Project Grizzly (Documentary)
Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Film: C+
You may have already heard the story about a man in Canada
who built a suit so strong that he could survive an attack by a grizzly
bear. The scene where he tests the suit
by letting a very heavy log swing and fly at him for maximum impact because
that would equal such a bear punching, swinging and clawing at you is enough of
a classic that it has inspired hundreds (thousands?) of bad comedy films to do
very, very, very, very bad and infantile physical slapstick comedy that does
not work. Peter Lynch’s Project
Grizzly (1996) was co-produced by Canada’s own film board and has arrived
in a special edition DVD.
The film centers on the film’s inventor, Troy James
Hurtubise, who has a connection to his late father and obsesses in dealing with
all bears. The suit is constantly being
upgraded and intended or not, Mr. Hurtubise is slightly degraded as possibly a
quack, but he is for real and most serious about this to the point of
constantly putting his life in jeopardy.
Whether this is smart or groundbreaking is beside the point. The title of the film literally refers to
the production of these outfits, which look like a spacesuit and the film even
includes a Robocop joke.
This only runs 72 minutes, because there is only so much
to show, say and do with this material, but it is entertaining despite its
tendency to turn what transpires into a sort of celebrated ugliness. Nothing gruesome happens (so those who like
“death worship” titles that shall remain nameless by are compilations of
various maulings of humans and animals will be disappointed) to any vulgar
extent, so you will not have to worry about being insulted in that respect.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is a bit
grainy, but documentaries tend to look like this, especially one that is mostly
made of newly shot footage. The sound
is all-English in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, but it just spreads around the
simpler audio. Extras include six
deleted scenes with optional commentary and two audio commentaries: one is a
“critical appreciation” by two movie journalists and another by director
Lynch. They add clarity to a work that
is continuing to get a cult following.
You will either want to only see it once or will find you want repeated
viewings. If it does not sound like you
type of title, skip it.
- Nicholas Sheffo