodies. It's some good stuff. But my favorite part of the bonus material is an interview with one of the writers when he talks about how original his ideas were for Grizzly. Uhm…Yeah…Sure…Whatever Dude!
  • Surely this Joseph Ulibias person knows not of what he speaks, as the film, 'Grizzly', is a Girdler classic, with production values that far surpass 'Jaws', with that clumsy mechanicalized shark. 'Grizzly' used a REAL grizzly for it's attack scenes, albeit from behind an electrified fence. And a REAL guy in a grizzly bear suit for the flesh-eating and gut-crunchy bits. The film made international stars out of Andrew Prine and Richard H. Jaeckel (in the Dreyfuss part). At the Japanese premiere, dozens of people met the stars (well, just William Girdler and Richard Jaeckel), at the airport, where, well, they just chanted 'Girdler, Girdler, Girdler' in unison at alarming volumes and waved their 'Richard' signs, reportedly since most could not spell Jaeckel. Sadly, and strangely, it buried Christopher George's career even further, and for this, I am most remisty. For weeks after I saw this film in the theater, with my late husband, Nestle, I could not go camping and was deathly afraid of bears, all types, and Girdlers. Of course, we were in our 70's then anyway. I would like to see this film remade with today's CGI improvements and much more realistic grizzly bear suits. Though, the core of this terrifying thriller is still VERY potent-like, and Ron Howard could hardly have done better. I'm getting on now in years, and girdlers, but. Thanks for listening. Is this out on DVR yet? I GOT to see the extras, bloopers and Girdler-provided commentary. But, I DARE you to watch this film alone at night in a National Park or Wildlife Refuge, with no weapons or fly-swtatters or anything, and not be titillated are terrored. of bears or suits. I am getting tired, now. Love, Lily Q. Spradlinn' , Luxor, PA, Tipple.
  • Released on August 25th 1976 in Paris (France)in glorious ToddAO-2.35.1 CinemaScope ratio and beautiful colors, GRIZZLY - French exploitation title : Grizzly, le monstre de la forêt - (USA 1975) directed by William Girdler was also available later in VHS SECAM in a mutilated 1.85 aspect ratio which involved a lack of letters at the beginning and the end of the credits.

    But yet, movie was still worth to be discovered and screened but one who have missed its theatrical released. In the meanwhile, Canal + channel has shown it on for some evenings in - as I quite remembering - an alright 2.35 aspect ratio transfer. And that was all... till this DVD zone 1 release in... 1.33 Standard aspect ratio = "pan & scan" !!!

    As far as history of video is concerned, it can be assumed that this "years 2000 circa" DVD edition of GRIZZLY is, by a dark irony of this technological age, the WORST edition ever, far below VHS and TV screenings of the years 1985 ! Incredible but true ! So I ask the question : why US distributors cannot find decent master material regarding this very good American B movie ? Why this remarkable piece of American horror movie of the XXth Century cannot be offered on DVD in a RESPECTED original aspect ratio ? It is the minimum offer expected today by "cinéphiles" market ! As a matter of fact, GRIZZLY is quite more than a B movie : truly a "part B-part A" movie, if looking its budget, magnificent scenery and natural locations photography camera work, ultra-violent gore special effects, and the presence of stars such as Christopher George & Richard Jaeckel & Andrew Prine (the two first ones are excellent as usual and the third one quite good though in a less important role and with less image timing presence)without forgetting the very good directing work of Girdler.

    Girdler has been successful in trying to translate the mental and perceptual universe of the URSUS HORRIBILIS (Latin name given by Jaeckel to the Grizzly : scientific name ? I have not yet checked but such animal do exists still now in North Canada (British Columbia and Alaska, I guess : and people who work in those fields are very afraid when they check its track around) monster, in opposing it by the main way of scale variations to the human universe : he has been successful on earth in the same way as Spielberg had been so in the water and the result is as very much frightening and terrifying experience.

