REview: Grizzly (1976) | One of the Better “Jaws” Imitators

Having read a bit about the bizarre story behind Grizzly II: Revenge (1983) I was really curious about not only it, but the movie it’s a sequel to, 1976’s Grizzly (currently spooling on Tubi).

And it’s okay though what works for a shark doesn’t quite work for a massive, 15-feet tall bear (standing on its hind legs). For instance, if you happen to be in the water you likely won’t hear a shark if it’s nearby. But a bear in the forest? If said bear is in motion and close to you? Probably? But not this bear because it apparently possesses abilities akin to stealth as it moves behind potential victims.

It’s a bit dumb, but also interesting when you take into account the movie it’s essentially based on.

Another thing is that you never actually see a bear till about the third act (prior to that time you see some claws and a big furry back).

This was done in Jaws (1975) because the mechanics shark affectionally named Bruce didn’t work particularly well, so Steven Spielberg brilliantly decided to not use it for the bulk of the movie, instead deciding to use the absence to build suspense and tension.

William Girdler (the director of Grizzly) took a similar approach as far as the appearance of the actual antagonist goes but it’s a bit more problematic because a shark is a different animal entirely from a shark (which is fairly obvious) and so what works well doesn’t quite work as well for the other though Grizzly didn’t have any mechanical bears (though apparently the sequel does!) it does have claws and so you see a lot of them prior to seeing an actual bear, which happens about two-thirds of the way through, though I suspect it’s easier to fake a bear than a shark.

As you can probably guess, I don’t think Grizzly is a bad movie, though it oddly feels more like a television show with cursing and gore than a movie, which is a bit odd.

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