Project Grizzly

"OK"

Project Grizzly Review


Attacked by a grizzly bear at the age of 19, Troy Hurtubise decided to see if he couldn't design a suit to resist the attack of one of the world's most fearsome creatures. That this idea came to him during a screening of RoboCop says quite a bit about Hurtubise's character.

Six suits and seven years later, Hurtubise took his Ursus Mark VI out for a field test, roaming the Canada countryside in search of a bear to attack him and his impervious suit -- an enormous, layered getup of rubber, chainmail, and Kevlar that looks patently absurd. Meanwhile, we are treated to Hurtubise's development process, a tour through the suit in its various incarnations, and some of his crazier tests, which include being shot at with a gun (he's not inside while it happens), hit with giant logs, beaten with baseball bats, and being hurled off a cliff. In these brief moments, the film shines... but then director Peter Lynch lets him start to talk (long on metaphysical nonsense and pseudo-military jargon).

Hurtubise is quite the character -- though he frequently wears a red beret and espouses military discipline, his haircut recalls Vanilla Ice. He's a wacko who's won an Ig Nobel Prize, and yet his suit seems like it might work. (Though sometime after the film was shot, a caged kodiak bear ripped a test suit to bits.)

Despite this unique individual's story potential, this quick 75-minute documentary about Hurtubise is a bit of a bust. The bulk of the film comprises a weeks-long trek in the Canadian foothills, before the snow comes, as Hurtubise and his crackerjack team of helpers try to find a bear. Naturally, they never encounter one. When they finally spot one, near the end of the film, the suit is 10 miles away. They end up simply leaving to go home, and the viewer (unless he does some research) never learns whether the suit can take the grizzly's hit.

Without an actual encounter with a bear, Project Grizzly is terribly titled. Of course, Crazy Dude Makes a Bear Suit doesn't quite trip off the tongue the same way, does it?

The DVD includes two commentary tracks (including a bizarre "critical appreciation" track) and deleted scenes (none of which include Hurtubise being attacked by an actual bear).



Project Grizzly

Facts and Figures

Run time: 72 mins

In Theaters: Friday 3rd October 1997

Production compaines: National Film Board of Canada

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Himself

Also starring:

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