GRIZZLY (Blu-ray Review)
FROM SEVERIN FILMS
Review by Mr. Paws😺
Kids are stupid. I know because I was one.
Like a lot of kids growing up in the ‘70s, I was stricken with Jaws fever. But I was hit harder than most, feeling compelled to see it again and again. There was a brief time in 1976 when I thought I was over it, but relapsed soon after. Ever since, Jaws has topped my list of the greatest films of all time.
The inevitable rip-offs started popping up in theaters about a year later, Grizzly being one of the first. Still afflicted with the fever but thinking a cure was at-hand, I had no choice but to be there opening night. It was even playing in the biggest auditorium at the Southgate Quad where Jaws first changed my life. And no way was I gonna pass-up any movie that touted “18 feet of gut-crunching, man-eating terror!”
I thought Grizzly was awesome, even briefly declaring it better than Jaws, mainly because “Teddy” the bear was brand new and Bruce the shark was becoming a distant memory. In 1976, when they didn’t show-up on DVD or VOD a few months later, movies became distant memories really fast, especially when you’re 12. Kids at that age are generally pretty stupid, many equating the best thing they saw with the last thing they saw. Of the two films, Grizzly was the shinier penny.
Finally, it seemed I was cured!
But as it turned out, there is no cure for Jaws fever. Movies like Grizzly are more like a symptom, which I realized when it aired on ABC a few years later, retitled Killer Grizzly (presumably to avoid confusion with the huggable ones). It was the same old film, only this time I saw it for what it was: A budget-conscious knock-off of a modern classic. Deep down inside, even my stupid 12-year-old self probably always knew that.
|"Oh, yeah? Well, let's see your cape!"|
And even though I’m no longer as stupid as I used to be, Grizzly is still a lot of throwback fun.
“NIGHTMARE USA” AUTHOR STEPHEN THROWER - The best of the bonus features, author Thrower discusses William Girdler’s career at-length, with a lot of emphasis on Grizzly. Especially interesting is his career leading up to it.
“MAKING MOVIES WITH GIRDLER” - This is an audio interview with J. Patrik Kelly III, who knew Girdler well. He was also a production manager and assistant director on some of Girdler’s films.
“THE TOWERING FURY” - Interview with actor Tom Arcuragi (the guy in the tower).
“THE GRIZZLY DETAILS” - Interviews with producer David Sheldon & actor Joan McCall.
AUDIO COMMENTARY - By Nathaniel Thompson (Mondo Digital) and writer Troy Howarth. A good listen, these guys not-only discuss the film itself, but most of the actors involved, Girdler’s filmography, exec. producer Edward l. Montoro and the era of exploitation films when this was released.
VINTAGE FEATURETTES - “Movie Making in the Wilderness”; “Jaws with Claws.”
TRAILERS & RADIO SPOTS
REVERSIBLE COVER - Includes the original, semi-iconic poster art.