You have to appreciate the giant balls on Gravitas Ventures and their release of (long thought lost, but now completed) 1983’s “Grizzly II: Revenge” (aka “Grizzly II: The Concert”). Not only have they centered their marketing on the fact that the movie features a very young George Clooney, Charlie Sheen, and Laura Dern, but the aforementioned trio even get top billing in the opening (and closing) credits. As expected, the trio is in the movie, sure. But for about four minutes, tops, and then we’re thrown in to the silly narrative.
All hell breaks loose when a 15-ft grizzly bear, reacting to the slaughter of her cub by poachers, seeks revenge and kills anyone that gets in her way. In the 3 days before the major concert, the gigantic grizzly has brutally attacked campers, a poacher and a park ranger. The terror doesn’t end there as the giant grizzly bear finds its way to the concert grounds to go on a killing spree.
“Grizzly II” plays out like a dull remake of “Jaws.” There’s even a Quint antagonist in the form of John Rhys Davies, who has a good time hamming it up as Davey Crockett on steroids. A la “Jaws,” the Camp Rangers head Nick and his assistant “Director of Bear Management” Samantha, are urging the park manager Eileen is insistent on holding the major concert. At seventy four minutes in length the movie works around a very minimal narrative so it fills a lot of the empty space with concert performances. There’s even a silly sub-plot involving an aspiring performer who wants to hit the big time. The narrative centers mainly on Nick, Samantha, and Davies’ character Bouchard.
Their mission is to find the murderous bear and trap it. However the adrenaline addicted Bouchard is more intent on murdering the angry bear, and this causes considerable conflict. The movie is obviously cut together by whatever footage the producers could muster up, and what they don’t have is tacked on with horrendous inserts of stock footage of bears and wildlife. The prologue is especially awkward and clumsy as an extra shoots two poorly animated bears. This sets up the entire movie, and when you’re done laughing, you might just find something of worth in all this. The best thing to say about “Grizzly II” is that after so many decades it’s finally complete. So… there you go.
Now in Select Theaters and On Demand from Gravitas Ventures.