Finally, a decent Jaws knockoff that manages to be fun, cheesy and actually thrilling. Grizzly may be unrealistic, yet I was still entertained by the travels of a gigantic bear that terrorizes a national forest. One of the scenes where the grizzly horribly murders two campers is gruesome and shocking, which I did not expect from this film at all. In fact despite being a low budget film this movie has a solid pace, and wisely uses the fear of the monster as well as showcasing its violent attacks. Even though I do not recognize any of the cast, I still liked all of them, primarily the film’s hero, Michael Kelly, played stoically by Christopher George. Much like Jaws the film centers around three men hunting the creature, the other two in this case being a helicopter pilot, Don, and a naturalist, Arthur. I also like that the film used an actual live bear for the attack scenes, which makes them less silly and more powerful.
That said, the film does engage in some silly moments, mainly the unintentionally hilarious part where the bear manages to bring down a fire lookout tower, killing the ranger hiding up above. Also the film’s ending involves, well, the use of something unexpected. With that in mind I still like William Girdler’s film, and it manages to be not a bad knockoff of a more famous and better horror film. Even though I am not particularly scare of grizzly bears, even though I wouldn’t want to encounter one in the wild. Especially one that is 15 feet tall and likes to maul people to death.