Ginger Nuts of Horror
For too many years the great and wonderful "when nature attacks" and "man verses nature" genre of films has sadly been overtaken by the rise of the cheap and nasty SyFy mega monster film. Angry animals were no longer enough for the modern movie watcher, they demanded bigger, nastier and more mixed up monsters, three headed octosharks, lavasharks, and probably Yogi Bear crossed with a barracuda quickly became the norm. With each successive film they got cheaper and ever more awful. However, the tide may be turning there has been a number of the more traditional versions of the man v's wild animal film released over the last few months. Let's take a look at one of my favourites....
Into The Grizzly Maze stars James Marsden (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Billy Bob Thornton (Entourage), Thomas Jane (The Mist) and Piper Perabo (Looper) in this man verses an angry bear movie. Returning to his hometown it doesn't take James Marsden long to get himself into trouble with one of the local ladies who just happens to be a bit on the loose side, this brings him back in contact and conflict with his estranged brother Thomas Jane, the local sherrif. And it's not long before the pair of them, are joined by a local bear expert played by Billy Bob Thornton and the obligatory damsel in distress played by Piper Perabo.
In terms of plot there is not much to the film, our intrepid band of heroes set out to hunt the bear that has been munching on the tasty local folk. And as with all great killer animal films our hunters are quickly outmatched, out clawed and despite their best efforts become the prey rather than the hunter.
What the film lacks in plot, or character development it more than makes it up with and exciting adrenaline fuelled pace that never lets up. This is an action packed film, that knows what the viewers wants and delivers it a huge picnic basket of backwoods fun.
The great set pieces of the bear rampages cancel out some rather clumsy and silly dialogue. The best example of bad dialogue is delivered in pure straight face by Billy Bob Thornton
At least he never went down the route of calling it smarter than your average bear.
The performances from the main actors is sufficiently good, James Marsden is surprisingly good, and they make the most of the film's rather limited plot and dialogue. Billy Bob's performances as Quint's landlubber distant cousin is particularly good, creepy and slightly crazy the screen lights up whenever he makes an appearance.
However the real star of the film is Bart The Bear, you can understand why this bear has had a 15 year acting career, the director and his handlers get a stellar performance from him. He is a terrifying presence on the screen, and when they have to resort to CGI for certain scenes you can feel his absence.
Into the grizzly Maze is a highly entertaining film, a fun, action packed thriller that is probably best viewed with a bunch of mates and big bowl of popcorn, while the beers flow freely.
From David Hackl the director of the Saw V, INTO THE GRIZZLY MAZE is a nail-biting creature feature that proves when a grizzly gets angry, everyone tastes the same... it is out now on DVD AND VOD.
Purchase a copy here