37 years after its production, this sequel to the 1976 man vs. nature horror film has finally been unleashed on the world, but one has to question the top billing.
When a poacher targets bears, he kills a cub but wound the mama grizzly bear. When campers Ron, Tina, and Lance head to the local park at night, the trio find themselves attacked and killed by the grizzly bear. The next day, Ranger Nick Hollister finds the bodies and is worried about a possible attack at an upcoming concert that is set to take place at the park. However, Superintendent Draygon refuses to cancel the concert and it can be good business for the park.
Meanwhile, Samantha Owens, director of Bear Preservation, is hoping that the grizzly can be captured rather be killed. As the grizzly kills assistant Ranger Pete after he confronts the poachers, Nick and Samantha find themselves at a crossroads. Samantha is hoping to get help from Bouchard, a Canadian grizzly expert. As the concert is set to begin, the poachers ramp up setting up traps in hopes to get the grizzly, but this is one mama bear who has other plans. Can Nick, Samantha, and Bouchard find a way to stop the menacing grizzly before it’s too late?
If it’s one thing I absolutely love, it’s films that finally see the light after disappearing or being made and not being released for so long. This is one of the prime examples of the latter. Filmed in 1983 as The Predator, there is a long history from a producer ditching the film after one day of production due to having no money. Suzanne Nagy found an investor and finished the film. However, the title would not be official until a few years later and Nagy would deal with many issues over the years. However, after a workprint was unveiled, Nagy took it upon herself to finally release and unleash the film.
One of the biggest shockers comes in the top billing of the film. Would you believe that George Clooney, Laura Dern, and Charlie Sheen all are in this film? Well, it’s true and Nagy even said she had a pleasure working with the future Hollywood stars. However, this trio are in the same scene and all three are killed by mama grizzly within the first five minutes of the film! That’s where the shock happens.
The real stars of the film are Steve Inwood and Deborah Raffin, who play park ranger Nick and bear preserver Samantha, who seem to be at times in conflict over what to do should they find the grizzly. John Rhys-Davies plays Bouchard, a renowned grizzly expert complete with a French-Canadian accent. Not entirely his fault, some of his dialogue is quite laughable. But this is why we love cult classic films as this film is destined to be an instant cult classic.
The concert footage, even the rehearsals, are quite a spectacle to watch. It’s basically a combination of 80’s new wave, girl groups, and some pretty cool Hungarian rock mixed in as they intercut with the story. The kill scenes are not exactly that graphic with the exception of a few scenes. The final confrontation is quite insane and sometimes really laughable, but again. That’s why we love these films.
Is Grizzly II: Revenge worth waiting 37 years? Well, from one viewpoint, definitely not. However, for those who love films that disappeared or made but not released and end up with a fun cult classic, then this may be for you.
WFG RATING: B-
Gravitas Ventures presents a GBGB production. Director: Andre Szots. Producer: Suzanne C. Nagy. Writers: Joan McCall and David Sheldon. Cinematography: Jean Badal. Editing: Brandon Adler, Matthew A. Handal, and Alec Stryborski.
Cast: Steve Inwood, Deborah Raffin, John Rhys-Davies, Dick Anthony Wiliiams, Deborah Foreman, Louise Fletcher, George Clooney, Laura Dern, Charlie Sheen.