    Some sequences are, by the way, absolutely original regarding to the quite similar thematic and aesthetic pattern to which GRIZZLY belongs. GRIZZLY is one of the most interesting variation of horror monster movies and has been quite underestimated by critics and historians of horror movies so far, in France of course at the time of its release but probably also in U.S.A. except by its public who liked it, and who was right to like it ! It deserves to be given a decent new video life on a new DVD edition that would at last, and at least, respect its original aspect ratio, preserving the beauty of this, from now on, classic horror movie.
  • A huge grizzly bear is terrorizing local campers at a national state park and leaving a bloody trail. The Park Ranger (George) enlists the aid of a Vietnam vet helicopter pilot (Prine) and a naturalist (Jaeckel) to help end the bear's reign of terror. Also thrown in the mix is the state park's head honcho owner who keeps making things as difficult as possible for the trio.

    Sound familiar? Does a shark, Roy Scheider etc. spring to mind? Well, the similarities to "Jaws" are undeniable and they're very obvious but that doesn't mean "Grizzly" is not a decent film. It's fairly good overall, the acting is horribly stilted on occasion, the script has it's fair share of stupid dialog, the gore scenes are a tad fake looking and the constant usage of fake shots of the bear (who is clearly in a completely different location) does indicate a relatively low budget. But sometimes the faults only add to the enjoyment, as is the case here.

    This was a tremendously ambitious project for it's time and the grizzly bear scenes were a horror to film (and not to mention; quite dangerous). The film had a low budget and was shot in a short amount of time. Director William Girdler, a specialist for low budget rip-offs (I'm really interested to see his blaxploitation "Exorcist" rip-off "Abby"), makes the most out of this project. It's fast paced, gory, reasonably suspenseful and obviously made with passion. The cinematography is splendid and makes the most out of the gorgeous scenery. The only nit picking I have is the music score; a completely inappropriate orchestral score that looks and sounds like it belongs in a comedy rather than a horror film.

    As for the actors, Christopher George may not have been a forceful dramatic performer but he's extremely likable and what he didn't have in the acting department he more than made up for that with charisma. Andrew Prine and Richard Jaeckel are a fine pair as George's aids but pretty much everyone else has an amateur night in terms of acting.

    Late director William Girdler knew how to get the most out of a limited budget (check out "Day of the Animals", a semi-sequel to "Grizzly") and would probably have made plenty of first rate B-movies had he lived longer. "Grizzly" is a fine example of what the guy could manage and it's pretty impressive.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    From 1972 to 1978, William Girder directed nine feature films and would have probably never stopped, were it not for the helicopter crash that took his life while scouting Philippines filming locations. From Asylum of Satan and Three on a Meathook to The Manitou, Sheba Baby and Project: Kill, his films may have been derivative but they made money.

    Here's the best example. Around these parts, Girder is celebrated for Abby, a movie that was removed from theaters because of its similarity (let's say total ripoff) of The Exorcist. That brings us to Grizzly, which is essentially Jaws on dry land. With a bear. A grizzly bear.

    Grizzly found its inspiration when its producer and writer, Harvey Flaxman, came face to face with a bear during a camping trip. Co-producer and co-writer David Sheldon thought about how they could make a bear version of Jaws and they wrote a script that Girdler discovered and offered to finance, as long as he could direct.

    Grizzly begins with military vet and helicopter pilot Don Stober (Andrew Prine, The Town that Dreaded Sundown, The Eliminators, Amityville II: The Possession) flying over a national park and explaining how the woods remain untouched, much like they were in when Native Americans made their homes here.

    The first two attacks happen quickly - in bear POV no less - when two female hikers are dismembered by the ursus arctos horribilis villain of this story. That brings in park ranger Michael Kelly (Christopher George, Gates of Hell/City of the Living Dead, Day of the Animals, Mortuary, Pieces) and photographer Allison Corwin (Joan McCall, who besides being in Devil Times Five is also married to the film's writer, Sheldon) in on the case.

    At the hospital, a doctor tells the park ranger that a bear killed the girls, but the park's supervisor blames the ranger and naturalist Arthur Scott (Richard Jaeckel, The Dark, Mako: The Jaws of Death and TV's Salvage 1*) for the girls' deaths. And guess what? Just like Jaws, there's no way the park is getting closed before tourist season.

    The rangers all decide to search the mountain for the grizzly, which isn't accounted for in their census of animals in the park. One of the rangers - of course - decides to get nude in a waterfall because that's what you do when you're hunting a killer bear and gets murked for her stupidity.

