Project Grizzly

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary

An engaging documentary about a maverick inventor. Nominated for a Genie Award (Canada's Oscar) and a festival-circuit/European cult hit before its direct-to-video release in the U.S., this sprightly portrait of bear researcher/scrap-metal dealer Troy Hurtubise has by most accounts — including Hurtubise's — helped turn its subject into a laughingstock....read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Reviewed by Frank Lovece
Rating:

An engaging documentary about a maverick inventor. Nominated for a Genie Award (Canada's Oscar) and a festival-circuit/European cult hit before its direct-to-video release in the U.S., this sprightly portrait of bear researcher/scrap-metal dealer Troy Hurtubise has by most accounts — including Hurtubise's — helped turn its subject into a laughingstock. That may be a reasonable, if knee-jerk, reaction to the segments in which Hurtubise tests his sci-fi-looking anti-bear suit in a "Canada's Funniest Home Videos" parade of scenes in which the inventor is struck by logs, trucks, arrows and more. Yet a closer look tells a different tale. North Bay, Ontario: 13 years earlier, the talkative, square-jawed, 32-year-old Hurtubise survived a close encounter with a grizzly bear. Obsessed with the idea of up-close bear research, he began building a series of full-body suits designed to withstand teeth, claws and blunt force, as well as fire and falls off hillsides. Hurtubise likens his suits — the latest version of which he dubs the "Ursus Mark VI" — to the shark cages used by undersea researchers, and also speaks of applications ranging from volcano research to riot control. What's so wrong with or funny about that? Yet the film — which is beautifully shot and scored, and dramatically paced — spends less time considering Hurtubise's technical process and creativity than documenting the slapstick aspects of the testing process and observing Hurtubise's eccentricities: He demonstrates knife-throwing with a survivalist's passion, and one anecdote ends with him waking from a nightmare while camping and firing rifle blasts into the woods. There's also a weekend-warrior/boys 'n' toys feel to the final segment, in which Hurtubise and friends track a grizzly in order to field-test the Ursus Mark IV, and discover that the suit can't be kept balanced on uneven terrain. But Hurtubise's bravery and admirable persistence shine through it all: Any corporate clone or couch potato who sniggers at him is more the fool.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: An engaging documentary about a maverick inventor. Nominated for a Genie Award (Canada's Oscar) and a festival-circuit/European cult hit before its direct-to-video release in the U.S., this sprightly portrait of bear researcher/scrap-metal dealer Troy Hurt… (more)
Producer
Exec. Producer
Exec. Producer
Assoc. Producer

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »