Genius Products // 2006 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 2nd, 2008
Ripped Apart at the Screams!
As worthless as the above tagline is, it's Chaucer-like compared to the hideousness that is the feature film.
Four high school friends pile into their 4x4 Sports Utility Vehicle and head to the woods for a getaway celebration of their graduation. Oh, it's going to be awesome hanging out on conservation easement property and drinking alcohol and calling each other derogatory names but those well-laid plans are deep-sixed when some poor driving leads to a hit and run on a grizzly cub.
Fearing the wrath of the enraged mama grizzly, the kids blow the murder scene. But car trouble and a lack of cell phone reception strand them in the middle of no-man's land, with the killer grizzly still hot on their heels. As you can no doubt surmise, the kids meet a -- ahem -- grisly end one by one, leaving only the two most attractive young people in the group to take on the baddest motherf -- -- -- in the woods.
I've had ear infections that were more pleasurable than sitting through this nightmare. On every standard for filmmaking except for Leaving the Lens Cap Off , Grizzly Rage fails. And not just barely fails, like a 60 or a check-minus. No, this is "We might need you to take a learning disability test" failure.
I hate the tagline.
I hate the title.
I hate the annoying characters.
I hate the pointless inclusion of the toxic waste dump.
I hate the fact that their Jeep rolled off a cliff but was still operable.
I hate their idiotic fighting over the steering wheel while driving along the edge of said cliff.
I hate watching two people push a truck with flat tires uphill with no problem.
I hate their total inability to evade a lumbering bear.
I hate the bear's inability to dispatch these idiots with even a modicum of creativity.
That last one sticks in my craw the most. This is a monster movie involving a killer bear and there's not one on-screen bear-murder. Because the actors and the bear had to be kept separate at all times (no doubt because the studio couldn't quite swing the premium for Bear Mangle Insurance) the best we get is some close-up roaring then a quick edit to a swipe of a bear paw then, for some reason, the victim getting launched twenty feet into the air. I don't know how the bear mastered the art of jujitsu in the wild, but it comes in handy when four teenagers snuff your cub and they need a healthy dose of comeuppance.
And when the blood does start to fly -- brother, it is so pathetic I almost feel sympathy. Instead of fake blood flying or props or makeup, the bear attacks are accompanied by ridiculous blood splatter computer graphics tossed on the screen. It seems like some kind of a joke, but I assure you it's played completely straight. My only theory: recognizing they were smack in the middle of crafting a s -- -ball of a horror movie that didn't have a prayer of scaring viewers legitimately, the filmmakers opted to evoke another emotion, painful awkwardness.
Stay away from this movie. Even if you're tempted to rent it with some inebriated pals and deride it for 90 minutes, resist the urge. There are better ways to spend your time. Cook a meal for an elderly shut-in. Or draw a picture of your foot.
A decent-looking 1.85:1 widescreen transfer is the only aspect worthy of note on what is otherwise a skeletal DVD presentation.
I'd like everyone to note that I refrained from using the phrase "I can hardly bear this stupid movie" in the review.
Guilty. Sentence: The accused will be made into a rug.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Genius Products
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated