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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Claws")

Directed by William Girdler
USA 1976

 

Following the worldwide impact of JAWS in 1975 directors and producers were fast to cash-in on the success of the Steven Spielberg terror-trendsetter and to instigate a short-lived sub-genre of killer animal movies. Perhaps the most successful of all was 1976's GRIZZLY which took in mega-money upon its release and had audiences glued to their seats and avoiding natural parks for the foreseeable future!

Starring the great Christopher George (CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD) and directed by the genius exploitation master William Girdler (DAY OF THE ANIMALS), GRIZZLY traces the bloody rampage of the titular animal who is chomping, tearing and terrorising innocent campers and showcasing a case of insatiable hunger. If JAWS is the ultimate killer shark flick then GRIZZLY is the world's greatest marauding-mammal movie and, thanks to 88 Films, this all time classic horror film is finally available to UK audiences in gloriously gruesome HD!

***

This ecology-themed horror movie took its inspiration from the success of Jaws and moved that film's man-versus-nature conflict from the seaside to the forest. The plot of Grizzly focuses on Mike Kelly (Christopher George), a forest ranger whose peaceful tenure over a forest housing a busy nature lodge is interrupted by the arrival of a very deadly and hungry 15-foot grizzly bear. As the bear starts killing rangers and campers, Park Supervisor Charley Kittridge (Joe Dorsey) tries to cover up the problem and tries to keep Kelly from acting in a way that will cause public suspicion. Finally, Kelly decides to do what is right and teams up with macho pilot Don Stober (Andrew Prine) and eccentric naturalist Arthur Scott (Richard Jaeckel) to hunt the grizzly down on its own turf. Grizzly was roundly panned by critics for its slavish, blow-by-blow imitation of its more sophisticated model, Jaws, but its gruesome shock power made it a major hit with audiences around the world. Director William Girdler followed this success up with another ecology-themed shocker in Day of the Animals, and the film's producers made a still-unreleased sequel, Grizzly II, which provided early roles for Charlie Sheen and George Clooney.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters / VHS Cover

 

Theatrical Release: May 12th, 1976

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Comparison:

88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Scorpion - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray LEFT

2) Scorpion - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover

 

Also available on Blu-ray in Germany from Digi-Dreams-Studio:

   

Distribution 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Scorpion - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:31:07.128  1:30:47.483  
Video

Disc Size: 23,325,328,214 bytes

Feature Size: 19,170,797,568 bytes

Average Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Disc Size: 29,666,478,642 bytes

Feature Size: 25,096,648,704 bytes

Average Bitrate: 28.74 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: 88 Films

Bitrate: Scorpion

Audio

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3227 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3227 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2106 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2106 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Isolated Score:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 88 Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Disc Size: 23,325,328,214 bytes

Feature Size: 19,170,797,568 bytes

Average Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 

 

Edition Details:
• What a Guy! - David Del Valle Recalls Actor Christopher George's Life and Career. (23:41)
• Theatrical Trailer (1:07)
• Limited Edition Booklet Notes by Dr. Colin Waddell
• Reversible Sleeve with alternative cover image
s

Blu-ray Release Date: May 14th, 2018
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Disc Size: 29,666,478,642 bytes

Feature Size: 25,096,648,704 bytes

Average Bitrate: 28.74 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 

 

Edition Details:
• New Audio Commentary with historian Lee Gambin,
• Audio Commentary with produer David Sheldon and star Joan Mc Call,
• New Beverly Theatre Q&A with Andrew Prine and producer David Sheldon (12:08)
Vintage Featurette "JAWS WITH CLAWS", (36:39)
• Vintage Featurette (06:57)
• Katarina's Fun Facts (08:16)
• Trailers and Radio Spots (04:30)
• Still Gallery
• Reversible Cover

Blu-ray Release Date: May 14th, 2018
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 13

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION - Scorpion - November 2018: First off, the image quality on this Scorpion release of "Grizzly" is superior but very different than the previous Blu-ray from 88 Films. This is a new HD master from the original inter-positive. This killer-bear classic comes to us on a dual-layered Blu-ray. The 2.35:1 image maintains a supportive bitrate throughout the presentation. Colors lean blue/teal but expand from the washed-out brown tint of previous release. Skies are noticeably bluer, leaves greener, blood richer and deeper red, plus skin tones warm and look more authentic. The framing is also different in most scenes, with more information on all sides in the new transfer. Detail certainly advances. Contrast levels also hold strong.

