Triple Feature: Evil Animals: Day of the Animals / Grizzly / Devil Dog - Hound of Hell
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Grizzly An eighteen-foot, two thousand pound Grizzly bear terrorizes campers and hikers at a state park. This frustrates the head Park Ranger (Christopher George) and decides to hunt it down. His efforts however were thwarted by the Park Supervisor (Joe Dorsey) and many drunk hunters into the areas. After the bear kills another campers, two rangers, a hunter and a little boy and his mother, the ranger employs his friend, a Naturalist (Richard Jaeckel) to find the bear and tranquilize it. But he gets killed. Finally with the help of a Helicopter Pilot (Andrew Prine) the ranger goes in pursuit to finally kill it with any means necessary with rifles and a rocket launcher. It is to the end when they realize the bear is much stronger than they imagined. Day Of The Animals The depletion of the earth's ozone layer causes animals above the altitude of 5000 feet to run amok, which is very unfortunate for a group of hikers who get dropped off up there by helicopter just before the quarantine is announced. Devil Dog Starring Richard Crena (First Blood, The Evil) and Kim Richards (Escape/Return to Witch Mountain, Assault on Precinct 13) Eerie '70's horror gem pitting a relatively normal suburban family against an enslaving demonically possessed German shepherd whose hunger for human souls far exceeds that of the normal household pet. Although not above resorting to the usual throat mauling, the satanic psycho-pup's preferred method of attack is to supernaturally cause the deaths of various friends and neighbors, in a style reminiscent of The Omen.
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'The Day Of The Animals' was another good one that showed what could happen to our animal friends when the ozone layer is depleted.
'Grizzly' was great. I'm not sure if it was Bart Bear who had the lead role, but just amazed that they get these animals to make these films. The groups that went hiking were torn to bits by a very very very large carnivorous bear. They had to resort to drastic measures to kill the bear. I felt bad for the bear in the end
I read that William Girdler was a master low-budget filmmaker who felt movies did not have to be expensive to be hugely entertaining. Reading his filmography he seemed to be a real expert at capitalizing on a film's success and making a rip off of that film. That is the case with Grizzly, his most successful movie. Made a year after the phenomenal success of Jaws, the film earned the nickname "Jaws with claws".
It's very entertaining and somewhat suspenseful. It's low-budger, for sure, but made with passion and some of the gore effects here aren't half bad. The likable Christopher George does well in the lead and if you like these killer animal flicks than you won't want to miss Grizzly.
As for Day of the Animals, well, I liked that one too. It's no masterpiece but it deals with a hot topic at the time (the diminshing ozone layer and here it affects the animal life in negative ways) in a fun way. It must be said that it's stretched and not much happens for a long time but it's fairly atmospheric and those animal attacks are handled splendidly. Leslie Nielsen is dynamic as a crazy ad exec who feels he can take on a grizzly bear.
William Girdler's life was cut way too short but Grizzly and Day of the Animals are prime examples of how enthusiasm and drive could be all you needed to make films in the most interesting period of American moviemaking. Low-budget but ambitious movies aimed to entertain and they do just that.
Shriek Show presents these films in a very respectful manner. Grizzly is loaded with special features along with being presented in a very nice transfer. Two versions are included of Day of the Animals; a television print that is slightly cropped (at 1.85:1) which is marginally cleaner than the theatrical cut (in it's proper widescreen presentation 2.35:1). The television print is clean and good but I'd recommend the correct aspect ratio despite the occasional wear and tear.