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ZENLESS POPCORN: Interview with Suzanne C. Nagy


Interview: Suzanne C. Nagy 

Zenless Popcorn - March 7, 2020 - 5 min read



In 1982, a movie called Grizzly II: Revenge was being filmed. Sequel to the 1976 adventure-horror-thriller "Grizzly", it never got finished filming and a partner left after there was no money was left...then many years later the workprint surfaced on the internet. This workprint was a REALLY bad copy and didn't have the greatest audio or visual content and on top of that, a lot of it had "blackouts" where special effects were missing. It seemed that this movie was never going to be finished and be released for the public. But then, in 2019, it was announced that Grizzly II: Revenge was finally going to be released in 2020, but with a different story. Curious to find out more about this, I was able to talk Suzanne C Nagy (Producer/Executive Producer) to find out about her background in the movie business and ask her what the story was behind Grizzly II exactly and how come it has taken so long to finally finish this movie and get it out to the public. Hello Suzanne, nice to meet you. Hello, good to talk to you! So what exactly got you into the movie business? In 1977 I got my film writing and producing diploma from the Budapest Film Studio. previously I was an economist and worked in international trade. In 1977 I became the representative of the Hungarian film industry for the US territory and moved to New York City. I brought 3 movies as a service work from the US to Hungary and in 1982 I signed a 3 movie deals with a Chicago based producer. Quite an impressive build-up! So what advice would you give to people who have an interest in getting into the movie/film industry? When I think about what and how I would advise people to work in the film industry; what came to my mind is the following: Do not think about making lots of money or fame. Think about how much you like the excitement, the challenges, the dream world, and the movie's imaginative power. How fantastic is to create something from nothing. How great when you have a script and everything become reality on the movie screen although they may not really in our real life. This challenge is worth to choose this industry. When Grizzy II first came up, what caught your attention and made you say "yes, I am interested"? Grizzly, as all animal movies are very different from ordinary stories. The one I picked to start with was the Grizzly movie. It was a difficult movie and I liked difficult things. The movie had a 16' foot large Grizzly bear attacking people and a huge live rock concert in"Yellowstone National Park". Nick Maley was our special effect guy who built two mechanical bears for the movie in Hungary. It was challenging how these artificial mechanical bears will look like, and how they will work in action, and we had difficulties because the director was not experienced and some of the action scenes were never done before. The other challenge was the concert with 50 thousand people during socialism in my country. The preparation was very important to avoid any accident or disaster. I couldn't take the chance to have the government questioning me about a possible political uprising or accidents. Luckily all went very well!!! It certainly sounds like this movie had its challenges at the time. I had personally heard about this movie when I was doing research on workprints for an upcoming piece on my blog. Do you think that the leaking of this will damage the release of the movie or give it more interest? When I took over the film in 1988 I was approaching the Grizzly title company to purchase the sequel rights and named my company Grizzly II The Concert, Later on, Grizzly II The Predator. Since the titleholder was Chapter 11, I was finally able to purchase the title for the sequel in 1990 January. I didn't continue working on the film because my husband died of cancer in 1990. As far as what happened after 1990; My life took a different turn, and the film lay dormant until 2019. During this time an unauthorized copy was put on YouTube, that we needed to remove. Somebody who may want to hurt the movie, but I think instead it helped the movie to stay alive. A very bad copy from an old cassette was circulating for a long time, but you couldn't even know what you are seeing, it was blurry and dark, it was on YouTube. It was upsetting that somebody had no care for this wonderful movie... I was and I am not to much concern about this leak. People are even more curious about what really happened in this film. I have read that you plan to make this movie totally different from what it was originally going to be. Could you explain what you plan to do? When I worked on this movie, in 2019, shortly after I took out the 35 mm workprint and converted into digital, I had the choice to make a heavy horror film or a light one. Spielberg Jaws was always in my mind. The film finally became a PG15 movie. You have to see it to judge if I had the right vision. I have to say I am slightly jealous at you having a lovely crisp version of the workprint, I would love to be able to see that! I'm looking forward to seeing what your new vision will be but at the same time cannot help but wonder what the original would look like, human curiosity I guess. So after making Grizzly II, what is next for you? More plans for other movies? Is there potential for another sequel? My next movie is the documentary about Making the Grizzly movie and what happened behind the scenes from 1982 until now. It is exciting to revisit this film and relive everything again. I own the sequels' rights and if we will do another one...it should have a lot of special effects and more horror to compete with the 21 century's high tech requirements. Certainly looking forward to the documentary as well as an official release of the workprint if possible. So, what are the plans for the distribution of the movie? As far as the distribution of this film goes, today the market is much more sophisticated than it was in the '80s. DVD and Blue Ray distribution is one area, Theatrical and TV are another. If we get a major bankable distributor, all territories will be handled by them. Movie by movie the best deal needs to be analyzed according to the best visibility for the actual subject. Suzanne C. Nagy, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Thank you for the interview. So there you have it, nearly 4 decades later and Grizzly II: Revenge WILL actually see the light of day and be on Blu-Ray sometime this year. I'm not one for sequels but have to admit I'm intrigued as to what this will be like. For more information on Grizzly II head to the official website, https://www.grizzly2revenge.com/



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