Grizzly (1976)
By: Devon B. on October 1, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
NuTech Digital (USA). All Regions, NTSC. 4:3. English 1.0. 89 minutes
The Movie
Director: William Girdler
Starring: Christopher George, Andrew Prine, Richard Jaeckel, Joan McCall
Screenplay: Harvey Flaxman, David Sheldon
Country: USA
The coolest thing about Grizzly will always be the cover. The DVD release has altered the cover a bit from the original, but it's still damn nifty. The tagline on the cover does augment the bear by three feet for some reason, though. I guess saying the bear stands 15 feet high just wasn't scary enough.

A 2000 pound Grizzly, evidently an extremely rare descendent of a prehistoric bear that's entire lineage has been in hiding for quite some time, comes out from wherever it was and eats some people and maims a few others. The immediate question is: what's a million-year-old grizzly doing there, and the answer is the obvious: Searching for food. Authorities are also confused since bears don't eat people, and the only reasoning they or the viewer gets is 'This one did.' I always love it when no one even attempts to explain the more ludicrous elements of a plot.

I've seen Grizzly about four times now, and I must confess it improves with each viewing. The initial let down when the bear isn't as fearsome as it's presented on the cover was gone by the second screening, and then I had a chance to enjoy the little charms of the film. Grizzly is pretty sleazy with some explicit, though not great, gore and a bit of T and A. Who wouldn't marvel at the POV bear cam complete with heavy breathing and grunts? Or a bear that is WAY too small to be 2000 pounds so it's put next to little trees, leaving it looking like a normal bear in midget land?

Ultimately, Grizzly is one of the better Jaws rip offs, even though the bear has trouble dealing with mankind. Evidently, people are equivalent to bear Kryptonite, because the bear is significantly weaker against men. It takes a horse's head off in one swipe, but when it attacks one guy it only scratches his face a little. Maybe if it'd quit hugging every person it sees and tried a bit of good ol' fashioned mauling, people wouldn't have taken so much effort to kill.

The DVD has an MPAA rating of R and the original VHS was PG. Don't get excited though, as the DVD is not the restored R version, someone just gave it an R rating this time. I didn't spot anything extra in the DVD, and certainly the scenes missing for many years were not present on the DVD. Maybe someday…
The print is clearer than the old American VHS, but it's probably off the same source material since all the annoying pans and squished heads from the cropping process are intact. Overall, the print is still a bit fuzzy, so it's not much of an upgrade from the VHS, but if you MUST have it on DVD, here it is.
Again, this seems to be the same adio track that was on the old VHS. It's okay, but not impressive in the slightest.
Extra Features
The DVD very generously provides two chapter breaks. What the world really needs is a deluxe edition of Grizzly that also includes whatever there is of the extremely rare sequel. And commentary by the bear.
The Verdict
This DVD might as well be a bootleg off the video release. In fact, it might be. The film is a total guilty pleasure, but even then this release is barely worth having.
Movie Score
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