’37 years in the making’
Grizzly II: Revenge is a 1983 American horror film about a giant killer bear terrorising attendees at a rock concert.
Directed by André Szöts from a screenplay co-written by Ross Massbaum (The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant; Motorpsycho!), Joan McCall (actress in Project: Kill; Act of Vengeance; Devil Times Five) and David Sheldon (Lady Samurai; Lovely But Deadly; The Evil; Project: Kill). It was – obviously – intended as a sequel to William Girdler’s Jaws-cash-in, Grizzly (1976).
The GBGB International movie stars Steve Inwood, Deborah Raffin, (Scanners II; The Sentinel; God Told Me To), John Rhys-Davies (Anaconda 3; The Unnamable and its sequel; Waxwork), Louise Fletcher (Shadowzone; Invaders from Mars; Exorcist II) and Deborah Foreman (Lobster Man from Mars; Waxwork; April Fool’s Day).
Production began in Hungary in late 1982 but never completed. The Hungarian government apparently seized most of the production’s equipment for non-payment of bills. Post-production was never completed.
In 1987, The Cannon Group bought the footage and planned to release the film, but the company began having financial troubles in 1988 and it was forgotten. A workprint surfaced on the internet in 2007 and DVD-R copies circulated amongst horror fans.
In early 2020, it was announced that producer Suzanne Nagy had finally completed the film. Grizzly II is notable for minor appearances by Laura Dern (Jurassic Park and sequels; Haunted Summer; Blue Velvet), George Clooney (The Midnight Sky; From Dusk Till Dawn; Return of the Killer Tomatoes; Return to Horror High) and Charlie Sheen (Scary Movie 5; The Arrival; The Wraith) before they were famous and so they now feature prominently on the poster!
All hell breaks loose when a fifteen-foot-tall grizzly, reacting to the slaughter of her bear cub by poachers, seeks revenge and kills anyone that gets in her way. In the three 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: Revenge was neither worth the time and effort to complete, nor worth your time in watching the poor result […] Clooney, Dern, and Sheen do not star in the film as much as they make quick opening scene cameos, and everything afterward still feels cheap, derivative, nonthreatening, and incomplete.” Arrow in the Head
“Aside from rearranging the chronology of events, Grizzly II: Revenge further re-edits footage into an incoherent collage of shots that render any sense of narrative obsolete. Plotlines are initiated and abandoned within the very same scene, characters are introduced and never heard from again, and dramatic music swells during the most innocuous conversations. The result is a paw-slap in the face to fans hungry for some completion.” Film Threat
” …this movie is a mess. The scenes a patched together in what may very well be the roughest and sloppiest way I’ve ever seen. It’s a perfect example of what happens when editing goes wrong. It looks like it was just thrown together […] As for the bear, several of the scenes look like basic stock footage.” Horror Fuel
“Grizzly II won’t win over viewers hoping for a legitimately scary, bloody, killer bear movie, but for those who crowd to midnight screenings for the likes of Troll 2, it isn’t hard to imagine that same group having a blast with Grizzly II. The first Grizzly is smooth honey. Grizzly II is a greasy, fried turkey leg drenched in some synthetic syrup meant to taste like honey.” Killer Horror Critic
“A steroidal score and endless shots of excruciating musical acts interrupt his search — and ours — for the barely-seen bear, whose point of view dominates the risible attack scenes. Dopey dialogue and less-than-scrupulous continuity augment the ramshackle vibe of a movie that’s too inept to qualify as camp or cult. The ending, moreover, is insultingly undignified…” The New York Times
“Most of the attacks are off-screen so there’s almost no gore effects, just long chases from the bear’s point of view. Or, in one case, alternating still shots of the bear and the face of the person it’s attacking. Yes, Grizzly II: Revenge is a killer bear movie with bugger all on-screen bear attacks. The climactic battle with the grizzly is almost non-existent so many scenes are missing.” Voices from the Balcony
Grizzly II: Revenge will be released On-Demand and with a limited theatrical release by Gravitas Ventures on January 8, 2021.
On behalf of the company, Nick Royak commented:
“Grizzly II is one of those true, diamond-in-the-rough projects. It is a gem unearthed from a different moment in film history and we could not be more excited to be part of its continued journey through decades of culture. We tip our hats to Suzanne C. Nagy, who did what any good producer would do and coaxed this film to its finish line.”
Cast and characters (in credits order):
Steve Inwood … Nick Hollister
Deborah Raffin … Samantha Owens
John Rhys-Davies … Bouchard
Louise Fletcher … Eileene Draygon
Deborah Foreman … Chrissy Hollister
Dick Anthony Williams … Charlie
Jack Starrett … Papas
Charles Cyphers … Steve
Marc Alaimo … Luke
Laura Dern … Tina
Barbie Wilde … Predator Robotic Drummer
Ian McNeice … Bernie
Charles Young … Drew
Billy Boyle … Barry’s Manager
George Clooney … Ron
Nigel Dolman … Barry
Edward Meeks … Pete
Charlie Sheen … Lance
Grizzly II: The Predator
Grizzly II: The Concert
Here’s a trailer for Grizzly (1976):