    Kelly and Stober think they have found the bear from the air, yet its just naturalist Scott wearing an animal pelt and tracking the bear himself. Scott tells them that this bear is actually a prehistoric version of the grizzly that stands 15 feet tall and weighs at least 2,000 pounds.

    No matter how many people the grizzly kills, no one will close the park. So when the story becomes national news, the owners of the park - a national park can have owners? - allow amateur hunters to shoot the shark (this has nothing to do with the very same thing happening in Jaws, right?). Those hunters are pretty much the worst people ever, as they use a bear cub as bait, thinking the grizzly will protect its young. Nope - it eats that baby bear and keeps on coming.

    The grizzly literally shreds his way through the park and nobody closes it down until it murders a young mother and mutilates her child. And get this - the grizzly is so smart, it knows how to bury the naturalist in the ground and then waits for him to wake up so it can kill him. Can a bear be a slasher killer? Well, we already know that Bigfoot can be, thanks to Night of the Demon.

    The grizzly literally kills every hero in this movie other than Kelly the photographer, who magically finds a bazooka in the wrecked helicopter and remembers the end of every shark movie: you must blow this beast up real good. She does and that's the end of Grizzly.

    An interesting personal note: I was telling my dad about this movie and he remembered that it has played on a bus that took he and my mother on a casino trip. That's right - at 1 AM, pitch blackness, the TV on their bus blared this gorefest as loudly as possible. "I couldn't wait for that movie to end," was my mother's review. My father's was a bit kinder.

    Warner Brothers originally wanted to finance Grizzly, but were furious that Edward L. Montoro and Film Ventures International (FVI) had taken the project. That's because a year before, the studio sued both of these companies for copyright infringement when they released Beyond the Door in the US.

    Sadly, while Grizzly was one of 1976's best-performing films, earning $39 million worldwide (adjusted for inflation, that's around $177 million in 2018 dollars), its distributor Edward L. Montoro and Film Ventures International kept all the profits. Girdler and Harvey Flaxman and David Sheldon (the film's screenwriters/producers) had to sue to get their share.

    Even after all that, Girdler still directed Day of the Animals, a spiritual sequel to Grizzly, for Montoro. While this film added Leslie Nielsen and Lynda Day George to the returning cast of Christopher George and Richard Jaeckel, it wasn't as successful.

    Grizzly just seems like a movie that's buried in legal shenanigans. A sequel, Grizzly II: The Predator (also known as Grizzly II: The Concert, a title that would assuredly guarantee that I would buy this film) was made in 1983.

    Filmed in Hungary by André Szöts and written by Sheldon, the co-producer and writer of the original, it was never released. The film had Louise Fletcher, John Rhys-Davies and unknowns but about to be big stars like Charlie Sheen (who took this movie over the lead in Karate Kid), George Clooney and Laura Dern in the cast, as well as live performances (hence Grizzly II: The Concert) by musicians like Toto Coelo (who had one song I can name, "I Eat Cannibals Part 1") and Landscape III.

    The movie was such a mess that the film's caterer ended up rewriting it. And while the main filming was completed, special effects and all of the actual bear footage wasn't. That's because the film's executive producer Joseph Proctor had disappeared with the money (and may have even been already jailed when filming began). While a mechanical bear was to be used, there was still footage shot of a live bear attacking concert goers filmed (!). There's a bootleg workprint, but the full film has ever emerged. This New York Post article has even more amazing info about Grizzly 2.

    Finally, a trivia note for comic book fans. The amazing poster for this movie? Neal Adams did the art.
  • I first saw this more than a decade ago on Sony Pix channel.

    Revisited it recently.

    A national park is terrorized by a man-eating grizzly of extraordinary size but we have Christopher George who makes silly n stupid decisions.

    The helicopter guy Don (Andrew Prine) dies cos of Kelly (Christopher George).

    Rather than shooting the bear with a bazooka and that too safely while aerial in the copter, Kelly insisted on getting down.

    Our boy Kelly wanted to be the last man standing.

    For a lot of time we don't get to see the bear in action but we see people being lifted up as if some supernatural stuff is holding em.

    Mr Walker whose wife gets killed while doing make up in the tent looks like Quentin Tarantino n Michael Shannon combined. Man, that guy's smile (of surely getting laid tonight) before her wife's death is so funny.

