"The forest provides more than a man could possibly need. Things grow big here - REAL big."   - M'Rai

release year: 1979
genre: eco-horror
viewing setting: home Bluray 1/26/20 and DVD, 3/31/15 and 4/30/05 and 9/1/02

synopsis: In the wilderness of Maine, things are weird: fish grow to enormous size, babies are born deformed, something big and savage is roaming the woods, killing people.

impressions: This starts out as a drama, telling us about how the Indians have gotten screwed over by the government (I'm not making fun of this - actually, I recognize it, and it sickens me.) Anyhow, the basic deal is that the paper mill is using chemicals that, if ingested, cause mutations. Case in point: the huge, mutated bear that drives the wild, bloody second half of the movie. There are some spooky moments (especially at night with that monster around) and some funny ones; all in all, this is your basic monster movie with an ecological twist.

things to watch for: The scene where the monster attacks the family as they sleep.

monster bear body count: 14 confirmed kills

acting: Robert Foxworth is the main guy, a city doctor thrust into the wilderness environment. Talia Shire is his fairly meek wife. Armand Assante, in an early role, does a pretty good job as the unofficial leader of the Indians.

secret casting credit: the guy inside the giant bear costume was none other than 7'4" actor Kevin Peter Hall, who also played the title character in 1987's Predator

final word: Watchable, but no classic; standard horror fare.

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