Grizzly Park (2008)
By: Devon B. on August 22, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Allumination Film Works (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. Spanish subtitles. 95 minutes
The Movie
Director: Tom Skull
Starring: Glenn Morshower, Kavan Reece, Shedrack Anderson III, Randy Wayne
Screenplay: Tom Skull
Country: USA
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
I'm not hard to please when there's a movie about a large, killer animal to be seen, but Grizzly Park's tagline of "It's gonna be a bear" made even me sceptical. With good reason.

Grizzly Park is about a group of troubled teens in a community service/rehabilitation program. Their job is to clean up rubbish left in Grizzly Park (which doesn't have any grizzlies anymore, so maybe they should change its name), and they have to hike off into the wild and collect trash under the supervision of a ranger. The ranger says to watch out for killer coyotes, which draws his credibility into question, and keeps going on about the dangers of this park that doesn't seem dangerous at all. One thing that may actually be dangerous that he doesn't even mention is the escaped serial killer on their trail, but something appears to be stalking him as well. Perhaps the claim that there are no grizzlies left in the park is wrong?

Don't let the very well done title sequence fool you, Grizzly Park is pretty shit for the most part. From the early scene introducing us to the serial killer with very forced exposition, you know you're not in for a great story. The characters are all stupid and say stupid things. This goes beyond your usual stupid character stuff; there's a comic relief idiot girl, but her "funny" stupid lines aren't that different from what the rest of the characters are saying. The gore can be very remedial, with a joke store quality severed arm and a paper-maché head being the lowest points. There're also a lot of shots of the stars in their underwear, which begs the question why the filmmakers didn't just hire someone who'd do nudity, however…

Maybe that's because they spent their money getting a REAL grizzly bear. There are a few scenes featuring a guy in a bear costume for cast interaction, but otherwise it's a real bear. It's about 40 minutes in until we get to see the bear, and unfortunately the first bear scene is the best. It's the only one with the bear fully interacting with a member of the cast (played by the bear's trainer), and there're some rough edits, but the ending of it is awesome. I laughed, cheered, and started shouting at my partner to appreciate my great purchase all at once, but I maybe crowed too soon, as nothing else lives up to this moment.

Also, there's this wolf, seemingly hunting on its own, that keeps turning up. Why is there only one wolf in the park? I've reconsidered: The money spent on the wolf should've gone towards getting people to take their clothes all the way off.

Watch for the character with the magic backpack which can hold items larger than itself.
The movie looks fairly sharp, with only a few spots, but clarity is lost in blacks. Darker parts of the screen started taking on an almost bluish glow, and when I adjusted my TV to compensate for that, everything was just too dark.
Audio is a two channel track. It's fine, and the dialogue's all clear, but when "Dead Man's Hands" comes on you'll wish there'd been an extended audio fall out because I think it's the worst song I've ever heard.
Extra Features
The DVD comes with a few short featurettes, the film's trailer, other trailers, and a commentary. The featurettes are mostly wank proving yet again that the thespians should not talk about the movies they're in. The good bits all involve the bear, but the performers manage to make even this topic annoying 'cause they're often so stupid. The trailers are for some movies that look shit: Lost Colony; Hack!; Border Lost; and Alien Agent, which shows that Billy Zane has come a long way since Titanic. The commentary features writer/director Tom Skull and producer Belle Avery. They point out Ron Howard's father in the movie, but they probably should have said he was Clint's dad given the genre their movie is. Skull makes dumb jokes, which isn't a surprise given the jokes he wrote for the film, but does throw out a few good lines. They explain obvious things, and there're gaps in the conversation.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
It's hard for me to say this, but despite the use of a real bear, this doesn't warrant a purchase. The first bear scene is worth checking the movie out for, and the final kill is amusing, but otherwise there aren't a lot of strong points here. While I really like this new trend of using real animals, even the bear can't salvage this one.

There's also a 4 pack of Grizzly Park available, but no one seems to know what's in it, including Allumination who haven't answered my queries. I would guess it's Grizzly Park and three other shitty movies, but can't say for sure.

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