    The movie has a good star cast, Christopher George, Andrew Prinen n Richard Jaeckel.

    The casting of George, Prine and Jaeckel marked the second time this trio of actors starred together in the same film. They had previously played supporting roles in Chisum (1970).

    While Prine n Jaeckel starred together in few films.

    We have Kathy Rickman (the nurse from Deliverance), she looks amazingly hot with her tight abs in this movie but she can't act.

    The scenes shot from the bear's point of view was a new gimmick in the late 70s but i didn't enjoy that trick.

    The movie has zero tension n suspense.

    The bear chase scenes r dull n makes no sense.

    There is one waterfall bathing scene which lacked the nudity n to top it all our killer bear is hiding in the waterfall like some pervert.
  • ferbs545 December 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    A common thread runs through the four films of director William Girdler that I have seen: All are somewhat crudely made, shlocky entertainments, and all are nevertheless quite fun to watch. First, there was 1975's "Sheba, Baby," a lesser Pam Grier action flick; then, 1976's "Project: Kill," with Leslie Nielsen (of all people) starring as a drug-enhanced secret agent on the run who gets involved with the forever yummy Nancy Kwan; and then 1978's "The Manitou," in which a large tumor growing on the neck of Susan Strasberg turns out to be the developing fetus of a rebirthing Indian medicine man! And now, for this viewer, 1976's "Grizzly." Released a year after "Jaws" kicked box office tuchus, the film makes zero attempt to conceal its debt to Steven Spielberg's big-fish classic; indeed, the film's poster itself proclaimed its monstrous ursine protagonist "The Most Dangerous Jaws In The Land." In the film, for reasons that are never adequately explained, a 15-foot-tall, 2,000-pound grizzly takes to killing and eating campers in a national park (the viewer must assume it to be Yellowstone or Yosemite, although the picture was shot in Clayton, Georgia, near where the state borders both North and South Carolinas). Thus, it falls on head forest ranger Kelly (Christopher George), chopper pilot Don (Andrew Prine) and maniacal naturalist Scott (the great character actor Richard Jaeckel) to put a stop to the ferocious attacks....

