Normally I can find some measure of sympathy in my heart for even the worst movie. Oftentimes I find myself weighing the sadly few pros to the vast amount of cons, looking for good in even the worst piles of steaming crap.
There is but one, solitary pro to the ocean of cons in Grizzly Rage: unintentional, full-on humor.
To be fair, I am biased against animal-attack movies. I view them much in the same way I view something like Sex and the City; boring, vapid, and at times somewhat watchable but utterly forgettable. And both tend to feature soulless beasts stalking prey. (Sorry, Sex and the City fans.)
Grizzly Rage is probably the standard bearer for such flicks; it is soul-crushingly awful.
The only way to keep yourself from nodding off is to laugh.
I don’t even need to find a poster for this one. I just need to show you the DVD menu and the title cards, really.
Notice that masterful Photoshopping! They gave the bear red-eye! They took MS Paint and spray painted blood on to the bear! Magnificent, I say.
It was at this point that I began to question what I had done with this latest installment of Reader’s Choice and whether I was going to end up like Sam Neill in In The Mouth of Madness, crazed, babbling and unsure of where reality and insanity met and separated.
And verily, I felt kind of heartened. I’ve seen a lot of awful things in my time. For goodness sakes, I am a person who professes an enormous amount of love for Spice World. Some people have a high pain threshold; I seem to have a high awful threshold.
Grizzly Rage seemed determined to call my hand, I think.
The movie begins with four friends embarking on a road trip, complete with car dancing and music that can best be described as Nickelback-lite (eww!). There is an unspoken rule of horror/gore flicks that I’m sure has an applicable mathematic equation. The more jerkfaced you are, the more likely you are to die. In a group of total assholes, the alpha asshole will most likely bite the dust far before the other, lesser jerkfaces. And if you’re having sex? God. You just punched your own ticket to the sweet hereafter, friend. If we are following this standard, then you will not be surprised…
…that I immediately wondered to myself when the Hand of God was going to come down and smite these X-TREME individuals before the movie really got up and running.
The foursome are en route to a camping trip in a park when they decide to deviate from their original plan and instead decide to go to a different park, one that’s been gated up and locked for a long time. That’s okay, they decide – they’ll just break in and not tell anyone where they’re going! Well, super!
So they do just that, but they don’t make it far inside the gated up park before they totally screw everything up by running over and killing a bear cub. The campers aren’t as dumb as I originally believed, as they bicker amongst themselves for seconds before deciding to hightail it out of there because the momma bear? Probably nearby.
Being X-TREME has its consequences.
It’s quickly thereafter that Momma Bear appears as the friends kick their nice sport utility vehicle into high gear and haul ass the other direction. It’s too bad that they crash into a tree, doing something funky to their radiator. Oops! I bet AAA doesn’t do car repairs in locked-up parks with raging grizzly bears on the loose, hmm?
If you’re Stephen Colbert, you’re peeing your pants in fright right now.
If you’re everyone else? Meh.
The friends set out to find water to cool off the car, but from the roars coming from the forest, the bear is somewhere nearby. One of them stumbles upon a lake, but it’s heavily polluted with toxic waste! What a shocker. Could this have ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS BEAR’S VIOLENT RAGES?
Hmm, I don’t know.
Anyways, the bear lays into – you guessed it – so far, the dumbest member of the dysfunctional group.
The Gilligan-looking fellow gets pretty much chomped on fairly quickly, while the three others kick it in gear and head out. A short time later, a few bitchfights and car problems later, they find themselves assuredly stranded in the Middle of Nowhere.
They attempt to use their cell phones to no avail, because some people never got the memo about a lack of cell phone towers in national parks; they struggle to figure out a way to get their car working again with no mechanic, a busted engine and lamely attempt to still use the vehicle after it’s been rammed into trees, rolled down a fairly sharp incline and keeps overheating.
These kids? I’m guessing they were not in the gifted and talented program.
The decision is made for the jerk in the orange shirt to jog to the highway. Not run, not walk, JOG. And jog he does. All he’s missing is a headband and a Walkman to complete the douchey look, but he equips himself with a hardcore tire iron for protection from a massive, snarling bear.
