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Monday, January 20, 2014

The Night Of The Grizzly (1966)

An ex-lawman (Clint Walker) and his family arrive in Wyoming to take over a ranch left to him by his late uncle. The house and land are in pretty bad shape but he and his wife (Martha Hyer) make plans to build the place up. But when a monstrous grizzly bear known as Satan ravages the countryside killing both animal and beast, their dream is placed in jeopardy. A standard western that stands out because of its horror movie trimmings. That killer bear is as much a "monster" as the shark in JAWS or the dog in CUJO. But it's only average, it lacks the intensity of those films and much of the film is dragged down by domestic scenes with Hyer as the little woman wringing her hands and asking her man to stay home and please don't go out and get yourself killed. There's the usual fist fights, two villains (Keenan Wynn who wants Walker's ranch and Leo Gordon as the man Walker sent to prison) and wholesome comedy, this time provided by Nancy Kulp (BEVERLY HILLBILLIES) as an old maid who sets her cap on a grizzled cowpoke (Don Haggerty). The picture picks up some steam when Walker and Gordon become rivals to get the reward for killing the grizzly but even that is dissipated because of the predictable script. Directed by veteran Joseph Pevney (MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES) with a nice underscore by Leith Stevens. With Ellen Corby, Jack Elam, Ron Ely, Sammy Jackson and Regis Toomey.

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