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Grizzly II: Revenge

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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

Top Secret!

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Poster for the movie "Top Secret!"

Top Secret!

Don't tell anyone.

19841 h 30 min
Overview

Popular and dashing American singer Nick Rivers travels to East Germany to perform in a music festival. When he loses his heart to the gorgeous Hillary Flammond, he finds himself caught up in an underground resistance movement. Rivers joins forces with Agent Cedric and Flammond to attempt the rescue of her father, Dr. Paul, from the Germans, who have captured the scientist in hopes of coercing him into building a new naval mine.

Metadata
Director Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker
Runtime 1 h 30 min
Release Date 8 June 1984
Details
Movie Media DVD
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Very good

As much as Airplane is the greatest comedy of all time (and I will die on that hill), there aren’t all that many other comedies in the same style. At least, not ones that approach the same quality. It’s pretty much just the Hots Shots duology, The Naked Gun trilogy, and Top Secret. There are a few others out there like pretty much everything else Leslie Nielsen was in after Airplane, but they’re not quite as funny. Top Secret does take itself a bit more seriously than the other films I’ve mentioned, but not by much.

The main difference here is that the jokes aren’t quite non-stop. That’s not to say they’re far apart, they’re not, but it isn’t quite the same constant stream as Airplane. And it doesn’t have that same modern(ish) setting as The Naked Gun. But that’s actually one of the jokes; Top Secret somehow seems to take place in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s all at the same time and it works, which is just a treat. And the joke structure as a whole is very similar to these other films despite not being as consistent. There are direct jokes, setting jokes, background jokes, and more. This is definitely a film where you won’t catch everything on your first viewing.

One thing that really sticks out is the plot. In Airplane and Hot Shots, the plot doesn’t matter. The Hot Shots movies parody Top Gun and Rambo while Airplane is Airplane. Yeah, The Naked Gun has a fairly important plot (comparatively), but Top Secret makes it even more relevant. And I think this really comes down to Top Secret being a parody of a spy thriller. The genre forces this movie to have a villain, a good one too who’s just as funny as the protagonists. And as far as characters go, a bunch of fun cameos are littered throughout the cast. I will watch anything with Peter Cushing, no matter how minor his role (another hill I will die on).

I probably laughed more watching this film than any other comedy I’ve seen in the last couple of years. Fun fact: Top Secret is Weird Al’s favorite comedy. If that’s not enough of an endorsement, I don’t know what is. And considering all that, I’m kind of surprised it took as long as it did for this movie to fall onto my radar. Best I can tell, it just doesn’t have the same renown as something like Airplane. But despite that, it is very much worth the time for anyone who likes tickling their funny bone.

July 26, 2020