In 1983 David Sheldon was busy shooting Grizzly 2: The Predator, aka Predator: The Concert. Grizzly 2 boasted early performances by George Clooney, Laura Dern, and the Internet’s current golden boy, Charlie Sheen, who plays a hiker who serves as the bear’s first victim.
The film would later become somewhat of an urban legend as far as horror movies go due to the fact that it was never completed. Supposedly the film was released as a TV movie, but no official release has ever been made theatrically or on home video. Here’s the synopsis:
All hell breaks loose when a giant Grizzly, reacting to the slaughter of Grizzlies by poachers, attacks at a massive big-band rock concert in the National Park.
Rumors abound as to what the actual reason for the film’s incomplete nature was. From misappropriation of budget to bankruptcy lawsuits, faulty animatronics, and even an issue over the rights to the Grizzly title itself. Principal photography was completed, and the majority of the shots involving the bear were to be added later. Sadly, that is where the facts end.
A quick glimpse at IMDB shows that 2 of the 4 reviews listed are by people who worked on the film disagreeing over whether the animatronic bear was the cause of the film’s incompletion. According to various sources the animatronic bear never functioned properly, and the scenes were re-shot with a man in a bear suit. Nick Maley, who was working on the effects, paints a much different picture however.
According to his account the animatronics and bear effects worked as expected, but they had not yet been able to start filming the effects shots. They were informed that the film was pulling out of Hungary before they could complete the missing scenes. Why the money dried up is the subject of wild speculation. What isn’t speculation is the fact that when the money was gone, the film crew’s equipment was seized by the government and held as collateral against debts owed by the production.
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