CLAWS (1977) Reviews of killer grizzly creature feature

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‘A film that will make your skin crawl with suspense!’
Claws is a 1977 American creature feature film about a wounded grizzly bear that is on a killing rampage in the Alaskan mountains.

Directed by Richard Bansbach and Robert E. Pearson [as Robert E. Pierson] (The Devil and Leroy Bassett; The Hawaiian Split) from a screenplay co-written by Chuck D. Keen (Challenge to Be Free; The Timber Tramps; Joniko and the Kush Ta Ka) and Brian Russell (The Annihilators).

The Alaska Pictures production stars Jason Evers (Basket Case 2; Barracuda; Escape from the Planet of the Apes; The Illustrated Man; The Brain That Wouldn’t Die 1959), Leon Ames (Jake Speed; Hammersmith is Out), Anthony Caruso (The Legend of Grizzly Adams; The Zebra Force), Carla Layton, Glenn Sipes, Buck Young and Myron Healey.

A mature male grizzly bear, enjoying the tactical advantage of being at home in the Alaskan mountains, is stalked and wounded — but not killed — by illegal poachers. The bear, now in possession of a revenge motive, goes to war against human beings. The death/wounding toll includes a logger, campers, hikers, hunters, a juvenile Boy Scout, and the local sheriff.

With the backing of Alaska Forest Commissioner Ben Jones (Leon Ames), master hunter Jason Monroe (Jason Evers) must find and kill the deadly animal. In so doing he is aided by sidekick Native Alaskan Henry (Anthony Caruso) and is challenged by love rival Howard (Glenn Sipes)…

“Evers’ character is extremely unlikable, but thankfully a couple of other actors (namely Ames) provide good moments. Caruso is good too, even though he’s stuck with cliché bad Native American speak like “I think I go drink whiskey” and “I think I go do me some work now.” The whole film is heavily padded with nature footage.” The Bloody Pit of Horror

“There’s a lot of scenery shot padding, a horrible and boring romantic subplot, lots and lots of flashbacks, an obvious taxidermy bear and a ridiculous pay-off (flare gun and cliff). There are two actors in it named Buck, and neither is Buck Flowers, who would’ve been an asset.” Down Among the “Z” Movies

“Produced on a sketchy budget and weighed down by a clumsy structure involving repetitive flashbacks, Claws should be pure cheesetastic fun, but it lacks the gonzo energy that makes Grizzly so enjoyable. So even though Claws hits many of the cartoonish notes one might expect, such as an attack on a campsite and a wizened Native American character, the picture is schlocky and sluggish.” Every ’70s Movie

” ….its gratuitous and confusing use of flashbacks during the first half of the movie is annoying, the acting is quite abysmal at times, and some of the dialogue is howlingly bad […] At least one of the bear attacks did make me jump, and the ending, though confusing, does generate a decent degree of suspense and excitement.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings




Cast and characters:
Jason Evers … Jason Monroe
Leon Ames … Commissioner
Anthony Caruso … Henry
Carla Layton … Chris
Glenn Sipes … Howard
Buck Young … Pilot
Myron Healey … Sheriff
Buck Monroe … Buck Monroe
Wayne Lonacre … Gil Evans
Bill Ratcliffe … Marshal
Brian Russell … Local Reporter
Randy Carr … Radio Operator
Robert E. Pearson … TV Reporter
Joe Shaw … TV Cameraman
Marvin Borgmier … The Hunter
Kevin Mielbeck … The Hunter
Andy Anderson … The Hunter
Galen Tromble … The Hunter
John Bansbach … The Hunter

Filming locations:
Juneau, Alaska

Technical details:
1 hour 40 minutes
Audio: Mono
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

Alternate titles:
Devil Bear

MOVIES and MANIA rating:


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