ENTER THE DEN OF SIN: LIKE “JAWS”, ONLY STUPID

Blair and Bob had to leave before the second film, giving us a head count of 8 as River had shown up right near the end of “Orca”. We quickly rewound the film to show River some of the best scenes and then settled in to “Grizzly” on VHS. The first thing we noted was how distracting the full frame picture of the poor grade bootlegged taped was. We are truly spoiled in this digital age, with our Letterboxed movies and original aspect ratios. Also, the panning and scanning on the tape was notably worse than anything else we had previously encountered.

The “plot” of “Grizzly” is basically exactly the same as “Jaws”, it just takes place in a National Park instead of a beach side resort town. It also has the feel of an old-school slasher movie, complete with Bear-o-vision POV stalking scenes. Other than that, it is terribly boring and most of us stopped paying attention about 20 minutes in. Karen and Owen left all together. Graeme kept waiting for the guy from “Project Grizzly” to come out in his bear-proof suit and save the day. I wondered aloud as to whether Disney had even bothered to release “The Country Bears” and was informed that it had actually played in town for about a week and a half. I don’t know why, but for some reason the trailer had me in stitches when I saw it in the theater, much to the dismay of my friend beside me.

Other topics of conversation during “Grizzly” were the Arnold Schwarzenegger film shot in Vancouver, “The 6th Day”, cloning, and the existence of laughing squirrels. River, ever the leaf-person wanted to know where they’d shot the movie so that he could go visit the lush green forests. At some point, for no reason I could figure out other than they could, one of the characters made a reference to his days in Nam. And then, just as we had all been lulled into submission by the craptitude of the movie, it happened. The most amazing ending I have ever seen in a drive-in movie. They blow the bear up with an RPG. And then the movie ends. That’s it. No wrap up, no conclusion, just “kablooie” and credits. As Nick noted, it was definitely worth it.

Rumblings from the Peanut Gallery: In a way, despite being an obvious “Jaws” cash in movie, the terrible datedness of “Orca” actually helps one appreciate the true magnificence of “Jaws”, since it manages not to feel dated at all. Also, like the true Canadian nerds we are, we all got in a titter when we realized it was supposed to take place in the Great White North. “Grizzly” was so bad Graeme wanted to gut all of the main characters with knives. Popcorn, however, did manage to satiate our frustrated souls. Possible sequels for “Grizzly” included “Panda” and “Koala”, while the only logical sequel to “Orca” was “Beluga”. I think we’d have to get Raffi to write the love theme for that one.

Mariko McDonald and her fiancé host a weekly film night in their apartment, affectionately known as the Den of Sin. It’s kinda like evil film school. Monthly screening schedules are available at http:filmgurlland.blogspot.com and if you happen to live in the Vancouver, BC area and are interested in catching a screening please drop her a line at filmgurl79@hotmail dot com. Suggestions, hate mail and cute pictures of cats also accepted.

And of course you can always offer up some juicy Back Talk>>>




Posted on January 13, 2005 in Features by

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