Thirty-seven years of waiting for a proper release of this fabled film wasn’t long enough to degrade our brains sufficiently to enjoy it.
A monstrous Grizzly bear seeks revenge on an arbitrary population and concert after a hunter kills its cub. Let’s dig into 1983’s “Grizzly II – Revenge”, directed by André Szöts!
As I See It
First thing is first, I must admit shame. Yesterday, I covered Grizzly and forgot to mention that legendary comic book artist Neal Adams had done the original poster artwork for that film. I’ve met him, and he’s a very pleasant man who has a deep appreciation for his fans and for art.
On to business.
I suppose you can make an argument for posterity, but beyond that, the only reason to release this film is for financial gain. Which I suppose a capitalist society is trained to accept, but genre fans don’t operate in that world. We expect an inordinate amount of quality, even when we ask for cheese and sleaze.
In short, the film was shot in 1983 and “lost” until around 2007 when a bootleg showed up on YouTube.
About ten years later, original producer and property owner Suzanne Csikos Nagy took on the effort to release the film officially by splicing it together with footage that looks like it was cut from Planet Earth and other various stock footage.
The film feels exactly how that sounds.
4k footage cut with 35mm takes a bit more attention to merge, but they didn’t seem to have time for that. We’ve “waited” thirty-seven years to see this, we could have waited for another year or more for it to look like one film.
Anyway, you’re not watching this film for any of that.
Fire up the projector, invite your friends, crack some beers and turn this film on first as everyone is still talking and the sun hasn’t gone down quite enough to see the screen clearly. Crank the volume though for some awesome experimental eighties synth.
I’m not going to sit here and count, but I have to imagine this is the worst film with the most awards amongst its cast in history.
George Clooney, Laura Dern, Charlie Sheen… all three actors who need no rundown of their CV. They only last five minutes, but the fact that they were involved is still amazing — and I’m sure something they would have preferred stayed lost for the rest of their careers. Keeping them alive would have helped the film.
John Rhys-Davies (Bouchard) plays the intrepid bear hunter and was also Gimli in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sallah in the Indiana Jones trilogy, and the Werewolf in one of my favorite Digs Waxwork.
Louise Fletcher (Eileen Draygon) infamously played Nurse Ratched in Milos Forman’s adaptation of Merry Prankster Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Deborah Foreman (Chrissy) played Muffy/Buffy in April Fool’s Day.
Of Gratuitous Nature
There are a plethora of stock attributes used to flesh this film out. From YouTube sound fx artists to Shutterstock footage, there was no freestone left unturned. Why then did they feel it necessary to use a cropped shot of Bruce (Jaws) on fire for the final scene? Maybe as a salute to the comparisons, or claims of plagiarism of Spielberg.
The unwitting extras (concert goers) have a variety of fashion choices, but it’s the Warlock shirt that stuck out for me, even though you only see it for a split second.
The underrated eighties German metal band fronted by Doro Peresch should open your world to other acts like Rage, an early thrash band that still slays.
Ripe for a Remake
Chances are slim that this will be the financial success that the original Grizzly was but there is an entrepreneurial spirit behind the resurrected production, so it’s always possible they continue to milk the lore.
Where to Watch
A Blu-Ray as well as a bunch of other merch, including digital content as well as a Grizzly II puzzle, is available through the Grizzly II – Revenge website. It is also available to rent to stream on Amazon Prime and I believe Showtime.