Claws is a 1977 horror film directed by Richard Bansbach and Robert E. Pearson. It was written by Chuck D. Keen and Brian Russell. It stars Jason Evers, Leon Ames, and Anthony Caruso. The movie was rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America.
The action takes place in a small Alaskan town and in the surrounding wilderness. After a bear is shot but not killed, the wounded animal becomes a man-hating killer and is even rumored to have supernatural powers. Jason Monroe, the first person to be attacked by the bear, survives but is left with permanent injuries and a profound hatred of the animal. Jason's preoccupation with the bear eventually causes his wife Chris to leave him, taking their young son Buck with her. After the bear attacks Buck during a camping trip, leaving him in a coma, Jason becomes more determined than ever to track down the monstrous creature and kill it.
Near the small town of Admiralty, Alaska, a hunting party shoot at a grizzly bear but fail to kill it. Knowing that the animal is wounded and, therefore, extremely dangerous, the hunters flee the scene. Logger Jason Monroe and his wife Chris are nearby, setting off on their long drive home. When their truck breaks down, Jason goes off to get help. He is attacked by the bear. He survives but is badly wounded, one of his arms being left permanently damaged.
The bear goes on to attack and kill seven more people. It gains a reputation of being an evil spirit and acquires the nickname "the Devil Bear". The attacks suddenly stop and there are no further reports of the bear for five years. It is then rumored that the animal has returned to the area.
As a result of his preoccupation with the killer bear which attacked him and his desire to get revenge on it, Jason's marriage has fallen apart. Chris has left Jason and moved into town, taking their young son Buck with her. She begins a relationship with another man named Howard who is the leader of a troop of boy scouts.
While on a camping trip with Howard and other boy scouts, Buck is attacked by the bear. He is left seriously wounded, is in a coma and is not expected to survive.
Forest Commissioner Ben Jones brings in two scientists from the university. The scientists are confident that they can trap the bear, in the same way in which they have trapped many other man-eating animals across the world. Hearing that the animal has been trapped, Jason accompanies Ben to the scientists' cabin, hoping to kill the bear himself. They arrive to find that the bear has gone and that both scientists and their local guide have been killed.
Jason tells Ben that he is convinced that the bear lives near an abandoned mine at the top of a mountain. He says that he plans to begin the long journey there the following morning to destroy the creature. Ben makes Jason reluctantly agree to take him and Howard along on the hunt. The three men leave, accompanied by Jason's elderly Native American friend Henry. Ben maintains regular radio contact with helicopter pilot Bud.
Henry begins to hear and see visions of ghosts known as the Wailing Women which, like banshees in Irish folklore, foretell someone's death. At night, Henry hears the Wailing Women again. Accepting that it is his time to die, he willingly goes towards them. He is attacked from behind by the bear and dies.
Having given up hope of finding Henry alive, the remaining hunters continue their search for the bear, even though Bud has told them that they need to go back because of bad weather. Upon arrival at the foot of the mountain where the bear lives, Howard announces that he will wait there in case the animal comes down. He climbs a tree, confident that the bear will not be able to follow him up there. The bear violently shakes the tree, knocks Howard to the ground and kills the man.
Ben and Jason are startled by the bear and fall down the mountain. Ben is badly injured. After several attempts, Jason is finally able to contact Bud by radio and convinces him to brave the bad weather to take Ben to hospital. Jason refuses to return with Ben in the helicopter, insisting on carrying on the hunt for the bear.
Meanwhile, Buck has come out of his coma and wants to see his father. Shortly after visiting her son in hospital, Chris sees Bud in his helicopter. She berates the pilot for not having brought Jason back to town. She insists on being taken to the mountain where Jason is facing the bear. Chris arrives to see Jason being attacked by the bear. Wanting to help, she asks Bud if she can take the gun in the helicopter. He allows her to take it but warns her that it will not help her very much because it is only a flare gun.
During a struggle with the bear, Chris drops the flare gun. Jason picks it up and fires it at the bear. The bear catches fire and falls down the mountain. The long ordeal is over and Jason and Chris embrace.