    To "Grizzly"'s credit, the viewer does not have to wait long to see the film's first attack sequence, and these scenes crop up fairly regularly throughout. The film is fairly bloody (or should I say grisly?), and there really is no way of predicting who will be attacked and who will survive; even little moppets are open game! As if the film's debt to "Jaws" were not already transparent enough, however, "Grizzly" gives us POV shots from the bear's eyes, accompanied by ominous music; a scary nighttime tale told by one of the hunters; a bureaucratic jerk who wants to keep the park open, despite the obvious danger; and an explosive death for the beastly nemesis at the picture's end. The acting by the film's three leads is certainly passable, although the thesping by the lesser players (especially the grizzly's victims) is often quite lame. Girdler's film has been shoddily put together, like his others, and, most egregiously, features a "monster" that just isn't that fear inducing; indeed, despite his murderous inclinations, the grizzly here often looks kinda cute and cuddly (although still a long way from Winnie the Pooh or Yogi!). One element of the film that this viewer did enjoy was the breezy, outdoorsy score by Robert O. Ragland, conducting the National Philharmonic Orchestra of London; so reminiscent, somehow, of many of these cheezy, mid-'70s entertainments. Other aspects of "Grizzly" to find pleasure in: the best horse decapitation scene since "The Godfather" and the hilarious name of the film's editor-- Bub Asman. I wish MY name was Bub Asman! Anyway, as I mentioned up top, all in all, good, shlocky fun. My psychotronic guru, Rob, by the way, tells me that Girdler's follow-up film, 1977's "Day of the Animals" (also starring George and Jaeckel), is even more fun than this one, and it will surely be my next visit to the world of Girdler....
  • To say that "Grizzly" is a rip-off of "Jaws" is only going part way to describing the genesis of the film. It has also taken a page from "The Towering Inferno" with opening credits that are so similar in their presentation that it's laughable. (There's even a lodge owner with the same type of glasses William Holden wore in "Inferno".) The film follows the basic formula (which would be copied in dozens of films thereafter) of "Jaws" with innocent people being mauled and devoured by an unseen enemy. Like Bruce the shark, Grizzly doesn't make his full appearance right away. Rather, the audience is treated to perspective shots of branches and foliage being shoved away as he approaches the next (This approach was also utilized in the 1976 "King Kong", so the derivation continues.) George plays something akin to Head Ranger of the forest in question. When he isn't head-butting with the park supervisor (Dorsey), he's calling upon buddies Jaeckel (a naturist who prowls around with pelts on his back to better study the animal kingdom) and Prine (a helicopter-piloting Vietnam veteran) to help him track down this man-killing beast. Meanwhile, the body count rises and rises as victims fail to notice a 15 foot, 2000-lb grizzly bear coming up to them from nowhere! Finally, just when the cast is dwindling to that of a one man show, the climactic showdown between man and beast occurs with the bear getting a similar comeuppance as Bruce the shark did in "Jaws". Some of the scenery in the film is nice, though apart from the credit sequence, it is hardly ever exploited to its full potential. The three lead males do an okay job with Jaeckel scoring the most points with his quirky portrayal. It's a little sad to see George literally chain-smoking through the film when he would be dead of a heart attack in just 6 years at age 54. Prine affects a spotty cornpone accent that does little to bring his sketchy character to life. By far the worst presence in the film is that of McCall as George's love interest. Not only does her character have nothing to do with the plot or the title beast at all, but the actress is so annoying that one keeps hoping she will be next in line for the human buffet. Looking like a less-surgically-enhanced Katie Couric and with a voice twice as grating, she is a big debit to the film. WHERE was Lynda Day George?? Though the formula of "See camper, See camper die" gets more than a little tiresome, there are a couple of memorable moments. One is when the bear wants one victim so badly, he levels a towering ranger station! Among the sillier moments is one in which a female ranger says she is going to soak her feet in the stream, yet proceeds to strip down to bra and panties and let her hair out of its ponytail! There are campy bits like heads, arms and so forth being yanked off (mostly suggested rather than explicitly shown) and plenty of fake blood spewing here and there. There are worse "Animals on the rampage" flicks, but this is hardly a strong piece of movie-making. In a useless aside, both Prine and George posed for nude photos of themselves in the 70's, but here nary even a chest is in sight.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is one of those movies that almost had it right, but did a few things wrong that kept it from being a really good horror film. This one was obviously doing a Jaws type movie, its problem, it tried to be too much like Jaws. What I mean is, there are scenes in Jaws that cannot be recreated due to the fact the shark resides in an ocean. It just does not translate to the woods or any other territory that is not water. They try to recreate the scene when they were chasing the shark with the boat, but running on foot, just is not the same. Still, they did have some pretty good kills and the cast was good too.

    The story, a killer grizzly is in the woods as it dispatches two girls camping. Soon, they have to go on the hunt, but unfortunately, it kills a ranger. Then it takes out a man's wife which prompts hunters to flood the woods to kill the bear. This leads to two men flying a helicopter trying to get the bear and another whose home is the woods riding a horse and trying to capture it. However, this bear is a lot more clever than the hunters know!

    Christopher George plays the head forest ranger with Andrew Prine as the copter pilot and Richard Jaekel as the outdoors man. All of them are good and as I said good kills. Too bad there are just some stupid things going on during this film that one has to take off points for. One of the first things that was head scratching, during the search for the bear in the early stages of the film a female park ranger takes her clothes off and starts rinsing herself off in the waterfall where she is devoured. I am just thinking, who does this while they are working? There is also a scene near the end where the bead buries a guy and the guy is alive and gets out and is promptly attacked by the bear again and killed making one wonder what the point of him initially surviving was!

    So, not a bad movie, but not really an all that good film either. It does contain a good amount of blood and gore for a PG rated film, the do an okay job with the attacks and the acting is fairly decent. On the other hand they try to recreate scenes from Jaws and it just does not work, there are more than a few scenes that are just stupid and you just have to wonder, why didn't the bear get its head lopped off when it attacked the helicopter as the blades were still spinning!?!
  • Lebowskidoo18 June 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    I know I saw Grizzly long ago, so long ago that I forgot everything that was going to happen. This is an obvious homage/ripoff of Jaws, possibly the first of its type, coming just a year after that shark movie, the lead characters are hardly disguised at all. But this movie has some great kills, most of them unexpectedly horrific, not expecting that from this movie.

