Grizzly (also known as Killer Grizzly) is a 1976 horror film directed by William Girdler. The plot is centered around a gigantic grizzly bear which attacks, kills and partially eats people in and around a national forest. It stars Christopher George, Andrew Prine, and Richard Jaeckel. The movie was rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for violence and bad language.
The film has often been called a Jaws rip-off and has many similarities to the 1975 movie in its plot and its character dynamics.
An unofficial sequel called Grizzly II: The Predator began production in 1983 but has not been released to date.
Two young women are setting up camp in the national forest. One of them is attacked and killed by a bear, the other runs off and locks herself in a cabin, which the park rangers calls the shack. The bear tears down the walls and kills her too.
After rangers become worried that they have not heard from the two female campers, a search party is organized. Michael Kelly, chief ranger of the national park, joins the search. The body of one of the campers is found inside the shack. The body of the second woman is found later, having been buried in a shallow grave by the bear so that it could return and eat her later. Kelly contacts his friend, the naturalist Scott. Scott claims to knows every bear in the forest and insists that the killer bear must be a newcomer.
Rangers are sent out to search for and kill the bear. During the hunt, a female ranger stops to take a swim. The bear grabs and kills her. Her blood is seen mixing with the water of the stream.
Michael Kelly flies over the park to look for the bear, together with helicopter pilot and Vietnam War veteran Dan Stober. They think that they can see the creature but when they land they find Scott immitating a bear in an attempt to hunt for the animal himself. Scott says that the animal must be a type of grizzly bear that was believed to have been extinct for thousands of years. Scott adds that the bear must be eighteen feet tall and weigh over two thousand pounds.
All campers are ordered to stay together and keep to an area far from the part of the park in which the bear has been reported. The tactic works for a while, until the bear rips open a woman's tent and kills her. Kelly wants the park to be closed down but the park's manager refuses. Although it is not hunting season, the park's manager allows members of the public to come to the park to hunt the bear, against Kelly's wishes. One hunter gets separated from his group and comes face to face with the bear. He is attacked but manages to escape alive.
At night, a group of hunters are woken up by a black bear cub. Thinking that it might be the killer bear's cub, they decide to use it to lure the bear into a trap. However, the grizzly eats the cub and gets away before the hunters have a chance to shoot it. In spite of the bear having already killed three people and seriously injured another and Kelly's continued calls for the park to be closed down, the manager insists on keeping it open. Scott goes out looking for the bear on his own. The beast attacks a ranger look out tower, destroys it and kills the ranger.
In the town near the park, a woman, her son and his pet rabbit are in the yard of their home. The grizzly suddenly appears and attacks both people. The mother is killed, the boy survives but loses a leg.
Kelly and Stober decide to search for the bear by helicopter. They gut a deer and use it as bait to trap the killer creature but do not succeed in shooting it. The grizzly escapes.
Scott finds the deer which Kelly and Strober gutted and ties it to the back of his horse. Shortly afterwards, the grizzly attacks and kills Scott's horse. Scott appears to be dead too and is buried by the bear. However, the partially buried Scott wakes up, before the bear returns to finish him off. Kelly and Stober later find his corpse.
The two men get back into Stober's helicopter. They spot the grizzly and descend to pursue it. The bear attacks the helicopter. Stober takes several shots at the bear with a rifle but it has no effect on the creature. The bear attacks and kills Strober. Kelly retrieves a bazooka from the helicopter. He fires it at the bear which is completely destroyed. Kelly slowly walks over to Stober's dead body as the film's end credits begin to roll.