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Film Review: Grizzly II: The Concert (1987)

Grizzly-II-The-concert-1987-The-predator-movie-(9)SYNOPSIS:

Pissed off due to the actions of poachers that killed her kin, an enormous grizzly bear goes on a rampage during a rock concert held in the National Park.

REVIEW:

I loved the original Grizzly (helmed by legendary director William Girdler, who just happens to hail from my home state) and thought that it was an awesome little killer animal running amok film so I was pretty excited to check out the sequel. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the sequel however as it is considered to be a lost film and a lot of people don’t think that it even exists (much like Cheerleader Camp 2, which to this day I still haven’t seen or known anyone that has seen it and until I do either I am going to assume it is just an urban legend) but I am here to tell you that it is real. Sort of. I recently stumbled across what appears to be an unfinished work print of it and while I really wanted to like it I just couldn’t. I thought that it was pretty bad despite the amazing cast that it has which includes Laura Dern, Charlie Sheen, George Clooney (who all have less than five minutes of screen time), Deborah Raffin, Louise Fletcher, and John Rhys-Davies (who plays a Native American-I think-for some unknown reason). I was pretty let down by this film and thought that it paled in comparison to the original for a number of reasons.

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One of the biggest flaws of the movie is that it is just too long. It seems to go on forever and moves at a snail’s pace. Instead of being loaded with scenes featuring a giant bear ripping the shit out of people it is loaded with too many shots of people sitting around talking about nothing remotely interesting. There are also way too many concert scenes that show a number of crappy bands performing on stage and it got old very quickly (plus what was up with all the Michael Jackson songs playing in the background during many scenes? Did the filmmakers just buy a copy of Thriller and liked it so much they decided to play it over and over again during filming or what?).

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I was expecting a movie chock full of cool bear attacks, not an extended concert film featuring a band I have never even heard of. In a lot of ways it was like an episode of Family Guy as the people behind it tried to pad out the running time by adding musical numbers over and over again but it just doesn’t work and had me reaching for my remote to fast forward to the next scene frequently as I was watching it.

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Did I mention that we never really ever get to see the bear? Pretty much all of the scenes where the bear attacks someone is shot from the beast’s point of view and other than a small glimpse here and there we never actually get a good look at it. Hell, toward the end of the movie all the shots of the bear are replaced with a blank screen and all we ever see of it is one of its paws and a little bit of its torso at one point. In the original movie we were treated to many shots of the actual bear as it is attacking someone but that just wasn’t the case this time around and I was totally disappointed as a result. I think the filmmakers were going for a Jaws sort of thing since supposedly the animatronic bear they had didn’t work (much like the shark in Jaws didn’t most of the time) but why didn’t they just use stock footage of actual bears or something in its place? It might not have looked great but it would have been better than what we end up with.Grizzly-II-The-concert-1987-The-predator-movie-(11)

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All in all I thought that Grizzly 2: The Concert was a huge bust. It was corny, boring, and just not very entertaining in general (plus the version I saw wasn’t even finished and there is no sound or score toward the end and at one point you actually hear the director shout “Action!” during a particular scene). I’d like to think that the film would have been awesome had it ever been finished and properly edited but I have my doubts as what I saw was poorly written and acted and was just a huge mess in general. I waited a long time to see this movie and it just wasn’t worth it unfortunately. If you want to see a great killer bear movie check out the original film as it still holds up pretty well and just pretend that the sequel never happened. I have a hard time recommending this film and to be honest it really isn’t worth your time to look it up as you will ultimately walk away feeling very disappointed and frustrated.

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