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Villain Overview

The Grizzly is the titular main antagonist of the 1976 horror film of the same name. He is an 18-foot tall, 2,000 to 3,000 pound, man-eating grizzly bear that was born with an atavism, possibly gigantism, that greatly increased his size and strength to be equal to that of his prehistoric ancestors. He also hates campers in the forest and can violently murder anyone who trespasses his territory.

The Grizzly was portrayed by a Kodiak bear named Teddy while his vocal sound effects were provided by Fred J. Brown.

Biography

At the beginning of the film, the Grizzly stalks a pair of female hikers in the mountains of a vast national park. He ambushes and kills one of them, while the other flees and finds apparent safety inside a wooden cabin. However, the bear tears down the cabin's wall easily and mauls the girl to death. The bear leaves the second girl's body inside the destroyed cabin and goes back to the body of the first girl, eats some of it and then covers it with a shallow grave, saving the rest of the meat for later. The mangled corpses of the two girls are discovered the next day by Michael Kelly, the head ranger of the park, and his girlfriend. Kelly orders his fellow rangers to search for the bear and to warn all campers in the park to stay away from the mountains.

A few days later, the Grizzly ambushes and kills a female ranger while she is soaking her feet in a stream. Later, the bear heads down into the lowlands. He attacks a busy campground in the dead of night, ripping down a tent and killing a woman before disappearing again.

After this attack, a bounty is placed on the bear's head and a group of hunters are let into the park. The Grizzly stalks and chases one of the hunters, but he manages to escape the huge beast by jumping into a river and floating to safety. Later, the hunters find a bear cub and, suspecting it to belong to the killer Grizzly, decide to use it as a trap for the mother. However, the Grizzly finds and eats the cub without the hunters noticing. Scott concludes from this that the bear must be a male, as when it comes to bears only the males are cannibalistic. Kelly then orders his fellow ranger, Tom, to take watch in a small watch tower. However, the Grizzly manages to sneak to the tower without being seen and then tears down the structure, killing Tom. The bear then disappears without taking Tom's body for food, possibly leaving his corpse for display as a warning to the other rangers.

Later, the Grizzly attacks a house on the outskirts of the park. While a boy rescues his pet rabbit, he is maimed and his mother killed. Stunned by this development, the politicians finally decide to close the park. Kelly, Scott and Don then go after the elusive bear. Don and Kelly kill a stag and attempt to use it as bait to trap the bear. However, the Grizzly sees through the ruse and pretends to retreat, tricking the rangers into chasing him. The bear outruns them and circles back to the deer carcass, steals it and disappears again.

The next day, Scott, tracking the bear on horseback, discovers the partially eaten deer carcass and attempts to use it as bait to lure the Grizzly towards Kelly and Don. However, the Grizzly ambushes him, killing his horse and knocking him out cold. The bear then covers the unconscious Scott with a shallow grave and leaves. Later, Scott wakes up and struggles free of the grave. However, as he tries to get up, the Grizzly returns and finishes him off. After this, Kelly and Don, saddened and enraged by their friend's death, decide to continue hunting the Grizzly from their helicopter. They spot the bear from the air and notice that he is returning to the scene of his first kill. They pursue the bear, and although the huge creature manages to just keep ahead of the helicopter, the chase appears to tire it out and they land in a clearing.

However, once the helicopter is on the ground, the Grizzly attacks it, swiping it and causing Don to be thrown clear. The bear attacks Don and kills him by crushing him in his forearms. The Grizzly then turns on Kelly, but before it can reach him, Kelly shoots him with a bazooka, blowing the Grizzly to bits. avenging the deaths of all the people he had killed, and ending his reign of terror for good.

Personality

Unlike most normal grizzly bears' behavior, this monstrous version of the Grizzly bear is more dangerous and aggressive. He is a vicious serial killer who hates campers and forest rangers who trespass into his forest, and will do nothing but kill them by any means necessary. The Grizzly is also a cannibal, as shown when he eats a bear cub.

Powers And Abilities

This version of the Grizzly has monstrous, almost unnatural strength. He can endure hits from gunshots. He can also instantly kill a person with his claws, crush them with his forearms and behead a horse with a single swipe of his paw.

Victims

  • Margaret Rogers
  • June Hamilton
  • Ranger Gail
  • Sally Walker
  • Ranger Tom
  • Bobby's Mother
  • Arthur Scott
  • Don Stober

Trivia

  • Teddy was a Kodiak bear that was rather used to human company.
  • It is arguable whether or not Grizzly really is evil per se; while his actions are contemptible, he is a wild animal acting on instinctual actions. It is possible that this villain is an example of Neutral Evil for that reason.
  • The film's novelization explores Grizzly's backstory and thoughts. It is revealed that, as a cub, he grew unusually fast, causing his mother to abandon him before he could hunt or forage properly. Throughout his life, Grizzly has been shunned by his own kind, including potential mates, for his freakishly large size. Prior to coming to the park, he has avoided humans (which he calls "the two-legged enemies") and has never been sighted by them. However, he is repeatedly driven out of his usual hunting grounds by human expansion, and ends up on a mountain top where he injures his jaw, leaving him in serious pain and preventing him from catching his usual prey. This injury, coupled with the hatred he has developed toward humans for repeatedly forcing him to move, leads him to become a man-eater. Also, in the novel, he is killed with a flamethrower instead of a bazooka.
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