Once again, this kid? Probably not in the gifted and talented program.
There are two kids left by the car; a girl and a guy (I could never catch their names, sue me) and this is where horrible hilarity ensues. Agonizing minutes of the worst dialogue I have ever heard in my life passed onwards, where after every sentence, I had to stop and convince myself I heard what I really did hear.
That scrunched up, “I just smelled something ridiculously AWFUL” look on the guy’s face is his upset angry look. He collapses to his knees, crying (and I’m paraphrasing): “I’M SOO SCARED….WHAT AM I GOING TO TELL MY PAAAARENTS?”
Yes. To recap: they are lost somewhere unfamiliar. No one knows of their changed travel plans. They are being chased by a vengeful bear (Stephen Colbert, it’s okay, I have hugs for you) and they have no food, no water and no way out.
Indeed, what is this astute fellow going to tell his parents?
The guy and the girl crawl into the car; they talk seriously for a few minutes about why this is happening to them.
Before I continue, I swear upon my copies of Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October that the following is true.
The guy’s theory is that since they live in the most privileged country in the world, their luck “had to run out sometime”. The girl’s theory is that once upon a time, she was in a hurry to get somewhere, backed into a parked car and instead of telling the truth, drove off without ever leaving her information or claiming responsibility. “I should have been responsible”, she tells The Guy. “And maybe now, I’m being punished for it.”
I’d like to posit a question here: HOW FUCKING STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE? Seriously? That bear’s not coming after you because you DENTED SOMEONE’S FENDER AND DROVE OFF. That bear’s not coming after you because YOU’RE LIKE TOTALLY RICH. That bear’s coming after you because it’s been drinking toxic waste and you’ve killed it’s kid! STUPID! HAVE YOU ALL LOST YOUR MINDS?!
This is where I decided to view the rest of the movie as though someone had forcibly administered frontal lobotomies to every character in this movie, and thus, I did not have to question such idiocy.
YAAAAAAAY! THE BEAR IS BACK! ATTACK, BEAR, ATTACK!
Meanwhile, the Jogging Fellow has stumbled upon a random abandoned cabin, but the bear just kind of chomps on his leg and he escapes.
He hobbles back to the SUV where the two Lobotomized Freakshows kind of patch him up without killing him – which, admittedly, is shocking, given the fact that both of them have about ten meager brain cells left. They load him into the car, but…
THE BEAR IS BACK! WOO!
Night falls, and still, the bear is stalking around somewhere. They can’t leave, they can’t go anywhere, and they’re stuck. Before dying a miserable death, Jogging Fellow imparts to the dearly lobotomized that there’s a bear trap in that abandoned cabin, and they should, like, totally go get that, because you never know! A bear trap? Now that might be handy!
And this is where things start to go from bad to worse to WTFery.
My rental copy of Grizzly Rage started skipping wildly before stopping here; with some idiot in his underwear at the Abandoned Shack of Bear Traps That Don’t Seem That Important. And this is where my rental copy of Grizzly Rage refused to go any further. It was like the toxic waste portrayed in the film leached into my rental copy, rendering it only moderately playable and ending here.
I could’ve made it to the end, but I think my DVD player was going to commit seppuku if we traveled any further in our cinematic journey.
So this is where it ends; so many questions unanswered, so many nincompoops left alive. If you ask me, I’d like to think that if the movie trends the way it was, the remaining guy and girl would stumble into that huge house of bear traps and die from their own stupidity.
I mean, honestly – it’s like this whole movie is one massive joke but it totally wasn’t intended to be. Someone put pen to paper and WROTE THIS in a serious fashion. This is not someone who is to be trusted, the person who wrote this movie – this is someone to be feared and avoided.
So the rankings so far as to which movie is the worst:
1. Midnight Skater
2. Grizzly Rage
3. Camp Slaughter
Now, if Netflix could stop slowing my shipments down, we could rip the proverbial Band-Aid off a hell of a lot faster.