Of the many things we've learned from television pundit Stephen Colbert, one of the most important is the danger of bears. On Colbert's online resource Wikiality, the Truthiness Encyclopedia, the entry on bears tells us that "Bears' strong vitality and resilience makes them one of mother nature's nearly unkillable animals. A bear has never been downed by any less than five gunshots. Combinations of high explosives, assault weapons, and trebuchets have been known to only piss the bear off."

But, you may ask, do they count as villains? Aren't scary bears in movies merely monsters, without the intellectual capacity to plot and scheme? I say bears are definitely villains, and as proof I offer three movies that feature relentless bears with more on their minds than just eating berries and looking for places to poop in the woods. Bears with purpose, with vicious intent. Bears who are, again in Mr. Colbert's words, "Godless killing machines."

Grizzly (1976)
The posters promised "18 feet of gut-crunching, man-eating terror!" (alternately, some ads also promoted "18 feet of towering fury") and indeed, Grizzly featured one large, nasty ursine villain. Sure, the whole movie was a cheesy rip-off of Jaws, which had been a phenomenal mega-blockbuster the previous year. But as cheesy rip-offs go, Grizzly is one of the best. The flick features a laundry list of 1970's B-listers like Christopher George, Richard Jaeckel and Andrew Prine, but the true star is the grizzly bear, chomping and mauling his way through a buffet of idiot campers at a state park.During the course of the film, hikers are torn asunder, cabins are smashed to bits, and the occasional deer gets dragged off to serve as a snack.
categories Cinematical