    It's got its flaws, such as the sequence where the bear destroys a cabin in order to kill a very bad actress. Not long after, the body is found, and the cabin is intact. Apparently, this bear wanted to cover its tracks.

    Overall, this is a very entertaining 70's killer bear movie, although missing some suspense of later killer bear movies like The Edge or Backcountry. I especially thought the ending, where the bear is killed with a bazooka and explodes, to be pretty kickass, especially considering it was only 1976.
  • guionn27 December 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    A marauding Grizzly eating his way through a public campground and the authorities don't evacuate and close the park to the public? I'm losing count of the different lawsuits that could be and would be filed against various Government agencies.....also.....POOR Bear cub!! :-( (The acting is also abysmal! How did this break box office receipt records until the premier of "Halloween"?? Good blood and guts flick though.
  • I grew up watching all these movies back in the 70's and think they are awesome. You do not need a complicated script or CGI out the ying yang to scare you. Simple, unadulterated fun so please try not compare it to today's standards. It makes it that more enjoyable. I always try to watch old movies as though I have traveled back in time and are experiencing them for the first time.

    READ THIS BOOK: Night of the Grizzlies by Jack Olsen.

    Jack Olsen's true account, traces the causes of the tragic night in August 1967 when two separate and unrelated campers, a distance apart, were savagely mangled and killed by enraged bears.

  • This film scared the crap out of me when I was a small kid (what were my parents thinking?), so it was about time I relived it. I'm glad to say that although this is a rip off of some other movie (Enzo Castellari's The Last Shark I think), Grizzly is an effective animal on the loose film. And, strangely, the fourth film in a row I've watched set in a forest (after Forest of Fear, Don't go in the woods, and Attack of the beast creatures).

    Everything's dandy for forest ranger Kelly (Christopher George) and his helicopter pilot mate Andrew Prine (Andrew Prine) until two girls get gorily dismembered and eaten by a giant grizzly. In a plot point never done before in another film, the park's owner doesn't want to shut the park down due to tourist revenue, so it's 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 arse.

    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's Cruel Jaws, once you're on land a shark can't chase you, but a giant bear in a forest seems like a bit more desperate situation especially as this one can tear down walls).

    It was gorier than I remembered, as limbs are torn off (including a child losing a leg), a horse having it's head torn off, and faces being clawed. I couldn't believe it when after the film a notice came up saying the film was a PG! Maybe my parents shouldn't have trusted such notices when I was a child.

    If Christopher George has made a bad film, I've not seen it. Just watch Pieces, Enter the Ninja and City of the Living Dead for further examples. What's that you say? Graduation Day? Hmm - time for me to go
  • TITLE: GRIZZLY was release on May 21, 1976 and time on this movie was 91 minutes. Grizzly (also known as 'Killer Grizzly') is a 1976 horror film directed by William Girdler. The film is about an 18-foot man-eating Grizzly bear that terrorizes a National Forest. The film stars Christopher George, Andrew Prine, and Richard Jaeckel. Widely considered a Jaws rip-off, Grizzly used many of the same plot devices as its shark predecessor, a huge box office success during the previous year 1975. Its tagline was "18 feet of gut-crunching, man-eating terror." Grizzly earned more than $39 million worldwide on a $750,000 budget In 1983, a sequel Grizzly II: The Predator was planned and shot, but never released and provided early roles for both Charlie Sheen and George Clooney. The giant grizzly bear in the film is portrayed by the mother of Bart the Bear.

