Grizzly II review: long-lost George Clooney horror is truly unbearable

Laura Dern and Timothy Spall are among the stars-to-be in this abandoned project, now finished for a cynical belated release

Here’s a film that for decades has been nothing more than a rumour: a jaw-dropping, so-bad-it’s-bad meisterwerk to be savoured by masochists and awfulness connoisseurs. Watching it turned my face into a replica of Munch’s The Scream. This is the thankfully long-lost 1983 film Grizzly II: Revenge (sometimes known as Grizzly II: Predator or Grizzly II: The Concert), the proposed sequel to the mediocre but profitable 1976 Jaws knockoff Grizzly, about a huge bear that goes ape, if you will, after its cubs are killed by poachers and conceives a murderous loathing for all humans straying into its forest.

Grizzly II was abandoned after filming finished (with a 16ft mechanical bear and Hungarian woodland standing for a US national park). But its producer Suzanne C Nagy has, after 37 years of legal wrangling, finally got the unedited footage into shape, bulked it up outrageously with new ambient material, repeating the same drone shots of the forest and stock footage of cubs gambolling – and shamelessly released it, capitalising on the extraordinary fact that the first three kids to be killed by the crazy grizzly are played by a big-haired, denim-clad George Clooney (22 years old), Laura Dern (16) and Charlie Sheen (18). This before-they-were-famous triple cameo lasts only a few minutes but the future megastars are cheekily billed above the title.

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