The Country Bears

“Based on a theme park attraction” is second only to “based on a popular video game,” as the phrase mostly likely to have these reviewers sprinting like Usain Bolt —with a boulder bearing down on him in the opposite direction.

The Country Bears, though, is one such movie…a project inexplicably inspired (if that’s the word) by a Walt Disney World attraction. In our neck of the woods, Ontario, there’s something called a spring bear hunt…but don’t expect us to fire potshots at these creatures.

For whatever reason — we sure as hell can barely explain — this is an oddly charming, bizarrely horrifying film.

Beary Barrington (voiced by Haley Joel “I see dead people” Osment) grew up in a human family. And is a cub. Otherwise, he may have gone all Grizzly Man on his adoptive bipedal parents. He’s a budding musician, and took inspiration from the eponymous band, the Country Bears, an all-bear band who’ve since disbanded.

Like an ursine VH1 Behind the Music special, Beary tracks down the various members of the band, and they reunite for a big tour. Of course, there’s an obstacle in their way: an evil developer (Christopher Walken) who wants to tear down their concert hall, as well as an unscrupulous concert promoter who wants to exploit them (Alex Rocco, who got it in the eye in The Godfather).

As badly received as any movie we’ve discussed on the Really Awful Movies Podcast, this one isn’t as deserving of opprobrium as you might think. That could’ve been the beers or the weed talking, but here us talk about it…this was a fun podcast to do.

We’re continually surprised by what comes across our metaphorical desk every week on the show, and this one’s no different. So, is The Country Bears a classic for the ages? Perhaps not, but give it a crack…

The Really Awful Movies Podcast

Smart talk, dumb movies? That’s not a bad description. The Really Awful Movies Podcast is a celebration of genre cinema of all stripes, with a focus on horror. If you like what you read here, or in print (our acclaimed book, Death by Umbrella!) you’ll (hopefully) like what’s being talked about there.

Every week on the show, Jeff and I get down to the business of critiquing films that occasionally get short-shrift from the mainstream. Despite our name (derived from a phrase one of our mothers used to describe a burgeoning interest in horror, “why do you have to watch those awful movies?”) we are relentlessly positive, silver lining types. Even as we fire broadsides, we pull back and offer praise and constructive criticism (something lacking in movie criticism).

Over the course of hundreds of episodes, we have explored everything from misguided musicals (Xanadu), to lurid Italian cannibal movies (Cannibal Ferox), meatheaded action flicks (Shotgun), and even silent surrealist films (Un Chien Andalou).

The beauty about our mandate is we’re never pigeonholed. As much as we could chat about our favorite slashers week after week, we have the luxury of pulling back and delving into film noir, like we did with D.O.A., or peeling back the curtain for some 70s exploitation (The Baby).

We realize that time is precious. When we started The Really Awful Movies Podcast, we wanted to create bite-sized morsels rather than buffet-style entrees. As a result (with a few exceptions), our episodes are roughly 30-45 minutes in length. We cut right to the core, with some extemporaneous personal anecdotes and detours as we see fit. Mostly though, we place our focus where it should be: on the film.

You may have wondered about our banner…The Lamberto Bava film, Demons, is a mutual favorite. It’s a perfect combination of hilarity and horror, a lunk-headed oddity that is impossible not to love. And those three demons on the poster capture the spirit of the film  (and our podcast) perfectly, even if there are only two of us (we have a guest on occasion, so there’s room for a third).

If you’d like to subscribe to The Really Awful Movies Podcast, we’d really appreciate it. We’re not big on Patreon. Instead, we urge listeners to grab copies of our book (soon to be plural – update to come) to support us.

Thanks for listening! And thanks for reading too, we update Really Awful Movies as humanly possible.

Best,

Chris & Jeff