    SUMMARY: The film opens with helicopter pilot and guide Don Stober (Andrew Prine) flying individuals above the trees of a vast National Park. He states that the woods are untouched and remain much as they did during the time when the Native American lived there. Two female hikers are breaking camp when one of them is attacked and killed by a bear. The second woman finds apparent safety within a nearby cabin until the bear tears down a wall to reach her. The National Park's Chief Ranger Michael Kelly (Christopher George) and photographer Allison Corwin (Joan McCall), daughter of the park's restaurant owner, decide to follow a Ranger to the primitive campsite to find the two female hikers. They discover the woman's mangled body inside the destroyed cabin. Allison stumbles across the remains of the first woman while photographing the search. At the hospital, a doctor tells Kelly that the women were killed by a bear. The Park Supervisor Charley Kittridge (Joe Dorsey) blames Kelly, saying the bears were supposed to have been moved from the park by he and Naturalist Arthur Scott (Richard Jaeckel) before the tourist season began. Kelly and Kittridge argue over closing the park, and decide to move all hikers off the park's mountain while allowing campers to remain in the lowlands. Kelly calls Scott, who says all bears are accounted for and this specific bear must be unknown to the forest. While searching the mountain, a female Ranger decides to go swimming near a waterfall where she is attacked and killed by the bear. Kelly recruits the helicopter pilot Stober to assist in the search. Flying above the forest, they see what they believe to be an animal, only to discover the Naturalist Scott adorned in an animal skin while tracking the bear. He informs them the animal they are looking for is a prehistoric grizzly bear and at least 15 feet tall. Kelly and Stober scoff at the notion. At the busy lowland campground, the grizzly tears down a tent and kill a woman. Kelly once again insists on closing the park, but Kittridge refuses. The attacks are becoming a national news story and to counteract this, Kittridge allows amateur hunters into the forest. Kelly, Stober, and Scott, now a team, are disgusted by this development. Later, the bear chase a lone hunter but he evades the animal on foot, falling into a river and floating to safety. A Ranger at a fire lookout tower on the mountain is attacked by the grizzly, the animal tearing down the structure, and killing the Ranger.

    QUESTIONS: Why doesn't Kittridge want Kelly to close the park? What kind of bear is doing all this killing? Why did Kittridge open the park to all the drunken hunters? Does this bear do any more killing? Can Kelly and Scott kill this bear before anyone else is killed?

    MY THOUGHTS: I would give this movie 6 Weasel Stars but when you throw in the beauty of the state park that makes gives this movie 8 stars. I also bought this movie from Amazon and I had no trouble with the video or the audio.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is so violent and gory I can't believe it was only rated PG. Who in their right mind would take their kid to see this. They must of had some cool parents because this is totally a balls to the wall, brutal slasher movie but instead of a deranged psycho stalking the campers, it's a 15-18 foot, 2000 pound Grizzly Bear. It's Friday the 13th meets Jaws but only with a beer and at a National Park instead of a beach.

    But how gory is it really? Here's just a couple of bloody moments that really stand out and make you wonder how the censors let it slip:


    Woman gets arm ripped off as it flies across the screen. Blood gushes out of her newly ravaged stump of an arm

    Little 5 year old child is attacked and mauled by bear as the mother tries to fend the beer with a broom so it'll drop the kid. Instead the grizzly bear bites the child's leg off. I'll repeat, a 5 (possibly 4) year old child has his leg bitten off at the knee by the grizzly.

    In the vein of cannibal holocaust, a REAL lifeless gutted deer is strung up in a tree and used for bait to attract grizzly bear. Later it's half devoured corpse is drug along behind a horse to further bait the bear.

    It works and then said horse has it's head ripped off by the grizzly.

