Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Eight juvenile delinquents are assigned community service in a California forest as punishment for various misdemeanors. The community service involves cleaning up the garbage left behind by patrons before the park closes for the season. Heading up this ragtag outfit is Ranger Bob, a button down, no-nonsense fellow who doesn’t appear thrilled with this babysitting assignment. His mood doesn’t improve when the miscreants arrive clad in clothing more appropriate for clubbing than arduous work. The sarcastic “teens” roll their eyes as Ranger Bob reviews the rules of the forest (e.g., “Don’t feed the animals”, “Don’t sleep with food on your person”, etc). Of course these rules are summarily ignored by the too-cool-for-school thugs and they pay for their ignorance dearly after attracting the attention of a fierce grizzly. Being killed by a bear sucks. Meanwhile, an escaped convict heads to the same forest as well in a completely unnecessary b-story that goes nowhere
My first animal run amok film of the season and boy is it a stinker. The first bear doesn’t show up until the 40 minute mark (I checked). You might be wondering what goes on during the first 40 bear-less minutes. Nothing, nothing goes on during the bear-less minutes. The unappealing teens simply become even more unappealing as they bicker, flirt, and play stupid jokes on one another. I couldn’t wait for them to all die. It took 40 minutes before my wish started to come true. The bear maulings are unspectacular. There is a nice little twist at the end, but it’s not enough to save this bear slasher.
Surprisingly Grizzly Park is a beautiful looking film. Long aerial shots of a California State forest during autumn establish a rich, vibrant setting. I was also pleased that the bear was real rather than a CGI concoction. Grizzly bears are scary.