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Director: William Girdler
1976 / 91min / DCP
Before his tragic death at age 30 in 1978, Louisville native Girdler ripped out a string of nine features that established him as one of America’s foremost exploitation auteurs. The most financially successful of these—and one of the best—was Grizzly, a cash-in on the Jaws craze that replaces the Great White with a prehistoric bear chomping on (mostly female) summertime campers at a national park in northern Georgia, whose chief ranger (Christopher George) is tasked with bringing down the shaggy menace. Girdler doesn’t have a Spielberg-sized budget, but he makes up for it with ghoulish imagination in what’s certainly one of the grimiest “PG” pictures ever made, pitched with the irresistible tagline: “18-Feet of Gut-Crunching, Man-Eating Terror!”