Movie Review: Grizzly Park (2008)

August 30, 2012

You like a fascist or somethin’?

the pedophile prep asks the racist stoner.

Somethin’ like that.

the racist stoner acknowledges.

That is indeed dialogue between two characters in Grizzly Park, a mess of a movie which loses itself in the woods shortly after that scene. In short, the best thing one can say about this movie is that it’s better than Grizzly Rage, the abomination which preceded it by a year. Okay, that’s not the best thing one can say, but it’s close enough!

Written and directed by Tom Skull, Grizzly Park is the story of eight delinquents performing community service in “Grizzly Park” and the forest ranger (Glenn Morshower) overseeing them. Throw in a serial murderer/rapist, a skunk, and a killer bear or two, and you have this movie. It’s not ill-conceived at all — there has to at least be one person who finds eight kids picking up trash on a forest trail exciting.

Joking aside, honestly, half of this movie is dedicated to the kids picking up trash and Morshower’s character talking about picking up trash.

Watching Grizzly Park should count as community service itself!

There are some things which save Grizzly Park, however. As bad as it is, the ineptitude of two characters add a sort of innocence to the film which makes it easy to laugh at. The first is the aforementioned racist stoner, “Scab” (Randy Wayne). The character is so lost, he’s almost likeable despite his “White Power” and swastika tattoos. Eventually he develops a crush on a Latino girl in the group (Zulay Henao), and the other guys have to remind him that he’s racist. It was delightful to watch.

The other inept character which made Grizzly Park bearable is a pea-brained girl, Bebe (Emily Foxler), who thinks that skunks are “forest cats”. There’s just something so cute about cluelessness that can make even the most boring films entertaining. Unfortunately, while the other six kids are idiots of the earth, they’re more irritating punks than anything.

The final pro of Grizzly Park is the gore. Most of the deaths were a lot of fun, and this film has earned its R rating. The kills coupled with the inept duo almost make up for how outright boring this movie and its 95 minute runtime is. Unfortunately it’s just not enough.

None of the characters are interesting enough to warrant watching them talk amongst themselves while picking up trash. As I already alluded to, these characters are more irritating than anything — the worst is that it’s by design! These are supposed to be kids skipping out on prison by doing community service. They’re unlikeable at conception. So it would be one thing if they were picked off one-by-one from start to finish, but half of Grizzly Park is character buildup, for reasons unknown.

Grizzly Park also has plot lines that go next to nowhere. There’s an arguably interesting plot line about a serial murderer/rapist who’s on the run and masks himself as a police officer he killed… but it was put on the back burner in favor of kids picking up trash. Other characters which are played up in the beginning either disappear or die suddenly, again, to direct attention to the kids picking up trash.

The acting is sub-par all around, and even Morshower, as good as he is, is very one-note in Grizzly Park. None of the acting is bad, per se, but it’s just bland. That has to do with how the characters are written and this isn’t necessarily a knock to the actors, but the bland-ness doesn’t help make this film any less boring or irritating.

The last movie I reviewed was Area 407, right? This direct-to-video cautionary tale of how deadly community service can be is so much better than that. I don’t recommend you watch this —there are certainly better things to watch than Grizzly Park — but this movie won’t kill you and the gore is kinda cool, and you can currently catch it on Netflix. Just an FYI.

Edit: This song is the best part of the movie

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