I’ve never been a huge fan of documentaries, they just never seem to live up to the hype. I’d rather watch an original film shot like a documentary or a mockumentary, something like Spinal Tap. Unless you are super excited about the topic, documentaries rarely have enough material to keep you interested, and there is typically no payoff at the end. Such is the problem with Project Grizzly. This documentary is the story of Troy Hurtubise, a man whose life was spared by a grizzly while walking through the Canadian wilderness. Now years later he is back to find the grizzly, with the help of his homemade bear-suit, the Ursus Mark VI.
It sounds like an interesting premise right; guy meets bear, bear spares guy’s life, guy vows to find bear again and builds a bear-proof suit. Well… that part is somewhat interesting, but it’s the way the movie is delivered that brings it down. First off, Troy talks too much. Granted it’s his movie, but way more emphasis should have been put on the making of the suit, and not Troy’s life as a martial artist, a wilderness junkie, and just a all around looney-toon!
The suit is the story, and it is a pretty bad-ass suit. He spent somewhere around $150k to make it. This is the 6th version, and over the years he has perfected most things about it. He can even take a swinging 400 pound log to the chest while inside the suit and get up feeling great! What Troy hasn’t perfected is something I believe most of us would have tested knowing that we were going into the Canadian wilderness. To preface my next statement I’ve never been in the Canadian wilderness, hell I’ve never been much past Toronto. But from watching movies and walking around the fields in my backyard I realize a bear suit will need to walk up and down hills WITHOUT FALLING OVER! Come on Troy, you didn’t test that, and not even any of your lovable goofball hillbilly friends would have the epiphany that this could ruin the whole experience!
With that said, Troy’s adventure into the wilderness is cut short, extremely short when he can’t even walk 5 feet without falling down. They did see a grizzly though, but it was a shame when we learned the Mark VI was 10 miles away and the chopper wasn’t going to pick it up until the next day. Roll credits… WTF!
Having heard a few interviews on a local radio station (WRIF Detroit) I thought this movie has some promise. Troy seemed like just the kind of lunatic that would make a protective bear suit only to climb out of it at the last minute to attack the bear. But alas nothing all that exciting happens in this movie. I really wish Troy would have not made this documentary until he got what he was looking for… a swift grizzly bear punch to the face! I give Project Grizzly 1 crazy ass, knife toting, suit making, story telling nut job out of 5!
(Enemy’s note: Just for the record, I love documentaries. They’re one of my favorite film genres, but I totally agree with Monkeyface here. I was pretty hyped to see this film and it was a total verbal diarrhea fest where Troy was interviewed and had his family interviewed so they could tell old stories about how they respected the wilderness and had toothless fun in the backwoods.
Unfortunately, the film was sold to me ahead of time as this guy and the production of this suit that could withstand bullets, cars ramming it at 40 mph, and bearded bikers with obligatory hairy ass cracks with dumpy jeans beating on it with 2×4’s. While you do see that, it’s about 5 minutes of the entire hour run time but the other 55 minutes left me severely disappointed. I’m actually depressed that this is the first true documentary that is being reviewed for the site, and I can guarantee that a lot more and better weird and bizarre doc’s will be reviewed for this site going forward.)
And here’s the best part of the entire documentary: