Christopher George springs to action as chief ranger, Michael Kelly when a grizzly bear begins terrorizing the visitors of the national park.
I’ve been excited for the release of this movie since the mere mention of it on the back cover of 88 Vault’s No.7 Dogs. The movie itself certainly is gruesome and entertaining as hell, as severed limbs are thrown about Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers style, albeit in a far less schlocky manner. Christopher George is a great leading man indeed as he returns to us in Grizzly. Previously seen in the very first entry of 88 Films’ Slasher Classics Collection as the coach in Graduation Day.
The picture is grainy but still bright eyed and bushy tailed with vibrant greens and reds. Meanwhile the sound is almost too good, as that damn bear roar caught me off-guard more than a few times. The cover art is a reworking of the original movie poster which is always pretty cool. The alternative comes from a US DVD cover by Scorpion Releasing, and it’s not too bad. In a way it actually does a better job of capturing the movie’s true nature.
The team that put together the content for each booklet are no joke. Their combined knowledge on schlock, horror and beyond far exceeds the encyclopaedic. And if like me, your gig is about discovery just as much as it is about collecting, in a single sentence these guys will list off a dozen avenues to pursue the way the world’s greatest rappers spit rhymes to a beat.
In the case of When Beasts Attack! it’s an informative piece on the landmarks of man vs. animal cinema history and where Grizzly find its place. It is also laced with well-chosen quoted anecdotes from filmmakers that have left their stamp on the genre. The highlight of these is William Grefe’s recollection on the making of The Death Curse of Tartu, which gave me a couple of excellent laugh-out-loud moments.
The Interview, What A Guy! with David Del Valle is a well-balanced affair, 23-24 minutes in length. The first half of which he shares his own insight into the star of Grizzly, including his character, his relationship with his wife and what led him to B-movies. The second half delves into the movie itself, discussing George’s acting technique, Grizzly’s cult status and its comparisons to Spielberg’s Jaws.
I’d watch this classic over rubbish like the badly-titled Into The Grizzly Maze any day. And as for being a Jaws rip-off, whether it is or not, it’ll never be as bad as the disarmingly ridiculous 2000 parody Trees. That said, Grizzly is another must-have to add to your 88 Films’ shopping cart.