Spoken about in whispers and as legend for decades, fans of poorly constructed cult cinema are in for a treat this year as the long spoken about film Grizzly II is set to be released this year after almost forty years. In a massive run down on the film's long and very complicated history, The Ringer (H/T SlashFilm) brings word that the film's producer Suzanne C. Nagy has secured a distribution deal for the film after finally completing a cut of the project. According to the outlet, an agreement has been made for distributor Gravitas Ventures to release the film on streaming platforms and in drive-in theaters this fall.
The story of Grizzly II, now titled Grizzly 2: Revenge, is a long and harrowing one. At the heart of the movie is naturally a killer bear, who "seeks revenge and kills anyone that gets in her way" after the slaughter of her cub according to the film's synopsis. The bear's killing spree manages to also coincide with a major concert taking place in Yellowstone National Park. The film also includes a star studded cast, many of whom were still fresh faces at the time of shooting including George Clooney, Laura Dern, Charlie Sheen, Louise Fletcher, Deborah Raffin, Dick Anthony Williams, and John Rhys-Davies.
One would assume that because of the title and its synopsis that there would be a bevy of bear attack sequences in the film, but that's where the real irony of Grizzly II lives as only seconds of screen time was originally shot for the project despite multiple animatronic bears being created. Production on the cheap thrill was set to begin in 1983 in Hungary but things quickly went awry.
"The principal photography started on Monday. We had 45 days to finish the film," Nagy recounted on the film's official website. "Everything was mapped out. Sunday was a break. Everybody relaxed when the call came to my home. My partner from Chicago was looking for my husband who was not in the film business and asked him to come to the InterContinental Hotel. When he returned he was pale and devastated."
"I asked him, 'What is wrong?' And he replied, 'Joe, your partner, is leaving Hungary. If you want to save the movie, you do what you need to do. He is leaving in half an hour because there is no money for the production.' I thought this was a joke, but then I realized, I was left alone with 300 members of the film crew from 4 countries."
You can watch the official trailer for Grizzly II below which is presented along with the film's poster.