We are now given the option of either a 5.1 or 2.0 stereo track (both 24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio) as well as a 1.0 mono Effects and Music only track. The 24-bit DTS 2.0 track sounds similar to 88 Film's 16-bit 2.0 linear PCM track. This new 5.1 surround mix is a lot of fun, with decent separation. Effects are given an almost 3d effect, which only adds to the campy fun of the film. The 1.0 Isolated Music and Effects track is pretty cool, and shows the amount of work put into this creature feature. There are optional English subtitles on this Region Free
Blu-ray.

This
Blu-ray from Scorpion features not one, but two audio commentaries. The first track is thanks to creature feature expert and multihyphenate (Film Historian, author, etc), Lee Gambin. This track is filled to the brim with fascinating factoids. Gambin is not only the go-to guy for animal horror films, but he clearly loves Grizzly (as we all should) and appreciates it as more than just a Jaws rip-off. Before listening to this track, I had no idea that Grizzly was the most successful independent film until someone by the name of Carpenter showed up with "Halloween". We are also treated to a second commentary with Producer David Sheldon and Sheldon's wife and star of Grizzly, Joan McCall. This track is moderated by Henry Crinkle and is somewhat more laid-back with the two reminiscing about the making of this film. There are some interesting tidbits about the technical side of things. It should be noted that the married couple also co-wrote the script for "Grizzly II: The Concert". Next up is a 12-minute Q&A with Andrew Prine and producer David Sheldon, recorded at the New Beverly Theatre in Los Angeles. If only every city could have a theatre as cool as the New Beverly (support your local rep theatre!) Next up is the 37-minute vintage featurette, "Jaws with Claws", which definitely wins in the naming-of-making-of-segment awards. There is also a separate vintage 7-minute featurette on the making of the film. Another new edition here is "Katarina's Fun Facts", a fun 8-minute take on Grizzly. There are also 5-minutes of Trailers and Radio Spots, a stills gallery and a cool reversible cover with alternate artwork. A beautiful selection of extras from Scorpion.

Scorpion noticeably advances upon the previous release. The 5.1 track is a lot of fun, as are the commentaries and extras. Highly recommend picking up this
Blu-ray for any creature-feature fans.

Colin Zavitz

***

ON THE 88 FILMS (MAY 2018): Films bring us the 1976 drive-in classic, Grizzly, on a single-layered Blu-ray disc. The film was shot in the Todd-AO format and is presented here in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. There are random small flecks of dirt and debris visible on the print, but this is by no means overwhelming, in fact it only adds a drive-in quality to the experience. Colors seem a little muted - very earthy, but this is most likely due to the original print and is not a mistake in the transfer.

Grizzly is brought to us with an uncompressed linear PCM 2.0 stereo track (16-bit). Various nature noises and bear roars sound as good as they would've in the 70's. Voices sound clear enough and the score by Robert O. Ragland (10 to Midnight, The Thing With Two Heads) sounds clear. Ragland apparently wanted to score the film using very low registering instruments, to give the film a 'grizzly' sound. The score is not your average creature-feature fare, and some may recognize his "What Makes a Man a Man?". There are optional English subtitles on this region 'B' 
Blu-ray disc.

The first extra is "What a Guy!" where David Del Valle, a journalist well-versed on genre film, is interviewed for 23-minutes. Del Valle mostly talks about the work of Christopher George, most hilariously talking (and showing) George's playgirl centerfold (funny enough, fellow Grizzly actor Andrew Prine also did a full-frontal spread that is shown here as well). This is an interesting feature delving into George's life and career and I would highly recommend this feature. The film's theatrical trailer is also available. A 4-page booklet featuring the piece "When Beasts Attack" by Dr. Calum Waddell is also included, as well as a reversible sleeve with alternative artwork.

Grizzly is a somewhat cheesy drive-in staple from the past. As David Del Valle says in his interview, Grizzly is best experienced in an audience, so I would recommend having a few friends over for this one. 88 Films have given us a solid
Blu-ray package here with a fairly good transfer of audio and video, with little restorative tinkering, thus preserving the intended drive-in experience of the film.

Colin Zavitz


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Hit Counter

 

Box Cover

 

Also available on Blu-ray in Germany from Digi-Dreams-Studio:

   

Distribution 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Scorpion - Region FREE - Blu-ray



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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