Archives

Grizzly II: Revenge

Published Post author

Poster for the movie ""

Grizzly II: Revenge

The Stage Is Set... And The Dinner Is Served.

20201 h 14 min
Overview

All hell breaks loose when a giant grizzly, reacting to the slaughter of her cubs by poachers, attacks a massive rock concert in the National Park. [This sequel to "Grizzly" (1976) was left unfinished after production wrapped prematurely in 1983, and was not officially released until 2020, though a bootleg workprint version had been in circulation for some years prior to this.]

Metadata
Director André Szöts
Runtime 1 h 14 min
Release Date 17 February 2020
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Not that bad

I have seen a lot of creature features, they’re my favorite type of movie, and you know, there really aren’t that many films about killer bears. Nature horror tends to stick to crocodiles and sharks (especially after Sharknado came out). Other animals are rare, even something that is an obvious big threat like a bear. So, it’s refreshing to see an animal that’s so rarely used as the monster. And that’s just about the only positive thing I have to say about this film.

My god, where do I even start for the rest. First, some history. The original Grizzly movie was released in 1976 and was basically Jaws with a bear instead of a shark. While it was a truly terrible film (it’s a creature feature, were you expecting The Godfather?), it did well enough to spawn a sequel. Kind of. They didn’t actually finish filming this movie back in the 80s, but the unfinished version did get leaked. It circulated for years because a few big names (George Clooney, Laura Dern, Charlie Sheen, Louise Fletcher, and others) were in it before they were big names. Which isn’t too unusual, a lot of actors & actresses get their start in low-budget horror.

But the film itself is truly awful. I loved every second of it because I’m a masochist when it comes to cinematography. Normal people will probably feel their brain cells dying as they watch this film. It basically just cuts between the town setting up for a music festival and the bear killing people in the woods, badly. Kudos to the town mayor, who apparently used the mayor from Jaws as a role model. That’s right, ripping off Jaws doesn’t stop at the first Grizzly, it extends to the sequel!

If you like campy creature features, Grizzly II will be perfect for you. Everyone else, avoid at all costs.

May 30, 2021

The Wraith

Published Post author

Poster for the movie "The Wraith"

The Wraith

He's not from around here...

19861 h 33 min
Overview

Packard Walsh and his motorized gang control and terrorize an Arizona desert town where they force drivers to drag-race so they can 'win' their vehicles. After Walsh beats the decent teenager Jamie Hankins to death after finding him with his girlfriend, a mysterious power creates Jake Kesey, an extremely cool motor-biker who has a car which is invincible. Jake befriends Jamie's girlfriend Keri Johnson, takes Jamie's sweet brother Bill under his wing and manages what Sheriff Loomis couldn't; eliminate Packard's criminal gang the hard way...

Metadata
Director Mike Marvin
Runtime 1 h 33 min
Release Date 21 November 1986
Details
Movie Media DVD
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Not bad

The Wraith came onto my radar a few weeks ago when I was in the mood for an 80’s movie. I called my dad (an 80’s trivia guru) and asked for a recommendation. He said “The Wraith” so here we are. If what you are looking for is a 1980’s b-movie, this film excels. It was not something that was trying to win any awards but is just an overall fun film. The Wraith is a good popcorn movie for those times when you want to sit and watch something without really paying attention.

Most of the acting in the film is pretty campy but it feels intentional. A lot of the actors in here are capable of bigger and better things, as their careers have shown. Young Charlie Sheen is a main character here and honestly, it took me half the film to recognize him. Partially because of how young he is, but mostly because this is the soberest I have ever seen him. Nick Cassavetes (director of films such as The Notebook) also stars in here; The Wraith was actually his first film. The leading lady of this title is Sherilyn Fenn, well known for the cult TV series Twin Peaks. These actors all have real talent, but the writing is still very 80’s b-movie. Good guys are extremely good while the bad guys seem to look up to Biff from Back to the Future as a personal hero.

For what The Wraith is, the film’s action sequences are pretty good. There is a lot of racing involved and real cars were used in lieu of close-ups of Hot Wheels. Nor is the film plagued by effects where a car hits a pebble and somehow explodes 150’ into the air. The movie really screams 1980’s too, from the soundtrack to the costume designs to the photography. Is The Wraith on par with 80’s classics like The Terminator or The Goonies? Of course not. Is it Charlie Sheen’s best work? Obviously no, everyone knows that is Hot Shots. But if you want a movie that kicks ass and chews bubblegum then that’s…well, that’s actually They Live, another fantastic 80’s movie. But the point is, The Wraith is a good flick for just kicking back and chilling one evening.

November 26, 2017