Grizzly II: The Revenge is a film that is supposed to be the cinematic sequel to Grizzly (1976) but it has been ‘in the making’ for 37-years. However, what it really is, is a film that was haphazardly shot and stitched together, then packaged for an audience in 2021. I have no clue who this movie is made for, but at the very least it is a little over an hour long and offers a glimpse into a different time. Unique hairstyles, clothing, and shot designs from 1984 are retouched with modern CGI and drone footage. And things have been touched up color wise to make an experience that could not be easily replicated.
The movie finds a grizzly bear out for human blood after her cub is illegally poached. George Clooney, Charlie Sheen, and Laura Dern, who all appear on the poster are of course killed off early on. This is a not-so-subtle attempt to draw you in with big stars and then try to keep you on board with the story. Unfortunately, it is very clear about midway through the watch time that the current editors ran out of footage to work with and gaps needed to be filled. National geographic caliber nature footage fills in time over two significant points, voices are dubbed (presumably due to lost audio), and random footage is slapped together during the summer concert scenes.
Despite the flaws, the experience of watching Grizzly II: The Revenge can be exceptional, depending on what kind of movie watcher you are. For instance, I thoroughly enjoy, so-bad-it’s-good-movies, thus to me, Grizzly II: The Revenge kept me along for the ride. I was interested in what they could make with what they were given. I literally watched tropes that are common now come to life before my eyes and it was an interesting nostalgia that I don’t know I could have gotten anywhere else. With these tropes, there was also some weird racial insensitivities written in the story towards indigenous folks. Arguably, if you are making this movie work with large gaps in the story, this particular situation could have used some attention.
Overall, I wished Grizzly II: The Revenge came with a making of doc explaining why the film was delayed, why it was picked up now, what footage they had to scrap, etc. This, for me, would have completed the experience. Grizzly II: The Revenge is more a relic of a different time rather than a stand-alone film with rewatch value.
As a small tip, while the last 5 minutes of the runtime include an extended, drawn out confrontation between the killer grizzly and the main characters, if you want to add some flavor I highly recommend listening to The Boys are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy at the 1:04:39 mark.
WICKED RATING: 4/10
Director(s): Andre Szots
Writer(s): David Shaldon and Joan McCall
Stars: John Rhy-Davis, Louise Fletcher, Steve Inwood
Release: Select theaters and on demand on January 8th, 2021
Studio/ Production Co: Gravitas Ventures
Length: Approx 70 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Thriller, Animal Attack