It's story time! Following the success of the 1976 killer bear film Grizzly, a very ambitious sequel titled Grizzly II: The Predator, also known as Grizzly II: The Concert, was filmed in Hungary in 1983 under director André Szöts. Most of the main scenes were completed, but before the production wrapped, the executive producer, Joseph Proctor, disappeared with all of the film's funds and the film was never released to theaters.
In 1988, co-producer Suzanne Csikós Nagy regained control and rights to the sequel and even though bootlegs have surfaced throughout the years, and some attempts have been made to recut and film more scenes, the film practically remained shelved and untouched until last year, when a crisp new digital restoration arrived from London and GBGB International took over the completion of the film under the new title Grizzly II: Revenge.
As I mentioned before, the sequel is a very ambitious one and features scenes of the titular bear attacking a Woodstock-size concert while bands like Toto Coelo and Landscape III perform for roughly 50,000 people! The film's cast includes George Clooney, Laura Dern, Charlie Sheen, who were unknown at the time of filming, in small roles, as well as Louise Fletcher, John Rhys-Davies, Deborah Foreman and Dick Anthony Williams.
In Grizzly II, "All hell breaks loose when a 15-ft grizzly bear, reacting to the slaughter of her cub by poachers, seeks revenge and kills anyone that gets in her way. In the 3 days before the major concert taking place in Yellowstone National Park, the gigantic grizzly has brutally attacked campers Ron (Clooney), Tina (Dern) and Lance (Sheen), poachers and a park ranger. The terror doesn’t end there as the giant grizzly bear finds its way to the concert grounds to go on a killing spree."
"We didn’t want to make a 21st century movie when we looked at the footages. We wanted to keep it as original as possible to have an authentic American movie quality from the 80’s. Something that was missed or lost and found later on to attract enthusiastic cult lovers. With the casting power and the existing entertainment value with a big bear, we believe the movie will resonate with today’s audience," said Nagy, who is serving as producer for the new and improved film. "Animal movies are rare and very difficult to do right. There has been no bear action movie since 1976 since the first Grizzly movie. It was a great financial and entertainment success. I consider this 'second chance' for the sequel a real victory for the movie and for me as a person who stuck to my dream regardless of all the horrifying circumstances."
So, after nearly four decades, Grizzly II is finally complete and is currently making its festival rounds! A new trailer has even been uploaded and can be seen below, along with some new poster art.
Here's to hoping a company like Vinegar Syndrome or Severin Films snatches this one up for a home video release!