    That's just a couple of examples of how gnarly this flick is. I had just watched Murder-Set- Pieces before this and Grizzly still stood out as a very bloody, gory, kick ass movie. I couldn't believe it when I found out this was rated PG. But man what a pleasant surprise. Highly recommended.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    Some people have jokingly called this movie "Paws" or "Claws" because it is so obviously an imitator of Jaws (which was released only a year before). This film is a late night favorite on TBS and I have seen it often. Christopher George, Andrew Prine and Richard Jaeckel aren't Roy Shieder, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfus but they still do passably good work and there are many plus signs if you look for them. This film is beautifully directed and has some of the greatest majestic forest scenes that you will ever see, it will almost make you wish that you were a park ranger, what a lovely, peaceful life they must ordinarily have unless there is a killer grizzly bear loose in their park! Susan Backline, who was the first victim Chrissie Watkins in Jaws, is also the first victim in this movie for you trivia lovers. It follows Jaws in so many ways, you have the horrifying attacks and the park superintendant (like the Mayor of Amity in Jaws) who wants to cover it all up. You have the one brave park ranger who wants to stand up for what is right, like Sheriff Martin Brody. I have to admit that it is still worth watching. This film isn't boring, there is genuine suspense as they search for the killer bear and there is one terrifying scene where a lone hunter (who stupidly goes off alone I might add) comes face to face with it and there is a terrifying chase scene. I mean it is TERRIFYING!!!you can almost see the brown streak and smell the terrible odor coming from his shorts as he runs! There is a more then moderate amount of gore in the film, especially where a mother and a child are attacked (I might admit that is one scene I could have done without). Not to be a spoiler, but the last scene especially is a rip off of Jaws. You might remember that Sheriff Brody throws that oxygen tank in the shark's mouth and shoots it so it explodes. The last scene here is pretty much identical. Not a lot of originality. This film was considered very violent, shocking and gory for its time when it came out in 1976. Today, its almost family viewing. Still its a nice way to waste two hours of your life.
  • Grizzly was a good film the bear was pretty big and very violent too. Grizzly features big stars such as Christopher George, Andrew Prine and Richard Jackel. Most people in the mid-70's think Grizzly is a rip off of Jaws but I don't think it is that much. Grizzly has a lot of gore and blood and Robert O. Ragland's music make's the killings a lot more errier. I have seen Grizzly more than 6 times it is very good, but they DO NOT have grizzly on VHS,only DVD at the time. Director William Girdler also made Abby, and Project kill before he was killed in a crash while making a film in the Philipheens
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Here's one of those genuine 'good/bad' movies which goes down best with a beer and a few friends. The direction is haphazard, the script is wincingly bad, the acting is soap-opera level and when it is finally revealed the monster is far too cute to be scary. Sharks are big, scary alien monsters. Bears meanwhile are rated by humans as second only to primates as the most attractive-looking (because they are so human-reminiscent) creatures. Note: The creature depicted on the DVD cover is indeed a fearsome-looking beast, but that is because it resembles less a bear than some sort of stylized werewolf-King Kong hybrid. In the actual movie, perhaps in an attempt to stall the inevitable full-frontal non-scary Bear footage (or maybe just to totally swipe the gradual introduction of the shark in 'Jaws'), we see very little of the critter for a while. This leads to a bizarre shot when a ranger goes for a dip in a waterfall and is grabbed from behind by the lurking bear. A big furry arm whips around her, anyway. Was the bear standing up, on a different level, behind a waterfall, waiting for a human to come along? It certainly wouldn't have been possible if he was standing on all fours. Look, this movie is full of stuff like this, and if you're into bad movies, you can't go past this one. Pair it with the (arguably) superior 'Prophecy' (1979) for the ultimate 'big bad bear' movie night.
  • Warning: Spoilers

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the woods...Grizzly is given the 2-disc DVD treatment!! William Girdler's cult classic is clearly riding the coat-tail of Spielberg's success with Jaws. Every single person involved with the film knew it was a Jaws rip-off, and few have tried to deny it. So why then did I enjoy it so much? Because it's the best damn Jaws rip-off out there. It's a fun movie and they follow Spielberg's formula almost to the letter (in fact, the film was almost released as "Claws"). Let's go through the list. You have a giant, seemingly unstoppable killing machine terrorizing a small, isolated community. You've got a trio of heroes that all seem oddly familiar. Christopher George is a park ranger who is trying to stop the monster, Richard Jaeckel wants to study the thing, and Andrew Prine who's just cool as hell and also offers the transportation to track the beast. Someone should have told him he'd need a bigger helicopter. The only thing we're missing is a corrupt politician type trying to sweep the thing under the rug. Oh wait, we've got one of those too. Did I mention that Susan Backlinie (Chrissie from Jaws) is one of the Grizzly's victims? You have got to love it! If you love Jaws (and millions of people do) then you can certainly find something to love about Grizzly.
  • Grizzly is one of those monster movies that sort of imitates the plot from jaws,but on land.made by the late independent;film ventures its a fun movie but extremely violent for pg.this killer Kodiak kills campers,a few park rangers,one sexy blonde ranger,and claws a horses head must be seen on widescreen to really enjoy.oh a little boy has his leg and arm ripped off by the rampaging grizzly,this is no yogi bear this is a 7 foot killer,its up to Richard Jeackle,Christopher George,and Andrew Prine to stop him.Joe Dorsey plays the mean park ranger boss(like Murray Hamilton from jaws)when i first saw this it scared the hell out of me.gruesome for a pg movie.6 out of 10.gory fun.
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