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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Serial Killer > Grizzly Park (Allumination DVD)

Grizzly Park (Allumination DVD)


Picture: C-†††† Sound: C-†††† Extras: D†††† Feature: C-



Grizzly Park is a horror movie that was made for horror fans. The classic cautionary tale mode of horror that was so popular in the seventies and eighties has sadly dropped off recently, but thankfully this movie has brought it back with two tons of flesh-tearing social vengeance.


A group of juvenile delinquents have opted for community service to pay off their debts to society, each of them a true-to-form stereotype just like nearly every other B horror film youíve ever seen. As such, if you are familiar with the conventions and trends that go along with these movies, you can just about predict everything thatís going to happen at least ten minutes before it does. And really, thatís the fun of this movie. You donít watch a B horror flick to see an original, creative, thought-provoking film, thatís why the good lord gave us Dario Argento. You watch a movie called Grizzly Park with the tagline ďItís gonna be a bearĒ because you already know whatís coming and you get the payoff of seeing exactly what you were expecting. When the park ranger warns the kids not to go off the trail because of wolf traps, and then two of the kids go off the trail, thatís your cue to nudge the person sitting next to you and whisper, ďTheyíre going to get caught in a wolf trapĒ and then wink knowingly. And then five minutes later, youíre right!


But one of the most pleasing things about this movie for horror fans is that it sticks to the tradition of its cautionary tale predecessors in one very important way: all of the effects are practical as opposed to digital, and that goes for the bear as well. In the shots where the characters are staring down a giant grizzly bear, the actors where really staring down a giant grizzly bear. Now granted, thereís not a whole lot of gore in the film, compared to the potential for a bear mauling, but there is one really nice shot in which the extremely stereotyped Latina girl (she actually threatens to ďcapĒ the bear) is ripped in half and oozing entrails. The only real disappointment is that there is little creativity in the deaths. Now granted Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees were practically artists when they killed, and the giant freaking bear is, well, itís just a giant freaking bear. But itís also a scripted bear, and I am a bit disappointed in the filmmakers that they couldnít come up with a single better death than this guy gets stabbed, this chick gets mauled.


The extras are more or less sub-par and consist of a few very short making-of featurettes that mostly just explain to you again what the movie was that you just watched. There is also the trailer for Grizzly Park and a few other very obviously B-rate movies. Also in the audio options there is a commentary track with the director and producer which is rather lacking and every few minutes trails off into dead air.


The video is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is less than impressive if you take the time to notice it, but really thereís nothing visually striking enough to even draw your attention to it. The colors are listless, the result of shooting in the woods with no effort to improve the surroundings or even color correct in post production. The sound is Dolby Digital 5.1 stereo and either suffered in translation or was not that well recorded in the first place. Itís not even that thereís extra background noise, itís just not as sharp as it could be and like the color, thereís just no life to it.


One last bittersweet remark I have to make about this disc is about the opening credits. Theyíre really cool. Theyíre original, visually interesting, and really well executed. But they have almost nothing to do with the rest of the movie. They set up a biblical story in which a bunch of kids get eaten by bears and then proceed into a really cool animation made from found etchings depicting dark biblical scenes. And then thatís it. Not a single mention of religion or religious undertones throughout the whole rest of the movie. What should have been a really cool supporting aspect of the film gets left behind and forgotten only to be added as an end note in a review.



-†† Matthew Carrick


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