Director: William Girdler


Phenomenally successful as a Jaws rip-off (‘Jaws with Paws!’), maverick exploitation director William Girdler’s Grizzly now enjoys a considerable cult reputation among fans of B-movie schlock. A bloodthirsty bear (’18 Feet of Gut-Crunching, Man-Eating Terror!’) is on the rampage in a national park, mauling or eating unsuspecting campers. Ineffectual park ranger Christopher George has to enlist the help of naturalist Richard Jaeckel and helicopter pilot Andrew Pine to track down and kill the 2000-pound beast. It’s surprisingly gory for a PG-rated movie, featuring a beheading, a mauled child losing a couple of limbs, and pools of bright red blood. Girdler, who died prematurely in a helicopter crash, was a showman who knew how to put together an entertaining movie. Critic William P. Simmons goes further, describing Girdler as ‘a poet of poverty productions that squeezed every ounce of shock possible from the frightful frames of his horrific exposes of titillation.’

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