HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Night of the Grizzly, The Grin and Bear It
Year: 1966
Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Clint Walker, Martha Hyer, Keenan Wynn, Nancy Kulp, Kevin Brodie, Ellen Corby, Jack Elam, Ron Ely, Med Flory, Leo Gordon, Don Haggerty, Sammy Jackson, Regis Toomey, Candy Moore, Victoria Page Meyerink
Genre: Western, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Strapping former US Marshall Jim Cole (Clint Walker) brings his wife Angela (Martha Hyer), son Charlie (Kevin Brodie), precocious little daughter Gypsy (Victoria Page Meyerink), teenage niece Meg (Candy Moore) and dog Solomon along with crusty cowpoke Sam Potts (Don Haggerty) out to Wyoming. Having turned in his badge, he aims to settle down on some farm land inherited from a relative. Unfortunately Angela is less than impressed when she sees the rickety shack that will be their home. Jim discovers his uncle left some hefty debts and only won the land in a poker game from embittered businessman Jed Curry (Keenan Wynn) who wants it back. Jed's delinquent sons take an unwholesome interest in Meg, though she takes a shine to the nicer one. In spite of ongoing harassment, Jim and his family set out to forge a substantial homestead only to come face to face with Satan, a giant grizzly bear that has terrorized the region for years. Following the death of his prized bull Jim tries to trap and kill Satan but bullets and brawn aren't enough to take down this unstoppable bear.

An interesting hybrid of the western with the man-versus-nature horror film, The Night of the Grizzly anticipates the more overtly horrific Grizzly (1976) although in this instance scenes of brutal violence and gripping suspense sit a trifle awkwardly amidst the wholesome family friendly tone. Aspects of the film are almost Disney-like such as the scene where Gypsy wanders into the woods to find a menagerie of cuddly critters at her doorstep. Nevertheless this offbeat fusion of visceral thrills with cosy comedy packs a certain idiosyncratic charm and the numerous broadly farcical episodes prove genuinely funny, e.g. Gypsy getting sprayed by a skunk, Meg's first taste of alcohol that turns her face green, a surreal gag involving a drunk chicken and a comedic sub-plot following Sam's awkward courtship by spinster storekeeper Wilhelmina Peterson (Nancy Kulp, of TV's The Beverly Hillbillies).

Scripted by Warren Douglas, a staple of television westerns like Gunsmoke, Bonanza and The High Chapperal, though he also wrote the features Cry Vengeance (1954) and Dragoon Wells Massacre (1957) and had a parallel career as an actor, the episodic plot is somewhat reminiscent of one of those bogus feature films condensed from an television series. Things amble along in amiable fashion playing to stock western themes of hard work, guts and self-sacrifice gradually taming the hostile wilderness. Director Joseph Pevney juggles several plot balls without settling on a definitive aim. He even includes a scene where a guitar-strumming Clint Walker serenades his wife with a song. A prolific television hand best known for helming numerous episodes of Star Trek along with many westerns on which Douglas was a screenwriter, Pevney's career on the big screen was more eclectic. Alongside the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis vehicle 3 Ring Circus (1954) he directed the famed Debbie Reynolds romantic comedy Tammy and the Batchelor (1957) and Lon Chaney Sr. biopic Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) starring James Cagney. The Night of the Grizzly was his last feature film though he remained active in television well into the 1980s.

Intercut with footage of a real trained bear, the man-in-the bear suit is none too convincing yet Pevney weaves an aura of real menace around Satan drawing the animal as a near-mythical force that shrugs off traps, gunfire and “kills for the fun of it.” Rugged man-mountain Jim Cole proves as formidable a force of nature as his hairy opponent. A staple of war films and westerns well into the Nineties, though is career also encompassed genre movies like Killdozer (1974), Deadly Harvest (1977), dodgy Hong Kong cut-and-paste job Serpent Warriors (1985) and the amusing horror comedy Hysterical (1983), Clint Walker inhabits his muscular role very well with able supporting from a lively cast including future Waltons star Ellen Corby as the feisty Hazel Squires and good old Jack Elam as lovable town oaf Hank who takes a shine to Gypsy. After a third bear attack sees Jim's cattle slaughtered, Jed Curry calls on sinister bounty hunter Cass Dowdy (Leo Gordon) to bag the bear before our hero collects the valuable reward money. Dowdy proves only too happy to do this since he carries a grudge against Jim for landing him in jail. It all builds to an eventful mano-a-mano-a-bruin that is well staged by Pevney.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 6262 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: